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Technical Standards: Resources for Locating Standards

Locating Standards in the Library

Overview

What are Standards?
  • Codified guidelines that define how processes are to be performed or measured, or how products are to be designed
  • Usually written by businesses, industrial organizations, and government bodies
  • Serve to increase product quality and safety, and allow for interchangeability of parts

What are some examples of standards?
  • Government-mandated specifications for how mattress flammability tests are performed
  • Voluntary guidelines on ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality
  • Voluntary specifications for the width and spacing of steps in staircases

Interlibrary Loan

If we don't have access to the standard you need, our Interlibrary Loan Department works with other libraries to obtain materials we can't access directly. The ILLiad system includes a form for requesting standards. It is important to provide as much information about the standard as you can identify, including the title, the number, the year of adoption and the publishing organization. Standards can be difficult to obtain.

Last Resort

If Interlibrary Loan is unable to obtain the standard you need, a faculty member can place a request for the standard by contacting Heather Perrone.  Due to the high cost of acquiring technical standards and the strict copyright and licensing restrictions, Fogler will only order them at the request of faculty members.

Databases for Full-Text Standards

Many major technical standards can be found using these three databases:

URSUS Catalog Search

Many of our standards can be found by title or standard number, some are harder to find. Please contact Heather Perrone if you can't find the standard you need.

Searching for Standards on the Web

FAQs

What are some points to remember when using standards?
  • Some standards are government-mandated, and others are voluntary. There may be various penalties associated with not adhering to the standard.
  • Standards are updated frequently to keep pace with changing technology—check to see if the standard you are using is the latest version.
  • Older, superceded versions of standards may be useful in many cases, such as legal disputes concerning the performance of a product that was manufactured when the older standard was in force.
I know the number and/or title of the standard I need. How do I find out if it's in Fogler Library?
  • Many, but not all, standards owned by Fogler Library are cataloged in URSUS, which you can search by the title or number. Occasionally some are not cataloged, so check with me if you are unable to locate what you need. 
How do I find out if Fogler Library owns the current version of a standard?
  • In general, only the current version of each standard is shelved in the reference collection or available in a database.  To verify that the copy owned by Fogler Library is the most recent version, consult the publisher's online catalog or one of these comprehensive indexes to technical standards:
  • NSSN: A National Resource for Global Standards
  • TechStreet
What if I need a superceded version of a standard for historical or legal reason?
I am a faculty member at UMaine and need a particular standard for my research. Can Fogler Library provide that for me?
  • In most cases, we will purchase individual standards for faculty research. Due to licensing restrictions, we are usually unable to provide PDFs or other electronic versions. In order for us to acquire a standard for you, please follow these steps.
  • Determine whether or not Fogler already owns the standard. Heather Perrone can help you with this.
  • If Fogler does not own the standard, submit an interlibrary loan request.
  • If the interlibrary loan request cannot be fulfilled (as is often the case) contact Heather Perrone and she will request an order be placed.

Science and Engineering Librarian

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Heather Perrone
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Contact:
Reference Services, Fogler Library
heather.perrone@maine.edu
(207) 581-1697
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