Re. ISSN vs. ISBN

Subject: Re. ISSN vs. ISBN
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 17 May 1995 10:35:44 LCL

One of our posters (?) suggested that obtaining an ISSN might be a
suitable alternative to paying big bucks to get an ISBN. This needs
some clarification:

ISBN's are, strictly speaking, for books, although it's acceptable to
use them for short monographs in a series (e.g., my former employer's
"information reports"). Each ISBN refers to a unique book (bound set
of pages, even if you don't call it a book).

ISSN are, strictly speaking, reserved for periodicals ("serials"),
which many librarians and cataloguers consider to mean weekly,
biweekly, monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly publications _only_.
Nonetheless, an ISSN can also be used (and often is) for publications
that fall into a series (the aforementioned information reports, for
example). Each ISSN refers, collectively, to all publications in the
series (all of which have the same ISSN).

You can't replace an ISBN with an ISSN because the two numbers serve
very different purposes.

--Geoff Hart #8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: These comments are my own and don't represent the opinions
of the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada.


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