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.)
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
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.
- Specifications and Standards (IHS Standards Expert) is a subscription database of national and international standards. The Libraries provide full-text access for Purdue users to a subset of the standards.
ASTM, AASHTO, ASHRAE, ASME, ASME BPVC, ICC, ICAO, and NFPA
For assistance, see this Tutorial
- NSSN: Search Engine for Standards is a free website that indexes many standards. The database is provided by ANSI and is available to everyone.
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.
- A searchable catalog of these print standards is contained in the Purdue University Standards Database
- 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.
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.