Applying for ISBN and ISSN identifiers for publications

ISBN identifies books, ISMN sheet music publications and ISSN serial publications. In Finland, these identifiers are applied for from the Finnish ISBN and ISSN Agencies operating at the National Library of Finland. The identifiers are free for applicants.

    ISBN and ISMN identifiers

    It is the publisher’s duty to get an ISBN or ISMN identifier for its publications. Each individual or organisation publishing books or sheet music publications intended for public use is considered a publisher.

    The ISBN is not required by law, but the majority of publishers use it, because the ISBN identifies the book and its publishers unambiguously.

    The form can be used for applying for an identifier, for example, for a self-published works, a doctoral thesis or a single book of a small publisher:

    ISBN and ISMN identifier application form

    If you publish regularly (for example, one or more publications a year) and you are not yet a member of the ISBN system, then please complete this electronic application form:

    Application to Join the ISBN/ISMN System (Publisher Register)

    Further information:

    Further information on ISBN and ISMN identifiers

    Publisher Register

    Change contact information


    ISSN identifier

    ISSN is the international identifier for serial text publications. A serial publication is a publication with no predetermined conclusion issued in parts under the same title, whether in printed or electronic format.

    The machine-readable ISSN is inseparable from the name of the publication; if the name of the publication changes, the identifier must also be changed. ISSN identifier is usable when handling publications in book shops and libraries. These kinds of publications include

    • traditional publications, e.g. journals and magazines published in separate consecutive issues or volumes
    • continuously updated publications

    You can apply for an identifier with the below form:

    ISSN identifier application form

    Further information

    Further information on ISSN identifier