ISSN-L is the cluster identifier for periodical titles that simplifies management and discovery

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Communities interested in the publication, distribution and management of serials and other continuing resources know a standard code for the unique identification of these contents is essential, especially when the exchange of information between organizations transcends national boundaries.

Created in 1975, the ISSN is a unique and “Persistent identifier (PID) for journals and other serial publications” statesBryan Newbold, Web Archiving Engineer atInternet Archive (US). “As an online library, Internet Archive collects both digitized pre-web content and contemporary born-digital publications.” Bryan comments that “Being able to link these resources with confidence in an automated manner saves Internet Archive precious time and effort, and furthers our efforts to preserve and provide universal access to knowledge.”

In 2007, ISO 3297 introduced the mechanism of “Linking ISSN” (ISSN-L) for the purpose of supporting search and delivery functionality across all media versions. Peter van Boheemen, ICT Consultant Library and Search at Wageningen University & Research (NL), a frequent user of the ISSN-L, points out that “Not every source uses the same ISSN to refer to a particular journal. Some refer to the print ISSN, some to the electronic ISSN and sometimes there are even more ISSN for the same journal. We use the ISSN list to find all ISSN referring to the same journal so we will have a better match of the information about this journal from the various sources”.

The ISSN-L simplifies the search, recovery and delivery of data across services including, in particular, search systems and knowledge databases. The ISSN International Centre publishes an ISSN/ISSN-L matching table, updated daily and available on the ISSN International Centre’s website upon request.

Since January 2018, the “cluster” ISSN-L record type is also available through the new public version of the ISSN Portal ( which contains more than 2,5 million ISSN records. The Portal offers users access to free ISSN essential identification metadata, which can also be reused in several linked open data formats, and to subscribers, it offers a completely new range of data and services through ISSN records enriched with information from external sources that cooperate with the ISSN International Centre.

For more information, contact us at: - ISSN International Centre - 45, rue de Turbigo - 75003 Paris- France

Tel : +33 1 44 88 22 20 - Fax : +33 1 40 26 32 43 - –