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Standards: What are standards?

Standards: Collection description

Collection description


A standard is defined as a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results.

Standards are varied. They can exist for things (e.g. light bulbs) and, increasingly, for making things happen (e.g. services) but mainly standards represent an indispensable level of know-how in any given area. In the context of public contracts or international trade, standards are essential to simplify and clarify contractual relations. A number of national and international organisations develop and maintain standards and publish them in print or electronic form. Standards are often referred to by their numbers. Before each number are letters identifying the standards body involved: eg BS..., IS..., ISO..., EN...