When a publication is published on several media, a linking ISSN is assigned so that the media can be easily grouped and the contents are easier to manage.
- What is an ISSN-L?
- Why an ISSN-L?
- Reference to the ISSN-L on your publications
- Changing an ISSN-L
- Finding the ISSN-L of a publication
What is an ISSN-L?
The linking ISSN, or ISSN-L, is a specific ISSN that groups the different media of the same serial publication.
A single ISSN-L is designated for all media of a serial publication, irrespective of how many there are.
A serial publication is associated with a single ISSN-L.
- Publication on a single medium
Electronic resource: Algorithms for molecular biology = ISSN 1748-7188
- Publication on two media
Printed version: Dance research = ISSN 0264-2875
Electronic version: Dance research (Online) = ISSN 1750-0095
- Publication on three media
Printed version: Plant varieties journal (Ottawa) = ISSN 1188-1534
Electronic version: Plant varieties journal (Ottawa. Online) = ISSN 1911-1479
CD-Rom version: Plant varieties journal (Ottawa. CD-Rom) = ISSN 1911-1460
Why an ISSN-L?
An ISSN-L simplifies the search, recovery and delivery of data for various services including, in particular, search systems and knowledge databases.
Reference to the ISSN-L on your publications
To use the ISSN-L optimally, you should clearly show it on each version of your publication.
The ISSN-L takes the following form:
- the acronym ISSN-L is shown in capitals,
- followed by a space,
- followed by two groups of four digits, separated by a hyphen.
The number must always be preceded by the ISSN-L acronym.
Changing an ISSN-L
A new ISSN-L is assigned to your publication if the titles of all of the media are changed substantially at the same time.
In this case:
- each version receives a new ISSN, and
- the publication receives a new ISSN-L.
Acta Physiologica Scandinavica (Print)= ISSN 0001-6772 and ISSN-L 0001-6772
Acta Physiologica Scandinavica (Online)= ISSN 1365-201X and ISSN-L 0001-6772
Finding the ISSN-L of a publication
The ISSN-L of a publication can be accessed in various ways:
- on a table listing the ISSN-Ls with the corresponding ISSNs, available on the ISSN International Centre’s website,
- in the ISSN International Register: each record includes the medium’s ISSN and the publication’s ISSN-L, as separate data element,
- through the ISSN International Centre and the ISSN National Centres: for each newly assigned ISSN, the centres inform the publishers of the corresponding ISSN-L,
- on the publications themselves, which should clearly indicate the use of an ISSN-L.
ISSN-L – definition
ISSN-L is defined in the new ISSN standard (ISO 3297:2007) as an “ISSN designated by the ISSN Network to enable collocation or versions of a continuing resource linking among the different media”.
ISSN-L and OpenURL
As part of OpenURL, ISSN-L enables:
- more precise queries based on citations (query chain),
- better response rates at the end of the process.
Depending on the context, queries can accordingly encode both:
- the ISSN, pointing for example to the electronic resource itself, and
- the ISSN-L pointing to all of the publications’ media.
At the other end of the process, the knowledge bases can associate any ISSN with its ISSN-L, and thereby to all ISSN of the various media.