Definitions of terms relating to mass spectrometry (IUPAC Recommendations 2013)

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K.K. Murray, R.K. Boyd, M.N. Eberlin, G.J. Langley, L. Li, Y. Naito, Definitions of terms relating to mass spectrometry (IUPAC Recommendations 2013), Pure. Appl. Chem. 85 (2013) 1515–1609. doi: 10.1351/PAC-REC-06-04-06.


This document contains recommendations for terminology in mass spectrometry. Development of standard terms dates back to 1974 when the IUPAC Commission on Analytical Nomenclature issued recommendations on mass spectrometry terms and definitions. In 1978, the IUPAC Commission on Molecular Structure and Spectroscopy updated and extended the recommendations and made further recommendations regarding symbols, acronyms, and abbreviations. The IUPAC Physical Chemistry Division Commission on Molecular Structure and Spectroscopy’s Subcommittee on Mass Spectroscopy revised the recommended terms in 1991 and appended terms relating to vacuum technology. Some additional terms related to tandem mass spectrometry were added in 1993 and accelerator mass spectrometry in 1994. Owing to the rapid expansion of the field in the intervening years, particularly in mass spectrometry of biomolecules, a further revision of the recommendations has become necessary. This document contains a comprehensive revision of mass spectrometry terminology that represents the current consensus of the mass spectrometry community.

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