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Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane

Mass Spectrometry – Policies


(1) Self-Service Policy

All users are required to bring their own solvents, columns, and accessories when using the instruments, except for training. The Mass Spectrometry Service Center requires a pre-column filter to be used for all sample analysis which helps reduce the contamination in the instrument. Please remove all supplies, samples, clean the bench, and discard waste when finished.

Reservation/Cancellation Policy

To use the Mass Spectrometry Service Center instruments, consent from the service center staff is needed. Before authorization to operate ABSciex 6500, all users must be trained by service center staff. Once training is complete, a LabAgenda account will be set up to schedule use.

Users must have a reservation to use the instrument and are expected to use the instrument during their reserved time only. In the event that the user exceeds the reserved time and runs into the next user’s time, the next user has the right to start at their reserved time. If 15 minutes late, the reservation will be canceled and another user could walk in and use the instrument.

In order to offer instrument time to as many users as possible, the Mass Spectrometry Service Center requests that users not overbook the instruments. Cancellation must be made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled run to avoid a penalty. Otherwise, the user will be charged for the entire duration of the reserved time.

Policy on Instrument Malfunctions

If an instrument problem arises, attempt basic troubleshooting. This includes re-checking HPLC fittings, restarting the software, etc.

If these steps fail, email the Mass Spec Service Center supervisor ( with a description of the problem and a screenshot [ctrl + print screen]. Record the problem on the Sharepoint spreadsheet in the comment box. If the Mass Spec Service Center staff determines that the instrument problem is beyond your control, you will not be charged for the instrument use time.

Users are responsible for any physical damage to the instrument due to any non-standard operation.

Policy on Data Management and Storage

The Mass Spec Service Center is NOT responsible for backing up data or method files. It is the user’s responsibility to back up data at the time of collection and/or analysis from the instrument onto a personal device/server. ABSciex 6500 and Waters Q-Tof data may be stored for up to 1 year (depending on data size), after which data may be deleted without notice.

Billing Policy

Rates can be found on the Services and Fees page. Users will be billed by time used. All users must document time accurately. Service center finance will create and send an invoice to the principal investigator (PI) at the beginning of each month.

(2) Full-Service Policy

If you wish to submit samples to the Mass Spectrometry Service Center for analysis, please fill out a sample submission form (PDF) and send the printed form with the samples.

In all cases, submit samples in a vial clearly labeled with the sample name. Samples should be clear liquids or dry solids in screw cap vials (caps preferably lined with TFE). If there is chloroform or acetonitrile in the samples, please use glass vials.

The Mass Spectrometry Service Center will forward the raw data to the user when the analysis is finished. Please download and back up the data ASAP. The Mass Spectrometry Service Center is not responsible for any data older than 6 months.