|ASTM Internationals Web Site
Enabling Rapid Standards Development from Start to Finish
by Tom O'Toole
Youve just come back from a four-day ASTM committee meeting.
You know that you wont see most fellow committee members for
another six months but you recognize how important it is to keep
the ball rolling when it comes to standards development. In the
past, despite your best intentions, the momentum provided by the
meeting would often be lost over the course of six months. Today,
the ASTM Web site helps you keep up the momentum between now and
the next meeting by providing the tools and information to communicate,
manage, draft, review, and ballot.
The latest update to ASTM Internationals Web site includes many
new features that reflect the needs of our constituents. Since
it was first launched in 1995, the Web site has evolved to provide
the latest technologies for the development and rapid delivery
of market-relevant standards and related products to an international
In addition to recently added functions, the Web site has a more
user-friendly look that includes a navigation bar that enables
users to quickly move among different subject areas. The Web site
also contains more information to assist users in the development
of standards and includes FAQs and online support for questions
relating to membership, the standards development process, electronic
balloting, and many more topics.
The Web site now provides the tools needed to draft, develop,
ballot, and deliver published standards completely online. This
is not to say that there still isnt a need for the synergy that
has always been part of technical meetings related to standards
development. But the electronic tools provide an additional mechanism
to more quickly and effectively conduct the standards development
functions. These tools have been developed for all members as
well as others interested in the development of ASTM standards.
In this article, well move quickly into the tools and information
that will help you develop standards efficiently, then describe
the many other ASTM services represented on the Web site.
First, a note about where youll start.
The Main Page: www.astm.org
Navigation bars down the left side of ASTMs main Web page immediately
provide the viewer with links to pages and useful functions that
previously had been buried further in the site. The viewer can
now quickly move to the most commonly used functions directly
from the main page without further searching. With the same navigation
bars on many other pages, the user can quickly toggle between
various areas of the Web site with just a click.
Hovering the cursor over certain navigation bars, you may notice
a feature called a mouse-over. This feature is activated when
the cursor is placed over certain topic navigation bars; a drop-down
menu provides a brief overview of the subject to assist the user
on deciding whether to go to that link.
The banner ad at the top of the main page presents an opportunity
to view many products and services related to your interests.
The Recent News link changes periodically and provides the latest
noteworthy news concerning ASTM.
The Nitty GrittyStandards Development @ASTM
Now to the functionssome of them recently developedthat make
the standards development process easier than ever. You may have
noticed that many articles in recent issues of SN have detailed
the continuing efforts to increase the functionality of the Web
site, which now includes an integrated system available 24/7 that
enables a committee to develop a draft document (Interactive Forums), submit them for ballot (ballot submittal forms), and actually ballot them (subcommittee/committee electronic balloting and society review). When approved and published, these standards are then available
online for use quickly in the marketplace (see Along the Digital Path).
Quite literally, the use of this processoften referred to as
the Digital Pathhas reduced a standards potential development
and delivery time from years to months. The following section
will show you the many ASTM Web pages that will help you navigate
the consensus process faster and with better results.
From the Technical Committee main page you can access committee homepages for every one of the 130 ASTM technical committees. From the committee overview,
which provides a brief summary of each committees activities
to the Members Only area, the objective of the committee page
is to serve as a focal point for committee activities. It is an
especially valuable resource between meetings. The committee pages
not only allow members to engage in the standardization process,
they also provide a valuable tool in recruiting new members and
disseminating committee-related information.
Each committee page currently contains links to the following
specific committee-related information:
Standards by Subcommittee;
Committee Membership Application;
Search Links for Publications;
Committee Week and Symposia Information;
Standards Development Forum (see details further on in this
Standards Development Tools (see details further on in this
In addition to this basic information for each committee, committee
homepages also provide other related information that supports
the development of standards. These informational links are found
at the bottom of each committee main page.
Standards Development Forums
The Interactive Standards Development Forum program (accessible from the Technical Committees main page)
has provided an online forum for the development of draft standards
and the revision of published standards for several years. These
Forums provide increased access to the standards development process
for international members and those who may have limited participation
due to travel constraints.
The Forums, or virtual online task groups, allow task group
members (assigned by a task-group leader) to place and develop
a new document or revise an existing standard entirely online.
It provides a central location for task group members to review,
provide comment, and e-mail other members. The Forum allows the
task group to instantly review online the comments from other
task group members. The task group leader can then compile the
comments, revise the document and either re-post or submit for
The program is designed to accelerate the functions of a task
group and can substantially reduce the time it takes to develop
a standard by allowing task group activities to be effectively
conducted between meetings on the ASTM Web site.
The Forums site contains a detailed tutorial to help program users.
For more information on participating in Forums, please contact
your committees staff manager.
Guidance for Writing and Balloting Standards
One cannot begin to develop a standard without proper guidance.
To this end ASTM provides an extensive array of tools to assist
in the development of standards. The Guidance for Writing and Balloting Standards page may be accessed from several different areas including your Committee
Page, Standards Development Forums, the Technical Committees main
page, or, of course, the Site Map.
On this page, click on How To Prepare Ballot Items for Submission.
The document you'll see there, Development and Submittal of New Standards and Revisions, Reapprovals
and Withdrawals of Existing Standards provides some detailed information on the ASTM process, answers
to many frequently asked questions, and assists members in the
preparation and submittal of documents. It includes links to many
ASTM documents that support the development of standards, from
Form and Style for ASTM Standards to Rules Governing ASTM Technical
Committees, and contains a final checklist for submitting the
document for electronic balloting.
From the Guidance page, click on Ballot Item Submittal Forms to
access forms that will allow you to submit ballot items online, without having
to download or print forms.
The Key Documents and Forms page, also accessed from the Guidance page, contains links to the
following publications, forms, and resources:
Form and Style for ASTM Standards: This manual provides guidance
for writing the various types of ASTM standards. ASTM standards
must be written in accordance with the provisions of this manual.
Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees:This publication
provides regulations for the operation of technical committees
and the standards development process.
Draft Standard Templates: To assist with the development of
new standards, ASTM has created draft standard templates for each
type of standard. These Microsoft Word temp- lates insert all
of the required form and style elements as specified in the form
and style manual. (See more information on templates below.)
ASTM Technical Committee Officer Handbook: This handbook was
originally developed for use by technical committee officers and
has become a useful resource for aspiring members in the standards
development activities of their committees.
Strategic Planning Manual: This manual provides guidance for
developing a strategic plan for your committee.
ASTM Publicity Request Form: This form is to be used by members
interested in publicizing their committees activities to interested
media (technical journals and magazines). Completing this form
will get the ball rolling on having an article on your activity
published in SN, a press release sent to committee-related journals,
Proxy Form: This form must be completed and signed by the ASTM
member assigning the voting proxy in compliance with the provisions
of the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees.
How-To Articles: Links to articles in previous issues of SN
that contain practical advice for technical committee members
and officers on managing the standards development process.
Using the Standards Development Templates
If you are drafting a new standard, pre-formatted Microsoft Word
templates will help speed the process. These templates insert the required
form and style elements as specified in the Form and Style for
ASTM Standards manual. Directions for downloading the templates
and detailed instructions for using them are provided at this
There are separate downloadable templates for the following standard
Several function buttons help you standardize layout and facilitate
the quick movement of the standard through balloting and editing
Other Resources in the Technical Committees Section
The Technical Committees main page also provides links to several additional sites including:
The current Society ReviewThis site provides an index of all
documents currently balloting at the Society Review level. Members
may determine the need to review and provide comment on a document
and may do so by following the instructions found at this site.
Contract and Project Management ServicesThis site gives information
on the Contract and Project Management Services department, which
provides management support for grants, research projects, and
other related activities intended to enhance the quality and timeliness
of ASTM products and services. Some of the services provided include
grant and contract administration, technical project management,
and management support for external standards development or other
Honors and AwardsThis portion of the site contains Honors and
Awards information for each committee and the requirements for
This area of the ASTM Web site is accessible to committee members
only and consists of links to key committee information. It can
be accessed through your individual committee home page. The Members
Only area of the Web site was launched in early 2000 and originally
served as a platform to post meeting minutes. The area has continued
to evolve and serves as a convenient resource for technical committee
Once in the Members Only area you will have access to the following
links (details on all three are provided below):
Electronic BallotsElectronic balloting was designed to offer many advantages over
its hardcopy ancestor. Documents contained in an e-ballot are
delivered to the membership more efficiently than by hardcopy
and provide 24/7 access to participants around the world.
Members are informed of the issuance of a ballot via an e-mail
that provides instructions and a link to your committees Web
site, at which point you will need to login to the Members Only
Reminder e-mails are sent two weeks and one week before the close
of an e-ballot to members who have not yet voted. This feature
is an added bonus not available in mailed ballots; the e-mail
provides a direct link to the committees Web site to access the
e-ballot. After accessing the main ballot area page you will see
the electronic ballots currently being conducted by your committee
Click on the ballot you want to review and begin the e-ballot
voting process. This process allows you to begin reviewing and
voting at anytime before the close of the ballot, 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. The system also allows members to begin the
review/voting process, save a portion of their completed work,
and return at a later time (before the close of the ballot) to
complete the voting process. Once you have completed the e-ballot
and submitted your vote, the system provides a ballot summary
or electronic receipt, which shows the status of your votes
on all items on the ballot and includes the text of all negatives
and/or comments that were submitted. If you select the save and
return feature, the system provides a summary page (that should
be printed or saved as a file on your computer) with all information
submitted to that point. You may return to the e-ballot at any
time before the ballot closing date to continue reviewing the
ballot and cast your vote.
Members may wish to download the complete document for reviewing
off-line before actually voting. Each e-ballot can be downloaded
as a single series of individual PDF files.
Detailed instructions are included on the site and a Help Desk
has been assigned to assist with any questions that you may have.
Whats next for e-balloting? In the future, you will see an online
closing report that will provide an item-by-item breakdown of
ballot results, include the posting of negatives and comments,
and the ability to view ballot items online after submitting a
vote. Also coming is the capability of online negative vote resolution,
including a feature that enables subcommittee chairmen to address
negative votes online in real time (based on the appropriate requirements
of the ASTM regulations).
Member RostersMember rosters of the committee and subcommittees allow committee
members to quickly view the names, addresses, phone and fax numbers,
e-mail addresses, and voting status of other committee and subcommittee
Additionally, you may change your own membership roster information
at this site (except for information that would need to go to
the committee membership secretary such as a change of company
Committee members wishing to be added to a subcommittee(s) should
contact the respective subchairman directly by using the contact
information on the Member Roster.
Meeting MinutesAs mentioned above, this was the first component of the Members
Only area. Committee and subcommittee meeting minutes are posted
here as PDF files for quick access 24 hours a day, seven days
a week. Meeting minutes may be submitted in any word-processing
format for posting; ASTM staff converts these into PDF files for
easy access. This area of the Web site provides the two most recent
meeting minutes for each committee/subcommittee.
Standards and Technical Publications
The Web site enables you to directly search for standards and
related technical publications. Click on either Standards or Technical
Publications on the ASTM homepage.
Clicking on Individual Standards takes you to a much-used search engine for all of the more than 11,000 published ASTM standards. Standards
can be searched by designation, terms, or referenced documents.
There is also a commonly used Search All function, which will
search in any of the parameters.
Further down on the page you will find the option to search all
standards by the letter of the alphanumeric designation. You may
also search for ASTM provisional standards and selected ISO standards.
A link on this portion of the page also provides tips for searching
the database. Lastly, there is a function that provides a complete
listing of all discontinued ASTM standards and the designation
of the replacement if applicable.
Once you have found the standard you are looking for, you will
see a document summary for the standard. The summary includes
such information as a direct link to all the ASTM documents referenced
in the standard, the committee of jurisdictions Web site, as
well as ordering information. A list of other standards downloaded by users of the standard currently displayed may also be provided
in the upper right corner.
The full standard may be acquired directly from ASTM as a PDF
download, or may be ordered for mail delivery.
Other Standards Publications
Standards publications that can be ordered online for mail delivery
include individual volumes or sets of the Annual Book of ASTM
Standards (in print or CD), ASTM Standards Source (collections
of ASTM standards on CD) and print or CD compilations of selected
ASTM standards. Additionally, various online subscription plans
allows subscribers to download 25, 50, 200 or more ASTM standards
each year for up to a 12-month period.
The search engine on the Technical Publications main page can search for any ASTM technical book or journal. ASTM journal articles are now available online. Users may search the table of contents
of the five ASTM journals, as well as search and download individual
papers as PDF files. Current subscribers to the journals receive
printed journals and unlimited access to the online versions.
The ASTM journals available online are:
Cement, Concrete and Aggregates
Geotechnical Testing Journal
Journal of Composites Technology and Research
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Testing and Evaluation.
The Membership page is a key element in providing information to prospective new
committee members and has been greatly enhanced to provide information
on joining ASTM International, membership types, as well as an
online membership application form.
Also new is a detailed New Member Orientation page that contains
the answers to questions that new members may have and also provides
detailed information and links for:
General ASTM information;
Effective participation; and
How standards get developed.
Membership RenewalAll members need to renew their membership annually. The Membership
area of the Web site allows you to do this online; click on the
link for Renew Membership. Technical committee members may choose
their free volume of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards online.
Recently added to this page is a link to Career Resources. Members
now have access to an career resource and can perform job searches
relevant to their career niche through a JobMatch service. Members
can also post their resumes to leading companies through a confidential,
electronic ResumeMatch service.
To provide further assistance on the Membership site, a link to
the Staff and Services Directory and to Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs) relating to membership are provided.
The ASTM Meetings page provides meeting-related information to both members and non-members
interested in attending committee meetings.
Of particular significance is the Committee Week Information and
Registration link. This provides committee members and potential
members quick access to information about upcoming Committee Weeks.
The Committee Week Online Preregistration Form (there is a link
to a form on every Committee Week page) is a valuable tool that
allows ASTM staff to better plan for your meetings and provides
staff with information so we can quickly contact you with the
latest information on the Committee Week.
The Meetings site also contains general information on:
Directions to ASTM Headquarters;
Hotels Near ASTM Headquarters;
Directory of Testing Labs
The Directory of Testing Laboratories is an online full-text search for services and locations of testing
laboratories. Information is provided by the types of tests performed,
specific tests performed, materials analyzed, or other services
offered. (ASTM has not attempted to investigate, rate, endorse,
approve or certify any laboratory and each laboratory has paid
ASTM a fee for their listing.)
Directory of Scientific and Technical Consultants and Expert Witnesses
The Directory of Scientific and Technical Consultants and Expert Witnesses is an online full-text search for individuals/companies who perform
consulting services or act as expert witnesses. (ASTM has not
attempted to investigate, rate, endorse, approve, or certify any
consultant or expert witness and each consultant has paid a fee
to ASTM for their listing.)
If you would like to have your organization listed online and
in the printed version of either of these directories, please
contact Ellen McGlinchey.
ASTM symposia provide an opportunity for members and others to present their
research findings and exchange information that often identifies
and forms the technical basis for the development of ASTM International
standards. For upcoming symposia, program agendas and registration
information are available online. Online registration is encouraged.
New functions planned for the Symposia Page in the future include:
online call for papers, a technical paper submittal form, and
individual symposium abstract sites.
Over 20 symposia are sponsored by ASTM technical committees each
year and the papers presented are peer-reviewed and published
in Special Technical Publications (STPs) or in one of the ASTM
journals, which may be ordered on the ASTM Web site.
Technical and Professional Training Courses
ASTM International has offered continuing technical education
programs for industry and government for many years. These one-
to three-day courses provide intensive, focused, and practical
training on the standards that most impact your industry and are
available as on-site training at your facility or at various international
Links within this site provide the course outline, the standards
involved, dates, location, and information about the course instructor.
This site also provides for online registration of each course.
Also available is a link to the CD training product, Computer-Based
Training Program on Environmental Site Assessment Practices for
Commercial Real Estate. This popular ASTM training program is
based on standards E 1527, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase
I Environmental Site Assessment Process, and E 1528, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments; Transaction
Screen Process. The CD format acts as an aid during on-site assessments
as well as a refresher or supplement for past attendees of the
Proficiency Testing and Interlaboratory Crosscheck Programs
These statistical quality assurance programs enable laboratories
to assess their performance in conducting test methods within
their own laboratories when their data are compared against other
laboratories in the same worldwide program.
Laboratories perform specified ASTM methods or other methods normally
conducted by their laboratory and the results are returned to
ASTM where final (coded) reports are generated and returned to
program participants and sponsoring ASTM Technical Committees.
The resulting report provides a meaningful and useful quality-control
tool to enable labs to monitor strengths and weaknesses of laboratory
performance. This periodic comparison of test results and calculated
statistical parameters with other labs worldwide allows labs to
demonstrate proficiency in the specific analysis to meet laboratory
News and Information
The News and Information pages contain resources useful to not only members of the press, but
to you as an ASTM member. Take a moment to look at some of the
historical and current resources that can help you understand
more about the world of standardization:
News and Upcoming Events;
ASTM Business Link;
National Standards Strategy for the United States;
Frequently Asked Questions;
Information for Students and Educators;
ASTM Annual Report; and
ASTM Mission Statement.
Standardization News, ASTMs monthly magazine, is a valuable resource
for the latest news on ASTM standards and related topics. (You
are in the SN pages now.) The online version contains the same
information as the printed magazine including feature articles,
Tech News, monthly columns, commentary, and more. SN online has
the added feature of being available 24/7, and navigation bars
link you directly to other areas of the Web site. Links within
the articles provide a quick and easy method of obtaining useful
standards-related information. There is also an archive of SN
articles dating back to January 2000, when SN was launched online.
Last but not least, the ASTM Site Map contains a listing of links on a single page of text. This easy
to use and easy to find area of the site is a must for anyone
looking for a specific page.
You can see from this overview of the Web site that ASTM International
has evolved in todays business environment in providing services
to our members and customers by using the most efficient technologies
available. We will continue providing these and other cutting-edge
technologies and services to you as your standards development
requirements and the technologies for developing them continue
to evolve. //
Copyright 2002, ASTM