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Documents in the NTIS Technical Reports collection are the results of federally funded research. They are directly submitted to or collected by NTIS from Federal agencies for permanent accessibility to industry, academia and the public.  Before purchasing from NTIS, you may want to check for free access from (1) the issuing organization's website; (2) the U.S. Government Printing Office's Federal Digital System website; (3) the federal government Internet portal; or (4) a web search conducted using a commercial search engine such as

Output Formats in the NTIS Archive

The NTIS document collection is an archive of almost 3 million items.  The format of the archived items (paper or electronic) varies over that time period.  NTIS is committed to increasing electronic access and electronic delivery of this content upon customer demand.  In doing so, NTIS has established standard and exception formats for these demand documents.


Standard Formats

If the document exists in an electronic format in the NTIS archive then the standard formats are:

  • Electronic Document as a download
  • Electronic Document on a CD (Compact Disc)
  • Print-on-Demand

If the document does not exist in an electronic format in the NTIS archive then the standard formats are:

  • Print-on-Demand
  • Electronic-on-Demand as a download
  • Electronic-on-Demand on a CD (Compact Disc)


Exception Formats

There are items in the NTIS archive such as original shelf stock and special media (computer data, computer software, and audio-visual products) that are exceptions to the standard formats that are described below.



  • Electronic Document:  refers to a document that is in a PDF, TIFF, HTML or any other format that can be electronically stored and disseminated to customers
  • Electronic Document Download:  refers to the process of delivering a document to the customer via online dissemination.  Note: no shipping and handling apply
  • Electronic Document on a CD:  refers to the process of delivering a document on a CD. Note: shipping and handling applies.
  • Electronic-on-Demand:  refers to an originally tangible (print or microfiche) archived document that is digitized based on a single customers demand.  Note: no shipping and handling apply unless the Electronic-on-Demand document is disseminated in a tangible format.
  • Print-on-Demand:  refers to a tangible archived document that is created as a printed product based on the single customer s demand.  Note: shipping and handling apply
  • Original Shelf Stock:  documents that are maintained in the NTIS inventory in original printed stock.  Once this stock is depleted the item is either marked out-of-print or maintained in the NTIS archive as a paper or electronic format.
  • Special Media:  includes software, data bases, and any multimedia format that are cited in the NTIS collection