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Diference between ISBN and ISSN

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) and ISBN (International Standard Book Number) are numeric identification codes. The ISSN, which consists of eight digits, is used to identify serial publications, whilst the ISBN, which consists of ten digits, is used to identify books. Whilst the ISSN is optional (the publisher is not legally bound to use it), the ISBN is mandatory if the book in question falls within the scope of ISBN applicability (for further information about ISBN application criteria it is advisable to contact the Spanish ISBN Agency).

The ISSN and ISBN are not incompatible: some publications may receive both, as in the case of yearbooks, series of monographs, etc. The ISSN identifies the series whilst the ISBN identifies the specific instalment or volume. Therefore, the ISSN remains the same for successive instalments or volumes within a series (provided that the title is not changed), whilst the ISBN is different for each of them. In the case of publications that receive both an ISSN and an ISBN, it is advisable to print them together, preceding each number with the respective abbreviations.

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