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News of the ASTM Board
ASTM International’s Board of Directors last met Oct. 21-23 at ASTM Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. The following is a summary of the actions taken by the board at those meetings.

For further details on any of the following topics contact James A. Thomas, President, ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959 (phone: 610/832-9598; jthomas@astm.org).

2003 Finance and Audit Committee Chairman

The 2003 Chairman of the Board Wayne Holliday announced that the executive committee approved Helene Hardy-Pierce as the 2003 chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee. Hardy-Pierce succeeds Gilbert McIntee, who served as that committee’s chairman for two years. The board expressed its appreciation for McIntee’s conscientious oversight during that time.

Presentation by ISO President-Elect

Oliver Smoot, the American National Standards Institute’s chairman of the board and ISO’s 2003-2004 president, presented comments to the board titled “Global Market Relevance: Our Common Vision.” Smoot spoke from the perspectives of each of his three main responsibilities in standardization: as the vice president for external voluntary standards relations of the Information Technology Industry Council, Washington, D.C., ANSI chairman, and ISO president-elect. Smoot emphasized the common goals and beliefs of standards developing organizations around the world such as the desire to create globally viable standards and to fully consider the needs of society. He commented that the freedom to choose where to do standardization work is key to global market relevance.

New Online Journal

Committee on Publications Chairman Roger Stoller presented an implementation plan for a new online Journal of ASTM International. After the presentation, the board approved development of this publication.

The Journal will be ASTM’s first online-only journal and will provide a rapid method for the publication of technical papers. The online medium will enhance the publication of the technical information included in solicited journal articles and traditional symposia papers. Using technology will shorten publication time and elevate the prestige, recognition, citation, and availability of the published papers. As a service to ASTM technical committees and customers, ASTM will make custom collections of approved papers, available either in print or on CD, on an on-demand basis. The Committee on Publications believes the broad coverage of the journal will appeal to members and customers of ASTM, including academic and corporate libraries and research and development departments.

Currently, ASTM’s symposia program results in the publication of Special Technical Publications, wherein symposia papers are published. Although these papers have been peer-reviewed, the Institute for Scientific Information’s (ISI’s) Science Citation Index lists only papers published in journals, not books. Consequently, authors publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed work within ASTM’s STPs are not receiving the recognition they deserve; in some cases, the lack of citations can negatively impact their professional accomplishments. The new publication approved by the board will provide an alternative publishing protocol that would satisfy the requirements for being cited in major indexes and provide input to the standards development program for ASTM.

Global Outreach

ASTM Vice President of Global Cooperation Kitty Kono reported to the Board on ASTM’s outreach efforts to national standards bodies and governments around the world. ASTM’s goal is to broaden the acceptance and use of its standards worldwide.

ASTM is working with the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce to ensure that future trade agreements will reflect the principles of Annex 4 of the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, which highlights the attributes of international standards.

In cooperation with the World Trade Organization’s Technical Assistance program, ASTM will organize at least four training programs with developing regions of the world on how to actively participate in the development of international standards through the ASTM process.

Technology training courses are being held on petroleum (in Ecuador for the Andean region) and ISO 14001 (in Jamaica for the Caribbean region). ASTM is also working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to conduct a workshop on cement and concrete with Latin American participants during the December meetings of ASTM Committees C01 on Cement and C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates in Miami.

Corporate Communications

ASTM is about to undertake a redesign project with the goal of updating the look and feel of the ASTM Web site. This involves creating a new graphic design for the site’s opening page, consistent designs carried onto all subsequent pages, and improved navigation and branding.

The Corporate Communications department continues to build new media lists for every ASTM committee — lists that contain the industry titles to which news releases are sent. This project involves adding, for the first time, international publications offered in English as well as electronic publications to the lists. Also, news releases can now be distributed via broadcast e-mail and fax, depending on the editor’s preference.

In June, Access ASTM International, the Newsletter for ASTM’s Global Customers, was published in three languages (Spanish, Japanese and English) for the first time. This latest issue was also distributed beyond ASTM’s customer base, to professional and academic marketing lists around the world, with specific attention paid to Spanish-speaking countries and Japan. In September, this issue of Access was also posted to the ASTM Web site in PDF format, one for each of the three language versions.

While ASTM has successfully published a joint venture magazine with the China Association for Standardization for over 10 years, this year’s edition of Chinese SN (Biao Zhun Hua Xin Wen) is the first to be made available electronically on the ASTM homepage.

ASTM’s main brochure describing the organization — “What Is ASTM International?” — has been updated. The text has been revised in important areas and the logo and name have been updated.

Membership

At the last Board meeting in April, a “Student Membership” category was approved, and staff was tasked with creating a student membership package. The category will be launched in the first quarter of 2003.

Student memberships will help enhance overall awareness of the importance of standards and standardization in university settings and increase the awareness of ASTM International at academic institutions around the world. The memberships will be available to full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Communications with student members will be primarily electronic. Benefits to the students will include:

• Access to Standardization News; Business Link; and Access ASTM International, the Newsletter for ASTM’s Global Customers, through e-mail notification of the online availability of new issues.
• Access to various ASTM publications, including the Handbook of Standardization; the ASTM history, A Century of Progress, and more.
• A student paper contest with monetary award.
• Free symposia registration.
• Access to an online professional development module on the voluntary standards system.

Technical Committee Operations

Elimination of Provisional Standards Category — The Board approved changes to Sections 11.6 and 14 of the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees. The changes result in the deletion of Section 14 on Provisional Standards and revision to Section 11.6 on Submission of Items for Concurrent Ballot.

Provisional standards were originally created to meet the demand for a more rapid issuance of specific documents, such as a response to a regulatory need or an emergency situation. Since the inception of the provisional standards process in 1994, changes to the ASTM balloting process have been approved to allow a virtually simultaneous subcommittee/main committee/society review.

Due to the streamlined nature of the current ASTM balloting process, the declining development of provisional standards, and the creation of Regulations Section 11.6.1.1 on the “Initial Balloting of New Standards Concurrently,” there is no longer a need for provisional standards. In the same amount of time required to ballot a provisional standard to a subcommittee, the entire committee can now participate in the voting process for the standard, achieving a higher level of consensus for the final document.

New Committee F37 on Light-Sport Aircraft — The Board approved the formation of ASTM Committee F37 on Light Sport Aircraft. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, through a proposed rulemaking notice, is requiring the recreational flying industry to develop standards for light-sport aircraft. These consensus standards will support a new airworthiness certification program established by the FAA. Areas for standardization include: 1) aircraft design and performance criteria, 2) quality assurance system requirements, 3) completed aircraft production acceptance procedures, and 4) a system for continued operational safety monitoring. The more than 200 participants include manufacturers, product suppliers, trade associations, maintenance professionals, pilot associations, financial organizations, and the FAA.

See the feature articles in this issue for more on the work of this new committee. //

Copyright 2002, ASTM