International Identifier for serials
and other continuing resources, in the electronic and print world

ISSN MARC21 and UNIMARC profiles




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The ISSN MARC21 and UNIMARC profiles are intended to provide a synthetic overview of the minimum information (fields, indicators, subfields and codes) that are expected in a MARC21 or a UNIMARC record of the ISSN Register.

It is intended to help cataloguers to identify if an information is mandatory or optional in an ISSN record, and where to record the relevant information. It should also help developers understanding the type of information they could find in the ISSN Register. This profile provides explanations that summarize and complement the ISSN Manual.

This profile is not a comprehensive list of all information that may be recorded in ISSN records. Some records held by the ISSN Register may contain information in fields that are not described in this profile. These records will be valid but additional information stored in these fields will not be checked or even made publicly available in some cases.

In a few cases, the detailed explanation on how to record information in the MARC21 or UNIMARC fields is not provided by the ISSN Manual: the MARC21 or UNIMARC Manuals should then be checked for further guidance.

Please take note of the following:

  • Notation “#” means that the field should remain blank. The hash “#” should never be used in the MARC record.
  • The notation “|: no attempt to code” does not mean that it is forbidden to use a code in this field. It only means that it is neither mandatory or recommended, nor forbidden to use a MARC21 or UNIMARC code in that field. The content of the field will not be used in the ISSN Register.
  • In the unexpected case of a discrepancy between rules expressed in the MARC21 or UNIMARC profile and the English version of the ISSN Manual, the rules expressed in the ISSN Manual have precedence. Please report any discrepancy to the ISSN International Centre.