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Standards: Research Guide

Research Guide Description

Welcome to the standards research guide!  This guide is intended as an introduction to standards e.g. what are standards, search techniques for standards, where to search for standards, and getting access to standards.

What is a standard?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) jointly defined a standard as "a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context."  Different organizations, government departments, businesses, and consortia develop standards for a variety of purposes.

Standards Organizations by Type (Example)

 

How do I find a standard?

Finding an applicable standard can feel like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.  In order to find a standard, try the following:

  • Does the library have a subscription to the standard? 
    • The library has access to the full-text standards for ASCE and IEEE.  The table below lists where to search for the standard expeditiously and where to view the full-text of the standard.

      Standard Developing Organization (SDO) Search by topic or keywords Search by title to view the standard
      American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) asce.org ASCE Library
      Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) IEEE Xplore
  • Does a technical committee or working group exist for that particular industry, topic, area?  Example:  Standards Coordinating Body for Regenerative Medicine
    • ISO Technical Committees
      • Find the appropriate technical committee
      • View the web page for the subcommittees and/or working groups
  • Is there a standards developing organization (SDO) for the topic, object, and/or industry? Example:  Special Vehicle Institute of America
    • ANSI lists SDOs by name, International Classification for Standards (ICS) code, and industry sector
  • Can you find an applicable International Classification Standards code category?
    • DocumentCenter provides an ICS index which drills down to the standards by the issuing organization.

As a catch-all or start, the following websites/interfaces can be used to find applicable standards using a keyword search:

How do I obtain a copy of a standard?

If you need an individual copy of a standard outside of IEEE Xplore and ASCE, request an account on TechStreet enterprise using the Google form at https://forms.gle/BttcSFegLQjborVt7.  You will receive an email with information to set-up your Techstreet account.  After logging into TechStreet Enterprise, search for the standard and request it.

If you need a copy of a standard for multiple individuals, utilize the same form above and someone will be in contact with you with regards to accessing the standard.  NOTE: The library will need to request a quote from multiple vendors.  As a result, a minimum of a 2-week lead time is needed.

Engineering and Science Librarian

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Denice Lewis
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