In many countries, an ISSN is mandatory for all publications subject to the legal deposit.
What form does an ISSN take?
The ISSN takes the form of the acronym ISSN followed by two groups of four digits, separated by a hyphen. The eighth digit is a check digit calculated according to a modulus 11 algorithm on the basis of the 7 preceding digits; this eighth control digit may be an “X” if the result of the computing is equal to “10”, in order to avoid any ambiguity.
What is its role?
The ISSN role is to identify a publication.
It is a digital code without any intrinsic meaning:
it does not include any information about the origin or contents of the publication,
it does not guarantee the quality or validity of the contents.
The ISSN is associated with the title of the publication. If the publication is modified significantly, a new ISSN must be assigned.
Where is it displayed?
For a print publication, the ISSN should be shown:
preferably, in the upper right corner of the cover,
failing that, on the pages where editorial information is shown (publisher, frequency, colophon, etc.).
For a publication in electronic media, the ISSN should be shown:
on the homepage or on the main menu, if it is an online publication,
on any part visible to the naked eye (microfiche header, CD-Rom or DVD label, box, case, etc.), if the publication is on a physical medium.
If a publication is identified by ISSN and ISBN, both of these identifiers should be mentioned.
Use of ISSN for DOI identifiers
It is strongly recommended that publishers use the ISSN number as part of the title-level DOI they use to offer a persistent and resolvable link to their journal.
A DOI is the identifier of an entity—physical, digital or abstract. Its syntax is defined by ISO 26324:2012 Information and documentation – Digital Object Identifier System (DOI). It is composed of a prefix and suffix:
the DOI prefix is assigned to an organization by a DOI Registration Agency;
the suffix for a DOI is created by the organization depositing the DOI for a content item in the DOI system.
Among official DOI registration agencies, CrossRef specializes in scholarly and professional publications and it assigns DOI prefixes to publishers. The latter can thus identify articles or book chapters with DOIs. They are also strongly encouraged to create DOIs for journal titles.
The ISSN Standard, ISO 3297:2007, provides internationally accepted recommendations to use ISSN as suffix for title-level DOIs: “To construct a DOI suffix using an ISSN, precede the ISSN (including the hyphen) with the lowercase letters “issn” and a period”.
Publishers are also encouraged to follow DOI best practices defined by Crossref, notably:
A distinct DOI should be created for each version of a title deposited with CrossRef. Any title changes requiring a new ISSN should result in a new title-level DOI as well in order to ensure consistency between CrossRef and ISSN Registries.
A title-level DOI should resolve to a response page that displays the same title and ISSN recorded in the ISSN Registry and in CrossRef database.
Once assigned, a title-level DOI should be maintained.
Responsibility for maintaining a title-level DOI transfers to the new owner when title ownership is transferred.
The primary role of Registration Agencies (RAs) is to provide services to Registrants — allocating DOI name prefixes, registering DOI names and providing the necessary infrastructure to allow Registrants to declare and maintain metadata and state data. This service is expected to encompass quality assurance measures, so that the integrity of the DOI system as a whole is maintained at the highest possible level (delivering reliable and consistent results to users). This includes ensuring that state data is accurate and up-to-date and that metadata is consistent and complies with both DOI system Kernel and appropriate Application Profile standards.
This is the web site of the International DOI Foundation (IDF), a not-for-profit membership organization that is the governance and management body for the federation of Registration Agencies providing Digital Object Identifier (DOI) services and registration, and is the registration authority for the ISO standard (ISO 26324) for the DOI system.
The DOI system provides a technical and social infrastructure for the registration and use of persistent interoperable identifiers, called DOIs, for use on digital networks.