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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

  • Advanced Manufacturing Series (AMS)—The Advanced Manufacturing Series consists of reports, guides, recommendations, specifications, use cases, and data management methods related to the design, planning, implementation and operation of advanced manufacturing. Topics cover, but are not limited to, additive manufacturing, advanced composites, digital manufacturing, flexible hybrid electronics, integrated photonics, lightweight metals, and smart manufacturing.
  • Building Science Series (BSS)This series disseminates technical information developed at the NIST 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.
  • Commercial Standards (CS)—Voluntary recorded standards agreed upon by producers, distributors, and consumers. They covered terminology, types, classifications, grades, sizes, and use characteristics of manufactured products as a basis for creating better understanding between manufacturers and customers. They generally included standard methods of testing, rating, certification, and labeling, and provided a uniform basis for fair competition. Each standard included a list of members of the standing committee, a history of the project, and a list of acceptors. In 1966 they were renamedProduct Standards, and in 1969 they becameVoluntary Product Standards.
  • Commercial Standards Monthly (CSM)—The Commercial Standards Monthly periodical was a review of progress in commercial simplification and standardization. It covered the national movement initiated by President Herbert Hoover for the reduction of needless sizes and varieties of products and the promotion of voluntary commercial standardization by industry. 
  • 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)This 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 (NIST NCSTAR)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 (AIP).
  • NIST Interagency or Internal Reports (NISTIR)Interim or final reports on work performed by NIST for outside sponsors (both government and non-government).  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. In addition, there are SP Subseries that provide detailed specifications in subject areas that are of interest to specific research communities.
  • Technical Information on Building Materials for Use in the Design of Low-Cost Housing (TIBM)A series of reports published by the National Bureau of Standards from 1936 to 1938. They consisted of detailed information about materials used in low-cost housing construction, including different metals and corrosion rates, concrete and masonry, paint specifications, plaster usage, and waterproofing.
  • 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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