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History and Overview of ISBN
– The Standard Book Number (SBN) was developed in 1965 by WHSmith.
– The ISBN identification format was conceived in 1967 by David Whitaker and in 1968 by Emery Koltay.
– The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the ISO and published in 1970.
– The UK used the SBN code until 1974.
– The International ISBN Agency is the registration authority for ISBN worldwide.
– Each edition and variation of a publication is assigned a separate ISBN.
– The ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned after 2007, and 10 digits long if assigned before.
– An ISBN consists of four parts for a 10-digit ISBN and five parts for a 13-digit ISBN.
– The parts include a prefix element, registration group element, registrant element, publication element, and check digit.
– The parts are separated by hyphens or spaces.

Issuing Process and Registration Group Element
– ISBNs are issued by the ISBN registration agency responsible for each country or territory.
– The ranges of ISBNs assigned to a country depend on its publishing profile.
– Some ISBN registration agencies receive direct funding from the government.
– ISBN registration services can be provided by organizations like bibliographic data providers.
– A directory of ISBN agencies is available on the International ISBN Agency website.
– The registration group element is a 1-to-5-digit number within a prefix element.
– Registration groups are primarily allocated within the 978 prefix element.
– Examples of registration groups include 0 or 1 for English-speaking countries and 2 for French-speaking countries.
– Rare languages may have longer group elements.
– The 979 prefix element is reserved for International Standard Music Numbers (ISMNs).

Statistics and Registrant Element
– The United States had the most registered ISBNs in 2020, with 3.9 million.
– Other countries with high ISBN registrations include the Republic of Korea, Germany, China, the UK, and Indonesia.
– The United States had over 39 million lifetime ISBNs registered in 2020.
– The ISBN format changed from 10 digits to 13 digits on January 1, 2007.
– The International ISBN Agency assigns ISBNs to privately published books on its own initiative.
– The national ISBN agency assigns the registrant element and a series of ISBNs to the publisher.
– Publishers allocate ISBNs to their books.
– Most countries do not legally require publishers to assign an ISBN.
– Large bookstores typically only handle publications with assigned ISBNs.
– The International ISBN Agency maintains the details of over one million ISBN prefixes and publishers in the Global Register of Publishers.

ISBN Blocks and Check Digits
– Publishers receive blocks of ISBNs.
– Larger blocks are allotted to publishers expecting to need more ISBNs.
– A small publisher may receive ISBNs with varying digits for the registration group identifier, registrant, and publication element.
– Once a block of ISBNs is used, the publisher may receive another block with a different registrant element.
– There may be more than one registration group identifier used in a country.
– The ISBN-10 check digit must range from 0 to 10 (X is used for 10).
– The sum of the ten digits, each multiplied by its weight, must be a multiple of 11.
– The check digit is base eleven.
– The 13-digit ISBN system is not compatible with SBNs and has a different check digit calculation.
– The ISBN check digit method detects common types of errors, such as a single altered digit or transposed digits.

ISBN-13 Check Digit Calculation and Errors in Usage
– The ISBN-13 check digit is the last digit of the ISBN and ranges from 0 to 9.
– The check digit is calculated by multiplying each of the first twelve digits by its weight (alternating between 1 and 3) and summing them.
– The sum is then divided by 10, and the remainder is subtracted from 10 to get the check digit.
– The ISBN-13 check digit calculation is the same as the EAN-13 check digit calculation.
– The check digit ensures that the sum of all thirteen digits, each multiplied by its weight, is a multiple of 10.
– Publishers sometimes fail to check the correspondence of a book title and its ISBN before publishing, causing identification problems.
– Some books may share the same ISBN, leading to confusion for libraries, booksellers, and readers.
– Invalid ISBNs are sometimes displayed by libraries and booksellers, tagged as ‘Cancelled ISBN’ by the Library of Congress.
– The International Union Library Catalog indexes books by invalid ISBNs if a member library indexes them that way.
– ISBN check digit formula does not catch all errors of adjacent digit transposition, specifically when the difference between two adjacent digits is 5.

ISBN (Wikipedia)

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier that is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase or receive ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

International Standard Book Number
A 13-digit ISBN, 978-3-16-148410-0, as represented by an EAN-13 bar code
OrganisationInternational ISBN Agency
Introduced1970; 54 years ago (1970)
No. of digits13 (formerly 10)
Check digitWeighted sum

An ISBN is assigned to each separate edition and variation (except reprintings) of a publication. For example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book will each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is ten digits long if assigned before 2007, and thirteen digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007. The method of assigning an ISBN is nation-specific and varies between countries, often depending on how large the publishing industry is within a country.

The initial ISBN identification format was devised in 1967, based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering (SBN) created in 1966. The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108 (the 9-digit SBN code can be converted to a 10-digit ISBN by prefixing it with a zero).

Privately published books sometimes appear without an ISBN. The International ISBN Agency sometimes assigns such books ISBNs on its own initiative.

Another identifier, the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), identifies periodical publications such as magazines and newspapers. The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) covers musical scores.

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