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ANSI Releases Workshop Report on Efforts to Improve Access to Standards Data through an Enhanced National Standards Search Engine


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has released a workshop report on the status of the redevelopment of NSSN, the search engine for standards. The report focuses on efforts to rework NSSN to make it easier for stakeholders and standards developing organizations (SDOs) to have access to information that may help to avoid the creation of conflicting or duplicative standards. The Institute is undertaking this work with support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The report details the purpose, scope, recommendations, and next steps identified during the ANSI Database Design Verification Workshop, held March 21, 2012, in Arlington, VA. Representatives from government, industry, SDOs, conformity assessment bodies, and other interested stakeholders participating in person and via webinar discussed possible enhancements to NSSN that would increase awareness of standards in various stages of development, including approved American National Standards (ANS) and others. Suggestions included providing a key word search option and initiating a marketing outreach to SDOs and consortia intended to bolster their data contributions to NSSN. Participants and members of the broader ANSI constituency were asked to help that effort by providing contact information to individuals with access to relevant data.

The workshop built on information gathered at a May 2011 workshop, Standards Wars: Myth or Reality? The earlier workshop examined issues posed by competing and duplicative standards, and included discussion of NSSN as a tool to reduce undesirable duplication [see related news item]. An additional workshop addressing the implementation of a new version of NSSN is expected to be held in the coming months.

When completed, the new version of NSSN is expected to make it easier for stakeholders and SDOs to effectively obtain information about standards in similar stages of development as well as existing standards, potentially cutting down on new standards that unintentionally duplicate aspects of previously existing standards.

The workshop report and related workshop documents are available here.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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