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What is the ISSN?

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an internationally recognized numerical code used to identify serial publications. The ISSN may be used whenever it is necessary to compile or communicate information about serial publications, avoiding the work and possible errors involved in transcribing the title or relevant bibliographic information. The ISSN provides an unambiguous and error-free means of identifying the serial publication to which it is assigned. It is the equivalent for serial publications of the ISBN for books.

The ISSN consists of eight digits (the last of which is a check digit) and is used solely to identify the serial publication: it does not include prefixes indicating the country of publication or publisher. ISSNs are assigned directly by the National ISSN Centre in the country of publication.

The ISSN is indissolubly linked to the title of the publication and a change to the title always results in a change of ISSN. For as long as the title remains unchanged, the ISSN will remain the same and should be printed on each instalment or volume of the publication. If the title is changed (even if only minimally) a new ISSN should be requested and the former number should no longer be used.

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