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Hunter Library
Research Guides
Western Carolina University

Standards, Codes, Patents, & Trademarks: Standards

Sources and links to finding standards

What are Standards?

What are standards?

Standards are guidelines or rules pertaining to:

  • products or materials
  • test methods or procedures

These guidelines or rules set expectations regarding uniformity, reliability, safety, and so forth. Michigan Tech's Van Pelt and Opie Library provides this guidance:
Adherence to some standards is required by law, others are voluntary. Standards:

  1. Establish safety criteria
  2. Ensure that items work properly and safely
  3. Specify properties of materials, devices, or structures
  4. Describe test methods and procedures for assessing product performance.
  5. Allow for interchangeability of parts and correct fit of parts from different manufacturers


Searching for Standards: Online Providers

These are SEARCH ONLY portals, meaning you can come here to search for standards from a specific standard-issuing organization or you can do a keyword search using your topic of interest to find a) relevant standards and/or b) identify which standard-issuing bodies are relevant to your topic.



Finding Standards in the Library

Standards in the library have been tagged with a subject of Standards, Engineering.  You can search for these titles by clicking on the link below, which will take you to a list of titles with this subject tag.  We are still working on tagging older standards with this subject so there are a few that are not yet included in this search.  If you already have a specific title in mind and what to check to see if we have it, please use a title or keyword search to check.  Any questions or problems with searching?  Ask me!

Examples of standards held in the library include:

Standards available in the Rapid Center

ASME Y14.5-2009:  Dimensioning and Tolerancing (also available from the library)

ASME Y14.41-2012:  Digital Product Definition Data Practices

ASME Y14.100-2013:  Engineering Drawing Practices  (also available from the library)

IPC-A-610:  Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies (Revision F)

Full-Text Standards via Subscription

No Free Full Text?

If you've found a standard of interest but it does not come with full text, contact me, Krista Schmidt.  Standards can be very tricky to locate and some you find may be superseded by a newer standard. DO NOT PAY for a standard.  I will work with you to see if the library can obtain the standard for you (this will take time) or if another standard will suffice.  We can also try to obtain the standard using interlibrary loan (a free service to you).

To request the full text of a standard using interlibrary loan, what do I need?

  1. The full name of the standard.
  2. The standard's developer or issuing body (e.g. IEEE, UL, etc.)
  3. Any document or standard number that identifies that particular standard.
  4. The date issued or approved, if possible. 
  5. Where you found the standard.  A URL is very helpful!
  6. If you find an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for the item, include that as well.

A final note, use the Book request category in interlibrary loan to request the standard.

Standard Abbreviations: A Few Examples

ANSI = American National Standards Institute

ASA = Acoustical Society of America

ASME = American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASTM = American Society for Testing & Materials

DoD = Department of Defense

IEEE = Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

ISO = International Organization for Standardization

OSHA = Occupational Safety and Health Administration

PMI = Project Management Institute

UL = Underwriters Laboratories

U. S. Government Standards & Regulations









Credits  Michigan Tech Van Pelt and Opie Library  Penn State University Libraries