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ISSN Registration

International Standard Serial NumberISSNApplication



General Information

ISSN is appropriate for serials in any medium, including electronic serials. A separate ISSN is required for each medium. To date, thousands of ISSN have been assigned to serials on computer disk, CD-ROM and online electronic serials.



Criteria for Assigning ISSN

The criteria for determining if a serial qualifies for an ISSN applies equally to electronic and print publications: an intention to continue publishing indefinitely and being issued in designated parts. In the case of electronic serials--especially those available online, such as on the Internet--the most significant criterion is that the publication is divided into parts or issues which carry unique, numerical designations by which the individual issues may be identified, checked in, etc. Electronic serials that are issued as individual articles also meet this criterion as long as the articles carry a unique designation. Thus, a database issued quarterly on CD-ROM and carrying quarterly date designations would be eligible for an ISSN while the same database as an online service which was being continually and seamlessly updated would not be eligible.



How Many ISSN?

Another question that arises with serials in electronic form is how many ISSN are needed. Separate ISSN are needed for serials in different media (with the exception of reproduction microforms). Thus the print and electronic versions of a serial need separate ISSN. Also, a CD-ROM version and an online version of a serial require different ISSN since two different media are involved. However, the same ISSN can be used for different file formats (ASCII, PostScript, and hypertext) of the same online serial. Please indicate all the different versions available in the appropriate place on the ISSN application form or in the "other information" block of the form. You may wish to download and save a copy of the form if you have many publications.



How to Apply

Use the ISSN application form for computer disk, CD-ROM and online serials, both pre- and post publication.. Prepublication requests are encouraged so the ISSN can appear on the publication from the first issue forward. Prepublication requests should be accompanied by some form of mock-up. This could consist of draft screen prints of the following screens, e-mailed drafts of the screens in question or, for online serials, instructions on how we can access these screens online:

  1. Title screen
  2. Screen that includes the serial's numeric or chronologic designation (date or issue number).
  3. Any screens that give general information about how to subscribe, frequency, publisher, copyright, etc.



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