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Technical Standards: Obtaining Standards

Last Updated: Aug 17, 2021 10:25 AM

The University at Buffalo Libraries have a selected collection of standards and specifications. If we do not own the standards you are looking for, this page outlines some additional ways to obtain them.

Freely Accessible Standards

Some standards are freely accessible to the public, or to students, specifically. Details on how to access select standards at no cost are provided below.

ANSI IBR Standards Portal - Standards Incorporated by Reference

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Incorporated by Reference (IBR) Portal provides access to standards that have been incorporated by reference in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). These standards incorporated by the U.S. government in rulemakings are offered at no cost in “read only” format and are presented for online reading. There are no print or download options.

Many standards developing organizations are included, however, please note, only selected standards (those which are incorporated by reference) are available to view. Some of the standards organizations included are, but are not limited to:

  • IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)
  • ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
  • ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers)
  • ICC (International Code Council)
  • UL (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.)
  • HFES (the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society)
  • IES (Illuminating Engineering Society)

For additional access requirements and a full listing of standards, visit the ANSI IBR Portal page.

ASTM International Standards via the ASTM Reading Room

While UB currently has access to a free trial of the ASTM Compass database, mandatory ASTM standards (those called out in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)) are always freely accessible through the ASTM Reading Room.

Please be aware, standards cannot be downloaded or printed, but the full text can be read in the browser. Also important to note, is the most recent version (year) of the ASTM standard is not always the mandatory version. Only the version that is currently mandatory can be viewed through the ASTM Reading Room,.

Purchasing Standards from ANSI

Many standards, both national and international, can be purchased directly from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international standards.

ANSI sells not only its own standards but also the standards of many other agencies, organizations, and countries through its online Standards Store at

Purchasing Standards from Commercial Vendors

Or, you can purchase standards from a commercial services that sell standards.

  • Techstreet - Standards information and catalogs for many of the various standards-issuing organizations are available at this site. Standards may be ordered online, in electronic or hard copy format. A partial listing of available publishers can be found at

  • IHS Markit Standards Store - IHS Markit is a commercial clearinghouse for current and historical engineering specifications, standards, and technical documents from hundreds of standards-developing organizations worldwide, including ISO and JIS, for example. A full list of available publishers can be accessed at Through the company's Website, you can search the company's database of available standards by standard number or title keyword and order standards online.

  • SAI Global - This vendor also provides various global standards for purchase online, in hard copy or electronically. A partial listing of publishers covered in SAI Global can be found at

Full Text Access to Standards


Engineering Librarian

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Erin Rowley
119 Lockwood Library
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260

Citation Management Software

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UB has a site license to EndNote, software that allows you to collect, store, organize, retrieve, and automatically format references to journal articles, books, patents, and more in your papers. 

For help using EndNote, check out the EndNote Basics Guide here: The Guide contains descriptions of features, PDF downloads, and videos on how to use EndNote effectively.

For more help, contact Erin Rowley, Engineering Librarian,