What is ISSN?

BY 8 October 2016 Journals

ISSN stands for International Standard serial number around 89 countries are member of it. ISSN codes consist of eight digits, four before the colon and four after the colon.

It assigns ISSNs to electronic and print world and also maintaining the world databases.

ISSN International Center is located in Paris while national centers are based in member countries.

List of ISSN Member Countries

History of ISSN 

The Statutes of the ISSN International Centre constitute the main part of the 1976 agreement and govern the ISSN International Centre.
They constitute the annexe of the decree.
To take advantage of the Centre’s activities, Member States and associate Members of UNESCO must be members of the Centre.

Three key benefits to join ISSN 

  • increased visibility
  • facilitated sales, including abroad
  • increased recognition of the value of their contents

The ISSN for electronic media

An ISSN can be assigned to all electronic resources: CD-Roms, DVDs, websites, etc. Depending on their types, these resources must meet specific criteria.

  • Electronic publications: online newspapers, CD-Roms, DVDs, etc.
  • “Ongoing integrating resources”: websites, databases, wikis, etc.

Which publications are concerned by an ISSN?

An ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) identifies all continuing resources, irrespective of their medium (print or electronic):

  • newspapers,
  • annual publications (reports, directories, lists, etc.),
  • journals,
  • magazines,
  • collections,
  • websites,
  • databases,
  • blogs,etc.

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.

e. g.:

  • ISSN 0317-8471
  • ISSN 1050-124X

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.
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