ISSN-ISBN: The Basics
Mira K Desai
University Department of Extension Education
• They indicate serial numbers.
• They are used for identification and
• They have global currency.
• They refer to print publications of different
nature- now electronic included.
• They are useful in Electronic archiving,
cataloguing and distribution, subscriptions and
management of titles.
• International Standard
• France and UNESCO
• Continuing resource- Serial
• International Standard
• 10-digits now 13-digits
• Depending upon national
office may be charged
• International office or
• Journals, newspapers, or
other types of serials annual
directories, lists, etc.),
databases, blogs, etc.
• All continuing resources,
irrespective of their
medium (print or electronic)
• ISBN registration agency
• Text-based monographic
publications (i.e. one-off
• Different product form (e.g.
paperback, EPUB, .pdf) should
be identified separately.
• Unlike the ISBN, which contains
country and publisher prefixes,
the ISSN contains no inherent
• Has many bar codes as indicator
of nature of publication.
Process of Application?
• Publishers should complete
an application form and
send it to the Centre
.jsp) together with a
representation of the serial
(either a sample issue, or
print ready copy, publisher
information, and any other
pages giving information
about the serial.
• The publisher of the book
should apply for the ISBN
which may be group,
organisation, company or
individual who is
responsible for initiating the
production of a publication.
• Has to apply to national
International ISBN Agency
Indian National Centre for ISSN
Country code: IND
Centre code: 20
Indian National Centre for ISSN NISCAIR
14, Satsang Vihar Marg
Special Institutional Area
Tel: +91-11.2651 6672 / 2653 4535
Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency for
West Block-I, Wing-6, 2nd Floor,
Sector -I, R.K. Puram,
National Agency for ISBN
Why you need ISSN?
• Bibliographical tool: students, researchers, writers of summaries
and librarians can use it to give the precise references.
• Standardised identification digital code, used in IT applications to:
- update files,
- establish links between different files, and
- search for and exchange data.
• Libraries use the ISSN to: identify titles, order and verify serial
publications, and claim missing issues. It also simplifies lending
operations between libraries, as well as controls and verifications
on union catalogues.
• The ISSN is a practical and cost-effective communication tool
between publishers and suppliers.
• It helps commercial distribution systems to be fast and efficient.
Why you need ISBN?
• International Standard Numbering System for
Books, Software, Mixed Media etc. in
Publishing, Distribution, and Library Practices
• While an ISBN is not required to publish a
book, it is needed if one wants to sell it
through standard book distribution channel.
Can a Publication has both numbers?
• This situation occurs most commonly with
books in a series and with annuals or
biennials. The ISBN identifies the individual
book in a series or a specific year for an
annual or biennial. The ISSN identifies the
ongoing series, or the ongoing annual or