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 and the IEEE Standards 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 has a particularly large collection of standards (search the LHL catalog) and a good document delivery service (800-662-1545) .
ANSI v. ASME: ANSI is an accrediting organization. ASME develops standards. ASME is accredited by ANSI, which means it develops it sandards in according with ANSI procedures. ASME standards are often cited as "ANSI/ASME."
Military Standards: TechStreet has military standards.