In spite of the facts that magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is applied as clinical tool in non-specialized institutions and that semi-automatic acquisition and processing tools can be used to produce quantitative information from MRS exams without expert information, issues of spectral quality and quality assessment are neglected in the literature of MR spectroscopy. Even worse, there is no consensus among experts on concepts or detailed criteria of quality assessment for MR spectra. Furthermore, artifacts are not at all conspicuous in MRS and can easily be taken for true, interpretable features. This article aims to increase interest in issues of spectral quality and quality assessment, to start a larger debate on generally accepted criteria that spectra must fulfil to be clinically and scientifically acceptable, and to provide a sample gallery of artifacts, which can be used to raise awareness for potential pitfalls in MRS. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.