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National ISSN Centre for Germany

The ISSN is an international identifier for journals and other serial publications in the electronic and printed sphere.

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an internationally binding standard number as defined in ISO 3297. It provides concise and unique identification of serial publications all over the world. As a unique standard code for identification, the ISSN supports the automatic administration of serial publications and data transmission. Searches are made easier by the existence of a unique identifier for each publication. The ISSN is recorded along with the bibliographical details in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie in the German Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB) and in the international ISSN portal, permitting free global dissemination.

An ISSN can be assigned for every publication covered by the collection mandate of the German National Library which appears

  • periodically (regularly or irregularly)
  • under a permanent title
  • with no predetermined end
  • in printed or other form (e.g. DVD, online publication)

These include journals, annuals, annual reports, address books, monograph series, loose-leaf works, CD-ROMs, DVDs, databases.

Under certain circumstances an ISSN can be applied for even before the first assign is published. In this case, publishers of printed publications send us the necessary documents (drafts of title page and publisher's imprint) along with a brief covering note. Applications for pre-assignment should not be made more than six months before the planned release of a publication. We do not assign ISSNs before the release of publications not published by the publishing trade.

It is not generally possible to pre-assign an ISSN for online publications.

In cases where a publication changes its title, a new ISSN generally has to be assigned. Title changes are defined in the internationally valid "ISSN Manual". A new ISSN is also required if the publication changes its medium, e.g. from printed to an online publication. In such cases please contact the National ISSN Centre for Germany ()

The ISSN consists of eight digits, comprised of the (Arabic) numerals 0 - 9. The last digit is a check digit and can also be an "X". The ISSN is then immediately and permanently linked to the title of the publication, the so-called "key title".

No copyright/title protection is afforded by assignment of the ISSN.

The ISSN is assigned by national centres.

The National ISSN Centre for Germany is located at the German National Library in Frankfurt am Main.

German National Library
National ISSN-Centre for Germany
Adickesallee 1
60322 Frankfurt
Tel. + 49-69-1525-1481
Fax + 49-69-1525-1414

The ISSN Centre will provide comprehensive information on request. Further information can be found at

The ISSN Network consists of the national centres and the International ISSN Centre based in Paris. It coordinates the work carried out by the national centres in over 80 countries. Over 1.7 million ISSNs together with the corresponding titles and concise bibliographical descriptions are held in the international database, the ISSN Portal. The number is growing daily.

Last update: 10.09.2014


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