Laser design codes utilize laser properties provided by materials manufacturers for performance modeling. Large scale manufacturing of materials during compositional developments for a particular laser design is not economically feasible. Nevertheless, the laser properties derived from the available sample volumes must be reliable and reproducible. In recent years, as a result of the renewed interest in novel glasses for ultrafast laser applications, SCHOTT has developed improved measurements and methodologies for providing the most accurate information possible to laser scientists. Even though the J-O method is robust and time tested for the spectroscopic characterization of Nd3+, the accuracy of the results requires reliable measurements. This paper outlines the J-O approximation for manifold to manifold transitions, measurements needed, and some of the pitfalls to watch for during the collection of data for Nd-doped materials.