Standards help to make life simpler and to increase the reliability and the effectiveness of many goods and services we use. Standards are created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties such as the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators of a particular material, product, process or service." To the advantages given above delivering interoperability can be added.

Standards typologies comprise the following:

1: De facto: standards not formally recognised by a standards setting body, but widely used and recognised by the sector using them as a standard
2: De iure: standards formally recognised by a standards setting body (e.g. ISO). They are developed by the common consent of a group of interested parties, with no one party being dominant. They can take a significant amount to time to develop and establish, sometimes leading to them being over-taken by technological developments
3: In-house: standards developed and used in a particular organisation, for a particular purpose (e.g.: a local place name terminology)
4: Community: standards developed by a set of organisations in the same sector for use within that sector (e.g.: the UK museum documentation standard SPECTRUM developed and mantained by Collection Trust)
5: National: standards developed for use within a single country and recognised at a national level (e.g.: nationally standards terminologies)
6: International: standards recognised and used throughout the world, nearly always approved by an international standards setting body (e.g. ISO 8601 - Data elements and interchange formats – Information interchange – Representation of dates and times is an international standard for date and time).

Note that for some standards it is possible for them to begin as one type and then, with further work and taking part in an approval process, become another type. For example the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM), was originally developed by the CIDOC Documentation Standards Working Group, as a community standard; it is now an ISO standard (ISO 21127:2006). Another type of standard is the open standard.

Source: ATHENA WP3 (2011), Digitisation: standards landscape for european museums, archives, libraries, pp. 7-12

See also: Interoperability, ISO, ISO norm

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