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Citing Standards

Most style guides do not offer guidance on citing standards. The examples provided here have been drawn from several sources to provide some guidance on citing standards. If the information here does not provide enough detail about citing standards, ask a librarian for help. 

Your citation needs to include enough information for anyone interested to be able to track down the original document.*

  • Issuing agency (or publication name) 
  • Standard number
  • Standard title
  • Publication date
  • Specific version
    • Standards may be reprinted, altered/reissued by a number of different standard organizations
Database generated citations

As with any database generated citation that can be copied and pasted into your document, you should check for errors. Databases can help retrieve the essential information required to generate a citation, but should be checked by referring to the specific style guide to ensure accuracy.

When using standards retrieved from ASTM Compass, there is an option to "Cite this Document". ASTM defaults to their own citation style, but it also offers examples from major styles such as APA, Chicago and MLA.

Example of the ASTM preferred style:

ASTM F1089-18 Standard Test Method for Corrosion of Surgical Instruments, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA,  2018,

For other citation styles, you may still need to apply additional formatting when copying and pasting into your reference list depending on the style's guidelines.

*Information in this guide has been adopted and adapted with permission from the University of Iowa Library's guide on citing standards


Consistency is essential with any citation style.

Reference list format: Organization. (year). Title of the standard (Standard No. 1234). Retrieved from http://xxxxx


Canadian Standards Association. (2014). Canadian highway bridge design code (CAN/CSA Standard No. S6-14). Retrieved from

In text format: (Organization that made the standard, year).

Example for first time cited: (Canadian Standards Association [CSA], 2014)

Example for subsequent in text citations: (CSA, 2014)


See these additional resources for more help:


Consistency is essential with any citation style.

Reference list format: [Reference Number] Title of Standard, Standard number, date. [Online]. Available: http://xxxxx


[1] IEEE Standard for High-Voltage Testing Techniques, IEEE Standard 4, 2013. [Online]. Available:

In text format: [citation #]. Square brackets around the citation number.

Your written text about the citation [1] and your text after the citation explaining why it was used.


See these additional resources for more help: