There is a general consensus that supports the need for standardized reporting of metadata or information describing large-scale metabolomics and other functional genomics data sets. Reporting of standard metadata provides a biological and empirical context for the data, facilitates experimental replication, and enables the re-interrogation and comparison of data by others. Accordingly, the Metabolomics Standards Initiative is building a general consensus concerning the minimum reporting standards for metabolomics experiments of which the Chemical Analysis Working Group (CAWG) is a member of this community effort. This article proposes the minimum reporting standards related to the chemical analysis aspects of metabolomics experiments including: sample preparation, experimental analysis, quality control, metabolite identification, and data pre-processing. These minimum standards currently focus mostly upon mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy due to the popularity of these techniques in metabolomics. However, additional input concerning other techniques is welcomed and can be provided via the CAWG on-line discussion forum at http://msi-workgroups.sourceforge.net/ or http://Msifirstname.lastname@example.org. Further, community input related to this document can also be provided via this electronic forum.
Keywords: CE-MS; Chemical analysis; Flux; GC-MS; Isotopomer analysis; LC-MS; Mass spectrometry; Metabolite identification; Metabolite profiling; Metabolomics; Method validation; Minimum reporting standards; NMR; Nuclear magnetic resonance; Quality control.