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Documentary standards


Documentary Standards can specify definition of terms; classifications of components; delineation of procedures; specification of dimensions, materials, processes, products, systems, services or practices; test methods and sampling procedures; or descriptions of fit and measurements of size or strength. Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA), NIST is assigned responsibility to coordinate federal, state, and local documentary standards and conformity assessment activities.


Catherine Cooksey adjusting a machine for the measurement of transmittance.

Key Comparisons: Transmitting Correct Measures All Around the World

New employees at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are often surprised to learn that our agency is part of the Department of Commerce. How could this be? On the surface it seems that the missions of the two organizations couldn’t be more different. The Department of Commerce would appear to be concerned with, well, commerce, while NIST is well known for its Nobel Prize
The words "Bias in A I" appear in black and white

NIST Proposes Approach for Reducing Risk of Bias in Artificial Intelligence 

Cartoon illustration shows computer screen with thought bubble asking "Is this inclusive?" and other questions.

NIST’s Inclusive Language Guidance Aims for Clarity in Standards Publications

An aerial drone sits on a launch pad before lifting off to start the NIST performance test course. Three sections of the course, poles with white bucket-shaped targets attached, are seen in the background.

NIST Performance Tests for Aerial Response Robots Become National Standard