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Encyclopedia > ISBN

The International Standard Book Number, or ISBN (sometimes pronounced "is-ben"), is a unique[1] identifier for books, intended to be used commercially. The ISBN system was created in the United Kingdom in 1966 by the booksellers and stationers W H Smith and originally called Standard Book Numbering or SBN (still used in 1974). It was adopted as international standard ISO 2108 in 1970. A similar identifier, the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), is used for periodical publications such as magazines. From 1 January 2007, ISBNs will be 13 digits long.[2] Identifiers (IDs) are lexical tokens that name entities. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... This article is about the retail chain; for people of that name, see William Henry Smith. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1974 calendar). ... The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from national standards bodies. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... ISSN, or International Standard Serial Number, is the unique eight-digit number applied to a periodical publication including electronic serials. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2007 (MMVII) will be a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents


Overview

Each edition and variation (except reprints) of a book receives its own ISBN. The number is either 10 or 13 digits long, and consists of four or five parts:

  1. if 13-digit ISBN, a GS1 Prefix, either 978 or 979
  2. the country of origin or language code,
  3. the publisher,
  4. the item number, and
  5. a checksum character.

The different parts can have different lengths and are usually separated by hyphens (-) or tildes (~). Hyphens are not strictly necessary however, since prefix codes are used, which ensure that no two codes start the same way. If present, hyphens must be placed correctly (instructions are given here); however they are not sufficient since different agencies are responsible for allocating different ISBN subranges and a complete, up-to-date list is not available at isbn.org. GS1 is a global organization dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors. ... A checksum is a form of redundancy check, a very simple measure for protecting the integrity of data by detecting errors in data that is sent through space (telecommunications) or time (storage). ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


The country field is 0 or 1 for English speaking countries, 2 for French speaking countries, 3 for German speaking countries, 4 for Japanese, 5 for Russian, etc. (The original SBN lacked the country field, but prefixing 0 to a 9-digit SBN creates a valid ISBN.) The country field can be up to 5 digits long; 99936 for instance is used for Bhutan. See this complete list.


The publisher number is assigned by the national ISBN agency, and the item number is chosen by the publisher. There is, in general, no requirement for a publisher to assign an ISBN to a book nor for that book to display its number—but see below for the exception in China. However, many bookstores will only deal with items bearing an ISBN.


Publishers receive blocks of ISBNs, with larger blocks going to publishers that are expected to need them; a small publisher might receive ISBNs consisting of a digit for the language, seven digits for the publisher, and a single digit for the individual items. Once that block is used up, the publisher can receive another block of numbers, with a different publisher number. As a consequence, different publisher numbers may correspond to the same publisher.


The International ISBN Agency [1] in its official manual [2] states that the 10-digit ISBN check digit, which is the last digit of the 10 digit ISBN, is calculated on a modulus 11 with weights 10 to 2, using X in lieu of 10 where ten would occur as a check digit. This means that each of the first nine digits of the 10-digit ISBN—excluding the check digit itself—is multiplied by a number in a sequence from 10 to 2 and that the resulting sum of the products, plus the check digit, must be divisible by 11 without a remainder. A check digit is a form of redundancy check used for error detection, the decimal equivalent of a binary checksum. ... Modular arithmetic (sometimes called modulo arithmetic) is a system of arithmetic for integers, where numbers wrap around after they reach a certain value — the modulus. ...


By this method the calculation for the 10-digit ISBN whose first nine digits are 0-306-40615 would be done thus:

 10×0 + 9×3 + 8×0 + 7×6 + 6×4 + 5×0 + 4×6 + 3×1 + 2×5 = 0 + 27 + 0 + 42 + 24 + 0 + 24 + 3 + 10 = 130 The next complete multiple of 11 is 12×11 = 132 132 - 130 = 2 

So the check digit is 2, and the complete sequence is ISBN 0-306-40615-2.


A second method to find the check digit is by first multiplying each digit of the 10-digit ISBN by that digit's place in the number sequence from 1 to 9, with the leftmost digit being multiplied by 1, the next digit by 2, and so on. Next, take the sum of these multiplications and calculate the sum modulo 11, with "10" represented by the character "X". For example, to find the check digit for the 10-digit ISBN whose first nine digits are 0-306-40615: Modular arithmetic (sometimes called modulo arithmetic) is a system of arithmetic for integers, where numbers wrap around after they reach a certain value — the modulus. ...

 1×0 + 2×3 + 3×0 + 4×6 + 5×4 + 6×0 + 7×6 + 8×1 + 9×5 = 0 + 6 + 0 + 24 + 20 + 0 + 42 + 8 + 45 = 145 = 13×11 + 2 

So the check digit is 2, and the complete sequence is ISBN 0-306-40615-2.


The two most common errors which occur when handling an ISBN number (e.g., typing it in or writing it down) are an altered digit or transposition of adjacent digits. Since 11 is a prime number, the ISBN check digit method ensures that these two kinds of errors will always be detected. In mathematics, a prime number (or a prime) is a natural number that has exactly two (distinct) natural number divisors, which are 1 and the prime number itself. ...


EAN format used in barcodes, and planned upgrade

Currently, the barcodes found on the backs of books (or inside front covers of mass-market paperbacks) are EAN-13; they may be "Bookland"—that is, with a separate barcode encoding five digits for the currency and recommended retail price. There is a detailed description of the EAN13 format here. "978", the asset code for books, is prepended to the ISBN in the barcode data, and the check digit is recalculated according to the EAN13 formula (modulo 10, 1x, and 3x weighting on alternate digits). European Article Numbering-Uniform Code Council (EAN-UCC) is the international organization of product barcodes that are printed on almost everything that is sold in stores worldwide. ... Bookland is an imaginary place created in the 1980s in order to have an EAN Country Code reserved for books, regardless of country of origin, to accommodate the large number of books published worldwide each year. ...


Because of a pending shortage in certain ISBN categories, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) started migrating to a thirteen-digit ISBN (sometimes referred to as ISBN-13) in a process that began on 1 January 2005 and will finish on 1 January 2007. This move will also bring the ISBN system into line with the UPC barcode system. There is a FAQ document about this change. Existing ISBNs will be prefixed with "978" (and the check digit recalculated); as the "978" ISBNs are exhausted, the "979" prefix will be introduced. This is expected to happen more rapidly outside the US. Note that publisher identification codes are unlikely to be the same in 978 and 979 ISBNs. Moreover, the old ISBN check digit for a book (when they were 10 digits long) is generally not going to be the same as the book's new check digit in its 13-digit ISBN number. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from national standards bodies. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2007 (MMVII) will be a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Universal Product Code (UPC) is one of a wide variety of bar code languages called symbologies. ...


Since the new 13-digit ISBNs will be identical to the EAN barcoded format of any existing 10-digit ISBNs, this process will not break compatibility with any existing barcodes. This means that moving to an EAN-based system will allow booksellers to use a single numbering system for both book and non-book products without breaking backwards compatibility with existing ISBN-based information, and with only minimal changes to their information technology (IT) systems. For this reason, many booksellers, including Barnes & Noble, have already opted to start the process of phasing out usage of ISBNs in favour of using EAN codes as of March 2005. Information technology (IT, also known as Information and Communication(s) Technology (ICT) and Infocomm, especially in Asia) is a broad subject concerned with technology and other aspects of managing and processing information, especially in large organizations. ... A bookstore. ... A typical Barnes & Noble bookstore. ...


However, there is one interesting flaw in the adoption of the EAN barcode system: it is less capable of detecting errors by comparison to the old system. The EAN barcode uses modulus 10 (which is not a prime), and the particular system of weights that are used to compute check digits for EAN allows EAN to detect any single digit error, but not all adjacent transposition errors. Since the 10-digit ISBN system was able to detect both of these kinds of errors, the upgrade to EAN for broad-based compatibility is actually a downgrade in terms of error detection.


ISBNs and book censorship in the People's Republic of China

ISBNs are used as a means of book censorship in the People's Republic of China. For a printer to legally print a run of books, they must have an ISBN, which are assigned in blocks to state owned publishing houses. However, since the 1990s, this means of censorship has become much less effective as state publishing houses, which have been weaned from government subsidy like all state owned enterprises, will now sell ISBNs to the highest bidder without regard to the content. A state-owned enterprise (SOE) is an enterprise, often a corporation, owned by a government. ...


See also

The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a product identification number used by Amazon. ... Electronic Standard Book Number or an ESBN or a Numly Number can be considered as a digital form of a International Standard Book Number with some notable differences. ... The International Standard Music Number or ISMN is a ten-character alphanumeric identifier for printed music. ... For other uses, see Isan (disambiguation). ... ISSN, or International Standard Serial Number, is the unique eight-digit number applied to a periodical publication including electronic serials. ... International Semantic Web Conference International Symposium on Wearable Computers International Standard Musical Work Code Category: ... The Library of Congress Control Number or LCCN is a serially based system of numbering books in the Library of Congress in the United States. ... Wikipedia (IPA: , or ) is a multilingual Web-based free-content encyclopedia. ...

External links

National and international agencies
Online tools
  • Free 10-digit to 13-digit conversion tool
  • The ISBN tools website has open-source Java classes to implement 10- and 13-digit ISBNs.
  • Publisher access system for Books In Print and Global Books In Print database products
  • Kimba Kano—Internet Explorer and Firefox add-on adding built-in ISBN & ASIN searching.
  • ISBN check form checks checksum; outputs list of possible correct ISBN when the input is incorrect.
  • ISBNdb.com—find books by ISBN, author, title, subject, et cetera; auto-corrects ISBN checksums if needed.
  • ISBN.nu—offers free searching of a titles database.
  • Yet another ISBN lookup tool that searches a number of database and bookseller sites.
  • RFC 3187 Using International Standard Book Numbers as Uniform resource names (URN)
  • Online tool to produce barcodes from ISBNs.
  • ISBN-13 For Dummies
  • Implementation guidelines (pdf document) for the 13 digit ISBN code.
  • ISBN-10 To ISBN-13 Web Service ISBN-10 To ISBN-13 Web Service and Online Tools.
  • ISBN Encoding Learn how it works, see how it converts to a barcode

European Article Numbering-Uniform Code Council (EAN-UCC) is the international organization of product barcodes that are printed on almost everything that is sold in stores worldwide. ... EAS may stand for: Equivalent airspeed, in Aeronautics Emergency Alert System, a US government system Electrophilic aromatic substitution, an organic reaction Experimental and Applied Sciences, a sports nutrition company Early Admission Scheme, in Hong Kong Electronic article surveillance European Astronomical Society European Administrative School in Luxembourg European Administrative School in... EBS can mean several things: EBS Building Society, a financial institution in Ireland Electronic Broking Services, a large private foreign exchange trading system over which much of the worlds interbank forex trading is executed electronically Elnasr Boys School in Alexandria, Egypt (one of the biggest schools in the city... CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) was a planned method of emergency broadcasting to the public of the United States in the event of World War III. It served two purposes; to prevent Soviet bombers from homing-in on American cities by using broadcast stations as beacons, and to provide essential... Categories: Stub ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Occasionally publishers will use an ISBN in error for more than one title (for example, the first edition of "The Ultimate Alphabet" and "The Ultimate Alphabet Answerbook" have the same ISBN). Conversely, at least one book has been published with four ISBN numbers printed inside, depending on the binding and which of the two joint publishers were deemed applicable to a particular copy.
  2. ^ http://www.lac-bac.gc.ca/iso/tc46sc9/isbn.htm

  Results from FactBites:
 
ISBN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1566 words)
The ISBN system was created in the United Kingdom in 1966 by the booksellers and stationers W H Smith and originally called Standard Book Numbering or SBN (still used in 1974).
The International ISBN Agency [1] in its official manual [2] states that the 10-digit ISBN check digit, which is the last digit of the 10 digit ISBN, is calculated on a modulus 11 with weights 10 to 2, using X in lieu of 10 where ten would occur as a check digit.
ISBN check form checks checksum; outputs list of possible correct ISBN when the input is incorrect.
ISBN - definition of ISBN in Encyclopedia (763 words)
The ISBN system was created in the United Kingdom in 1966 by the booksellers and stationers W H Smith and originally called Standard Book Numbering or SBN.
Because of a pending shortage in certain ISBN categories the international standards organization will be moving to a thirteen digit ISBN with effect from 1 January 2007.
ISBN check form (http://www.isbn-check.com) checks checksum; outputs list of possible correct ISBN when the input is incorrect.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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