The network today
What is the ISSN Network?
The ISSN Network is made up of National Centres whose work is coordinated by the ISSN International Centre situated in Paris. The ISSN Network was established to control the assignment of ISSN, to maintain a database of records for the world's serial publications, and to act as the standards authority. The Bibliographic control is supported by the ISSN, a unique identification code which facilitates access to serial titles for all users of serial literature whether in print or in non-print formats. The Network promotes the application and awareness of the ISSN.
What is the status of the ISSN Network?
The ISSN International Centre is an intergovernmental institution governed by Statutes to which Member States accede. These Statutes are the object of a Convention between UNESCO and France, the host country of the International Centre.
When was it created?
The ISSN program was launched and developed in the framework of UNESCO's world science information program (UNISIST). The ISSN Network, until 1993 known as the International Serials Data System, ISDS, was formally established in 1975. In 1975, an ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) standard for the creation of International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN) was published.
How is it managed?
Policy is determined by a General Assembly composed of representatives from the French Government, UNESCO, and Member States, management is assumed by a Governing Board composed of representatives from the French Government and UNESCO, and elected representatives of the Member States. Technical aspects of the network are planned and managed by the National Centre Directors in conjunction with the ISSN International Centre through the exchange of information via regular Directors meetings.
How is it funded?
The financial resources of the Network depend on the contribution it receives from the French Government, as host State to the International Centre, and from the other Member States, as well as from UNESCO. In addition, the International Centre derives income from the sales of its publications and services. Member States financial contributions are voted at the biannual General Assembly meetings and are based on the Gross National Product of each country.
What are the ISSN National Centres?
ISSN National Centres form the core of the network and carry the responsibility for the effective and efficient continuance of the ISSN System. They perform the function of ISSN assignment and the maintenance of local ISSN databases, together with the advertisement and promotion of the system and contact with the local bibliographic and publishing communities. ISSN National Centres achieve bibliographic control through legal deposit.
What is the coverage of the ISSN Network?
The ISSN Network has fostered a world-wide program of international co-operation. It already covers 88 countries and is continually spreading to new ones.
What are the specific tasks of the ISSN International Centre?
The ISSN International Centre, besides its tasks of maintenance and edition of the ISSN register and its responsibility for controlling the activities of the ISSN National Centres, is also in charge of ISSN assignment for international publications and for serials issued in countries with no National Centre.
Who are the partners of the ISSN Network?
The partners of the ISSN Network may be found on the whole chain of production, registration, circulation and use of serials: publishers, libraries, union catalogues, distribution agents, databases, press distributors… Each user of the ISSN, each serial publisher, has the possibility of asking for the assignment of ISSN to publications which have not yet been registered by the network, by contacting the National Centre concerned or the ISSN International Centre.