Monthly Archives: February 2013

What is an ISBN number for?

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is a unique number assigned to books and other book-like products. An ISBN helps identify a book—or one specific edition of a book —printed by a single publisher. Before January 2007, ISBNs were 10 digits long. Since January 1, 2007, however, ISBNs have 13 digits. These digits consist of a 3-digit prefix, either 978 or 979, which indicates the industry producing the product; a group identifier, which indicates the country, geographic area, or language area of the product; a registrant element, which identifies the product’s publisher; an item number, which represents the title of the product and, if relevant, the specific edition; and a check digit, a number calculated from other digits in the ISBN which is used to detect errors. Continue reading