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Engineering Standards

Resources for starting your research for engineering standards.

Decoding Standards

When looking at the catalog entry for a standard you will always see:

  1. Number - The numeric identifier used for this standard
  2. Revision Date - The last time the standard was revised by the SDO.
  3. Title
  4. Endorsing Organization - What SDO wrote this standard
  5. Past Version/Revision Of - If this standard is a revision, past versions of the standard should be listed. If this standard has been superseded by another standard you may also see a line that says "Superseded by."
  6. Status - Active or Current, Superseded, and Draft are all common statuses for a standard. Those marked as Active or Current are the most recent version of a standard.

For example:

This is a screenshot from the IEEE Xplore website of the catalog entry for IEEE standard 1667-2018:

"IEEE Standard for Discovery, Authentication, and Authorization in Host Attachments of Storage Devices," in IEEE Std 1667-2018 (Revision of IEEE Std 1667-2015) , vol., no., pp.1-226, 2 Oct. 2018, doi: 10.1109/IEEESTD.2018.8479380.

Referenced Standards

Typically included in chapter two of a standard, referenced documents or referenced publications are key to understanding how a standard is connected with other standards. Most standards do not stand alone and rely on the contents of other standards to support their functionality. While referenced standards may be included in part or whole within the standard that references them, often you will need to access the referenced standards in addition to the standard you already have.

Citing Standards

If you need assistance citing standards, contact a librarian.

Your citation needs to include enough information to direct a reader to the correct document. This includes:

  • Standards Development Organization or Publisher
  • Standard number
  • Standard title
  • Publication date (may also be revision year)
  • Version
  • If accessed online, a DOI if available


Reference list:

Standard Development Organization Name (Standard Revision Year). Standard Title (Standard No. ####). Hyperlink to standard.

Parenthetical citations:

(Standard Development Organization Name, Standard Revision Year)


IEEE Style Guide, 2020

Formats for print standards:

  1. Title of Standard, Standard number, Corporate author, location, date.
  2. Title of Standard, Standard number, date.

Formats for online standards:

  1. Title of Standard, Standard number, Corporate author, location, date. [Online]. Available:
  2. Title of Standard, Standard number, date. [Online]. Available:


Adapted from University of British Columbia Library's Citing Standards