The reliability and accuracy of isotopic data can be improved by utilizing database software to (i) store information about samples, (ii) store the results of mass spectrometric isotope-ratio analyses of samples, (iii) calculate analytical results using standardized algorithms stored in a database, (iv) normalize stable isotopic data to international scales using isotopic reference materials, and (v) generate multi-sheet paper templates for convenient sample loading of automated mass-spectrometer sample preparation manifolds. Such a database program is presented herein. Major benefits of this system include (i) an increase in laboratory efficiency, (ii) reduction in the use of paper, (iii) reduction in workload due to the elimination or reduction of retyping of data by laboratory personnel, and (iv) decreased errors in data reported to sample submitters. Such a database provides a complete record of when and how often laboratory reference materials have been analyzed and provides a record of what correction factors have been used through time. It provides an audit trail for stable isotope laboratories.
Since the original publication of the manual for LIMS for Light Stable Isotopes, the isotopes 3 H, 3 He, and 14 C, and the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), CFC-11, CFC-12, and CFC-113, have been added to this program.