NTIS Expands Free Access to Federal Technical Reports
The National Technical Reports Library (NTRL) is now offering the American public free public access to a searchable online database of approximately three million federal science and technology reports.
The library is a service of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Technical Information Service.
NTIS, a federal agency that does not receive appropriations from Congress, previously charged a fee to provide full-text electronic copies of federal documents in its collection.
The full text for 800,000 of these documents can be downloaded immediately in electronic PDF format without charge. The remaining NTRL reports, most published before 1995, must be scanned from microfiche archival files before being provided either as electronic PDF’s or in print for a fee. However, each time a microfiche document is scanned to fulfill such a request, the agency will add the electronic full-text PDF to its online database for subsequent free public download.
“Our mission is to collect and broadly disseminate federal science and technology information using a self-supporting business model,” said NTIS Director Bruce Borzino. “However, we also recognize that a number of the documents previously offered for a fee through our website were available for free from other sources. The public should not be treated differently depending on which website they visit to download a federal document.”
The agency will also continue to offer a range of premium subscription-based services to individuals, universities, corporations, and other institutions for varying levels of access to all documents in its collection. Access outside the U.S. is available via individual and institutional subscriptions.
“We have continually updated our pricing and business models in response to changing times and we’ll continue to do so,” said Borzino. “We are excited about the new Public Access NTRL and hope to see a substantial increase in the use of federally funded research in all formats as a direct result.”
This October 28, 2014 press release was reprinted from the NTIS website at http://www.ntis.gov/products/ntrl/news/