Service description

ISNI, the International Standard Name Identifier, is an identifier given to a public identity of a person or an organisation. The ISNI is useful in distinguishing e.g. two persons with identical names. It also helps to recognise two expressions of a name (e.g. in different writing systems) as referring to the same entity.

The National Library of Finland has not yet started to assign ISNIs. The Library joined the ISNI organization in 2013 but is not yet a Registration Agency. First steps will be taken in the autumn of 2016, when the Library will obtain ISNIs to circa 41,000 names of organizations. This will happen by a batch load of authority records from the national authority database Asteri to the international ISNI database where identifiers will be assigned to them.

There are Finnish names with identifiers in the ISNI database already, entered by other registration agencies around the world. The National Library of Finland has no control over these data and they often contain errors. As a general rule those ISNIs should not be used. Only if a name form has been entered by several registration agencies, the record may be deemed to be trustworthy.

The Finnish national bibliography Fennica does not yet contain ISNIs. As soon as the Library starts assigning ISNIs, the necessary checking of ISNIs and related name forms will commence.

Joining the service
  • Paid service
  • Joining the service requires a contract
  • Free of charge
Standards used
  • ISO 27729:2012 International standard name identifier (ISNI) by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
  • SFS-ISO 27729 Nimien kansainvälinen standarditunnus (ISNI) by The Finnish Standards Association SFS.
Contact information
Agent Metadata Service
Background information
  • The ISNI International Agency is responsible for the international ISNI database and supervision of the ISNI assignation process:
Service users
  • Enterprises
  • Private person
  • Organisations
Steering responsibility

The National Library of Finland

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