International Standard Serial Number


July 6, 2022

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number, International Standard Serial Number)[1] is an international 8-digit code that is used to identify periodical publications and continuous resources of all kinds and published in any medium, whether printed on paper or in digital format, avoiding the work and possible errors of transcribing the title or the relevant bibliographic information. It is reserved for serial publications such as newspapers and periodicals.[2] The ISSN allows classifications to be standardized, in libraries for example. In books, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is used. The ISSN is standardized by the ISO 3297 text (ICS No. 01.140.20).


The ISSN is made up of the characters "ISSN" followed by two groups of four figures separated by hyphens. The last figure, located in the eighth position, serves as the control key; can sometimes take the value "X", which represents the number 10. Contrary to the ISBN, the numbers of the ISSN do not mean anything in themselves. They are assigned sequentially, regardless of country of origin, language, etc. Each ISSN corresponds to a title-key as well as a date of beginning of publication. The end date is normally set to "9999". The key-title is made up of the name of the publication and, possibly, by a qualifier, frequently the place of publication.

Role of the ISSN

The ISSN unequivocally identifies a serial publication, and can fulfill the following functions, among others: Identification of a title of a serial publication in any language and anywhere in the world. Convenient and economical method of communication between publishers and distributors, making commercial supply systems more agile and efficient. Use in libraries, documentation centers and information units for efficient identification, acquisition and management of serial publications as well as claiming lost numbers. Simplification of procedures in interlibrary loan systems, facilitating the identification of titles in union catalogues. It facilitates the automated processing of data on serial publications. Improves control in legal deposit systems and barcode assignment. In scholarly citations, it allows you to cite a serial publication accurately and unequivocally.

Publications that can count on the ISSN

Printed or brochures microforms Editions with special languages ​​for the disabled mixed media phonograms Computer-readable tapes designed to produce lists Other media including visuals Journals yearbooks pdf

Calculation of the control key

A weighting is assigned to each position (from 8 to 2 in decreasing order) and the products thus obtained are summed. The remainder of the Euclidean division of this number by 11 is preserved. This number is subtracted from 11: it is the key. Example: For the ISSN number (7 digits) ISSN 0395-203, what is the control key? Which makes a total of 0+21+54+25+8+0+6114, whose remainder from Euclidean division by 11 is 4 (114/1110x11+4). The control key is thus 11-47. The full ISSN is: ISSN 0395-2037.


The ISSN-L (from the English Linking ISSN) is a unique specific ISSN number that groups the different editions of the same serial publication, published in various media or supports, such as print, online, CD, etc., each of which have their own ISSN assigned. The ISSN-L number is one of the existing ISSN numbers assigned to the publication, matching that of the paper version, if any.[3]

Similar systems

ASIN: Amazon Standard Identification Number or Amazon Standard Identification Number. ISBN: International Standard