ISSN Registry

What is an ISSN?
The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an internationally accepted code which identifies the title of serial publications. It is an eight digit number consisting of seven digits plus a check digit which enables a computer to recognize when the number is incorrectly cited. The check digit may be an X, otherwise the ISSN is fully numeric.

Who uses an ISSN?

Publishers who wish to identify their serial publications and incorporate a barcode on the magazine, journal or newspaper for sale via the major retailers.
Libraries which use the ISSN as a fundamental identifier for distinguishing between identical serial titles and facilitating checking and ordering procedures, collection management, legal deposit, interlibrary loans etc.

Catalogue databases which use the ISSN as a record control number and can make use of the records on the ISSN register.

Documentation centers and databases which handle bibliographic references and use the ISSN for more accurate serials citation, abstracting and indexing services etc.
Subscription agencies who act as intermediaries between publishers and their customers use the ISSN to ensure the correct serial publication is ordered.
Academics who wish to cite in full details of publications for research purposes.
Retailers / wholesalers who use ISSN based barcodes within their own internal systems in order to assess and control magazine/newspaper circulation.

What is ISSN assigned to?
ISSN is assigned to the titles of serial publications in accordance with the definition below:

A continuing resource in any medium, issued in a succession of discrete parts [and having a common title], usually bearing numbering, that has no predetermined conclusion. Examples of serials include journals, magazines, electronic journals, ongoing directories, annual reports, newspapers, and monographic series.
ISSN may also be assigned to online journal titles, CD-ROMs and diskettes which are intended to be issued on a continuous basis. Different editions of serials must have different ISSN. This applies to different language editions, regional editions and different physical formats (e.g. CD-ROM, online and print versions of a journal title have separate numbers). However ISSN is not assigned to Internet resources consisting predominantly of links, nor individual or company home pages including Weblogs.

Printing the ISSN
The number should be printed like this: ISSN 0000-0000
It should be preceded by the initials ISSN followed by a single space; then the first four digits; then a hyphen; then the last four digits.

This form of presentation has no particular significance but it is intended to make the ISSN easier to read and to recognize internationally. The ISSN should preferably be printed on the top right-hand corner of the cover of a printed journal. However, if design, binding or other considerations mean the cover is unsuitable the number may be printed in some other prominent position, for example along with other bibliographical information such as the name of the publisher. In electronic resources the ISSN should appear on the title screen or main menu and, if applicable, on any labels permanently affixed to the publication. The printing of the number is voluntary, but is recommended in order to gain the full benefits of the ISSN system.

The ISSN system
The ISSN network consists of more than eighty national centers worldwide that are responsible for assigning ISSN to serials published in their own countries. The system is co-ordinated by the International Centre in Paris who also takes the responsibility for assigning numbers to serials published in countries that do not have their own ISSN National Centre and to serials published by International Organizations.

Obtaining an ISSN
ISSN numbers can be issued in advance of publication via the application form which can be completed and sent online, or printed out and faxed / posted to us. The basic information required is:
Proposed title (working titles / project titles are not sufficient);
Frequency of publication£»
Proposed start date (month / year);
Publisher name and address.

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