Much information on reference materials is available on the internet. There are not only lists or searchable catalogues of available reference materials, but also several documents on the selection and use of reference materials. This page gives an overview over available databases and documents, but does not claim to be exhaustive. These websites are not updated with the same frequency. In case of specific CRMs, we therefore recommend checking the website of the producer for availability and additional information.
International Reference Material databases
Several databases exist that compile information from a multitude of reference material producers:
Most comprehensive database worldwide containing approximately 10 000 CRMs. Quality is controlled via the COMAR Secretariat.
- ERM (European Reference Materials)
Joint reference material database of the ERM consortium, containing also ERM Application Notes.
Database of the AOAC Technical Division for Reference Materials. Registration required to searching for Reference Materials.
- VIRM (Virtual Institute for Reference Materials)
Database of the Virtual Institute for Reference Materials. Registration required to searching for Reference Materials.
- GeoReM (Geological and Environmental Reference Materials)
Database of reference materials and isotopic standards of geochemical and mineralogical interest. It contains about 2200 different materials.
Matrix reference materials from Metrology Institutes and designated institutes of the CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement
National Metrology Institutes and their designated institutes which have signed the Comité International des Poids et Mesures - Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM-MRA) aim at providing measurement tools at highest standard for disseminating metrological traceability. Several of these signatories also produce certified reference materials:
- European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC)
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UN
- Instituto Nacional de Metrologia, Normalização e Qualidade Industrial (INMETRO), BR
- National Research Council of Canada (NRCC), CA (marine toxins), (trace elements)
- National Sharing Platform for Reference Materials (CNRM), CN
- Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und – Prüfung (BAM), DE
- National Metrology Institute of Japan (NMIJ), JP
- Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, KR
- Centro Nacional de Metrología (CENAM), MX
- LGC Standards, UK
Note: LGC used to be the UK national metrology institute for chemical measurements. It has since then been privatised, but stil fulfils this role under funding from the UK government.
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), US
Guides for the selection and use of reference materials
- EA-4/14: Selection and Use of Reference Materials (2003)
Author: This document was prepared by the European Co-operation for accreditation (EA), the European Federation of National Associations of Measurement, Testing and Analytical Laboratories (Eurolab) and Eurachem, a network of organisations in Europe having the objective of establishing a system for the international traceability of chemical measurements and the promotion of good quality practices.
- APLAC TC 012: guidelines for acceptability of chemical reference materials and commercial chemicals for calibration of equipment used in chemical testing.
Author: Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC)