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Creation and Release of an Updated NIST DART-MS Forensics Database



Edward Sisco, Arun Moorthy, Laura M. Watt


Facing increasing caseloads and an everchanging drug landscape, forensic laboratories have been implementing new analytical tools. Direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS) is often one of these tools because it provides a wealth of information from a rapid, simple analysis. The data produced by these systems, while extremely useful, can be difficult to interpret, especially in the case of complex mixtures. Mass spectral databases are therefore often used to assist in interpretation of data. Development of these databases can be expensive and time-consuming, and often rely on manual curation of the underlying data. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released an initial DART-MS mass spectral database for seized drugs in the early 2010's but did not update the database to reflect the increasing prevalence of novel psychoactive substances. Recently, efforts to update the database have been undertaken. To assist in development of the database, an automated data curation process was also created. This manuscript describes the new NIST DART-MS Forensics Database and the steps taken to automate the data curation process.
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry


DART-MS, Database, Library, Seized Drugs, Data Curation


Sisco, E. , Moorthy, A. and Watt, L. (2021), Creation and Release of an Updated NIST DART-MS Forensics Database, Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, [online],, (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created June 17, 2021, Updated October 14, 2021