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International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

Definition - What does International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) mean?

An International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a unique serial number used to identify a publication or printed literature. ISSN is an eight-digit number that helps categorizing books, especially those having the same title. Libraries and bookshops keep the details, cataloging and other such information about books according to their unique serial number.

Techopedia explains International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

The International Standard Serial Number is used for serial publications, such as magazines or comic books, as opposed to the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), which is used for books.

The International Standard Serial Number was first approved to be made part of printed publications in a decision made by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1971 and published as ISO 3297 in 1975. A subcommittee responsible for maintaining and keeping check on this application is TC 46/SC 9. With electronic versions of many printed publications, it became a challenge to assign unique ISSNs, as the content in both was the same. This was resolved by placing an e-ISSN on the electronic form of the publication.

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