Accelerating the Implementation of Mass Spectrometry in the Clinical Lab



The MSACL Organization

Style Guidance

Definitions and Terms


Authors should provide a alphabetically-ordered table with ALL abbreviations and acronyms contained in the manuscript.

Isotopic Labeling

There is a nearly ubiquitous problem in mass spectrometry publications. It is frequently the case that the isotopically labeled internal standard is not well-specified, morphine D3 for example. The problem is that this does not uniquely specify how the internal standard is labeled. For example, there are many different possible labeling schemes that result can all result in three deuteriums in the molecule. The same goes for most labeling methods (13C4, 15N2, etc.) In almost all cases there is more than one combination of labeling positions that can result in the same overall degree of labeling.
  1. Authors should completely describe the isotopic labeling scheme, including what specific sites in the molecule are labeled.
  2. Authors should list the isotopic purity of the labeling.

Should I use "IS" or "ARE" after list of items joined by "or"?

Example: The most recent guideline suggests that TDM can be helpful when (either) drug malabsorption or drug underdosing is suspected.

CMS: In this context, "are" is referring to either drug malabsorption or underdosing, not both. Hence, the agreement should be singular. The current usage in English is about 4x greater for "is" than "are" in this context, although if you append "either", seen in parentheticals, which increases clarity, the definitive usage is "is".