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Hi to all. After several months I am back here to this wonderful forum.

Meanwhile, I have developed an additional addiction except collecting of calculators: collecting invaluable engineering information such as international (ISO, EN, CEN) and national (BS, DIN, VDI, VDA) standards, just for my personal education. Actually, with a little effort, the majority of these standards can be found free on the Web.

My try to find out if this is an information (the availability of free standards on the Web) well known to everybody did not give any outcome. So, I ask you here: is it something commonly known?

Thinking that there are many engineers here who may be interested in this topic, I will be glad to share my experience here, but subject to the following:

If you find this post inappropriate in any aspect (discussing about something that can violate copyright), the currator is welcome to delete this thread immediatelly.

AFAIK, in Germany it's very limited fun looking for free standards of the kinds you mentioned. There is one large publisher and some smaller ones taking care of their income ... There may be other ways, though.

In the U.S., it is somewhat similar to what Walter said. Government agencies do distribute free (usually) their standards via the Web. In times past you had to pay for printed standards to cover the cost of printing, at least. The Internet has changed all that. Examples are Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Command, Federal Highway Administration, state transportation departments.

On the other hand, NGO's that promulgate standards are almost always provided for a fee. Examples are American National Standards Institute, American Concrete Institute, American Society for Testing Materials.

There are exceptions, such as Underwriters Laboratories, or trade groups supported by their members. Some of these provide some standards for free, charge for others.

Corrected one word. See Karl's post.

Edited: 14 Jan 2011, 1:37 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

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It's ironic - so much effort is expended to create standards and then they are almost shrouded in secrecy by not being made freely and widely available.


John

Quote:
On the other hand, NGO's that promulgate standards are almost always provided for a fee. Examples are American National Standards Institute, ...

Assume you were talking about NIST here, I had a different understanding of the abbreviation "NGO" so far.

"NGO" = non-government organizations

Yes, sorry, Karl.

Quote:
...almost shrouded in secrecy by not being made freely and widely available.

John, I think they are widely available, just not freely. Anyway, I believe it's about cost, not secrecy. After all, the only reason the government-promulgated standards are "free" is because our taxes already paid for developing them.

NIST is the National Institute of Standards and Technology and is a federal agency "NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life."

Examples of NGO would include but not be limited to:
SAE
ANSI
AISI
AISC
ASTM
etc

There are a lot of engineering requirements free in the CFR (code of federal regulations).

Then there are free standards at most of these:

BV
LR
DNV
GL
ABS
RINA

Quote:
It's ironic - so much effort is expended to create standards and then they are almost shrouded in secrecy by not being made freely and widely available.

John


This is exactly the point, John. Experts delegated by companies/nations into Technical Committees and paid by their companies create standards in one or several years debate with a great effort and after that someone else (e.g. ISO Geneva) sells them worldwide through their webpage for a signifficant amount of money.

But there is another (easy!) approach, instead of giving a lot of money to someone who is the document owner, though did not create it ... Is it correct that I say something about it here? Would this information violate moHP policy? Are you, dear engineers, interested in reading standards you don't have available?

I know something I would tell, I would tell, I would tell, ...

Quote:
(discussing about something that can violate copyright)

Now your original post makes more sense.

Discussing is one thing, actually violating is another. From previous experience, I would say most posters here respect copyright laws.