What is an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)?

What is an ISBN? 

An ISBN is a unique code assigned to every book that has been published in 1970. It identifies the registrant and the specific title, edition, and format.

In other words, it is an identifying feature of a book. It is often used by entities who manage, publish, and distribute books for listing and other logistical purposes.


ISBN 10 

Used from 1970 to 2007.

  • Group identifier
    Up to five digits long, the group identifier demarcates the geographical location in which the book was published.
  • Publisher identifier
    The publisher identifier identifies the publisher of the book based on the geographical location and language of the book. Up to seven digits long.
  • Title identifier
    The title identifier identifies the book and its edition. Up to six digits long.
  • Check digit
    The final digit of the ISBN code is a calculation of the previous nine digits. The check digit is the last step in providing the book with a unique identification code.

ISBN 13 

Has been in use since 2007.


  • Registration group
    Identifies the particular country, geographic region or language area in the ISBN; 1-5 digits.
  • Registrant element
    Identifies the particular publisher or imprint; up to 7 digits.
  • Publication element
    Denotes the particular edition and format of a specific title; up to 6 digits.
  • Check digit
    The final digit that validates the rest of the number.







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *