Professional standards provide specifications for, among other things, quality, performance, composition, safety,and/or interoperability. Standards are often designed by experts from a variety of areas, including academia, corporations, non-profit organizations, and they may be local, national, or global in scope.
Meeting appropriate standards in your project signify a level of quality, and some standards, called codes, have legal force. Similarly, using components that meet a particular standard are an indication that they will perform as advertised.
Locating standards can be difficult, and reading standards moreso. However, in order for components to work together correctly, and so that your customer will believe in your product, standards are important to the success of your project.
Two databases, Specifications and Standards and NSSN are helpful for identifying standards you may need. There are full-text links in Specifications and Standards to several organizations' standards.
For other organizations, check the Purdue University Standards Database for print titles and the Find Major Series for more possibilities.
Specifications and Standards: IHS Standards Expert is a database of national and international standards, including full-text online access to ASTM, AASHTO, ASHRAE, ASME,ICC, and NFPA for Purdue University users. Tutorial for Specs and Standards
NSSN: Search Engine for Standards: Powered by ANSI is a free website that indexes many standards.
Print standards in the Purdue Libraries:
Purdue University Standards Database contains a substantial collection of print standards available in the Engineering Library or the Hicks Repository.
More detailed information about the Purdue Standards Collection.