An Evaluation of Standardized Software for Processing GC/MS Data from Different Vendors' Instruments in a Forensic Laboratory

with ACD/MS Manager Suite*

Eamonn McGee N.Dip.,1 Scott MacDonald Hon.B.Sc.,2 Graham A. McGibbon Ph.D.,2 Arvin Moser M.Sc.2

Journal of Forensic Sciences (published early online–4th March 2013)

Abstract: Forensic science laboratories perform analyses on a variety of materials using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Instruments from different vendors may be used, requiring analysts to be proficient in the use of multiple proprietary software packages for collecting and processing data. There is no standardized GC/MS software available that can acquire data from different vendors' instruments. However, there are third-party processing software products that can import data files in different formats. The Centre of Forensic Sciences compared the data processing performance of one such product, ACD/MS Manager Suite, with three instrument vendors' software used for casework analysis. This product was tested for its compatibility with the existing software, its capability to load and present data, and to initiate searches of commercial libraries. The study shows that the MS Manager module provides a means for the forensic analyst to view, process, and report on data from different sources in one software package.

*The features and functionality of ACD/MS Manager Suite have migrated to our new MS Workbooks since this work was written.

1 Centre of Forensic Sciences, Toronto, ON, Canada
2 Advanced Chemistry Development, Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada
Presented at the 57th Conference of the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences, November 29, 2010, in Toronto, ON, Canada.