This document provides guidelines that are applicable to bulk and depth profiling GD-OES analyses. The guidelines discussed herein are limited to the analysis of rigid solids, and do not cover the analysis of powders, gases or solutions. Combined with specific standard methods which are available now and, in the future, these guidelines are intended to enable the regulation of instruments and the control of measuring conditions.Although several types of glow discharge optical emission sources have been developed over the years, the Grimm type with a hollow anode accounts for a very large majority of glow discharge optical emission devices currently in use both for dc and rf sources. However, the cathode contact is often located at the back of the sample, in e.g. the Marcus type source, rather than at the front as in the original Grimm design. The guidelines contained herein are equally applicable to both and other source designs and the Grimm type source is used only as an example.