About ISSN

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an eight-digit number which identifies periodical publications as such, including electronic serials."Info about ISSN"

What is an ISSN ? 

International Standard Serial Number

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an eight-digit number which identifies periodical publications as such, including electronic serials.

The ISSN 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 takes the form of the acronym ISSN followed by two groups of four digits, separated by a hyphen. The eighth character is a control digit calculated according to a modulo 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.

The ISSN is linked to a standardized form of the title of the identified serial, known as the "key title", which repeats the title of the publication, qualifying it with additional elements in order to distinguish it from other publications having identical titles.

If the title of the publication changes in any significant way, a new ISSN must be assigned in order to correspond to this new form of title and avoid any confusion. A serial publication whose title is modified several times in the course of its existence will be assigned each time a new ISSN, thus allowing precise identification of each form of the title : in fact it is then considered that they are different publications even if there is a logical link between them.

Contrary to other types of publications, the world of serial publications is particularly changeable and complex : the lifetime of a title may be extremely short; many publications may be part of a complex set of relationships, etc. These particularities themselves necessitated the introduction of the ISSN.

Where and how should the ISSN be printed?

On a printed serial, the preferred location for printing the ISSN is on the upper right-hand corner of the cover. It should always be preceded by the letters ISSN. Other good locations are the masthead area, the copyright page, or in the publishing statement where information about the publisher, frequency, and other publication facts are given. On a non-print serial, the ISSN should be displayed, if possible, on an internal source, such as on a title screen or home page. Other suggested locations on non-print serials are on external sources such as microfiche headers, cassette or disc labels, or other containers. If a publication has both an ISSN and an ISBN, each should be printed.

Is the ISSN mandatory?

In certain countries, all serial publications covered by legal deposit must have an ISSN. ISSN are automatically assigned and publishers should ensure that it is printed on each issue.

International ISSN Centre

Centre International de l'ISSN
45 rue de Turbigo
75003 PARIS