Selected reaction monitoring (SRM) performed on triple quadrupole mass spectrometers has been the reference quantitative technique to analyze small molecules for several decades. It is now emerging in proteomics as the ideal tool to complement shotgun qualitative studies; targeted SRM quantitative analysis offers high selectivity, sensitivity and a wide dynamic range. However, SRM applied to proteomics presents singularities that distinguish it from small molecules analysis. This review is an overview of SRM technology and describes the specificities and the technical aspects of proteomics experiments. Ongoing developments aiming at increasing multiplexing capabilities of SRM are discussed; they dramatically improve its throughput and extend its field of application to directed or supervised discovery experiments. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.