I'm interesting is discussing and asking questions relating to various international and national standards. Is there currently, or is there any plan to create, a Stack Exchange site for standards?


Standards are conventions, whether formalised or not, for interoperation in trade, technology and other areas of human activity involving multiple people across heterogeneous environments.

Most people have heard of international standards such as the ISO 9001 Quality Assurance standard, or ISO 3166 Country and Subdivision codes. These are examples of standards published by ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation.

In addition, most countries have national standards organisations, such as Standards Australia which publishes Australian national standards, and so on.


These types of standards often have many applications, and there many not be a Stack Exchange related to the specific application of the asker. For example, a question relating to how countries mutually define tariff numbers for international trade, or whether a newly declared country has a provisional country code.

In addition, standards documents are often not in the public domain and are expensive to purchase, especially for one-off users or students.


Standards are an important part of life in technology, trade, commerce, finance, and many other areas of human activity.

The purpose of a relevant Stack Exchange community would be for members to ask questions about the existence, meaning, interpretation and implementation of specific standards which can then be answered by experts on those standards.

I believe this would be a useful resource that lends itself well to the Stack Exchange community-rated question and answer format.

  • Anyone can propose a site. If you think it would be a good idea, propose it then (linked to the Business category since that's the tag you used, I honestly don't know where it should be). This post can be modified to include a link to the proposal, which should serve as justification / a discussion area for its validity. Mar 28, 2014 at 12:17
  • you have everything you need for a good proposal in your question here.
    – Jon
    Nov 1, 2014 at 6:18
  • If I may: International and National Standards - various international and national standards in technology, trade, commerce, finance, and many other areas of human activity.
    – Jon
    Nov 1, 2014 at 6:23

3 Answers 3


Is anyone actually an expert in standards?

There may be experts in specific fields or genres of standards. For example, most programmers are going to be well-acquainted with ANSI Standard C, ANSI SQL, and the ISO 9660 standard for CDs.

Most photographers will be able to tell you a lot about the ISO standards for film sensitivity, even though the standard is now used primarily as a digital equivalent.

But if you ask one of the aforementioned for details on OSHA standards for workplace safety, or the ISO standards for maximum load on vehicle cargo carriers, will they be able to tell you anything?

I think you have a valid point here, that the world of standards is vast and many of them are not covered by existing StackExchanges. I can certainly immediately imagine 5 questions I would ask out of curiosity about standards that have nothing to do with programming.

I just can't imagine who would answer them, because I don't think anyone specializes in standards.


I see that this could be a great resource, to help people find the standards they need. I think like Jonathan said there are not many if any experts on Standards that would be found. However I think there might be enough experts found on specific standards to make the site viable.

A problem I see is confusing questions about a standard with the usage of a standard. To be very simplistic about it, DIY is a great place to post a question about screws or nails, a question over here about screws and nails would be about the standard screw threads and penny weight of nails, how those standards came to be and what authority were those standards enacted under.


Do you think that something like standards can find a place in a proposal like http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/107383/organisational-improvement?

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