Difference Between ISBN and ISSN

The ISBN is an essential identifier for books used for business purposes. And the ISSN is an identifier number used in periodical publications such as magazines and newspapers.


The ISBN, an acronym for International Standard Book Number in English, is known in Spanish as (International Standard Book Number) or (International Standard Book Number). It is an important identifier for books used for marketing purposes.

It was produced in the UK in 1966 by the British book and stationery stores WH Smith and was known as Standard Book Numbering. In 1970, ISO 2108 was adopted as the international standard.

This system can recognize each book, since it registers title, edition, publisher, print run, length, language, country, theme, among others. It can also regulate production in each country, and allows data to be collected for statistics.

In 2007, a reform was instituted that states that each book must obtain an ISBN made up of 10 digits in length that is made up of four parts:

  • Country code or language of origin.
  • Item number.
  • Control digit.

Also, prefixes are used to ensure that no two codes start the same way.


The ISSN number (International Standard Serial Number or International Standard Number of Serial Publications) is a code that has 8 digits that allow equalizing periodical publications and resources of various kinds and published in any medium, they can be printed on paper or in digital format.

Are used to:

  • Newspapers.
  • Annual publications (reports, yearbooks, directories, etc.).
  • Thematic or scientific magazines.
  • General magazines.
  • Websites.
  • Databases. Blogging.

In different countries, the ISSN number is required for publications with legal deposit. This number contains the acronym ISSN, followed by two groups of four digits divided by a hyphen. The last number is a control code calculated by means of a Modulo 11 algorithm based on the previous 7 digits.

Difference Between ISBN and ISSN

  • The ISBN is a numerical identification code for books or monographic works.
  • The ISSN is a numerical code that identifies serial publications.
  • Sometimes a book can carry both codes if it is part of a monographic series. The ISSN will then identify the series and the ISBN will identify the issue or volume.
  • ISBN allows to protect the intellectual creation of content creators.
  • The ISSN is used to properly identify serials and periodicals.

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