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IOE 424: Practicum

A starting point for finding resources for IOE research projects.

Getting Standards from the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library

How Do I Get a Copy of a Standard in the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library?

Access the standard(s) you need based on the issuing agency:

* ASTM - Standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials can be downloaded from ASTM Compass.

* AAMI - Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) standards are available via AAMI eSubscription. (For access, click on the "Institutional Access" link.)

* AASHTO - Standards from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials can be downloaded from ASTM Compass.

* ACI - American Concrete Institute standards are published in the ACI Manual of Concrete Practice, available online.

* AIAA - Selected American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics standards are available online at Aerospace Research Central.

* AISC - Selected standards from the American Institute of Steel Construction are available online at the AISC website, including ANSI/AISC 360-16, Specification for Structural Steel Buildings.

* ASCE - Standards from the American Society of Civil Engineers are available from the ASCE Research Library.

* ASME -  American Society of Mechanical Engineers standards, including the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Codes, are available through the ASME Standards Collection. (For access, click on the "Institutional Access" link.)

* AWS - Standards from the American Welding Society can be downloaded from ASTM Compass.

* AWWA - Standards from the American Water Works Association can be downloaded from ASTM Compass.

Additionally, some AWWA standards are available through Knovel. Look for AWWA standards in Knovel by entering a search for AWWA and then the standard number (for example: AWWA M42).

* ANSI - The American National Standards Institute compiles a record of standards that are referenced in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). 

These Incorporated by Reference (IBR) standards - selected standards from ISO, IEC, AHAM, AWS, IAPMO, IES, NEMA, and other societies - are hosted in a read-only format (no downloading or printing options) and available at no cost here.

* ESD - The EOS/ESD Association produces standards on electrostatics. Selected ESD standards are available as complimentary downloads at the website.

* IEEE - Standards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) are accessible via IEEE Xplore.

* ISO - ISO, the International Organization for Standardization publishes standards on many topics. ISO standards can be found as British Standard equivalencies at BSOL Standards Online. Additional ISO standards can be found as Spanish equivalencies (AENOR) at ASTM Compass.

* SAE - The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) publishes standards on mobility engineering, including ground vehicle, aerospace, and aerospace materials standards. Both current and historical SAE standards are available online in SAE Mobilus

* SMPTE - Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers standards on topics such as audio, broadband, control systems, file and image formats, among others, are available in IEEE Xplore.

* USP - Standards from the United States Pharmacopeia: the National Formulary can be found at USP–NF Online.

>>>For access, users will first need to create a personal account using their email. Go here to create your account (leave "subscription key" blank). Once you have created a personal account, you can access the content by logging into USP-NF Online at

* Building and Energy Codes - Building, fire, and energy codes, including standards from International Code Council (ICC) (e.g. 2012 International Building Code), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and State of Michigan building codes, are available online through MAD CAD:

* NFPA - National Fire Protection Association codes are available free online (Read-Only format) at the NFPA website:

* UL - Underwriters Laboratories standards are available in read-only format at no cost at Free access requires a personal account at the UL site. Payment is required for printing or downloading at this site.


* HIPAA - The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 outlines national standards for electronic health care transactions and code sets, unique health identifiers, and security. Find an overview of HIPAA regulations at the Health and Human Services department website:


* OSHA & MiOSHA - Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards are available online at the OSHA website:

Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards are available online at the MiOSHA website:,1607,7-154-11407_15368---,00.html

* Military Specifications - The Department of Defense has made many military standards available for free (registration and approval is required for access). Please see DoD's ASSIST (at website for coverage and to register for access. Users may also gain access to DoD's ASSIST in person at the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library.

* Municipal Codes - Online access to municipal codes and ordinances of over 1,000 local governments in the United States is available through

* Historical standards - The Art, Architecture & Engineering Library maintains a small collection of superseded, or historical, standards in print format. A searchable spreadsheet of these standards holdings is available via Historical Standards at AAEL.

* For all other standards not listed above, please contact an engineering librarian:

 If You Are not affiliated with the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus:

(UM-Dearborn & UM-Flint affiliates should contact their respective libraries for standards access.) 

If you are a non-UM affiliated user who wants to use our standards collection, you may freely visit our library. However, there are few resources available to non-UM affiliates through the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library.  

There may also be other sources outside of the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library available to you, including:

o Other libraries in your area

o Military standards over the internet

o Standards suppliers (for-pay document delivery services):

ANSI Webstore:

Accuris Store:


What is a Standard?


What is a Standard?


There is no single accepted definition for standards, but Charles Sullivan[1] describes them as: [cite Charles Sullivan]


    "... a category of documents whose function is to control some aspect of human endeavor." 


Standards, for this discussion, include specifications, regulations, and guidelines. They help clarify, guide and control processes and activities crucial to our everyday functioning and lives. In particular, they specify definitions, performance, and design criteria. They help create a common language with which engineers, researchers, businesses, and even students can communicate, create, and learn.


Standards can be voluntary or mandatory, and as technology and needs change, become superseded. They are created by industrial societies and government bodies, in the United States and in foreign countries. They are also numerous, and growing. Originally discussed by the LaQue report [cite LaQue report] in 1961, the United States standards environment has been short on coordination and long on independent action among the standards issuing bodies. The situation is a little better today, but not much. Currently there are over 550 standard development organizations (SDO) [ normalize language as SDO, link out to SDO wiki] in the United States, as compared to 350 in 1961.


The rest of the world has also taken steps to improve the standards situation. After World War II, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) helped two fledgling international organizations, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), increase their role in the standards arena. Today international standards are an important and growing area as well, with over 7000 ISO standards alone.


Every day, you interact with products that are designed according to standards, in your:


  • Home 
    • Building codes
    • Electrical codes
  • Transportation 
    • Automotive standards
    • Fuel standards
    • Highway safety standards
  • Health
    • Environmental standards
    • Food safety regulations
    • Medical device standards
  • Recreation
    • Athletic gear standards
    • Toy safety standards

(Question about adding the engineering students/practicing engineers stuff here - What does that do for guide users who are not engineers?) 


To learn more about Standards, please refer to the standards module linked below.


[1] C.D. Sullivan, Standards and Standardization: Basic Principles and Applications. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1983