Skip to main content

Reading Room

General Background Materials on Codes and Standards

If you are interested in learning more about voluntary codes and standards, the following materials and websites provide additional background information.

Compilation of standards from U.S. and international standards developers (ANSI)

Directory of standards developing organizations (ANSI)

Historical perspective of codes and standards (NFPA)

How a standard gets created infographic (ASTM)

Incorporation by reference (IBR) Handbook (Federal Register)

Library of indexed abstracts for scholarly articles on standards (Consortium Info)

List of standards development organizations (Consortium Info)

List of accredited standards developers (ANSI)

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995

Standards education and training (ANSI)

Overview of codes and standards (ASNT)

Portal with standards incorporated by reference in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (ANSI)

Publications of SES – The Society for Standardization Professionals

Q&A with Robert S. Adler: Reflections of an Unapologetic Safety Regulator (ANSI)

Resources on standards development (ISO)

Resources on standards and measurement (NIST)

Standards incorporated by reference database (NIST)

Sports, leisure and standards cartoon (ASTM)

Standards and Business (ANSI)

Standards: Industry & Academia, Public and Government (NIST)

The Standards Blog (Consortium Info)

U.S. Policy Documents on Use of Industry Standards (NIST)

Selected Standard-Setting Organizations

Standard-setting organizations develop, amend and deliver voluntary standards ready for adoption and implementation. The organizations listed below are some major code and standard development organizations. For more comprehensive references, you can refer to the U.S. government’s list of standard-developing organizations or to the ANSI Standards Portal website

African Organization for Standardization (ARSO)

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International)

Codex Alimentarius Commission

European Committee for Standardization (CEN)

European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)

International Code Council (ICC)

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAMPO)

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 

National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International)

Related Curricular Resources

Other institutions have developed course material and gathered information on codes and standards. Below are links to related curricular resources. 

ANSI, Online courses about standards and conformity assessment

Northwestern University, Strategic Standards Management

Northwestern University, Data on Technology Standards

Northwestern University, Innovation Economics Working Papers

Purdue University, Online Standards Education

University of Pittsburgh, Information Technology Standards

Selected Academic Research

Listed below are selected academic research papers and publications reflecting expert analysis and opinion on codes and standards.

Atlan, Michael and Gali Glazer, “State Enforcement and Voluntary Codes in Social Responsibility Areas: Integrated Tools for the Strengthening of Enforcement,” Jerusalem Papers in Regulation and Governance Paper No. 10 (2010).

Baram, Michael and Corinne Bieder, “Standardization and Risk Regulation for High-Hazard Industries,” in Hervé Laroche, Corinne Bieder, and Jesús Villena-López, eds., Managing Future Challenges for Safety: Demographic Change, Digitalisation and Complexity in the 2030s (2022).

Baron, Justus, Jorge L. Contreras, Martin Husovec, Pierre Larouche and Nikolaus Thumm, “Making the Rules: The Governance of Standard Development Organizations and their Policies on Intellectual Property Rights,” JRC Science for Policy Report, EUR 29655 EN (2019).

Besen, Stanley M., “Looking for FRAND: Patent Owners, Standard-Setting Organizations, and the Courts,” Tulane Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 25: 213-256 (2023).

Bremer, Emily, “American and European Perspectives on Private Standards in Public Law,” Tulane Law Review 91: 325-370 (2016).

Bremer, Emily, “Incorporation by Reference in an Open-Government Age,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 36: 131-210 (2012).

Bremer, Emily, “On the Cost of Private Standards in Public Law,” University of Kansas Law Review 63: 279-333 (2015).

Büthe, Tim, “Private Regulation in the Global Economy: A (P)review. Business and Politics,” Business and Politics 12: 1-38 (2010).

Büthe, Tim and Walter Mattli, The New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy, Princeton: Princeton University Press (2011).

Camp, L. Jean and Charles Vincent, “Setting Standards: Looking to the Internet for Models of Governance” (2004).

Carrier, Michael A. “Why Antitrust Should Defer to the Intellectual Property Rules of Standard-Setting Organizations: A Commentary on Teece & Sherry,” Minnesota Law Review 87: 2019-2036 (2003).

Cheit, Ross, Setting Safety Standards: Regulation in the Public and Private Sectors, Berkeley: University of California Press (1990).

Clark, Havighurst, “Foreword: The Place of Private Accrediting Among the Instruments of Government,” Law and Contemporary Problems 57: 1-14 (1994).

Colendeich, Katie M., “Who Owns ‘The Law’? The Effect on Copyrights When Privately-Authored Works Are Adopted or Enacted by Reference into Law,” Washington Law Review 78: 589-624 (2003).

Coglianese, Cary, “Engaging Business in the Regulation of Nanotechnology,” in Christopher J. Bosso, ed., Governing Uncertainty: Environmental Regulation in the Age of Nanotechnology (2010).

Coglianese, Cary, “Environmental Soft Law as a Governance Strategy,” Jurimetrics 61: 19-52 (2020).

Coglianese, Cary and Jennifer Nash, eds., Leveraging the Private Sector: Management-Based Strategies for Improving Environmental Performance (2010).

Coglianese, Cary and Jennifer Nash, “Motivating Without Mandates: The Role of Voluntary Programs in Environmental Governance,” in LeRoy C. Paddock, Robert L. Glicksman, and Nicholas S. Bryner, eds., Decision Making in Environmental Law (2016).

Coglianese, Cary and Jennifer Nash, eds., Regulating from the Inside: Can Environmental Management Systems Achieve Policy Goals (2001).

Contreras, Jorge, “Aggregated Royalties for Top-Down FRAND Determinations: Revising ‘Joint Negotiation’,” Antitrust Bulletin 62: 690-709 (2017).

Contreras, Jorge, Standards Development Patent Policy Manual, Chicago: ABA Book Publishing (2007).

Contreras, Jorge, “Patents, Technical Standards and Standard-Setting Organizations: A Survey of the Empirical, Legal and Economics Literatures,” in Peter S. Menell and David Schwartz, eds., Research Handbook on the Economics of Property Law Vol. II – Analytical Methods (2017).

Curran, Patrick D., “Standard-Setting Organizations: Patents, Price Fixing, and Per Se Legality,” University of Chicago Law Review 70: 983-1009 (2003).

Cunningham, Lawrence A., “Private Standards in Public Law: Copyright Lawmaking and the Case of Accounting,” Michigan Law Review 104: 291-344 (2005).

de Cock Buning, Madeleine and Linda Senden, eds., Private Regulation and Enforcement in the EU: Finding the Right Balance from a Citizen’s Perspective (2020).

de Vries, Henk, Standardization: A Business Approach to the Role of National Standardization Organizations, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers (1999).

Du, Michael M., “The Regulation of Private Standards in the World Trade Organization,” Food and Drug Law Journal 73: 432-464 (2018).

Eberlein, Burkard, Kenneth W. Abbott, Julia Black, Errol Meidinger and Stephan Wood, “Transnational Business Governance Interactions: Conceptualization and Framework for Analysis,” Regulation & Governance 8: 1-21 (2014).

Edgar, Andrew and Kevin M. Stack, “Parallel Incorporation and Public Law,” International Journal of Constitutional Law 21: 734-769 (2023).

Egan, Michelle, Constructing a European Market: Standards, Regulation, and Governance, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2001).

Egan, Michelle and Jacques Pelkmans, “TTIP’s Hard Core: Technical Barriers to Trade and Standards,” Paper No. 13 in the CEPS-CTR Project ‘TTIP in the Balance’ and CEPS Special Report No. 117 / August 2015 (2015).

Gifford, Daniel J., “Developing Models for a Coherent Treatment of Standard-Setting Issues Under the Patent, Copyright, and Antitrust Laws,” Idea 43: 331-394 (2003).

Gutierrez, Carlos Ignacio, Gary Marchant, and Lucille Tournas, “Lessons for Artificial Intelligence from Historical Uses of Soft Law Governance,” Jurimetrics 61: 133-149.

Hamilton, Robert W., “The Role of Nongovernmental Standards in the Development of Mandatory Federal Standards Affecting Safety or Health,” Texas Law Review 56: 1329-1446 (1978).

Hawkins, Richard, Knut Blind, and Robert Page, eds., Handbook of Innovation and Standards (2017).

Havinga, Tetty, “Private Regulation of Food Safety by Supermarkets,” Law and Policy 28: 515-533 (2006).

Hirsch, Dennis D., “Going Dutch? Collaborative Dutch Privacy Regulation and the Lessons It Holds for U.S. Privacy Law,” Michigan State Law Review 2013: 83-166 (2013).

Jakobs, Kai, Effective Standardization Management in Corporate Settings, Hershey: IGI Global (2016).

Jakobs, Kai, International Journal of IT Standards and Standardization Research, Hershey: IGI Global (2011).

Jakobsen, Kraig A., “Revisiting Standards-Setting Organizations’ Patent Policies,” Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 3: 43-60 (2004).

Ju, Jinyul, “Recent Developments in Korean Antitrust Cases Concerning FRAND-Encumbered Standard-Essential Patents,” Jindal Global Law Review 8: 221 (2017).

Judge-Lord, Devin, Constance L. McDermott, and Benjamin Cashore, “Do Private Regulations Ratchet Up? How to Distinguish Types of Regulatory Stringency and Patterns of Change,” Organization & Environment 33: 96-125 (2020).

Kanevskaia, Olia, The Law and Practice of Global ICT Standardization, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023.

Krislov, Samuel, How Nations Choose Product Standards and Standards Change Nations, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press (1997).

Lawrence, Busch, Standards: Recipes for Reality, Cambridge: MIT Press (2011).

Lee, Karen, The Legitimacy and Responsiveness of Industry Rule-Making, Oxford: Hart Publishing (2018).

Lemley, Mark A., “Intellectual Property Rights and Standard-Setting Organizations,” California Law Review 90: 1889-1980 (2002).

Lemley, Mark A. and Carl Shapiro, “Patent Holdup and Royalty Stacking,” Texas Law Review 85: 1991-2049 (2007).

Lemley, Mark A., “Ten Things To Do About Patent Holdup of Standards (and One Not To),” Boston College Law Review 48: 149-168 (2007)

Liu, Pascal, “Private Standards in International Trade: Issues and Opportunities,” Paper Presented at the World Trade Organization’s Workshop on Environment-Related Private Standards (2009).

Lloyd, Richard, “Key Ruling in High-Profile US FRAND Case ‘Highly Biased in Favor of Infringers’, Says Ericsson’s Chief IP Officer,” IAM media (2018).

Loconto, Allison and Lawrence Busch, “Standards, Techno-economic Networks, and Playing Fields: Performing the Global Market Economy,” Review of International Political Economy 17: 507-536 (2010).

Loconto, Allison and Eve Fouilleux, “Politics of Private Regulation: ISEAL and the Shaping of Transnational Sustainability Governance,” Regulation & Governance 8: 166-185 (2014).

Lytton, Timothy D., “Competitive Third-Party Regulation: How Private Certification Can Overcome Constraints That Frustrate Government Regulation,” Theoretical Inquiries in Law 15: 539-571 (2014).

Lytton, Timothy D., Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (2013).

Lytton, Timothy D., “Technical Standards in Health & Safety Regulation: Risk Regimes, the New Administrative Law, and Food Safety Governance,” in Jorge L. Contreras, ed., Cambridge Handbook of Technical Standardization Law, Vol. 2: Administrative Law, Copyright, Trademark, and International Law (2019).

Mattli, Walter and Ngaire Woods, The Politics of Global Regulation, Princeton: Princeton University Press (2009).

Marchant, Gary E., “Swords and Shields: Impact of Private Standards in Technology-Based Liability” (2022).

Marchant, Gary E., Douglas J. Sylvester, and Kenneth W. Abbott, “A New Soft Law Approach to Nanotechnology Oversight: A Voluntary Product Certification Scheme,” UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy 28: 123-152 (2010).

Marchant, Gary, Lucille Tournas, and Carlos Ignacio Gutierrez, “Governing Emerging Technologies Through Soft Law: Lessons for Artificial Intelligence,” Jurimetrics 61: 1-18 (2020).

Marx, Axel, Miet Maertens, Johan Swinnen, and Jan Wouters, eds., Private Standards and Global Governance: Economic, Legal, and Political Perspectives (2012).

McAllister, Lesley K., Harnessing Private Regulation, Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law 3: 291-419 (2014).

McCormick, Amanda, “Standards in Law,” in Chelsea Leachman, Erin W. Rowley, Margaret Phillips, and Daniela Solomon, eds., Teaching and Collecting Technical Standards: A Handbook for Librarians and Educators (2023).

Melamed, A. Douglas and Carl Shapiro, “How Antitrust Law Can Make FRAND Commitments More Effective,” Yale Law Journal 7: 2110-2141 (2017).

Meidinger, Errol, “Forest Certification as a Global Civil Society Regulatory Institution,” Social and Political Dimensions of Forest Certification, 265-289 (2009).

Moore, Kimberly A., “Worthless Patents,” Berkeley Technology Law Journal 20: 1521-1552 (2005).

Mueller, Janice M., “Patenting Industry Standards,” The John Marshall Law Review 34: 897-946 (2001).

Nadvi, Khalid, Global Standards, Global Governance and the Organization of Global Value Chains,” Journal of Economic Geography 8: 323-343 (2008).

Olsen, Odd Einar, Kirsten Juhl, Preben H. Lindøe, and Ole Andreas Engen, eds., Standardization and Risk Governance: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach (2020).

O’Rourke, Dara, “Outsourcing regulation: Analyzing Nongovernmental Systems of Labor Standards and Monitoring,” Policy Studies Journal 31:1-29 (2003).

Overdevest, Christine, “Codes of Conduct and Standard Setting in the Forest Sector: Constructing Markets for Democracy?” Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, 59: 172-197 (2004).

Potoski, Matthew and Aseem Prakash, “Green Clubs and Voluntary Governance: ISO 14001 and Firms’ Regulatory Compliance,” American Journal of Political Science, 49: 235-248 (2005).

Prakash, Aseem and Matthew Potoski, The Voluntary Environmentalists: Green Clubs, ISO 14001, and Voluntary Environmental Organizations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Samuelson, Pamela, “Questioning Copyrights in Standards,” Boston College Law Review 48: 193-224 (2007).

Schneiderman, Ron, Modern Standardization: Case Studies at the Crossroads of Technology, Economics, and Politics, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons (2015).

Senden, L.A.J., “Soft Law, Self-Regulation and Co-Regulation in European Law: Where Do They Meet?,” Electronic Journal of Comparative Law, 9 (2005).

Spivak, Steven and F. Cecil Brenner, Standardization Essentials: Principles and Practice, New York: Marcel Dekker (2001).

Starobin, Shana and Erika Weinthal, “The Search for Credible Information in Social and Environmental Global Governance: The Kosher Label,” Business and Politics, 12: 1-35 (2010).

Tassey, Gregory, “The Roles and Impacts of Technical Standards on Economic Growth and Implications for Innovation Policy,” Annals of Science and Technology Policy 1: 215-316 (2017).

Vandemoortele, Thijs and Koen Deconinck, “When Are Private Standards More Stringent Than Public Standards?,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 96: 154-171 (2014).

Vogel, David, “Private Global Business Regulation,” Annual Review of Political Science 11: 261-282 (2008).

Vogel, David, “The Private Regulation of Global Corporate Conduct. Achievements and Limitations,” Business and Society 49: 68-87 (2010).

Webb, Kernaghan, ed. Voluntary Codes: Private Governance, the Public Interest and Innovation (2004).

To top