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Magazines & Newsletters / ASTM Standardization News


May/June 2008

Standards Tracker and RSS Feeds

Keeping Up-to-Date on Standards Actions

Information about draft, new and revised ASTM International standards is as close as your computer’s Internet connection and two free online options — Standards Tracker and RSS Feeds. Standards Tracker delivers weekly e-mails that you customize; RSS Feeds deliver updates to your desktop or to your Internet browser.

Standards Tracker: Updates Via Weekly E-mail

With Standards Tracker, you can customize information about new, revised and reapproved standards, and new work items (drafts), by choosing technical areas of interest or committees.

To subscribe to Tracker alert e-mails, start by clicking “Standards” on the ASTM International home page and then “Track the Latest New and Revised Standards,” under “Other Standards Products.” Or, go to www.astm.org and key in Standards Tracker in the site search box.

The Standards Tracker option provides the opportunity to see a sample Tracker e-mail. The sample alert lists new, revised and reapproved standards as well as new work items, and each alphanumeric item links to that document’s overview Web page, including its scope and purchasing options as well as related products and publications.

The next step is to sign up. After you complete the checkout process, which looks like a regular purchase screen with $0.00 cost and which calls for e-mail information, you will be able to tailor the Standards Tracker Alerts to your needs. Following the checkout process, click on “Select Your Tracker Alerts” and then choose your preferences by marketing segment or technical committee.

RSS News Feed: Updates through Browser or Desktop

Using the RSS (really simple syndication) News Feed, standards actions can be delivered to your desktop or browser. RSS connects you with new Web content — updated weekly — without requiring you to visit the ASTM International Web site. In most cases, you will need to download a desktop reader or aggregator (there are free options available) to subscribe to and view the news feed; many aggregators are separate stand-alone programs while others allow you to add RSS feeds to a Web page.

To access ASTM International’s RSS news feed, click on the link, with its distinctive orange icon, located below the left-hand navigation list on the ASTM home page. Then, on the “RSS/Available Feeds” page, you can select all new standards, all new work items or more focused selections by interest areas or committees.

The alphanumeric list of all new standards includes new, revised, reapproved and editorially changed standards. Withdrawn standards, also in alphanumeric order, fall at the bottom of the list. As with Standards Tracker, each standard in the RSS list links to the Web page for that standard, which shows its scope and referenced documents, and convenient ordering tabs.

If you have not yet chosen one of the two options, Standards Tracker or RSS News Feed, one consideration may influence your choice of the best method to gather this information. Companies that have firewalls may block the Tracker alert broadcast e-mails, thinking that they’re spam, and the e-mail never arrives unless you put the sending e-mail address in your address book. In this situation, it may be more convenient to subscribe to RSS feeds.

Standards Tracker and RSS News Feed users can unsubscribe or change their methods of gathering standards actions information through the ASTM home page. Whichever way is more convenient, these two options provide simple systems for receiving updates about new, revised, reapproved and draft documents.