There are two main kinds of standards -- industrial standards and financial standards. This entry concerns industrial standards, i.e., the rules created by industries, associations and government agencies that prescribe how certain products should be made. For example, a standard concerning the construction of ladders might require that you use a certain quality of steel or that the ladder is able to hold a certain amount of weight.
For information on financial standards, see "Accounting Standards" and/or "Auditing Standards."
Sources for Full-Text Standards: You can search and purchase standards from many different organizations through the IHS Standards Store, the Document Center (650-591-7600), and TechStreet.
In addition, standards can be ordered directly through the Web sites posted by many of the standards-setting organizations, such as ANSI's eStandards store.
Finally, larger public libraries have most U.S. and some foreign and international standards available in hard copy and/or CD-ROM. The Linda Hall Library (800-662-1545) has a particularly large collection of standards and a good document delivery service.