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ME406 Research Guide

A guide to help you find all the resources needed for ME 406

What Is a Standard?

Cartoon: How Standards Proliferate
XKCD (n.d.). 

A standard, simply put, is an agreed upon rule, compatibility, protocol, etc. which is set up and established by a particular authoritative body.

Standards can be national or international. They can be created by governments or by experts within an established organization (such as IEEE). 

A standard is typically represented by the acronym of the issuing organization which is followed by the standard number, date, and sometimes revision info  (e.g. IEEE Std 802.3-2015 (Revision of IEEE Std 802.3-2012)).

Standards are important and very useful, but there are a few things to remember when looking for standards:

  • Standards can be a little trickier to locate than peer-reviewed research. Occasionally, you will have to first find a standard name and then search for it by its number. 
  • Standards can be very expensive and become quickly out of date. WSU tries to provide access to these standards but the collection is far from complete.
  • The licensing and control of standards is restrictive. Most libraries do not have the ability to inter-library loan standards.

Below are some resources to get you connected to the standards you need for your projects.

Searching for Standards

To locate a standard, you should (ideally) know the following:

Other specialized indexes exist for military standards, federal standards, foreign national standards, etc. These indexes are identified and cited in the respective sections below. Links are provided to the web version of an index where one is available.


Finding Standards Based on Keyword Searches

There are some resources which will help you find standards based on keyword searches. Although some of the WSU databases allow for this as well, searching these resources can be useful for discovering standards not within those WSU databases.

These resources won't give you access to the standards though. You will have to copy and search the standard number in a WSU, or other accessible, database. Do not pay for a standard without first checking to see if WSU access either in print or online.

Techstreet Store - A large repository that allows users to search keywords across standard organizations. My go-to for keyword searching.

The American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI) Webstore -  Provides searchable standards issued by ANSI.

The International Standards Organization (ISO) Standards Catalogue - Allows users to browse and search for international standards.

Other Standards Databases

See also:

National Information Standards Organization - Free full-text of international standards.

American National Standards Institute - Provides many standards across organizations including some ISO, IEC, and many more. In read-only format. All users will be required to install the FileOpen plug-in and accept an online end user license agreement prior to accessing any standards.

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers - Standards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers/American Society of Agricultural Engineers.

National Fire Protection Association - The NFPA provides free full-text standards but you must create an account. 

You can also search the WSU Libraries database and limit your results to Standards. There are some print standards located within the Owen Science and Engineering Library. 

Government Standards & Regulations

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - Provides standards base on laws and regulations based on the regulatory agency of the United States Department of Labor.

U.S. Department of Defense Standardization Program - Provides standards created by the DoD.

Code of Federal Regulations - The CFR provides regulations published in the Federal Register through the executive departments and agencies of the U.S. federal government.

U.S. Federal Register - Contains announcements of the government as well as updates to federal regulations.

Print Copies of Standards at WSU

These standards are located within the Owen Science and Engineering Library.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) - Includes Y14.5-2009 which establishes rules, nomenclature, definitions, requirements, defaults, and recommended practices for stating and interpreting Geometric Dimensions and Tolerances.

American Concrete Institute - Provides information from the ACI Manual of Concrete Practice

Residential & Light Commercial Construction Standards - Compiled from the nation's major building codes, recognized trade custom & industry standards.

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