You are here
Function - ISBN
Recognised in more than 160 countries throughout the world, the International Standard Book Number is a short and clear identifier that is potentially machine-readable. The ISBN denotes a particular monographic publication uniquely and should, therefore, be associated with it from early production stages. An essential instrument in production, distribution, sales analysis, and bibliographic data storage systems in the book trade, ISBN is also of vital importance to library information management.
ISBNs are assigned to monographic publications and certain types of related products that are available to the public, whether those publications and related products are available on a gratis basis or to purchase. In addition, individual sections (such as chapters) of monographic publications or issues or articles of continuing resources that are made available separately may also use the ISBN as an identifier. With regard to the various media available, it is of no importance in what physical form the content is documented and distributed; however, each product form should be identified separately.
Some examples of types of monographic publications to which an ISBN shall be assigned are:
- Printed books and pamphlets
- Braille publications
- Publications that are not intended by the publisher to be updated regularly or continued indefinitely
- Individual articles or issues of a particular continuing resource (but not the continuing resource in its entirely)
- Educational/instructional films, videos and transparencies
- Audio books on cassette, or CD, or DVD (talking books)
- Electronic publications either on physical carriers (such as machine-readable tapes, diskettes, or CD-ROMs) or on the Internet