ISBNs and ISSNs are internationally recognised standards for identifying books and serials. They are used across the book trade to identify works, manage orders and catalogue items.
What are ISBNs and ISSNs?
ISBNs are numbers used to identify editions of books. ISSNs are used for serials (such as journals, magazines and newspapers). They are issued by the national agencies detailed below.
Metadata standards like these are important for libraries and researchers to find and cite works correctly. They also help publishers advertise and sell their books.
How to get International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs)
An ISBN is a 13-digit code which identifies a specific edition of a book title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition.
ISBNs for UK publishers are issued by:
Nielsen UK ISBN Agency
62 Goldsworth Road
Tel: +44 (0)1483 712215
How to get International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN)
An ISSN is an 8-digit code which identifies a serial publication, i.e. a publication issued in successive parts, having a common title, and intended to be continued indefinitely. ISSNs are issued by:
ISSN UK Centre
The British Library
Tel: +44 (0)1937 546959