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Standards Research Guide   Tags: engineering_computer_science, standards  

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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This guide provides some of the sources useful in identifying and locating industry standards. You will find a list of print, online, and Internet resources available through MSU Libraries. For further assistance with any of these resources, please contact Brad Brazzeal at (662) 325-7969,, or Li Zhang, at You can also get assistance at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor of Mitchell Memorial Library or through our Ask a Librarian service.


What are standards?

"A standard is a document that contains technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as a rule, guideline, or definition of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes, personnel or services are competent and/or fit for their intended purpose(s)." (National Institute of Standards and Technology)

“A Standard is a published document which sets out specifications and procedures designed to ensure that a material, product, method or service is fit for its purpose and consistently performs in the way it was intended.  Standards establish a common language, which defines quality and establishes safety criteria.”  ( Standards Australia.)


Who Develops Standards?

Broadly, there are international, national, and regional standards bodies. By industry, there are standards developing organizations (SDOs) and standards setting organizations (SSOs), also known as consortia. In short, general standards developing organizations include:

+ Professional Societies

+ Trade Associations

+ Testing and certifying organizations

+ Organizations that only develop standards

+ Industry Consortia

Find Out More

    Developed by ANSI, this resource provides educational tools for everyone who wants an introduction to standards and conformity assessment activities.
  • The ABC's of Standards Activities
    This 41 page overview of standards was written by NIST's Maureen A. Breitenberg in 2009.

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