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Re: ISSN discrepancies (Regina Reynolds) ERCELAA@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu 15 May 2002 19:14 UTC

Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 14:52:48 -0400
From: Regina Reynolds <rrey@LOC.GOV>
Subject: Re: ISSN discrepancies (M. Jessie Barczak)

In reply to the question from M. Jessie Barczak, I first want to mention
that information about the U.S. ISSN center is available on our Web
site:  The Frequently Asked Questions section will
probably answer your questions.  Briefly, ISSN and ISBN are identifiers
for serials and books, respectively, and are useful as numerical stand-ins
for titles, especially in large files.  Identifiers help distinguish among
same and similar titles, speed searching in large databases, and allow for
unambiguous identification.

Serials issued in different editions, whether format editions, geographic,
or language editions will generally each have a separate ISSN assigned to
each edition.  For example, a serial issued in print, on CD-ROM, and
online, will be assigned three ISSN.  An exception to this practice is
made for exact reproductions, whether in scanned or digital form, made by
a secondary publisher to serve as a print substitute.  Examples of such
reproductions are JSTOR's reproductions of back issues and University
Microfilms back issues film services.

Major changes in serial titles, edition statements, or formats generally
require new ISSN.  Thus, what some may regard as "one serial" may have
more than one ISSN over time if the serial has been issued under a
succession of titles.

If you have further questions, please contact me directly.

Regina Reynolds
Head, National Serials Data Program (U.S. ISSN Center)
Library of Congress

> Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 12:30:12 -0400
> From: "M. Jessie Barczak" <Jessie.Barczak@USPTO.GOV>
> Subject: ISSN discrepancies
> Folks,
> I have been challenged to find out the following:
> Why is it that the same journal title can have different ISSN numbers?
> It has been many years since I earned the MLS, and I do remember learning
> WHAT ISSN's and ISBN's are for the purpose of building a database, but as is
> usual, what is taught is not necessarily the real world situation.
> Anyone else curious?
> Much obliged; I promise to digest all responses.
> M. Jessie Barczak
> Electronic Resources Librarian (ASRC)
> U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
> (703) 308-6099

Regina  R. Reynolds                     email:
Head, National Serials Data Program     voice: (202) 707-6379
Library of Congress                     fax    (202) 707-6333
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.           ISSN Web page:
Washington, D.C. 20540-4160