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Forward and Back: ASTM International’s Digital Library
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 November 2006
From the Editor's Desk
E-mail Maryann Gorman

Forward and Back: ASTM International’s Digital Library

As I write this, ASTM International is on the verge of launching an online library that will increase by an order of magnitude the amount of historical ASTM information available digitally to our members and customers. By the time you read this, the ASTM International Digital Library will be a reality, and you can see it here.

Over the past dozen years, I have written and edited many articles about ASTM International’s journey toward a completely digitized flow of information. From informing the public about new standards under development through balloting to publication, the bricks that make up ASTM’s “digital path” have been put in place steadily since the Society’s first Web site was posted in 1994. The ASTM International Digital Library, introduced in this month’s Inside ASTM column starting on page 22, extends that path both forward and back, and even widens it.

How? The Digital Library reaches back in time to provide electronic access to virtually all of ASTM’s historical publications, including the earliest Special Technical Publications, journals, manuals and more. The library propels ASTM International and its constituents forward by anticipating user needs for purchasing exactly the information they need, whether that is a single paper or chapter, or an entire publication. And it widens the path by digitizing so much more than only ASTM’s standards, making available a century of research in the many areas standardized by ASTM technical committees.

The library is being launched in phases with the immediate availability of over 900 Special Technical Publications, which are the published results of ASTM’s symposia program. By the end of 2007, every one of ASTM’s journals, from the earliest to the most current, will be available. And by the end of this year, ASTM will have put in place a complete digital workflow so that every new product will be available in digital format.

To find out more about how you can use the ASTM International Digital Library to meet your research needs, see the article beginning on page 22, then check out the library here.

Maryann Gorman
Editor in Chief

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