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Standards, Codes & Technical Reports

If you need a guiding document to help you in your work, here are some good sources.


Engineering is guided by codes and standards written by national and/or international bodies.

Standards are descriptive, and provide detailed instructions for designers and builders worldwide. A designer will use the standard to design the product, and a manufacturer will use the standard to manufacture the product.

Codes are legally enforceable regulations for design, fabrication, construction and installation, adopted to ensure universal adherence to public health and safety requirements. When governmental bodies adopt a standard and make it legally enforceable, or when it has been incorporated into a business contract, the standard becomes a code. Codes also refer out to standards or specifications for the specific details on additional requirements that are not specified in the code.

While the Library subscribes to some databases that provide access to these materials, some will be a little harder to track down, so consult a librarian or your advisor if you need help.

Definitions adapted from The Hard Hat Engineer.

Library databases

ASTM standards

Current holdings: 2020 standards.

Other standards sources

Nonprofit organizations:

Standards stores:


Subject Guide

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Courtney Walsh
Research & Instructional Services Librarian
Samuel C. Williams Library
Stevens Institute of Technology
T (201) 216-5411
F (201) 216-8319