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Using the ISSN

Using ISSNs in print publications

  • Journals
    Please print the ISSN in the same prominent position (and, if possible, on the imprint page) on the outside cover of each issue, volume, year, etc., preceded by the letters "ISSN" in accordance with the following example: ISSN 1234-5678.
    Please note: The last digit is a check digit; it is represented as an "X" if it has the numerical value of 10.
    The typography is up to you.
  • Series (book series), journal-like series (annuals), annual reports, etc.
    For these publications, the ISSN appears either alone, in combination with an ISBN and/or with an additional ISSN, as follows:
    ISSN alone
    In this case, print the ISSN on the outer cover (but not on the dust jacket) and/or on the imprint page.
    ISSN and ISBN
    In this case, print the ISSN (for the series) combined with (i.e. in close proximity to) the ISBN (of the respective volume) according to the following example:
    ISSN 0936-1138
    ISBN 978-3-494-00373-3
  • ISSN for printed and online edition
    If a publication is released in a printed and online edition, we recommend including both numbers in each case. A note can be added on the publication form (print or online), as shown in the following example:
    ISSN (Print) 0936-1138
    ISSN (Online) 2567-7225

Using ISSNs in non-print publications

In online publications, please quote the ISSN on the title or publication details page.

In publications on physical media such as CD-ROMs or DVDs, please quote the ISSN on the DVD/CD-ROM. As explained above regarding print publications, the numbers should as a rule appear in the same prominent position for each issue, volume, year, etc.

Recommendations of the U.S. National Information Standards Organization (NISO) on the structure of the imprint of online publications

Is the same ISSN really always assigned to the issues of a journal, series, etc.?

In contrast to ISBNs, which change from book to book, a new ISSN is only necessary if the title of the journal changes. That means that an ISSN actually remains unchanged in many cases, but this is not a hard-and-fast rule. Please inform us in good time of any planned title change and quote the new ISSN issued by us in the next edition under the new name.

A new ISSN, however, is not required due to changes of publisher, imprint or frequency of publication.

Why have an ISSN at all if the publication already has an ISBN?

The purpose of the ISSN is to clearly identify serial publications such as journals or series as a complete entity; in contrast, the ISBN serves as a unique designation of a single issue. In the case of book series, series of supplements, annuals, annual reports, etc., each individual volume can of course receive a unique ISBN if it has the character of a monograph or is available individually. However, the entire series within which such volumes are published can be given an ISSN. This is why publications frequently have both an ISBN and an ISSN.

Further Information

Last update: 30.10.2017

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