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Though the electronic development and dissemination of standards does reduce costs such as printing, warehousing, and shipping hard-copy standards, the cost of producing and distributing - as well as maintaining - standards and standards-related information remains. Most expenses related to standards development and maintenance remain regardless of the method of distribution.
Summarized below are several of the factors impacting the final price of a standard.
Supporting the standards development process.
While most of the people working on standards development are volunteers, standards developers incur expense in the coordination of these voluntary efforts. From the time a new project is started through the final balloting and adoption of a standard and the subsequent maintenance procedures, much effort is involved in supporting the volunteers who actually write the documents. Meetings are scheduled; minutes and draft documents are distributed; and there remains a constant requirement for public notification about the activity. For international standards, the cost of standards also covers the cost of operating the ISO and IEC central secretariats.