PDF versions of journals have been problematic for the ISSN since they are
the same content. However, they are generally held to need separate ISSN.
The decision about how many ISSN are required is not made simply on the
basis of content, but rather on the basis of whether the serial can be
considered a different publication. In the case of JSTOR and microform
reproductions, you are dealing with secondary reproductions, something
created by a secondary service for storage convenience. In the case of an
electronic version made available by the primary publisher, you are
dealing with just that, a different version that the publisher is making
available. In the future this version might well take advantage of the
capabilities of the digital medium and diverge from the print version.
PDF versions are often regarded as different products by the publisher,
hence at least some publishers and subscription agents have a need to
identify these versions separately.
Again, this is a difficult area, and one which the ISSN Network is not
alone in finding a challenge. I'm sure we have not heard the last word on
all of this.
Regina R. Reynolds email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head, National Serials Data Program voice: (202) 707-6379
Library of Congress fax (202) 707-6333
101 Independence Avenue, S.E. ISSN Web page: lcweb.loc.gov/issn/
Washington, D.C. 20540-4160
On Wed, 30 Aug 2000, Dan Kniesner wrote:
> I'm aware that JSTOR versions of journals have the same ISSN as their
> print ed. counterparts.
> What about PDF versions of journals? Are PDF versions considered
> close-enough reproductions of the print journals and therefore can use the
> same ISSN as the print editions?
> Thank you. Apologies if this has been discussed before. I know that
> ejournals generally need a different ISSN.
> Dan Kniesner
> Oregon Health Sciences University Library
> Portland Oregon