Service description

An ISMN identifies sheet music intended for public use. The Finnish national ISBN Agency is also responsible for handing out ISMNs 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 published sheet music, its each publication format and each edition containing changes are rewarded a separate ISMN .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 publication or an audiovisual or electronic recording.

Joining the service
  • Free of charge

Free service

Standards used

International standard organisation ISO maintains the international ISMN standard ISO 10957 and Finnish Standards Association SFS maintain the Finnish ISMN standard SFS-ISO 5793.


Background information

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

International ISMN Agency

ISMN 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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