|The following is adapted from a speech delivered by ASTM Chairman
Donald M. Marlowe at the ASTM Annual Business Meeting held in
Phoenix, Ariz., on May 9.
Each year about this time, ASTM gives an overview of the state
of the Society. Id like to share a progress report on some recent
developments in ASTM, where staff and members are working to develop
and deliver first-rate standards to a growing and global marketplace.
A New Committee and Fresh Approaches
We are pleased that for the second year in a row, a new industry
area has joined the ranks of our technical committees. While the
formation of any new technical committee in ASTM is an indicator
of health and growth, the case of the new Committee E53 on Property Management Systems is especially worth noting.
ASTM stepped up to the plate when the National Property Management Association identified the Society as a source for its standards. In the
course of one years time, E53 was initiated, structured, and
organized. By the end of 2000, three standards were written, circulated,
balloted, and approved. The development of these three new standards
in record time was possible through the use of ASTMs Web-based
Interactive Standards Development Forums.
The ASTM Web SiteEver Growing in Utility
The use of the Forums is increasing overall, particularly for
accomplishing committee work between meetings. Using technology
such as this improves the efficiency of ASTM committee operations.
With that in mind, several new electronic tools have been added
to the ASTM Web site.
Electronic balloting is an exciting new addition. With e-balloting,
members are able to:
View ballot items online;
Download them if necessary; and
Submit their comments and votes over the Web.
In mid-April, ASTM completed the pilot stage of electronic balloting.
Now, it is livemeaning any committee can now participate. Thus
far, 28 committees and subcommittees have done their ballots electronically
and we encourage all committees to participate in this new convenience.
The electronic ballot is just one of the many things that committee
members can now handle via the ASTM Web site. Today you can also
Broadcast e-mail; and
Access to many of these functions is through the Members Only
section (the Members Enter Here link on technical committee
homepages) for each ASTM technical committee. This section has
been created to provide easy access to certain administrative
functions. Starting last year, members were able to renew their
memberships for this year online. In addition to selecting their
free volume, members can also update address and e-mail information
ASTM journal papers are now available online. ASTM publishes five
Cement, Concrete and Aggregates
Geotechnical Testing Journal
Journal of Composites Technology and Research
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Testing and Evaluation
Subscribers to the printed journals also have Web access to the
articles. Benefits to online journal papers include the ability
Search papers and authors;
View the table of contents; and
Download individual papers.
Another new feature is the online availability of the technical
papers of ASTM symposia. As soon as the papers have been reviewed
and approved, they are posted on the Web site. To date, several
papers from an E08 symposium (on Fatigue and Fracture), which was held this past
November, are already online. These papers have been peer-reviewed,
contain reference information, and can be ordered from ASTM, all
online. These electronic papers are available in advance of the
printed Special Technical Publication.
Anyone using the ASTM Web site to search for a standard will eventually
come to a screen that provides the title and scope of the standard.
Just recently, Section 2 of standardsthe Referenced Documents
sectionhas been added to that screen. Identical to its printed
counterpart, Referenced Documents online offer valuable information
to users, who can easily see which standards are related to the
document they need. ASTM standardsas well as others, such as
federal standards and MILSpecsare included. In addition, the
referenced ASTM standards are linked to the document summaries
for those standards.
This useful tool allows committee members to see where and how
their committees standards are implemented.
Our Greatest AssetASTM Members
With regard to membership, as of Dec. 31, 2000, there were:
29,007 ASTM members;
20,813 main committee members;
128 technical committees;
1,889 subcommittees; and
98,093 units of participation in the standards development process.
A brochure outlining the benefits of membership in ASTM is now
available. For a free copy, contact Lisa Wellington, ASTM (phone: 610/832-9691). We encourage you to obtain a copy
and share it with colleagues who could become future contributing
members of ASTM.
Beginning this month, a new member benefit involving career services
will be available. Called ResumeMatch and JobMatch, these services
are confidential and free to ASTM members through the ASTM Web
site. By clicking on Career Resources on the Technical Committees/Membership page, members can upload
their resumes to prospective employers as well as view employment
openings seeking unique skills and apply online.
To determine if the Society is providing its members and customers
with what they need, ASTM has contracted with the Gallup Organization
to conduct a survey. The survey will involve telephone interviews
with ASTM members, customers, and engineers who work with standards,
and should be completed by early fall. Results of the findings
will be reported in Standardization News later this year.
The global use of ASTM standards continued at a healthy pace again
this past year. Almost 40 percent of ASTM standards are distributed
outside the United States, as the Society continues its efforts
to deliver technical information with ease and convenience to
those around the world using the ASTM product.
To reflect this international reality, the Board of Directors
recommended at its last meeting that ASTM identify itself as ASTM
International with an accompanying tag line. This reaffirms the
fact that ASTM has always been, and will continue to be, an international
organization whose standards are developed and used globally.
Therefore, this not a new name, nor does it change ASTMs mode
operation. Moving to ASTM International is a clarification of
ASTMs mission and purpose. ASTMs charter name will not change;
however, this new identity will better explain what we are and
what we do.
Look for the updated logo by the beginning of 2002.
Several ASTM committees have been working toward expanding their
international participation. Most notable are the efforts of Committee
D30 on Composite Materials. Although D30 has been developing international
standards since 1964, the committee recently instituted a program
to ensure the greatest international participation possible. With
electronic tools such as the Forums and electronic balloting,
D30 is better able to create international standards easily and
efficiently with input from the worlds top composites experts.
As a result of this committee-driven initiative, today D30 has
new members from Switzerland, India, the United States, Finland,
Spain, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Belgium.
As part of international promotion, ASTM has once again published
Standards International in 2000. This international newsletter
is released yearly in English as well as in Spanish and is distributed
to approximately 20,000 non-ASTM members around the world.
With a view to global competitiveness, a U.S. National Standards
Strategy was issued in September of last year. ASTM President
Jim Thomas was a member of a task force of the national issues
committee of ANSI charged with developing the strategy. You can view the text on
the ASTM Web site, in the News and Information section.
More Efficient Use of Technology
Last year, ASTM released its first-ever computer-based training
product. This multi-media training covers ASTMs widely-used environmental
site assessment standards and offers interactive instruction,
saving the cost of travel to live courses and allowing users to
work at their own pace. The product contains case studies with
video clips and digital photos of real-life environmental examples.
Another product development involves individual volumes of the
Book of Standards, which are available now on CD-ROM. Since launching the individual
volume CDs last year, a substantial percentage of orders for separate
volumes have been for the CD format. Also on the rise are collections
of standards on CD-ROM. These customized compilations are practical
options for those requiring a variety of standards.
State of the Society
The year 2000 was a strong one for ASTM. The society continues
to derive most of its income, 74 percent, from the sale of publications.
Demand for the ASTM standard remains strong, as customers shift
from preferring the traditional print copy to electronic delivery.
As of Dec. 31, 2000, our members diligence resulted in:
315 new standards;
1,689 revised standards; and
2,882 total standards actions.
As you can see, ASTM is working hard to preserve our heritage
of excellence and provide for our future by using technology to
improve service to our members and increase efficiency, by thinking
and acting strategically on matters of importance to the national
and international standards scene, and by promoting the ASTM consensus
Donald E. Marlowe
ASTM Chairman of the Board
Copyright 2001, ASTM