Searchable libraries of MS/MS spectra, obtained using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) with data-dependent scan mode switching on both quadrupole ion trap and triple-quadrupole mass spectrometers in conjunction with electrospray ionization, are presented. The effects on library search scores of changing the parameters for producing collision-induced dissociation (CID) on both instrument types are systematically evaluated. These observations serve as a basis for determining a universal set of conditions for building MS/MS libraries. A group of 19 closely related steroids was used. The ability to obtain library-searchable spectra at low concentrations is demonstrated for the analysis of a sample of progesterone spiked with hydroxyprogesterone impurities at 0.1 and 0.01%. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.