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International Standard Serial Number

International Standard Serial Number

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Encyclopedia
An International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a unique eight-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication
Periodical publication
Periodical literature is a published work that appears in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most familiar examples are the newspaper, often published daily, or weekly; or the magazine, typically published weekly, monthly or as a quarterly...

. Periodicals published in both print and electronic form may have two ISSNs, a print ISSN (p-ISSN) and an electronic ISSN (e-ISSN or eISSN). The ISSN system was first drafted as an ISO international standard
International standard
International standards are standards developed by international standards organizations. International standards are available for consideration and use, worldwide...

 in 1971 and published as ISO 3297 in 1975. The ISO subcommittee TC 46/SC 9
TC 46/SC 9
ISO TC 46/SC 9 is the ninth subcommittee of ISO technical committee 46, and is responsible for identification and description of information resources.-ISO standards overseen:Note: All names are in the format of International Standard...

 is responsible for the standard.

Code format


The format of the ISSN is an eight digit number, divided by a hyphen into two four-digit numbers. The last digit, which may be 0–9 or an X, is a check digit
Check digit
A check digit is a form of redundancy check used for error detection, the decimal equivalent of a binary checksum. It consists of a single digit computed from the other digits in the message....

. The ISSN of the journal Hearing Research, for example, is 0378-5955, the check digit is 5.

To calculate the check digit, the following algorithm may be used:
Calculate the sum of the first seven digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right — that is, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2, respectively:
.
The modulus
Modulo operation
In computing, the modulo operation finds the remainder of division of one number by another.Given two positive numbers, and , a modulo n can be thought of as the remainder, on division of a by n...

 11 of this sum is then calculated: divide the sum by 11 and determine the remainder.
.

If there is no remainder the check digit is 0, otherwise the remainder value is subtracted from 11 to give the check digit:
5 is the check digit.

An upper case X in the check digit position indicates a check digit of 10.


To confirm the check digit, calculate the sum of all eight digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right (if the check digit is X, then add 10 to the sum). The modulus 11 of the sum must be 0.

Code assignment


ISSN codes are assigned by a network of ISSN National Centres, usually located at national libraries
National library
A national library is a library specifically established by the government of a country to serve as the preeminent repository of information for that country. Unlike public libraries, these rarely allow citizens to borrow books...

 and coordinated by the ISSN International Centre based in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. The International Centre is an intergovernmental organization
International organization
An intergovernmental organization, sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states , or of other intergovernmental organizations...

 created in 1974 through an agreement between UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 and the French government. The International Centre maintains a database of all ISSNs assigned worldwide, the ISDS Register (International Serials Data System) otherwise known as the ISSN Register. , the ISSN Register contained records for 1,555,307 items.

Comparison to other identifiers


ISSN and ISBN
International Standard Book Number
The International Standard Book Number is a unique numeric commercial book identifier based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering code created by Gordon Foster, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin, for the booksellers and stationers W.H...

 codes are similar in concept, where ISBNs are assigned to individual book
Book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

s. An ISBN might be assigned for particular issues of a periodical, in addition to the ISSN code for the periodical as a whole. An ISSN, unlike the ISBN code, is an anonymous identifier associated with a periodical title, containing no information
Information
Information in its most restricted technical sense is a message or collection of messages that consists of an ordered sequence of symbols, or it is the meaning that can be interpreted from such a message or collection of messages. Information can be recorded or transmitted. It can be recorded as...

 as to the publisher or its location
Location (geography)
The terms location and place in geography are used to identify a point or an area on the Earth's surface or elsewhere. The term 'location' generally implies a higher degree of can certainty than "place" which often has an ambiguous boundary relying more on human/social attributes of place identity...

. For this reason a new ISSN is assigned to a periodical each time it undergoes a major title change.

Since the ISSN applies to an entire periodical a new identifier, the Serial Item and Contribution Identifier
Serial Item and Contribution Identifier
The Serial Item and Contribution Identifier is a code used to uniquely identify specific volumes, articles or other identifiable parts of a periodical...

, was built on top of it to allow references to specific volumes, articles, or other identifiable components (like the table of contents
Table of contents
A table of contents, usually headed simply "Contents" and abbreviated informally as TOC, is a list of the parts of a book or document organized in the order in which the parts appear...

).

Availability


The ISSN Register is not freely available for interrogation on the web but is available by subscription. There are several routes to the identification and verification of ISSN codes for the general public.
  • the print version of a periodical typically will include the ISSN code as part of the publication information
  • most periodical websites contain ISSN code information
  • derivative lists of publications will often contain ISSN codes; these can be found through on-line searches with the ISSN code itself or periodical title
  • WorldCat
    WorldCat
    WorldCat is a union catalog which itemizes the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories which participate in the Online Computer Library Center global cooperative...

     permits searching their catalog by ISSN by entering "issn:"+ISSN code in the query field. One can also go directly to an ISSN's record by appending it to http://www.worldcat.org/ISSN/, e.g. http://www.worldcat.org/ISSN/1021-9749. This does not query the ISSN Register itself but rather shows whether any Worldcat library holds an item with the given ISSN.


Use in URNs


An ISSN can be encoded as a Uniform Resource Name
Uniform Resource Name
A uniform resource name is a uniform resource identifier that uses the urn scheme and does not imply availability of the identified resource. Both URNs and URLs are URIs, and a particular URI may be a name and a locator at the same time.The functional requirements for uniform resource names are...

, (URN
URN
An urn is a vase-like container.Urn or URN may also refer to:*Uniform Resource Name, a subset of URI*User Requirements Notation, an ITU-T standard*University Radio Nottingham, a university radio station in Nottingham, England...

) by prefixing it with "urn:issn:". For example Rail could be referred to as "urn:issn:1534-0481". If the checksum digit is "X" then it is always encoded in uppercase in a URN.

See also

  • ASIN
    Amazon Standard Identification Number
    The Amazon Standard Identification Number is a unique identification number assigned by Amazon.com and its partners for product identification within the Amazon.com organization. Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.jp, Amazon.cn, and Amazon.es also use ASINs.ASINs...

     (Amazon Standard Identification Number, a proprietary)
  • CODEN
    CODEN
    CODEN – according to ASTM standard E250 – is a six character, alphanumeric bibliographic code, that provides concise, unique and unambiguous identification of the titles of serials and non-serial publications from all subject areas....

     (serial publication identifier currently used by libraries; replaced by the ISSN for new works)
  • DOI
    Digital object identifier
    A digital object identifier is a character string used to uniquely identify an object such as an electronic document. Metadata about the object is stored in association with the DOI name and this metadata may include a location, such as a URL, where the object can be found...

     (Digital Object Identifier)
  • ETTN
    ETTN
    The Electronic Textbook Track Number is a unique numeric identifier of electronic books, journals, conference proceedings etc. ETTN is based upon 13-digit code created by European Magnanimitas Assn....

     (Electronic Textbook Track Number)
  • ISAN
    International Standard Audiovisual Number
    International Standard Audiovisual Number is a unique identifier for audiovisual works and related versions, similar to ISBN for books. It was developed within an ISO TC46/SC9 working group...

     (International Standard Audiovisual Number)
  • ISBN
    International Standard Book Number
    The International Standard Book Number is a unique numeric commercial book identifier based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering code created by Gordon Foster, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin, for the booksellers and stationers W.H...

     (International Standard Book Number)
  • ISMN
    International Standard Music Number
    The International Standard Music Number or ISMN is a thirteen-character alphanumeric identifier for printed music developed by ISO...

     (International Standard Music Number)
  • ISRC
    International Standard Recording Code
    The International Standard Recording Code , defined by ISO 3901, is an international standard code for uniquely identifying sound recordings and music video recordings. IFPI has been appointed by ISO as registration authority for this standard. The ISO technical committee 46, subcommittee 9 is...

     (International Standard Recording Code)
  • ISWC
    International Standard Musical Work Code
    International Standard Musical Work Code is a unique identifier for musical works, similar to ISBN. It is adopted as international standard ISO 15707...

     (International Standard Musical Work Code)
  • LCCN
    Library of Congress Control Number
    The Library of Congress Control Number or LCCN is a serially based system of numbering cataloging records in the Library of Congress in the United States...

     (Library of Congress Control Number)
  • OCLC (Online Computer Library Center)
  • SICI
    Serial Item and Contribution Identifier
    The Serial Item and Contribution Identifier is a code used to uniquely identify specific volumes, articles or other identifiable parts of a periodical...

     (Serial Item and Contribution Identifier)

External links