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E-book (EPUB) Versions of CSD Publications

Some CSD publications are now available as e-books, in EPUB format, for use on e-book readers and in e-book apps. Clicking or tapping on an EPUB link may display options for opening the file, depending on what apps are installed on your device. New EPUBs will be posted on an ongoing basis, for both new publications and previously published documents.

What is an EPUB?

EPUB is a file format used to display an e-book. It is an open standard for e-books that was created by the International Digital Publication Forum (IDPF).

Why is CSD only providing EPUBs and not other e-book file formats?

This is a limited, pilot project by CSD to expand access to its publications beyond just the traditional PDF format. The EPUB format was selected because of its wide availability on a number of devices and apps and its availability as an open standard.

What is the authoritative version of a publication?

PDF files provided by NIST remain the authoritative versions of CSD publications. The EPUB files provided by CSD are intended to provide an alternative way to use CSD's information--particularly on mobile devices.

How do I open an EPUB file?

Click or tap the link to the EPUB, and your device should either ask you to select an installed e-book app, or else automatically open the file, depending on your device settings.

Where do I find eReader apps?

Your device may have built-in e-book apps, but most devices now have access to "stores" where free (or fee-based) apps are available (e.g., iTunes, Google Play, Apps for Windows, etc.)* Access the online "store" for your device and search for "book," "ebook," or "ereader." Check for apps that can read EPUB files, then install the app of your choice.

What app/device combinations will read these EPUBs from CSD?

Different app/device combinations may display a particular e-book inconsistently. CSD has tested the files using a limited combination of apps and devices, including the iBooks app on an iPad2, and the Kobo and Moon+ readers on a Samsung Galaxy Tab and ASUS Nexus 7.* The posted EPUB files were visually inspected by CSD using those combinations and deemed acceptable, but other eReader/device combinations may be more/less acceptable to individual users. To find an acceptable reading experience, it may be necessary to try different eReader apps.

I have a Kindle--how can I read the EPUB?

Our current understanding is that some Kindle devices cannot read EPUB files, but may have the ability to display PDF files. Other Kindle devices like the Kindle Fire* give users the ability to download apps for reading EPUB files. Consult your device's help guide for downloading apps and loading EPUB files.

How did CSD generate the EPUBs?

The EPUBs were generated by pre-processing original Microsoft Word files and then using the calibre tool* to convert create the EPUB files. Those files were then post-processed using an XML editor to add metadata and modify the table of contents. As noted in the calibre FAQ, this does not guarantee "valid" EPUB files, per the IDPF. Rather, the intent of calibre (and this CSD project) is to produce EPUBs that work on a wide variety of devices.


This is a pilot project by CSD, and we welcome your feedback.


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* DISCLAIMER: Certain commercial entities, equipment, or materials are identified in order to describe an experimental procedure or concept adequately. Such identification is not intended to imply recommendation or endorsement by NIST, nor is it intended to imply that the entities, materials, or equipment are necessarily the best available for the purpose.