Frequently asked questions
Serials are print or non-print publications issued in parts, usually bearing issue numbers and/or dates. A serial is expected to continue indefinitely. Serials include magazines, newspapers, annuals (such as reports, yearbooks, and directories), journals, memoirs, proceedings, transactions of societies, and monographic series .
The ISSN is the International Standard Serial Number, which allows the identification of serial publications. It’s a standard numeric code made up of 8 digits whose last digit is a control character that may be the letter “X”.
The ISSN distinguishes a particular serial from others. The ISSN also helps library patrons, libraries, and others who handle large numbers of serials to find and identify titles in automated systems more quickly and easily.
Does the ISSN Have Any Meaning Embedded in the Number?
Unlike the ISBN, which contains country and publisher prefixes, the ISSN contains no inherent meaning.
Who Assigns ISSN?
ISSN is assigned by a network of over 89 centers worldwide coordinated by the ISSN International Centre located in Paris. ISSN is assigned to serials published in India by the NSL being National Centre for ISSN. Serials published outside of India are assigned ISSN by the national center of their country of publication, or, in the case of countries lacking a national center, by the ISSN International Centre. Information about the ISSN network and ISSN centers worldwide can be found on the ISSN International Centre's home page.
What changes affect the ISSN?
Serials often undergo changes (of publisher, frequency, format, edition, country of origin), which do not affect the ISSN. However, if the title changes significantly, a new ISSN must be assigned.
How can one get an ISSN for a Serial?
Publishers should complete an application form and send it to the Centre together with a representation of the serial (either a sample issue, or print ready copy, publisher information, and any other pages giving information about the serial.
How Much Does It Cost to Get an ISSN?
There is no charge for the assignment of the ISSN, or for the use of an ISSN once assigned.
Does one need a separate ISSN for each Issue?
No. ISSN is assigned to the entire serial and stays the same from issue to issue unless you change the title of your serial.
What happens if one changes the title?
Title changes are costly for libraries and can be costly to publishers as well. If there is a change in the title, one needs to apply for a new ISSN at least a month in advance.
How many ISSN do one need?
That depends. For most serials one ISSN for each title under which it has been published is sufficient. But, if your serial is published in different language, regional, or physical editions (e.g., print, electronic), you will probably require a separate ISSN for each edition.
Where and how one should print the ISSN?
The preferred location for printing the ISSN on a printed serial is on the upper right-hand corner of the cover. 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 printed, 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. If a publication is in a series which has its own ISSN, both ISSN should be printed, accompanied by the title to which it pertains.
Does one need to send each issue of published serial?
No. The ISSN office only needs to see one published issue either at the time of registration, or after publication, for ISSN issued prior to the publication of the first issue of a serial.
What is the ISBN?
ISBN or International Standard Book Number is the book counterpart to the ISSN. It is a national and international standard identification number for uniquely identifying books, i.e., publications that are not intended to continue indefinitely.
Can a publication have both an ISSN and an ISBN?
Yes. This situation occurs most commonly with books in a series and with annuals or biennials. The ISBN identifies the individual book in a series or a specific year for an annual or biennial. The ISSN identifies the ongoing series, or the ongoing annual or biennial serial.
How are ISSN used in bar Codes?
The ISSN is used in several bar codes as the title identifier portion of the code. One such code, the SISAC bar code symbol, can be found on scholarly, technical, medical and other subscription-based serials. The SISAC symbol is used by libraries and library-affiliated organizations. The symbol can also represent articles within journals and is used by document delivery services. The other major bar code that uses the ISSN is the EAN (International Article Number).
Who can obtain ISSN?
How to obtain ISSN?
One can obtain ISSN by applying online mode only, apply online after submission of the application take a print out of the submitted application and send it through post along with a specimen copy of the serial in case of print version or a copy of homepage in case of online version to Head, National Science Library, National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), 14 - Satsang Vihar Marg, New Delhi -110067. Contact No. 011-26863759