The useful yields (ions detected/atom sputtered) of major and trace elements in NIST 610 glass were measured by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) using Cameca IMS 3f and 6f instruments. Useful yields of positive ions at maximum transmission range from 10-4 to 0.2 and are negatively correlated with ionization potential. We quantified the decrease in useful yields when applying energy filtering or high mass resolution techniques to remove molecular interferences. The useful yields of selected negative ions (O, S, Au) in magnetite and pyrite were also determined. These data allow the analyst to determine if a particular analysis (trace element contents or isotopic ratio) can be achieved, given the amount of sample available and the conditions of the analysis. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.