A standard (or "specification") attempts to assure consistency and compatibility among similar products or processes.
Standards are usually written by government bodies, professional/industrial organizations, or business; thus some standards are government-mandated while others are voluntary.
A standards citation is generally composed of three parts: (1) the sponsoring agency's name or a code, (2) an identifying publication number, and (3) the year adopted or re-affirmed (often only the last two digits). Examples:
- ANSI/ASME B1.1-2003 (means American National Standards Institute / American Society of Mechanical Engineers; B1.1 is the standard number for: Unified Inch Screw Threads--UN and UNR Thread Form; 2003 is the year in which it was adopted)
- ANSI/ISO 12100-1 2007 (means American National Standards Institute/International Standards Organization; 12100-1 = Safety of Machinery - Basic Concepts, General Principles for Design. Part 1: Basic Terminology, Methodology, adopted in 2007)
- BSR/AHRI Standard/ASHRAE/ISO 13256-1-1998 (R201x) (means Board of Standards Review/American Heating and Refrigeration Institute Standard/American Society for Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineering/International Standards Organization 13256-1 = Water-source heat pumps - Testing and rating for performance Part 1: Water-to-air and brine-to-air heat pumps, adopted in 1998 (Reaffirmed in 201x)
Find a Standards Organization or Agency
Use these sites to identify standards organizations or agencies:
- NASA Links to Technical Standards Organizations
- NSSN: A National Resource for Global Standards Formerly the National Standard System Network, this is a comprehensive searchable database on developing and approved national, foreign, regional, and international standards and regulatory documents
- Sources for Standards and Specifications An alphabetical list of contacts from The Barcode Software Center of most standards organizations
- WWW Search Engines Search the WWW, entering "standards organizations" or "standards developing organizations"
Print Sources Available in the University Library
- Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations Dictionary REF PE1693 .G3