Thursday, September 20, 2007

“Unique Identifiers in Libraries: ISSN Revision” by Regina Romano Reynolds

Reynolds, Head of the National Serials Data Program, looks at ISSN (International Standard Serials Number) and its changing role due to the proliferation of various formats for a given title. In 2003, an international working group was formed to revise the standard. In a world of electronic resources, the ISSN is a vital data element for periodical access management systems (PAMS), electronic resource management systems (ERMS), abstracting & indexing services, and OpenURL link resolvers, to name a few. After providing background information on new and old uses for ISSN, Reynolds provides an overview of the revision process and explains the changes resulting from it. As I’ve reported earlier, the result of this work is the ISSN-L or linking ISSN. The ISSN-L is a title level identifier, but each manifestation of that title will also continue to carry a unique ISSN. The first ISSN assigned (regardless of format) will also function as the ISSN-L. Planning for ISSN-L implementation, including data distribution, was underway at the time the article was written. This article will be of interest to folks following the ISSN revision process over the past few years, but will also get others up to speed who are just now finding out about the changes.

Reynolds’s article can be found in the Serials Librarian, vol. 53, no. 1/2 (2007), pages 125-137.

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