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Standards: Equivalent Standards

What is an equivalent standard?

Equivalent standards usually have the same title, with no changes in the text, and are thus identical to the original standard. However, there are times when a specific standard will be modified slightly when reissued and approved by another organization.  For class assignments, students usually don't need the original standard, an equivalent standard will suffice as long as it's similar in content to the original.  For other uses, such as in legal cases, the researcher will want the exact standard and an equivalent will not be acceptable.  Legal cases often involve a previous version of the standard, one that coincides with the date of a dispute.

Industry standards are created by an issuing agency and may be approved/adopted by a larger national or international organization (such as ANSI or ISO, respectively).  The purpose of adoption by larger national and international organizations is to promote manufacuturing and distribution of products which are safe, reliable, and of sufficient quality. 

If the OSU Library does not own the specific standard you want/need, one alternative might be to use an equivalent standard from another organization.  For example, ANSI/NACE MR0175 is equivalent to ISO 15156-2:2009.

How to locate equivalent standards:

Proceed more or less in this order:

Search resources on the Standards Search Engines tab - using a title keyword search (not by standard number).  Any standard issued with a similar title will show in the results. 

Search Knovel (the engineering handbook database) to locate cross-reference sources.  Using the terms “comparative standards” or “identical standards” without the quotation marks.  Within the results in Knovel you may be able to locate a handbook/text which will allow to search by a specific standard number to see if any other organization issued it under a different standard number.

Search IEEE Explore for electrical standards and their equivalents.

Search ASTM Standards and Engineering Digital Library for topics/applications that you have not had success with elsewhere.