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Types of NIST Publications

The major publication types of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Discontinued and inactive series are not included.


  • Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology—Reports NIST research and development in metrology and related fields of physical science, engineering, applied mathematics, statistics, and information technology. Papers cover a broad range of subjects, with major emphasis on measurement methodology and the basic technology underlying standardization. Sometimes included are survey articles on topics closely related to the Institute’s technical and scientific programs. Issued six times a year.
  • Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data—Publishes information on physical and chemical properties of materials under the National Standard Reference Data Act. Published bimonthly by the American Institute of Physics for NIST.

Nonperiodical Series Publications

  • Building Science Series (BSS)—Disseminates technical information developed at the Institute on building materials, components, systems, and whole structures. The series presents research results, test methods, and performance criteria related to the structural and environmental functions and the durability and safety characteristics of building elements and systems.
  • Federal Information Processing Standards Publications (FIPS PUB)—Publications in this series collectively constitute the Federal Information Processing Standards Register. The Register serves as the official source of information in the Federal Government regarding standards issued by NIST pursuant to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 as amended, Public Law 89-306 (79 Stat. 1127), and as implemented by Executive Order 11717 (38 FR 12315, dated May 11, 1973) and Part 6 of Title 15 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations).
  • Grant/Contract Reports (NIST GCR)—his series reports work of an outside person or organization working under grant or contract from NIST. It is used when the technical project officer decides that a contract report has sufficient technical merit to be made publicly available. When justified and so recommended by the project officer, grant/contract reports can be incorporated into a formal NIST series.
  • Handbooks (HB)—Recommended codes of engineering and industrial practice (including safety codes) developed in cooperation with interested industries, professional organizations, and regulatory bodies.
  • Monographs(MN)—Major contributions to the technical literature on various subjects related to the Institute’s scientific and technical activities.
  • National Construction Safety Team Act Reports—This series comprises the reports of investigations carried out under Public Law 107-231, the technical cause(s) of the building failure investigated; any technical recommendations for changes to or the establishment of evacuation and emergency response procedures; any recommended specific improvements to building standards, codes, and practices; and recommendations for research and other appropriate actions to help prevent future building failures.
  • National Standard Reference Data Series (NSRDS)—Provides quantitative data on the physical and chemical properties of materials, compiled from the world’s literature and critically evaluated. Developed under a worldwide program coordinated by NIST under the authority of the National Standard Data Act (Public Law 90-396). NOTE:The Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data (JPCRD) is published bimonthly for NIST by the American Institute of Physics (). 
  • NIST Interagency or Internal Reports (NISTIR)—The series includes interim or final reports on work performed by NIST for outside sponsors (both government and nongovernment).  NISTIR’s may also report results of NIST projects of transitory or limited interest, including those that will be published subsequently in more comprehensive form.
  • Special Publications (SP)—Include proceedings of conferences sponsored by NIST, NIST annual reports, and other special publications appropriate to this grouping such as wall charts, pocket cards, and bibliographies.
  • Technical Notes (TN)—Studies or reports which are complete in themselves but restrictive in their treatment of a subject. Analogous to monographs but not so comprehensive in scope or definitive in treatment of the subject area. Often serve as a vehicle for final reports of work performed at NIST under the sponsorship of other government agencies.
  • Voluntary Product Standards (VPS)—Developed under procedures published by the Department of Commerce in Part 10, Title 15, of the Code of Federal Regulations. The standards establish nationally recognized requirements for products, and provide all concerned interests with a basis for common understanding of the characteristics of the products. NIST administers this program in support of the efforts of private-sector standardizing organizations.
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