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What is an ISSN?

The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an internationally recognized identification number for serial publications. An ISSN is an eight-digit standard number that, once assigned, becomes a permanent attribute of the individual serial for as long as it is issued under a given title. Each time the title of a serial is changed, a new ISSN must be assigned. ISSN must never be reused for new or changed serial titles.

ISSN's are assigned by national and regional centres of the international ISSN Network. This system of international coordination ensures that each ISSN is unique to one serial publication.

ISSN's can be used wherever information on serials needs to be recorded or communicated.

Where does the ISSN appear?

Publishers should print the ISSN in a prominent position on every issue of a serial publication. For serials distributed on the Internet and World Wide Web, the ISSN should appear on the first screen of the item. For print serials, the preferred location for the ISSN is the top right-hand corner of the front cover. The eight-digit number must always be preceded by the letters ISSN to avoid any confusion with other numbering systems.
Example: ISSN 0027-9633

It is also useful to cite the ISSN in advertisements, trade literature, book reviews, etc., because ISSN's are widely used to process and verify ordering information.

What is the difference between an ISSN and an ISBN?

International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN) are eight-digit standard numbers for the unique identification of serial publications. Example: ISSN 0027-9633

International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) are ten-digit standard numbers for the unique identification of each edition of a book or other monographic publication (e.g. pamphlets, educational kits, etc.).

Example: ISBN 0-7710-1234-5

Some types of publications, such as annuals or less frequently published serials, may be assigned both an ISSN and an ISBN. Monographs within a monographic series should have both an ISBN for the individual monograph and an ISSN for the entire series.

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