International Standard Book Number

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International Standard Book Number
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A 13-digit ISBN, 978-3-16-148410-0, as represented by an EAN-13 bar code
AcronymISBN
OrganisationInternational ISBN Agency
Introduced1970; 50 years ago (1970)
No. of digits13 (formerly 10)
Check digitWeighted sum
Example978-3-16-148410-0
Website

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique.[a][b] Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.[1]

An ISBN is assigned to each separate edition and variation (except reprintings) of a publication. For example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book will each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is ten digits long if assigned before 2007, and thirteen digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007. The method of assigning an ISBN is nation-specific and varies between countries, often depending on how large the publishing industry is within a country.

The initial ISBN identification format was devised in 1967, based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering (SBN) created in 1966. The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization千亿体育官网 (ISO) and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108 (the 9-digit SBN code can be converted to a 10-digit ISBN by prefixing it with a zero digit '0').

Privately published books sometimes appear without an ISBN. The International ISBN Agency sometimes assigns such books ISBNs on its own initiative.[2]

Another identifier, the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), identifies periodical publications such as magazines and newspapers. The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) covers musical scores.

History[edit]

The Standard Book Numbering (SBN) code is a nine-digit commercial book identifier system created by Gordon Foster, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin,[3] for the booksellers and stationers WHSmith and others in 1965.[4] The ISBN identification format was conceived in 1967 in the United Kingdom by David Whitaker[5][6] (regarded as the "Father of the ISBN")[7] and in 1968 in the United States by Emery Koltay[5] (who later became director of the U.S. ISBN agency R.R. Bowker).[7][8][9]

The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108.[4][5] The United Kingdom continued to use the nine-digit SBN code until 1974. ISO has appointed the International ISBN Agency as the registration authority for ISBN worldwide and the ISBN Standard is developed under the control of ISO Technical Committee 46/Subcommittee 9 TC 46/SC 9. The ISO on-line facility only refers back to 1978.[10]

An SBN may be converted to an ISBN by prefixing the digit "0". For example, the second edition of Mr. J. G. Reeder Returns, published by Hodder in 1965, has "SBN 340 01381 8", where "340" indicates the publisher, "01381" is the serial number assigned by the publisher, and "8" is the check digit. By prefixing a zero, this can be converted to ISBN 0-340-01381-8; the check digit does not need to be re-calculated.

Since 1 January 2007, ISBNs have contained thirteen digits, a format that is compatible with "Bookland" European Article Number EAN-13s.[11]

Overview[edit]

A separate ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation (except reprintings) of a publication. For example, an ebook, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover edition of the same book will each have a different ISBN assigned to it.[12]:12 The ISBN is thirteen digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, and ten digits long if assigned before 2007.[11]千亿体育官网 An International Standard Book Number consists of four parts (if it is a 10-digit ISBN) or five parts (for a 13-digit ISBN).

Section 5 of the International ISBN Agency's official user manual[12]:11 describes the structure of the 13-digit ISBN, as follows:

The parts of a 10-digit ISBN and the corresponding EAN‑13 and barcode. Note the different check digits in each. The part of the EAN‑13 labeled "EAN" is the Bookland country code.
  1. for a 13-digit ISBN, a prefix element – a GS1 prefix: so far 978 or 979 have been made available by GS1,
  2. the registration group element (language-sharing country group, individual country or territory),[c]
  3. the registrant element,
  4. the publication element, and
  5. a checksum character or check digit.

A 13-digit ISBN can be separated into its parts (prefix element, registration group, registrant, publication and check digit), and when this is done it is customary to separate the parts with hyphens or spaces. Separating the parts (registration group, registrant, publication and check digit) of a 10-digit ISBN is also done with either hyphens or spaces. Figuring out how to correctly separate a given ISBN is complicated, because most of the parts do not use a fixed number of digits.[d]

ISBN is most often used alongside other special identifiers to describe references in Wikipedia, and can help to find the same sources with different descriptions in various language versions (for example different spellings of the title or authors depending on the language).[14][15]

How ISBNs are issued[edit]

ISBN issuance is country-specific, in that ISBNs are issued by the ISBN registration agency that is responsible for that country or territory regardless of the publication language. The ranges of ISBNs assigned to any particular country are based on the publishing profile of the country concerned, and so the ranges will vary depending on the number of books and the number, type, and size of publishers that are active. Some ISBN registration agencies are based in national libraries or within ministries of culture and thus may receive direct funding from government to support their services. In other cases, the ISBN registration service is provided by organisations such as bibliographic data providers that are not government funded.[16]

A full directory of ISBN agencies is available on the International ISBN Agency website.[17]千亿体育官网 Partial listing:

Registration group identifier[edit]

The ISBN registration group identifier is a 1- to 5-digit number that is valid within a single prefix element (i.e. one of 978 or 979),[12]:11 and can be separated between hyphens, such as "978-1-...". Registration group identifiers have primarily been allocated within the 978 prefix element.[36] The single-digit group identifiers within the 978-prefix element are: 0 or 1 for English-speaking countries; 2 for French-speaking countries; 3 for German-speaking countries; 4 for Japan; 5 for Russian-speaking countries; and 7 for People's Republic of China. An example 5-digit group identifier is 99936, for Bhutan. The allocated group IDs are: 0–5, 600–625, 65, 7, 80–94, 950–989, 9917–9989, and 99901–99983.[37] Books published in rare languages typically have longer group identifiers.[38]

Within the 979 prefix element, the registration group identifier 0 is reserved for compatibility with International Standard Music Numbers (ISMNs), but such material is not actually assigned an ISBN.[39] The registration group identifiers within prefix element 979 that have been assigned are 8 for the United States of America, 10 for France, 11 for the Republic of Korea, and 12 for Italy.[40]

The original 9-digit standard book number (SBN) had no registration group identifier, but prefixing a zero (0) to a 9-digit SBN creates a valid 10-digit ISBN.

Registrant element[edit]

The national ISBN agency assigns the registrant element (cf. Category:ISBN agencies) and an accompanying series of ISBNs within that registrant element to the publisher; the publisher then allocates one of the ISBNs to each of its books. In most countries, a book publisher is not legally required to assign an ISBN, although most large bookstores only handle publications that have ISBNs assigned to them.[41][42][43]

A listing of more than 900,000 assigned publisher codes is published, and can be ordered in book form (1399, US$1959). The web site of the ISBN agency does not offer any free method of looking up publisher codes.[44] Partial lists have been compiled (from library catalogs) for the English-language groups: identifier 0 and identifier 1.

Publishers receive blocks of ISBNs, with larger blocks allotted to publishers expecting to need them; a small publisher may receive ISBNs of one or more digits for the registration group identifier, several digits for the registrant, and a single digit for the publication element. Once that block of ISBNs is used, the publisher may receive another block of ISBNs, with a different registrant element. Consequently, a publisher may have different allotted registrant elements. There also may be more than one registration group identifier used in a country. This might occur once all the registrant elements from a particular registration group have been allocated to publishers.

By using variable block lengths, registration agencies are able to customise the allocations of ISBNs that they make to publishers. For example, a large publisher may be given a block of ISBNs where fewer digits are allocated for the registrant element and many digits are allocated for the publication element; likewise, countries publishing many titles have few allocated digits for the registration group identifier and many for the registrant and publication elements.[45] Here are some sample ISBN-10 codes, illustrating block length variations.

ISBN Country or area Publisher
99921-58-10-7 Qatar NCCAH, Doha
9971-5-0210-0 Singapore World Scientific
960-425-059-0 Greece Sigma Publications
80-902734-1-6 Czech Republic; Slovakia Taita Publishers
85-359-0277-5 Brazil Companhia das Letras
1-84356-028-3 English-speaking area Simon Wallenberg Press
0-684-84328-5 English-speaking area Scribner
0-8044-2957-X English-speaking area Frederick Ungar
0-85131-041-9 English-speaking area J. A. Allen & Co.
93-86954-21-4 English-speaking area Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd.
0-943396-04-2 English-speaking area Willmann–Bell
0-9752298-0-X English-speaking area KT Publishing

Pattern for English language ISBNs[edit]

English-language registration group elements are 0 and 1 (2 of more than 220 registration group elements). These two registration group elements are divided into registrant elements in a systematic pattern, which allows their length to be determined, as follows:[46]

Publication
element length
0 – Registration group element 1 – Registration group element Total
Registrants
From To Registrants From To Registrants
6 digits 0-00-xxxxxx-x 0-19-xxxxxx-x 20 1-01-xxxxxx-x 1-06-xxxxxx-x 6 26
5 digits 0-200-xxxxx-x
0-229-xxxxx-x
0-370-xxxxx-x
0-640-xxxxx-x
0-649-xxxxx-x
0-656-xxxxx-x
0-227-xxxxx-x
0-368-xxxxx-x
0-638-xxxxx-x
0-647-xxxxx-x
0-654-xxxxx-x
0-699-xxxxx-x
495 1-000-xxxxx-x
1-100-xxxxx-x
1-714-xxxxx-x
1-009-xxxxx-x
1-397-xxxxx-x
1-716-xxxxx-x
311 806
4 digits 0-2280-xxxx-x
0-3690-xxxx-x
0-6390-xxxx-x
0-6550-xxxx-x
0-7000-xxxx-x
0-2289-xxxx-x
0-3699-xxxx-x
0-6398-xxxx-x
0-6559-xxxx-x
0-8499-xxxx-x
1,539 1-0700-xxxx-x
1-3980-xxxx-x
1-6860-xxxx-x
1-7170-xxxx-x
1-7900-xxxx-x
1-8672-xxxx-x
1-9730-xxxx-x
1-0999-xxxx-x
1-5499-xxxx-x
1-7139-xxxx-x
1-7319-xxxx-x
1-7999-xxxx-x
1-8675-xxxx-x
1-9877-xxxx-x
2,502 4,041
3 digits 0-85000-xxx-x 0-89999-xxx-x 5,000 1-55000-xxx-x
1-74000-xxx-x
1-77540-xxx-x
1-77650-xxx-x
1-77770-xxx-x
1-80000-xxx-x
1-86760-xxx-x
1-68599-xxx-x
1-77499-xxx-x
1-77639-xxx-x
1-77699-xxx-x
1-78999-xxx-x
1-86719-xxx-x
1-86979-xxx-x
25,420 30,420
2 digits 0-900000-xx-x 0-949999-xx-x 50,000 1-869800-xx-x
1-916506-xx-x
1-987800-xx-x
1-915999-xx-x
1-972999-xx-x
1-998999-xx-x
113,894 163,894
1 digit 0-6399000-x-x
0-6480000-x-x
0-9500000-x-x
0-6399999-x-x
0-6489999-x-x
0-9999999-x-x
511,000 1-7320000-x-x
1-7750000-x-x
1-7764000-x-x
1-7770000-x-x
1-9160000-x-x
1-9990000-x-x
1-7399999-x-x
1-7753999-x-x
1-7764999-x-x
1-7776999-x-x
1-9165059-x-x
1-9999999-x-x
107,060 618,060
Total 568,054 Total 249,193 817,247

Check digits[edit]

A check digit is a form of redundancy check used for error detection, the decimal equivalent of a binary check bit. It consists of a single digit computed from the other digits in the number. The method for the 10-digit ISBN is an extension of that for SBNs, so the two systems are compatible; an SBN prefixed with a zero (the 10-digit ISBN) will give the same check digit as the SBN without the zero. The check digit is base eleven, and can be an integer between 0 and 9, or an 'X'. The system for 13-digit ISBNs is not compatible with SBNs and will, in general, give a different check digit from the corresponding 10-digit ISBN, so does not provide the same protection against transposition. This is because the 13-digit code was required to be compatible with the EAN format, and hence could not contain an 'X'.

ISBN-10 check digits[edit]

According to the 2001 edition of the International ISBN Agency's official user manual,[47] the ISBN-10 check digit (which is the last digit of the 10-digit ISBN) must range from 0 to 10 (the symbol 'X' is used for 10), and must be such that the sum of the ten digits, each multiplied by its (integer) weight, descending from 10 to 1, is a multiple of 11. That is, if xi is the ith digit, then x10千亿体育官网 must be chosen such that: