Collaboration Areas, Enhanced

Cicely Enright

A collaboration area is your online forum for a specific standards activity. The collaboration area gives you and your task group a dedicated area for a specific standards project, whether a new standard or a revision to an existing one. 

If you’re new to collaboration areas: A work item needs to be registered to establish the area. Then collaboration area members, who can be invited and granted access, can post drafts of a standard; comment on the drafts and supporting information; and have discussions with other members. There are also milestone dates generated by the system to help keep track of progress.

“My Collaboration Areas,” an option on your MyASTM page after you sign in at, links you to the work you are part of.

Recent area updates provide these enhancements:

  • Email notifications can now be set according to your preference of receiving batched emails daily or weekly, and administrators can change default notification settings when new members are added — or turn off the notification.
  • A second committee member can be a collaboration area administrator, which can be useful when primary administrators are traveling or away from the office.
  • The Ballot Target Date (formerly the Completion Target Date) is the expiration date for a Work Item/Collaboration Area. This date will only be visible to users while the status is “Draft Under Development,” or before balloting.
  • A collaboration area expiration countdown will now appear in the Overview section of the area tab when the area is six months from its expiration. The system also generates an email to the administrator when the area is three months from expiration.
  • When you create a poll, you can now upload or drag and drop multiple documents into the same field.
  • You can now easily distinguish between the Work Item creation date and Collaboration Area creation date while in the collaboration area.

If you have questions or need more information, contact your staff manager.

Regs Corner

The Heart of Standards Work: The Task Group

The Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees defines the central standards development work group this way:

  • task group, n  —  an ad-hoc group operating in an unofficial capacity for the subcommittee for a specific activity. 

The subcommittee chair or a subcommittee majority establishes a task group at a meeting or by ballot to (typically) develop a standard or revise one. The discharge of a task group must have agreement by the task group chair and subcommittee chair or majority approval by voting members of the subcommittee. This again can take place at a meeting or by ballot.

The Regs encourages a balance of interests on these groups when possible and appropriate, and it notes that formal balloting is not required at this level. In addition, society or committee membership is not required for task group participation, which can be useful for additional input on a draft standard or revision.

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