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Government Documents - Department of Commerce: National Technical Information Service

Guide to Department of Commerce and its subsidiary agencies. Our holdings cover a wide range of topics including trade, demographics, climate, fisheries, marine science, and many others.

The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) was established in 1970. It "collects reports containing scientific, technical, and engineering information from both domestic and foreign sources in a repository and makes the information available to (1) business and industry, (2) state and local governments, (3) other federal agencies, and (4) the general public to increase U.S. competitiveness in the global economy" (Government Accountability Office). It superseded the Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information in the Dept. of Commerce. Its origins are with the Office of the Publication Board (later Office of Technical Services), created in 1946 to disseminate scientific and technical reports, including captured German documents from World War II.The Office of Technical Services was later placed under the Business and Defense Services Administration in the Department of Commerce. Among other things, it distributed translations of technical literature.

NTIS performs many functions for U.S. government agencies, such as web hosting, microfiching, scanning, document delivery, database management, and archiving and storage. In addition, the Federal Science Repository Service hosts documents, videos, images, and other data for federal agencies.

Books about NTIS:

If you've ever seen a reference to a report with a number that started with PB or AD, you've probably encountered a document that can be obtained from NTIS. If you were to order a document through the NTIS website, you would have to pay a fee to obtain a copy. What you may not realize is that our library has hundreds of thousands of these reports in print and microfiche, but they may not be listed in the Voyager catalog. Many more technical reports are available online for free in various repositories. The library can also obtain copies of these documents for you through interlibrary loan, and you don't have to pay NTIS's fee.

Government Documents holds a small collection of NTIS indexes and publications, including:

U.S. government research reports (C 51.9/3:) This index, prepared by the Defense Documentation Center, is a compilation of subject index entries from Technical abstract bulletins. It lists hundreds of thousands of technical reports produced by the armed services.

The NTRL provides a limited search interface for federal research reports. A subscription database, NTIS Bibliographic Database, provides more robust search capabilities. Unfortunately, the UHM Library does not subscribe to this database.

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