Service description

An ISBN identifies books intended for public use. The Finnish national ISBN Agency is responsible for handing out ISBNs in Finland. The Agency maintains a national publisher register and provides information about Finnish publishers for national and international use.

Identifiers as a part of metadata serve the publishing industry and library sector in their entirety and support identification, processing and availability of publications. The identifiers are used, for example, in publishing industry's ordering and distribution systems to speed up the recognition of publications as well as international and domestic joint catalogues, bibliographies, library lending systems and information retrieval.

Each book and, publication format and each edition containing changes are rewarded a separate ISBN. This promotes the identification of publications in the publishing industry's distribution chain and ensures that customers get the desired publication at their disposal. Publication format may be a printed book or an audiovisual or electronic recording.

Joining the service
  • Free of charge

Free service

Standards used

International standard organisation ISO maintains the international ISBN standard ISO 2108 and Finnish Standards Association SFS maintain the Finnish ISBN standard SFS-ISO 2108.

Background information

The international ISBN Agency coordinates and develops ISBN activities in cooperation with national ISBN Agencies. The international ISBN Agency maintains the international identifier distribution system and publisher register.

The website of the international ISBN Agency

ISBN Users' Manual


Service users
  • Enterprises
  • Organisations
  • Private individuals
Steering responsibility

Finnish ISBN Agency


Organisation model
  • Service is developed as part of basic operation of National Library
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