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Standards Resources: Basic Information

This is a basic subject guide to standards series that are paid by subscriptions, individual purchase, or free.

What is a standard?

A standard is a "rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality" which is "set up and established by authority."

(Based on Webster's Third New International Dictionary: the English Language Unabridged. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc. Publishers, 1993.)

Information Assistance

If you need help determining whether the Purdue Libraries provide access to a specific standard, please call the Engineering Library's Information Desk at 494-2873. You may also use the Libraries' Ask A Librarian service.

Standards not owned by Purdue may be requested via the Engineering Library's Purchase Request


Standards Organizations

Here are valuable websites from national and international standards organizations: 

Standards Developing Organizations (linked from ANSI website)

ISO Members arranged by country

Organizations that work in cooperation with ISO 

Meet your librarian

Your subject librarian is Charlotte Erdmann. Contact her with any questions or requests

Phone: (765) 494-2872
FAX: (765) 496-3572


Welcome to Purdue University Libraries' Standards Collection

Purdue University Libraries provides standards from a variety of organizations in print and online formats.  These collections and services are provided by serial subscriptions, special funding, and one-time purchases. 

Many national and international standards are purchased in print format as needed, catalogued individually, and shelved in the Engineering Library's Standards Collection.

Databases for Identifying Standards

Two databases are useful for identifying all kinds of standards.


Type terms in Search box on upper left hand side:

  • Document Number or Organization
  • Keyword(s) or Text                     

Purdue has no subscriptions through NSSN

Purdue's Standards Database and Collections

The Engineering Library has historically subscribed to thousands of individual print standards approved by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI).

Staff at the library also purchase print standards in order to meet user needs.  Please use the Purchase Request form in the Information Assistance Box.

  • Click on "Purdue Collections" for information about how the print standards are shelved.

The library also provides access to standards from several standards organizations by subscription or free access. The "Major Standards Issuing Bodies" tab outlines those organizations. Some are in print and some are online full-text.  

We also suggest reviewing the tabs for

  • "Indiana Codes"
  • "International Codes (ICC)"
  • "Government Regs and Standards"

ANSI Incorporated by Reference Portal

ANSI Incorporated by Reference IBR Standards Portal is hosted by ANSI and contains read only access to Standards Incorporated by Reference in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.  No Purdue subscriptions are involved.

  • These organizations have a browsable list of standards on the portal or on their own websites.  To read the standard(s), you must install a FileOpen plug-in.  From the list of standards, select the standard. You must register and may view the standard once. Print and download features are not available. 

Subject Guide

Charlotte Erdmann

Standards Citation in APA Format (adapted)


ASTM International. (2013). Standard terminology of facility management (building-related).  ASTM E1480-92 (Reapproved 2013). West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International.