It should be noted that ISBN and ISSN are both unique identifiers used to distinguish books and periodicals, respectively. Interestingly, both are standardized numbering systems used to identify publications, use a check digit for accuracy and are used by libraries, booksellers and other organizations in the publishing industry. These identifiers are important for tracking inventory, managing collections, and facilitating access to information. While they may seem similar, they serve different purposes and have distinct differences, which we shall be covering in this write-up!
ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, is a unique 13-digit identifier used to identify books, e-books, audiobooks, and other monographic publications. Each ISBN represents a specific publication and includes information such as the title, author, edition, and publisher. The first three digits of an ISBN identify the country or language of the publisher, and the remaining digits identify the specific publication.
On the other hand, ISSN, or International Standard Serial Number, is a unique 8-digit identifier used to identify periodicals such as magazines, journals, and newspapers. Each ISSN represents a specific title and distinguishes it from other publications. The first seven digits of an ISSN identify the title of the publication, while the last digit is a check digit used for validation purposes!
One of the main differences between ISBN and ISSN is the type of publication they identify. While ISBN is used for books and other monographic publications, ISSN is used for periodicals. Another difference is the length of the identifier. ISBNs are 13 digits long, while ISSNs are only 8 digits long. Additionally, ISBNs provide more detailed information about a publication such as the edition and publisher. While ISSNs only provide information about the title.
Another difference between ISBN and ISSN is the way they are assigned. ISBNs are assigned by individual publishers, while ISSNs are assigned by national ISSN centres. Publishers are responsible for obtaining ISBNs for their publications, while the national ISSN centres assign ISSNs to periodicals!
In conclusion, while ISBN as well as ISSN may seem similar in various aspects, yet they serve different purposes and they have some very distinct differences. ISBN is used to identify books and other monographic publications, while ISSN is used to identify periodicals. ISBNs are 13 digits long and provide more detailed information about a publication, while ISSNs are only 8 digits long and provide information about the title. Publishers assign ISBNs to their publications, while national ISSN centres assign ISSNs to periodicals. Understanding the difference between ISBN and ISSN is important for anyone involved in the publication and distribution of books and periodicals.