Skip to Main Content

Physical & Digital Collections

Standards: British Standards (BSI)

Standards LibGuide banner in blue and black

Introduction to British Standards

The British Standards Institute (BSI) is the national standards body for the United Kingdom and was awarded a Royal Charter in 1929. The BSI is a private company. 

The role of the BSI is to help improve the quality and safety of products, services and systems by enabling the creation of standards and encouraging their use. The BSI represents the UK's economic and social interests across all European and international standards organizations and in the development of business information solutions for British organizations of all sizes and sectors.

The BSI publishes over 3,100 standards each year, underpinned by a collaborative approach, engaging with industry experts, government bodies, trade associations, businesses of all sizes and consumers to develop standards that reflect good business practice, protect consumers and facilitate international trade.

Access via British Standards Online (BSOL) database

All members of Cambridge University Libraries have access to British Standards Online (BSOL) via the A-Z list of databases. BSOL is a bibliographic, citation and full-text database of more than 55,000 standards. Technical and business content covering a broad range of disciplines for all industry sectors.

It is worth noting that the BSOL database includes access to equivalents of EN, ISO and IEC standards and a browsable index of ASME standards.

For those needing to get off-campus access, use the eresources link and log in with your Raven account.


BSOL and the FileOpen plug-in

From 1 September 2021, all users at academic institutions will need to have the FileOpen plug-in installed on your device in order to access BSI documents within BSOL. Find out more on what’s changing via the BSI website, and access the guidance document which allows you to test the plug-in feature. 

Please contact if you have any concerns.

Access via Electronic Legal Deposit

All members of Cambridge University Libraries can find and access British Standards via Electronic Legal Deposit collections. For information about access, coverage and searching this collection of British Standards, see our Electronic Legal Deposit LibGuide.

  • The collection is fully comprehensive for both current and withdrawn British Standards.
  • Current British Standards are available two weeks after publication date. 
  • For British Standards only, the electronic Legal Deposit collection mirrors what is available on the subscription database British Standards Online (BSOL)
  • See the miscellaneous notes for information about corrections, amendments or if the BS has been withdrawn and replaced. 

To search in iDiscover:

  • Search by title
  • Search by ISBN
  • Search by BS number or other identifier

Please note that Electronic Legal Deposit is not the same as commercially available digital material. All the Legal Deposit Libraries are bound by the same UK legislation that restricts access to this material.

  • Bibliographic records in iDiscover for British Standards can be viewed by anyone anywhere. 
  • Electronic Legal Deposit British Standards can only be viewed in Cambridge University Libraries on dedicated computer terminals
  • Print on demand is available for British Standards. Normal copyright restrictions apply. 

For further help using the iDiscover library catalogue please see the Library guide: iDiscover.

© Cambridge University Libraries | Accessibility | Privacy policy | Log into LibApps