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Metrological Tools for the Reference Materials and Reference Instruments of the NIST Material Measurement Laboratory



Carlos R. Beauchamp, Johanna Camara, Jennifer Carney, Steven J. Choquette, Kenneth D. Cole, Paul C. DeRose, David L. Duewer, Michael Epstein, Margaret Kline, Katrice Lippa, Enrico Lucon, John L. Molloy, Michael Nelson, Karen W. Phinney, Maria Polakoski, Antonio Possolo, Lane C. Sander, John E. Schiel, Katherine E. Sharpless, Michael R. Winchester, Donald Windover


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), formerly the National Bureau of Standards, was established by the U.S. Congress in 1901 and charged with establishing a measurement foundation to facilitate U.S. and international commerce. NIST provides reference materials and reference instruments that are used to ensure the accuracy, metrological traceability, and comparability of measurement results in many diverse fields of science, industry, and technology. This document provides and explains the vocabulary used at NIST to describe the reference materials and reference instruments available to NIST's customers. This document also describes the methods used in developing NIST reference materials. The definitions and descriptions provided supersede those used in the original versions of this publication, NIST SP260-136 and SP260-136-2020.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 260-136-2021
Report Number


NIST Traceable Reference Material, Primary Standard, Reference Instrument, Reference Material, Research Grade Test Material, Standard Reference Material


Beauchamp, C. , Camara, J. , Carney, J. , Choquette, S. , Cole, K. , DeRose, P. , Duewer, D. , Epstein, M. , Kline, M. , Lippa, K. , Lucon, E. , Molloy, J. , Nelson, M. , Phinney, K. , Polakoski, M. , Possolo, A. , Sander, L. , Schiel, J. , Sharpless, K. , Winchester, M. and Windover, D. (2021), Metrological Tools for the Reference Materials and Reference Instruments of the NIST Material Measurement Laboratory, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created September 16, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022