Spectral library searching in proteomics

Proteomics. 2016 Mar;16(5):729-40. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201500296. Epub 2016 Feb 9.


Spectral library searching has become a mature method to identify tandem mass spectra in proteomics data analysis. This review provides a comprehensive overview of available spectral library search engines and highlights their distinct features. Additionally, resources providing spectral libraries are summarized and tools presented that extend experimental spectral libraries by simulating spectra. Finally, spectrum clustering algorithms are discussed that utilize the same spectrum-to-spectrum matching algorithms as spectral library search engines and allow novel methods to analyse proteomics data.

Keywords: Bioinformatics; Spectral libraries; Spectral library searching; Spectrum clustering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Peptide Library*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Search Engine*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods


  • Peptide Library