Skip to main content
Purdue University Purdue Logo Purdue Libraries

Information-Rich Engineering Design : Refining the Solution/Using Standards

Resources and strategies to promote the integration of high-quality information into the engineering design process

What Are Standards?

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.


Locating Standards at Purdue

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.

Full-Text Standards:

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.

Standards Help

For more information about standards and resources available, check out the full Standards LibGuide.