Writing a standard can be a daunting task. To help you out, here are some things to get you started.
Useful Tools and Information
Our templates are designed to meet our style requirements. Sometimes Working Groups want to use their own templates. Please don’t! Going rogue often creates unforeseen problems and slows down the production process. Templates and instructions for Microsoft Word® or Adobe FrameMaker® can be found on the Resources page. If you want to use something else, please contact us before you begin your work.
While it’s important to meet all editorial requirements set forth in the Style Manual, experience has shown a few concepts that might need a little extra attention.
Do you understand the difference between normative and informative?
Is this reference Normative or Informative?
Normative references are necessary for the implementation of the document.
A normative reference is a source that users of the standard must have on hand and understand in order to correctly implement the material contained in the draft. Normative references must also be cited within normative text. Additional guidelines for creating the normative reference clause can be found in the Style Manual.
Documents that serve as supplemental information, that are found useful when researching the material, and that are not needed for the implementation of the document are typically informative and therefore belong in an informative annex entitled Bibliography.
IEEE Std 1588TM-2008, IEEE Standard for a Precision Clock Synchronization Protocol for Networked Measurement and Control Systems.
IEEE P215TM/D4 (May 2018), IEEE Draft Standard for How Things Work.
Doe, J., John Doe’s Electron Handbook. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Doe, John, and Ann Nonymous, “Path of the Modern Electron,” Electrolysis Monthly, April 2009.
www.electrons.com, (accessed May 11, 2011).
Are you borrowing material from other sources?
Generally, importing by reference is strongly preferred over duplicating content from previously published works. If, however, you must reproduce the content, please obtain copyright permission from the owner. Additional information can be found on the Copyright Policy page.
Are you writing a standard? Recommended practice? Guide?
Standards have their own language and it's important to be familiar with it. When you begin writing your draft, you will need to understand the meaning of the following verbs.
“Shall” indicates a mandatory requirement and is the preferred verb for standards.
“Should” indicates a recommendation and is the preferred verb for recommended practices.
“May” indicates a permissible action and is the preferred verb for guides.
“Can” indicates possibility and capability and is generally used in guides.
Please see Word usage in the Style Manual for more information.
What is the IEEE SA policy on commercial terms and conditions?
See the conditions set forth in 6.2 of the IEEE SA Standards Board Operations Manual.
What are the requirements for creating figure images?
Figures are an effective way to convey complex information. When creating figures, use these requirements.
Is “absolute verbiage” used in the document?
Avoid making guarantees if there is a possibility of unforeseen situations or circumstances altering the outcome.
When the document is ready for IEEE SA ballot, what’s next?
It is time for MEC review (Mandatory Editorial Coordination). Staff reviews the draft to help ensure conformance with the IEEE SA Style Manual and editorial requirements.