International Standard Book Number

The International Standard Book Number ( International Standard Book Number), abbreviated ISBN is a number that uniquely identifies books and other independent publications with editorial content, such as multimedia products and software.

ISBN are mainly used in inventory management systems of the book trade, but also many libraries they use for ordering systems and the inter- library catalogs. National bibliographies, however, have their own numbering systems. For journals and book series an international standard number for continuous (ISSN ) is awarded.


Since the mid- 1960s was made in Europe, especially in England at the London School of Economics and Political Science and at the Publisher's Association of Great Britain, thinking about a unique international identification of books. In 1966, the largest bookstore WHSmith house for the first time a standard book number, abbreviated " SBN " a. The International Organization for Standardization 1968 attacked these proposals, extended the nine-digit SBN to another location to the International SBN and published in 1972, the ISO 2108 standard., The national adoption of this standard in Germany is the DIN standard DIN ISO 2108.

By the end of 2006, the number of room ISBN had ten points; including a check digit. There was in Eastern Europe and in the English language difficulties to forgive numbers for new publishers and publications, in early 2005, a revised ISO standard for the new thirteen- digit ISBN has been introduced. Old ISBN in the ten -digit format are now referred to as the ISBN-10. The available space for ISBN number could be almost doubled, from one billion to 1.9 billion combinations. The prefix 979-0 occupied by the ISMN, ISBN for now are the prefixes 978, 979-1 to 979-9 are available. In addition to the near doubling of the number space, the compatibility was with the system of international EAN article numbers the most important reason for the switch. The ISBN -13 format was chosen so that the number sequence is identical to the corresponding EAN -13 article number.

The ISBN Agency for Germany 2004 recommended the German publishers to specify in terms of the transition for the transition period both already ISBN on their products. January 1, 2007, only ISBN -13 be awarded.

Coupling to the system of international article numbers

The ISBN system was coupled to the system of international EAN article numbers. This book can be included in inventory management systems within the EAN system worldwide without expensive Neuauszeichnungen are needed with national barcodes. Since the first three digits of an EAN are usually available for the country of registration (eg " 400 " to " 440 " for the German EAN- management ), a "Book Country " (English " Bookland " ) was introduced for books (so to speak for " registered in the country of books "). For books, the EAN- country numbers are provided 978 and 979-1 to 979-9.

ISBN -13 are identical to the book belonging to the EAN -13 - except that the EAN is quoted without hyphens.

ISBN-10 also can be converted into an EAN- 13 or the ISBN-13 system. For this, the ISBN-10 is simply the EAN number sequence preceded by 978 and the old check digit is replaced by the newly calculated EAN check digit.

Today, the system is referred to as GS1 - press code, since it is used on books addition to other published media ( periodicals, and as CD- ROMs).

Rules for ISBN assignment and usage

The ISBN is to identify a non-periodic publication of a publisher clearly an ISBN already used should not be used again. Also new editions of a publication or any other form of publication (eg Paperback place Hardcover) require each with its own ISBN. The only exceptions are unaltered reprints.

Not every book has an ISBN. In Germany only assigns the MVB Marketing and publishing service of the book trade GmbH -Verlag ISBN numbers and individual ISBN. Neither ISBN -Verlag numbers nor the individual ISBN may be sold or given to another publisher. Since there is no legal obligation to use an ISBN and the allocation is associated with costs and expenses, waive some small publishers and self- publishers on the registration of an ISBN. The allocation of a single ISBN for (self-) publishers with unique publishing foreseeable production costs 79.08 euros.

When granting a Publisher Code, the publisher has to pay a fee for the ISBN assignment of 153,51 Euro plus shipping and to obtain a list of all assignable by him ISBN. The price is between EUR 22.61 ( for ten numbers) and 3568.81 euros ( 100,000 numbers). For each book, which is incorporated by electronic message title in the list of available books are 4,05 euros per year to pay a minimum of total 94,01 € per year.

Structure of the ISBN

The ISBN- 13 is composed of five groups of numbers.

Components of the ISBN

  • Example: ISBN 978-3-86680-192-9

It is coded as follows:

  • 0 and 1 for the English-speaking world
  • 2 (and with prefix 979: 10) for the French-speaking world
  • 3 for the German-speaking countries without Luxembourg and the German -speaking Community of Belgium
  • 4 for Japan
  • 5 for Russia and some countries of the former Soviet Union
  • 7 for China
  • 10 (only with prefix 979) for the French- speaking world ( and 2 at 978 prefix )
  • 80 for Czechoslovakia from 1993 for the Czech Republic and Slovakia
  • 81 ( and 93) for India
  • 82 for Norway
  • 83 for Poland
  • 84 for Spain
  • 85 for Brazil
  • 87 for Denmark
  • 88 for Italy
  • 89 for South Korea
  • 90 ( and 94 ) for the Dutch-Flemish region and the German -speaking Belgium
  • 91 for Sweden
  • 93 ( and 81 ) for India
  • 94 ( and 90 ) for the Dutch-Flemish region and the German -speaking Belgium
  • 950 for Argentina
  • 951-952 for Finland
  • 953 for Croatia
  • 954 for Bulgaria
  • 955 for Sri Lanka
  • 956 for Chile
  • 957 and 986 for Taiwan
  • 960 for Greece
  • 962 ( and 988 ) for Hong Kong
  • 963 for Hungary
  • 964 for Iran
  • 965 for Israel
  • 967 ( and 987 ) for Malaysia
  • 969 for Pakistan
  • 972 ( and 989) for Portugal
  • 979 for Indonesia
  • 980 for Venezuela
  • 981 ( and 9971 ) for Singapore
  • 984 for Bangladesh
  • 985 for Belarus
  • 987 ( and 967 ) for Malaysia
  • 988 ( and 962 ) for Hong Kong
  • 989 ( and 972) for Portugal
  • 9946 for North Korea
  • 9949 for Estonia
  • 9971 ( and 981 ) for Singapore
  • 9976 for Tanzania
  • 9979 for Iceland
  • 9984 for Latvia
  • 99915 for the Maldives
  • 99918 for Faroe Islands
  • 99923 for Ecuador
  • 99929 for Mongolia
  • 99933 for Nepal
  • 99936 for Bhutan
  • 99937 for Macau
  • 99948 for Eritrea
  • 99951 for Congo
  • 99953 for Paraguay
  • For Switzerland, the 2 (French), 3 ( German ) or 88 ( Italian) is used depending on the language.
  • Although there is a separate language in Luxembourg next to German and French are the official languages ​​of equal, applies here only the 2 (French).

The ISBN should be formatted according to ISO 2108 on one of the following ways:

  • ISBN (prefix ) group number Verlag number Track number check digit (without hyphens )
  • ISBN ( prefix ) group number -Verlag number title number check digit ( with hyphens )

In the context of electronic data processing use without a separator is allowed. The number remains clear even without delimiters.

A tool for the correct formatting an ISBN can be found in the web links.

Formulas for calculating the check digit

ISBN -13

To calculate the check digit for the ISBN -13 all twelve digits of the still incomplete ISBN are added, where the digits straight position (ie, the second, fourth, and so on ) received three times the value. A 5 in sixth place, for example so as 15 flows into the expression. From the result of this addition, the last position is determined, which is then subtracted from 10. So about 10-4 = 6 for a result of addition of 124 This final result is the check digit. The bottom line, however, 10, is the check digit 0 Denoting the first twelve digits with z1 to z12, then for the check digit at the thirteenth place:

The last Modulo is the adherence to the so-called "zero rule", stating that the check digit is 0 even if the result of the check digit is 10. As a result, this method gives the validity of an ISBN -13 check by

Calculated: the result must be 0. Something simple: The as described with 1 and 3 alternately weighted " sum of digits " ends to 0

One can also write:

Resulting in easy can write the implementation. The (i 1) mod 2 provides for the changing weight of 1 and 3 is the summation extends also to the check digit (), we obtain in an error-free as a result ISBN 0



The ISBN-10 check digit is calculated as follows: Denoting the first nine digits with z1 to z9, then for the check digit in the tenths place:

Here, the running index is counted from left to right as usual. If the result is 0-9 is thus given the check digit; the formula gives a value of 10, an X is used as the last character, which can be interpreted as a Roman numeral 10.


Result: 3-86680-192-0

Example II:

Result: 3-680-08783-7

In considering whether an entered ISBN is correct, the following condition can be checked according to the rules of modulo calculation.

It adds 10 times the 10th digit (the digit X is regarded as number 10). Since the modulo-11 Statement 10 is the same as -1, it is the same if you subtract the 10th digit. He has, modulo 11 expected, coming out Total 0.

Example II of state:

Identification numbers for other publications

For other forms of publication, such as periodicals or recorded music works have their own numbering systems:

  • ISAN - International Standard Audiovisual Number
  • ISMN - International standard music number ( for printed and digitized sheet music sets)
  • ISRC - The International Standard Recording Code
  • ISRN - International Standard Technical Report Number
  • ISSN - Information and documentation - International Standard Serial Number / International Standard number of consecutive compilations ( for periodicals)
  • ISWC - International Standard Musical Work Code

See also: Uniform Resource Identifier ( URI) Digital Object Identifier ( DOI )