Policy on access to equipment
The Mass Spectrometry Core (MSC) is a pay per use service that provides access to the state-of-the-art instrumentation. Users must have a valid RRC Account Number before any work can be carried out. For the occasional user, we are able to provide access on a service basis (assisted use), however, it is recommended that investigators be trained how to use the instrumentation themselves (open access). The exact mass analysis is provided as a service by the MSC, thus direct infusion is limited to MSC staff and special circumstances. A majority of the MSC instruments are available for open access usage, first, you must be checked out by Mass Spectrometry lab staff. MSC reserves the right to refuse to take on work that we believe to be too time-consuming, that will have a negative impact on other users or involves the use of chemicals or techniques that are too hazardous.
Policy on Scheduling Instruments
To use any of the MSC instruments you need consent from the MSC Staff. Before authorization to operate any of the instruments, all users need to be trained by MSC staff. We offer training by appointment. Once you are trained, you will need to create an account on the Mass Spec Instrument Scheduler website:
You must have a reservation to use the instrument and you must document your time accurately.
Scheduling rules and Cancellation Policy
In order to offer instrument time to as many users as possible, the MSL requests that users, not over-book instruments. This means that you should not reserve more than one or two days per week on a particular instrument unless there are no other users who wish to use it. In addition, you are not allowed to reserve instrument time more than two weeks in advance of the current date. Because plans change, the MSL allows users to cancel reservations that are no longer needed, given a 24-hour notice. You must cancel your reservation at least 24 hours in advance to allow other users to reserve the time. If you need to cancel your reservation the day of your instrument time, you must contact the MSL Staff to cancel your reservation. Please e-mail the MSL staff as soon as you know that you will not be able to use your instrument time. Instrument billing is tabulated using the online scheduler. If the scheduler does not accurately reflect how the instrument was used, please send an email to the MSL staff.
Policy on Instrument Malfunctions
If you encounter an instrument problem, you are encouraged to pursue basic troubleshooting of the problem to the extent you are familiar with the system. This includes re-checking HPLC fittings, analysis of test compounds, restarting the software, etc. If these steps fail, contact MSL staff for assistance. You should be prepared to explain the circumstances of the problem, and what steps you took to correct it. During off-hours, send an email to the MSL Staff with a description of the problem and a screenshot [ctrl + print screen]. If the MSL staff determines that there is a genuine instrument problem beyond your control, you will not be charged for the instrument time.
User is responsible for any physical damage to instrument due to user’s non-standard operation.
Policy on User Data
Users are responsible for bringing their own solvents, columns, and accessories. MSL requires a pre-column filter to be used for all sample analysis; this will reduce the contamination in the instrument. Please remove your supplies and samples promptly when you are finished or else they may be discarded at random. The MSL is not responsible for backing up your data or method files. You should always back up your data and method files to a removable flash disk or CD on a regular basis. Before running a sequence, verify your method details to make sure nothing has been changed, and always review the data periodically in real-time to ensure the system is performing correctly. Users are encouraged to run a known test sample to verify system performance before beginning their work for the day.
Policy on MSL Computers
Instrument computers are important business machines that should not be used for personal activities such as chat or casual web-browsing. Internet connectivity is provided to most instruments in order to facilitate data transfer and research activities. The MSL asks users to use discretion when accessing the internet. The lab’s computers have been carefully configured to run the instruments and connect to the lab’s computer network. In order to protect system integrity, do not install unauthorized software or make changes to the operating systems of the instrument computers without permission. Any software or hardware upgrades need to be performed by the MSL staff only. If a user requires the presence of a vendor application engineer/specialist, notice must be provided to the MSL staff.
Please acknowledge use of MSC instruments in any published papers and let MSC staff know when they are published.