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What is an ISSN?

The ISSN - International Standard Serial Number | Why is the ISSN useful and necessary?  | ISSN identifiers are assigned to | ISSN identifiers are not assined to | What is the difference between the ISSN and ISBN identifiers? | What kind of web publications obtain the ISSN? | ISSN-L (linke-ISSN) | Displaying the ISSN on publications | The ISSN and EAN code | Obtaining the ISSN in Estonia

The ISSN - International Standard Serial Number- is an identification code for serial publications. It is a unique eight-digit number separated by a hyphen into two four-digit groups and preceeded by the letters ISSN (e.g. ISSN 1406-6149). The ISSN does not contain elements for identifying the language, the country or the publisher of the publication.
- The ISSN is related to the title of serial publications - when the title changes, a new ISSN is assigned.

Why is the ISSN useful and necessary?

- It enables quick and exact identification of publications,
- facilitates the ordering and selling of publications worldwide,
- on the basis of the ISSN the EAN Bar Code can be created,
- increases popularity of publications, since all records of publications that have obtained ISSN are sent to the international database of serial publications, ISSN Register in Paris.

ISSN identifiers are assigned to:

Journals, newspapers, annuals (accounts, yearbooks, directories, etc.), serial publications (transactions, collections, etc) regardless of whether these items are issued in print, on CD-ROMs or online.

ISSN identifiers are not assined to:

Publications of temporary value ( ad publications, catalogues, calendars, crossword publications, short-term plans and reports of institutions, etc).

What is the difference between the ISSN and ISBN identifiers?

The ISBN is a book identifier; the ISSN is assigned to serial publications. Book series, transactions and other continuing resources may obtain both identifiers. A serial has a common ISSN which remains the same unless the title of a serial changes. Every specific title of a continuing publication obtains a new ISBN number.

What kind of web publications obtain the ISSN?

The Estonian ISSN Centre suggests that the ISSN be assigned to web publications which
- are parallel versions of print serials (both publications obtain their own ISSN); whereas the content of the web publication should more or less coincide with the content of the print version;
- are issued only online, either in the form of a traditional journal or a serial publication (as numbers or successive parts), or are constantly updated, with their definite titles and responsibility data.

ISSN-L (linke-ISSN)

Beginning from 2009 a new standard number ISSN-L (linke-ISSN) based on the ISSN will be launched in Estonia. The use of the ISSN-L is defined in the new international standard ISO 3297:2007.

The ISSN-L
helps bring together and link various medium versions of serial publications (printed and online items, CD-ROMs),
- regardless of a medium version, enables search in information systems, databases, library catalogues,
- ISSN-L may be connected to other identification and linking systems (e.g. OpenURL).

The ISSN-L will not change the use of an ordinary ISSN, it is only added to it.
The ISSN-L may be obtained from the Estonian ISSN Centre along with an ordinary ISSN.

- ISSN-L numbers are designated to all publications obtaining ISSN identifiers, even though a publication is issued on only one medium.
- ISSN-L will be designated among those ISSNs that have been assigned to various medium versions of a serial publication. ISSN-L is based on the ISSN of the first version of a publication.
- ISSN-L is changed only when the titles of serial publications on various medium versions and ISSNs undergo a change at the same time. If the title and the ISSN are changed only on one medium, the ISSN-L remains the same for all versions.

More information on ISSN-L is available on the homepage of the International ISSN Centre.

Displaying the ISSN on publications

- The ISSN is printed on a visible location of each issue of a serial using the following preference: front cover, title page, back cover. For journals, the ISSN should be displayed on the upper right-hand corner of the front cover.
- For CD-ROMs, the ISSN is displayed on the opening page, the information carrier, and the container
- For web publication, the ISSN is displayed on a visible location on the homepage or the opening page of a publication, preferably close to the title. In case of both, print and online versions, it is preferable to present both ISSNs.
- The suggested location for printing ISSN-L on each publication is above the ISSN.
- ISSN-L 1736-0676
   ISSN 1763-0676
- ISSN-L 1406-0949
   ISSN 1406-0949 (online)
   ISSN 1406-0957 (print)

The ISSN and EAN code

In 1980, an agreement was concluded between the International GS1 Organisation, the International ISBN Agency and the International ISSN Centre with the aim to facilitate obtaining trade item barcodes by the publishers who have joined the standard numbering system. In Estonia, this register is maintained by the non-profit GS1 Estonia who is a member of the GS1 International.
The publications with ISSN identifiers, that are registered in the Estonian ISSN Centre,  obtain EAN-13 barcodes. For this purpose, a publisher should join the non-profit GS1 Estonia organisation.

The address of GS1 Estonia:
Roosikrantsi 2, Tallinn 10119
Phone: 660 5535
Fax: 660 5536
E-mail: info at gs1 dot ee
Homepage: http:/www.gs1.ee

Obtaining the ISSN in Estonia

The Estonian ISSN Centre, operating in the National Library of Estonia since 1995, is the only institution in Estonia which assigns the ISSN to serial publications.
The servise is free of charge.

Estonian ISSN Centre
National Library of Estonia
Tõnismägi 2, Tallinn 15189
Phone: 630 7367 (Mon-Fri - 9.00-17.00)
Fax: 631 1200
E-mail: issn at nlib dot ee
Homepage of the International ISSN Centre: www.issn.org

 

 

 


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