The ISBN should appear on the reverse of the title page, sometimes called the copyright page or the imprint page and on the outside back cover of the book. If the book has a dust jacket, the ISBN should also appear on the back of this. If the publication is not a book, the ISBN should appear on the product, and on the packaging or inlay card. If the publication is a map, the ISBN should be visible when the map is folded and should also appear near the publisher statement if this is elsewhere.
The barcode number for a book should be the same as the 13-digit ISBN. If you have any unused ISBN numbers in 10-digit format, they must be converted to 13-digits before using them. The ISBN Agency can convert 10-digit numbers to 13-digit form (for a fee) or you can convert numbers free of charge yourself using the International ISBN Agency's ISBN-13 Converter. Please contact the UK ISBN Agency for the password.
A useful reference guide to bar-coding and bar code software suppliers is available on the Book Industry Communications website www.bic.org.uk/30/Bar-Coding-RFID/
ISBNs were 10-digits long until 2007, when a new global standard, using 13-digits, was introduced. Under the system which started on 1 January 2007, the 13-digits are always divided into five parts, separated by spaces or hyphens. The four parts following the prefix element can be of varying length and are as shown below.
Prefix element: for the foreseeable future this will be 978 or 979
Registration group element: identifies a national, geographic, or national grouping. It shows where the publisher is based
Registrant element: identifies a specific publisher or imprint
Publication element: identifies a specific edition of a specific title in a specific format
Check digit: the final digit which mathematically validates the rest of the number.
Following the change on 1 January 2007 existing 10-digit numbers must be converted by prefixing them with "978" and the check digit must be recalculated using a Modulus 10 system with alternate weights of 1 and 3. The ISBN Agency can help you with this.
Not any more - This only occurred with some 10 digit ISBNs, which must now be converted to 13 digit form.
The check digit on the barcode is different from the ISBN - is this correct?
Not any more - this used to happen with 10 digit ISBNs, but 13 digit ISBNs should be identical to the barcode number.
This applies only to publishers who have bought an allocation of at least ten ISBNs. If you have a single ISBN, you can either apply for another single, or for a larger allocation. Each ISBN publisher prefix allows for a fixed number of ISBNs. When these are exhausted publishers must apply for a new ISBN prefix. It is quite common for a publisher to be identified by more than one ISBN prefix.
Point of Sale (POS) material (including catalogues) does not qualify for inclusion in the ISBN system. We do appreciate that booksellers often request ISBNs on such material however, and we would offer the following advice. A small proportion of your allocation (certainly no more than 10%) may be put aside to use and re-use on POS material. For example, an ISBN for a catalogue could always be the same, presuming that the publisher will always send the customer the current catalogue. A dumpbin can be supplied empty and books invoiced separately, presuming returns are accepted against the book's ISBN anyway and then the dumpbin ISBN can be recycled for use in a future campaign.
No. A change of cover design with no changes to the content of the book should not have a new ISBN.
Yes. Changes in binding always require new ISBNs.
Yes. All changes of format require new ISBNs.
No. Price changes with no other changes do not require new ISBNs and indeed must not change the ISBN.
An ISBN should be assigned to each volume and a separate ISBN should identify the set. Both the ISBN for the volume and the set should appear on the book. For example:
ISBN for complete set of x volumes: 978 0 7000 1234 3
ISBN for this volume: 978 0 7000 1235 0
This advice is given because whilst books may only be sold as a set, they may not always be kept together, e.g. in a library. There may also be occasions when a single volume is supplied, e.g. a review copy or replacement for a damaged volume.
In the case of a joint publication, both publishers are entitled to have an ISBN on the book. It should be made clear which number identifies which publisher. However, if only one publisher is to hold stock and distribute the publication, then it is recommended that only that publisher's ISBN should appear on the book.
No. publishers must use the ISBN of the original publisher until they reprint, at which point the ISBN and imprint can be changed, thus leading to a new edition and a new ISBN. Name and address changes, mergers and acquisitions should be notified to the ISBN Agency as soon as possible. Bibliographic Information providers should also be notified of changes to distributor arrangements.
The new publisher should be quoted on the title page verso with the relevant ISBN, but details of the previous edition (publisher, ISBN, date) may also be provided. A separate ISBN may be assigned if the same publication is published under a different imprint name by the same publishers. A separate ISBN must be assigned when a publication is republished under the imprint of a different publisher.