26 No. 3
Standard Definitions of Terms Related to Mass Spectrometry
In February, the Analytical Chemistry Division, supported by the Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division, approved a project to update mass spectrometry terms and definitions. It has been more than 10 years since the chapter on mass spectrometry terms and definitions in the IUPAC Compendium of Analytical Nomenclature (“Orange Book”) was last updated. Since that time, the field of mass spectrometry has seen an unprecedented growth both in use and in scope, culminating in the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, awarded in part for the development of mass spectrometry methods for the analysis of biomolecules. The introduction of new mass spectrometry instruments and techniques has led to an explosion in terminology, some of it redundant, conflicting, and often trademarked, that makes it difficult for the disparate practitioners in the field to communicate effectively.
Wide participation is needed to achieve consensus on mass spectrometry nomenclature. To facilitate discussion, a Web site <msterms.com> has been set up that has links to online versions of the current terminology and discussion forums for comments and suggestions. There will also be opportunities for face-to-face discussion.
The task group will have its initial meeting during a nomenclature workshop at the American Society for Mass Spectrometry meeting in Nashville in May 2004, and will convene at subsequent ASMS meetings in San Antonio, Texas, May 2005, and Seattle, Washington, May 2006. Members of the task group will participate in the American Chemical Society Meeting in San Diego, California, March 2005, the British Mass Spectrometry Society Meeting in York, September 2005, and the IUPAC Congress in Beijing, China, August 2005. A final draft of the revised list of terms and definitions will be presented at the International Mass Spectrometry Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, 2006.
For more information, contact the Task Group Chairman Kermit Murray<[email protected]>.
last modified 29 April 2004.
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