July 6, 2022

ISBN is an abbreviation for International Standard Book Number. ISBN is a frequently used system for identifying books and is intended for commercial use. In the ISBN system, each book title has its own unique ISBN code for each variation or edition of the book. The ISBN system was created in the United Kingdom in 1966 and became an international standard (ISO 2108) in 1970. The ISBN code then consisted of nine digits and one control digit and is also called ISBN-10. Norway introduced the ISBN in 1971.

Multiple media types

ISBN can be used for publications regardless of physical format. This means that it is also used for audio books and certain types of DVDs and Internet documents. The number is voluntary, but distributors and booksellers will usually require the publication to have an ISBN. ISBN can be used even if the publication is not published for sale. There is also no requirement for the publisher to be officially registered. Corresponding identifiers: International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), used for periodicals such as magazines and journals, and International Standard Music Number (ISMN), are used for music prints and notes (not audio recordings).

Thirteen digits

As an adaptation to the EAN system's thirteen-digit code for marking goods, the ISBN was given a three-digit prefix as of 1 January 2007 (978 or 979). The ISBN now has twelve digits and one check digit (ISBN-13) in the same way as EAN 13. The number after the prefix is ​​divided into four digit groups: Country or group number (for example 82 for Norway, 0 or 1 for English-speaking countries (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, ...), 2 for French-speaking countries (France, Canada, ...), 3 for German-speaking countries ( Germany, Austria, Switzerland, ...)). Publisher number / publisher number. Large publishers usually have publisher numbers with few digits, which allows for many title numbers. Small publishers have long publisher numbers, and only room for 10 or 100 title numbers. Title number or production number; unique to each new edition of a book. (Not for new editions). Check digit that determines whether the previous digits are correctly composed. This is calculated as a weighted sum of the other digits. The 10- and 13-digit ISBNs use different weights for the digits and ISBN-10 is calculated against 11. The control digit for ISBN-10 can assume values ​​from 0 to 9 and X, while for ISBN-13 the control digit is in the range from 0 to 9. The digit groups is separated by hyphens or spaces. This is not strictly necessary because the number groups are made with introductory characters in such a way that no codes begin in the same way. The groups have no fixed size. In the same way that countries / languages ​​with large book production will have shorter country / group numbers than those with small production, large publishers will also have shorter publisher numbers. A 10-digit ISBN can be converted to a 13-digit ISBN. It then gets 978 as a prefix, nine digits from the old number and a new check digit.


External links

(fr) Official Website (en) ISBN category of images, video or audio on Commons ISBN office in Norway ISO 2108: 2005 at ISO 2108: 2005 on Standard Norway