What is an ISSN?
An ISSN is an 8-digit code used to identify newspapers, journals, magazines
and periodicals of all kinds and on all media–print and electronic.
- Which publications are concerned by an ISSN?
- What form does an ISSN take?
- What is its role?
- Where is it displayed?
Which publications are concerned by an ISSN?
An ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) identifies all continuing resources,
irrespective of their medium (print or electronic)
- Annual Publications (reports, directories, lists, etc.)
In many countries, an ISSN is mandatory for all publications subject to the legal deposit.
What form does an ISSN take?
- The ISSN takes the form of the acronym ISSN followed by two groups of four digits,
separated by a hyphen.
- The eighth digit is a check digit calculated according to a modulus 11 algorithm on
the basis of the 7 preceding digits; this eighth control digit may be an “X” if the result of the
computing is equal to “10”, in order to avoid any ambiguity.
What is its role?
- The ISSN role is to identify a publication
- It is a digital code without any intrinsic meaning:
- It does not include any information about the origin or contents of the publication
- It does not guarantee the quality or validity of the contents.
- The ISSN is associated with the title of the publication. If the publication is modified
significantly, a new ISSN must be assigned.
Where is it displayed?
For a print publication, the ISSN should be shown:
- Preferably, in the upper right corner of the cover.
- Failing that, on the pages where editorial information is shown (publisher, frequency, colophon, etc.)
- For a publication in electronic media, the ISSN should be shown:
- On the homepage or on the main menu, if it is an online publication
- On any part visible to the naked eye (microfiche header, CD-Rom or DVD label, box, case, etc.),
if the publication is on a physical medium
- If a publication is identified by ISSN and ISBN, both of these identifiers should be mentioned.