The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is a unique eight-digit number used to identify periodical publications of any kind: newspapers, journals, magazines, yearbooks, reports, annual reports, etc.
The Biblioteca de Catalunya manages the ISSN number assignment for serials, published by firms and organizations with their headquarters at Catalonia, since January 2008, due to the transference of functions and services related to this competence to the Generalitat of Catalonia, by the Royal Decree 1405/2007, of October 29 on 2007.
- Any interested organization, regarding the world of publishing, production, marketing, distribution, processing, dissemination and use of serials: publishers, printers, distributors, subscription agents, booksellers, libraries, documentation centers and services indexing and abstracts, can request an ISSN.
The ISSN requests can be processed online or by post mail.
GESTIÓ DE L’ISSN
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- The request form should be filled and send it together with a copy of the cover, the front page, the credit page and pages where editorial information and the legal deposit assignment are printed (in PDF, jpg, photocopy or others)
- If the serial has not been published yet, it should be sent the model of mentioned parts.
- If a serial is already published, it should be sent a copy of the first issue together with another recent issue. Before requesting the ISSN number should be get Legal Deposit number.
- When an ISSN is assigned in advance, it may be printed on the serial, but it does not be valid until receiving a copy of the first issue
- For online publications it is mandatory to facilitate a URL and credentials needed to consultation. The ISSN will be only assigned if it is possible access to Web page. In this case, it is not necessary neither sending a copy of documentation above mentioned nor make a deposit.
The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an eight-digit number which identifies periodical publications as such, including electronic serials according with the ISO 3297 standard. It is a numeric code which is used as an identifier: it has no signification in itself and does not contain in itself any information referring to the origin or contents of the publication. The ISSN is formed by two groups of four digits, separated by a hyphen. The eighth character is a control digit calculated according to module 11 algorithm on the basis of the 7 preceding digits; this eighth control character may be an "X" if the result of the computing is equal to "10", in order to avoid any ambiguity.
It identifies a periodical publication worldwide, in an unambiguous and unequivocal way. It is a basic element for all processes of information, communication, control and management related to this type of publications. It constitutes a quick and efficient communication method among publishers, distributors, booksellers and subscription agencies, because it allows a precise and immediate identification at request orders. It is an adequate base for building barcodes for serials, making easier their commercialization. It implies the building of a worldwide database, which is the International Database of ISSN, which contains more than one million of records and, together with data reliability, represents an essential resource of information about serial publications.
ISSNs are assigned to serial publications; ISBNs are assigned to monographs ("books"). An ISSN can be assigned to a series of monographs as such; and an ISBN will be assigned to each separate book of the series.
The ISSN is not mandatory, but it is recommended to be able of identify each serial in an unambiguous and unequivocal way. Legal deposit is the only mandatory procedure that printer must done, for all kind of publications, at the legal deposit office.
It is a publication, in any medium, issued in successive parts, which usually have numerical or chronological designations and intended to be continued with no predetermined end. Serials include periodicals, newspapers, annuals (reports, yearbooks, directories, etc.), the journals, series, memoirs, proceedings, etc. Unlike other types of publications, the world of serials is particularly changing and complex: the life of a title can be extremely short; many publications can be part of a complex set of relationships and so on. These characteristics have required the introduction of the ISSN.
Just as each serial is associated with a unique number, is also assigned a unique title linked to number, called key title. This title, that may be identical to the title of the publication or can be constructed by adding to it some identifying elements and/or qualifiers to distinguish it from other equal titles, is provided by each ISSN provider, according to ISSN Handbook.
- It should be assigned to each new title. If title changes in a significant way, it is assigned a new ISSN to the new one to avoid confusion. A serial publication has as much ISSN as different titles has had during its life. This will allow a precise identification of each one. In fact, these serials are considered as different publications, even there is a logical link among them.
- For different medium of the same title (Paper, CD-ROM, online, etc.)
A new ISSN should be assigned when the title of the publication is changed. All other possible changes are not taken into account (change of publisher, place of publication, frequency, editorial policy...). However, all mergers with other serials, supplements, other editions etc. should be submitted to the relevant ISSN Center which may decide that separate ISSN are needed. A new ISSN is assigned when a title changes because the basis of the ISSN system is the pair ISSN key/title, both unique. If the same ISSN was to be retained, attached to several titles, ambiguity would crop up again. A new ISSN is also assigned when the medium of the publication changes (for instance a printed publication becomes an electronic publication).
Yes, whenever they are serials or resources published in a continued manner, whatever is the medium of publication (CD-Rom, magnetic, online).
Should it be an ISSN assigned for the different versions of a same publication (paper, online, floppy disk, CD-ROM, microform...)?
Yes, each separate edition on a different medium should have its own ISSN, even if the title is identical. Only reproductions issued as substitutes to the original retain the same ISSN.
No, the ISSN identifies the serial publication (not each issue) and it only changes when title or media change.
Yes, it is.
Yes, the ISSN is used as the identification code by EAN 13, the major bar-coding symbology used in commercial distribution throughout the world.
Yes, it is. This is called a pre-publication assignment. However the publisher should provide all the possible information together with his ISSN request. He should also send a sample issue or copy of the cover, editorial page (name and address of the publisher) once the first issue has been published, to get it definitively.
Yes, there is a request form at the web of the Biblioteca de Catalunya that can be filled online or download and then sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, remember that for off line serial publications, the assignment will not be effective until receiving a copy of the first issue (sent by post or fax)
Yes. The preferred place to print the ISSN on serials is the top right on the cover. Both groups of four digits will be separated by a hyphen and always after by acronym ISSN (ISSN 0000-0000). Other alternative places are the header area, the copyright page, or where are placed the editorial information, frequency and other information on serial. At the non-printed publications, the ISSN should be showed at the title or home page, as far as possible. Other recommended places are the microforms header, labels of cassettes or discs, and other containers.
Digital publications should place the ISSN at the home page and at the specific metadata.
When a publication has ISSN and ISBN, both should be printed.
No. Nobody owns an ISSN nor does the ISSN database act as property registry. The only way of protecting a title or header is making their registration at the Trademark and Patents Office.