Skip to Main Content

Patents, standards, and technical reports

Specialized resources for finding patents, standards, and technical reports


To help address the global COVID-19 crisis, many standards organizations are now providing free access to their standards that are used in the production of medical devices and personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves, gowns, and ventilators. Click the tab on the left menu or here to see the list of these organizations and their standards.

What are standards?

Standards are documents which describe methods for manufacturing, measurement, description and testing of materials and products. They cover everything from the simplest screw to the most complex information technology network.

Standards are issued by companies or other organizations both national and international. They are subject to frequent revision. By applying standards, products and services become consistent, compatible, safe and effective. An example of an influential set of standards is the ISO 14000 series of environmental management standards.  

Standards available at McGill Library:

  • ASTM - Annual Book of American Society for Testing and Materials Standards
    Call number: TA 401 A653, latest edition: 2021 in Schulich Library - Reference Collection, older editions: Schulich - Main Collection.

    You can search the ASTM website in order to determine in which volume a specific standard is located.

  • CGSB – Canadian General Standards Board
    Call number: TA368 C342 Collection Centre (temporarily unavailable). The current CGSB catalogue is available online.
  • IEEE Standards available online starting in 1988
  • ASABE Standards (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) available online starting in 1999
  • International Dairy Federation (IDF) Standards
    Macdonald Campus Library has no.1 (1987)- 
  • The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety provides access to a selection of relevant standards from: 
    • CSA (Canadian Standards Association)
    • CGSB (Canadian General Standards Board)
    • WCB (Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia Standards) 
  • The ANSI Incorporated by Reference (IBR) Portal provides access to standards that have been incorporated into the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. It consists of select ISO, IEC and other standards. Individuals need to register and the standards are read/view only.

For other standards try searching the McGill catalogue with the standard title, number (example: ISO 11885), or issuing body. There are many books about specific standards in the collection but few actual standards.

Where standards are indexed:

  • Compendex indexes standards from ASTM International, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), IEEE, and the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE).
  • The IHS Standards Store indexes standards from many organizations including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ASTM International, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), IEEE, the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), and others.

Locate a standard not at McGill Library:

Standards cannot be ordered through interlibrary loan. You may wish to check other local libraries:

If you wish to purchase a standard:
IHS Canada
240 Catherine Street, Suite 305
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2G8
(613) 237-4250

For information about standards:

Standards Council of Canada
270 Albert Street, Suite 200
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6N7
(613) 238-3222

Some suggested websites:

Resource key

  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library use
  • Catalogue record

Downtown campus contact

Profile Photo
Schulich Librarians
Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering

Macdonald campus contact

Profile Photo
Macdonald Campus Librarians
Macdonald Campus Library

Ask the librarian on duty

McGill LibraryQuestions? Ask us!
Privacy notice