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Top > Frequently asked questions > Bibliographic data > ISSN

Frequently asked questions : ISSN

Frequently asked questions

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Q
What is ISSN ?
A
ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an international code number used to identify serial publications. The National Diet Library is actively engaged as the Japanese National Centre for ISSN.

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Q
How is this different from ISBN?
A
ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a number used to identify books. ISBN is now managed in Japan by the Japan ISBN Agency, Japan Publishing Organization for Information Infrastructure Development.

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Q
Is ISSN assigned automatically when a publication which meets all the condition to assign ISSN, is published and sent to NDL?
A
We assign ISSN when an application from the publisher is submitted. Please fill in the application form and send it to the Japanese National Centre for ISSN. For more information, please refer to "ISSN Registration Procedures."

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Q
How much does it cost for application and registration?
A
It is free of charge.

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Q
When ISSN is registered, does it mean that the publication is authorized as an academic journal? And can I use the title exclusively?
A
There is no relation between ISSN and authorization as an academic journal. Besides, granting of the right such as an exclusive use of the title or copyright has no relation to ISSN.

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Q
How many days does it take to receive the ISSN number after the application is submitted?
A
About a week after we receive the application.

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Q
My ISSN number ends with “X.” Is this a mistake?
A
No, it is not a mistake. The last number of ISSN is a check digit. Numbers 1 to 9 or “X” (for 10) are used for last number.

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Q
Title informed from the Japanese National Centre for ISSN is different from which I wrote down on the application form. What is the reason for this?
A
Title will be recorded by checking the actual publications according to the cataloging rules of the NDL. And as treatment of capital and small letters is also based on the cataloging rules of the NDL, it may be different from actual display of the publication. We appreciate your understanding.

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Q
Do I have to apply for each volume?
A
If the title does not change, you do not have to apply for each volume.

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Q
For a design reason, ISSN cannot be displayed at the upper right-hand of the cover page. What should I do?
A
If it is difficult to display it at the upper right-hand, please display it on another part of the cover page or on the back cover, etc. where it can be recognized easily.

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Q
Can I use the same ISSN when a new journal with a new title takes over a preceding journal's content?
A
As ISSN is a number assigned to each title, a new ISSN should be applied for when a title changes, as a general rule. However, when the title changes slightly, the same number can be used. For more details, please contact the Japanese National Centre for ISSN.

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Q
I am planning to publish online journal which had been published in print version. Can I use the same ISSN which was assigned to the print version?
A
As ISSN is assigned to each publication on a different medium, a new ISSN should be assigned even though the title is the same. If you would like a new ISSN for the online journal, please send us a new application form.

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Q
When a publisher changes, can I still use the same ISSN?
A
If there is no title change, the same ISSN can be used. However, for generic titles such as “Annual report” “Research bulletin” or titles with the publisher's name included, the ISSN should be a new one. For more details, please contact the Japanese National Centre for ISSN.

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