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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS)

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General Questions

What is ADAMS?

The Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) is the official recordkeeping system, through which the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provides access to all of the agency's publicly available documents. ADAMS permits full-text searching and enables users to view document images, download files, and print locally.

What types of documents are stored in ADAMS?

ADAMS stores the official agency records of regulatory guides, NUREG-series reports, inspection reports, Commission documents, correspondence, and other regulatory and technical documents written by NRC staff, contractors, and licensees.

In what format are documents stored in ADAMS?

ADAMS documents are provided in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To obtain a free viewer for displaying PDF files, see Plugins, Viewers, and Other Tools.

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How are documents organized in ADAMS?

Publicly available documents in ADAMS are organized into two "libraries" or collections, which can be searched using specific keywords and parameters:

  • The Publicly Available Records System (PARS) library contains more than 520,000 full-text documents that the NRC has released since November 1, 1999, plus several older (“retrofitted”) documents, and the NRC continues to add several hundred new documents each day.
  • The Public Legacy Library contains more than 2 million bibliographic citations (some with abstracts and full text) for earlier documents dating back to 1980, which are available in paper or microfiche formats.

Related documents may also be grouped into “packages” or organized into "folders," for convenient access in the Folder View tab in Web-based ADAMS (WBA).

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How frequently is the content updated, and what is the schedule for releasing documents to the public?

New documents become accessible on the day they are published, and are released periodically throughout the day.

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What happened to the old public interfaces to ADAMS?

When the NRC introduced ADAMS in 1999, it was one of the Federal Government's leading-edge document management systems. The public benefitted from an impressive PARS collection, which rapidly grew to include more than 520,000 publicly available documents released since November 1, 1999. With the introduction of Web-Based Access in 2002, the NRC took advantage of evolving Internet technologies to give the public a simpler, Web-based interface without the need to download special software or deal with firewall and printer hassles. The public also enjoyed the capability to use keywords to search the full text of the NRC's regulatory and technical documents. ADAMS PUBLIC (introduced in February 2010) further modernized the interface, offering more advanced search capabilities and providing access to daily folders of new documents in the PARS Library, as well as specialty folders for Meeting Notices and FOIA requests. Users could also access the Public Legacy Library, which provides an additional 2 million bibliographic citations for documents released before November 1, 1999.

In October 2010, the NRC deployed Web-based ADAMS (WBA), powerful, versatile, and user-friendly interface, which is now the primary point of public access for documents in the ADAMS Public Library (PARS) and citations in the ADAMS Public Legacy Library (PLL). This new interface is an evolutionary leap in realizing the promise of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, through which the NRC will ultimately improve the quality, efficiency, and security of our regulatory and administrative processes by providing appropriate access to information when needed, regardless of location or access device.

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How do I access ADAMS?

The NRC's public Web site provides access to ADAMS through Web-based ADAMS. (See Plugins, Viewers, and Other Tools to obtain the latest versions of several popular web browsers.) Note that Macintosh (Mac) users may need to make some browser configuration changes.

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How do I access ADAMS as an international user?

International users can access Web-based ADAMS in the same way as domestic users. However, you may need to change your keyboard layout to "English" (United States) to use ADAMS, and then change back to your native keyboard layout afterward.

How do I access ADAMS through a local area network (LAN)?

Simply establish Internet connectivity using a web browser and navigate to Web-based ADAMS. Note that Macintosh (Mac) users may need to make some browser configuration changes, and international users may need to change their keyboard layout to "English" (United States).

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Our office has a firewall. Will I be able to use ADAMS?

Even with a firewall, you will be able to access ADAMS using a direct link to Web-based ADAMS from the NRC's public Web site.

How do I know if my printer is compatible with ADAMS?

Printer compatibility is not an issue with the current versions of Web-based ADAMS.

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Where can I learn more about ADAMS?

The following resources provide additional information:

In addition, if you would like training for Web-based ADAMS, Contact the Public Document Room (PDR) Staff. A PDR Reference Librarian will be happy to discuss your needs and schedule a mutually convenient time for training.

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How do I order documents?

If you prefer not to download and print documents directly from ADAMS, the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) will duplicate documents for a set fee. If you have a list of documents (hit list) from a search, you can email the list to the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR). You can also Contact the PDR Staff by phone to request up to three documents, or to obtain shipping and billing information.

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Web-based ADAMS (WBA)

What is Web-based ADAMS?

Web-based ADAMS (WBA), introduced in October 2010, is a powerful, versatile, and easy-to-use search engine that retrieves publicly available NRC documents without the need to download special software. This new interface is an evolutionary leap in realizing the promise of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, through which the NRC will ultimately improve the quality, efficiency, and security of our regulatory and administrative processes by providing appropriate access to information when needed, regardless of location or access device.

What are the advantages of Web-based ADAMS (WBA)?

Compared to the previous public interfaces to ADAMS, WBA offers many advantages:

  • No need to login with a user ID and password
  • Access to both the PARS Library and the Public Legacy Library
  • Availability of new documents on the day they are published
  • A user-friendly interface, with the familiar feel of Windows Explorer
  • Folder view for easy navigation
  • Simple and Advanced Search capabilities with an easy-to-use Query Builder
  • Ability to select, sort, and rearrange columns to quickly locate documents of interest
  • Ability to download, view, and print document files; review their properties; and create reports on one or more selected documents

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How do I log onto Web-based ADAMS?

Simply navigate to Web-based ADAMS. WBA is publicly accessible without a login requirement.

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How do I search for documents in WBA?

Web-based ADAMS (WBA) features a user-friendly interface, with the familiar feel of Windows Explorer and three tabs to let you search for documents in the way you find easiest and most efficient. See the WBA User Guide for detailed instructions on the following search techniques:

  • Navigate through the folder view.

Navigate through the folder view

  • Conduct a Simple Search, based on terms found within documents.

Conduct a Simple Search

  • Develop an Advanced Search using the easy-to-use Query Builder for quicker and more efficient document search and retrieval, and save queries for future use (if desired).

Develop an Advanced Search

How do I search by a docket number in WBA?

To search by a docket number, you must enter it in an 8-digit format, such as 05000271, in the Docket Number field in Web-based ADAMS Content Search or Advanced Search. You might see a docket number listed elsewhere as 50-271 or a variation of this, but Web-based ADAMS will only accept the 8-digit format with no dashes in the Docket Number field.

Examples for Docket 52 (new reactors) and Docket 70 (special nuclear materials licenses) would be 05200017 and 07007001.

To find a facility's docket number, see Lists of Licenses and Docket Numbers.

If you have further questions about searching by docket numbers, please contact the Public Document Room (PDR) Staff.

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How do I view, download, save, and print documents in WBA?

You can view a document by clicking its title in the search results to open the document in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). (To obtain a free viewer for displaying PDF files, see Plugins, Viewers, and Other Tools.) To download one or more documents, click the corresponding checkboxes to the left of the titles, and click the Download button at the top of the window. To save or print, view the desired document and select Save or Print from the PDF viewer. You can also save the document first, and then open the file outside of ADAMS. For detailed instructions, please refer to the WBA User Guide.

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How do I save a document hit list in WBA?

You can save a document hit list by cutting and pasting the citations from your search results into your word processor application or viewer. In this way, you can easily tailor the hit list to your immediate needs and save the product. In addition, the user-friendly WBA interface allows you to save search queries as a flat file on your local drive, and run them at any time. For details, please refer to the WBA User Guide.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, October 22, 2013