1. Significance of ISSN code

The ISSN code uniquely identifies, at international level, the title of a serial publication. It is a standardized numerical code, consisting of two groups of 4 figures, separated by hyphen, preceded by the acronym ISSN. The ISSN code only has signification in itself and does not contain information referring to the origin or to the content of the publication. The ISSN code does not have juridical value and does not ensure exclusivity upon the title it has been assigned to.

2. Categories of documents that receive ISSN code

The ISSN code is destined for serial publications and series (collections) of monographs. Serial publications are documents issued in successive parts, in whatever format, usually having numerical or chronological order and no predetermined end. 

Serial publications that are assigned ISSN code are: magazines, yearbooks, annals, bulletins and scientific works, newspapers and reports.

The ISSN code is not assigned to the following types of publications: books, albums, calendars, catalogues (guides, lists, prices, offers), great and small advertising publications, crosswords, TV programs. As regards the serial publication in electronic format category, the ISSN code is not assigned to personal or business websites, to commercial sites, to sites that only contain links to other addresses, to news and media channels, to weblogs.

3. Utilization rules of the ISSN code

The ISSN code and the title of the serial publication, uniquely registered as “key-title” form a unique entity at international level.

Throughout its issuance, the publication may change its editor, locality or country, its periodicity, it can be quoted in various ways. The ISSN code will remain unchanged and will unequivocally identify the respective publication.

The ISSN code only applies to the title it was assigned to. Any title modification shall entail the assignment of a new ISSN code.

The ISSN code is not transmissible.

Different ISSN codes are assigned for supplements, editions in other languages, series and sub-series of a periodical publication.

The same publication in series issued in different formats (printed, electronic, CD-ROM etc.) will have different ISSN codes for every edition individually, even if it has the same title.

The modifications in terms of editor name, periodicity, place of issuance do not require the assignment of another ISSN code, however their reporting to the National ISSN Centre is mandatory.

4. Printing the ISSN code

The ISSN code is communicated to the applicant in writing. It shall be printed at every issue, on each copy, in the form ISSN XXXX-XXXX.

  • For printed serial publications, the choice place for ISSN is the editor’s imprint. It may be printed in any other visible, easily detectable place.
  • For serial publications on CD-ROM, the ISSN code will be printed on the cover of the disk, will be written on the disk and on the presentation screen, close to the title.
  • For online serial publications, the ISSN code will be written on the presentation screen, close to the title, numbering elements, editor.

5. Necessary materials for the assignment of theISSN code

The necessary materials for the assignment of the ISSN code for printed publications:

  • Completed application form;
  • A4 copy after the cover for printed publications, respectively after the presentation screen, for electronic publications.

The applicant (editor or institution) is liable for the correctness and conformity of the data filled in the application form.

6. Frequently asked questions about ISSN

a) When is the ISSN code applied for?

For the publications in the pre-publication phase, the ISSN code is required when the first issue of the publication is ready for print.

b) How long does it take to obtain the ISSN code?

The ISSN code is granted on the spot, at the headquarters of Romania’s National Library or within 2 working days since the correct and complete receipt of the necessary materials. The ISSN will be transmitted to the applicant by fax or e-mail.

c) Does the ISSN code confer exclusivity upon the publication title?

The ISSN code together with the “key-title” confers uniqueness in identifying the publication. The right to exclusive use upon a title is obtained after the registration of the mark at OSIM (State Office for Inventions and Trademarks).

d) What happens to the ISSN code when a publication ceases to be issued?

When a serial publication permanently or temporarily ceases to be issued, the ISSN code remains registered in the database as pertaining to the respective publication. It cannot be reused and is not transmissible.

e) What happens to the ISSN code when a publication continues to be issued as new series?

In this case the ISSN code remains unchanged, provided that the publication title should remain the one registered when the code was assigned.

f) What happens when a publication changes its editor?

The modification of some bibliographical data, such as the issuance frequency, the language of the text, the editor (name, address) do not entail the change of the ISSN code. These modifications shall be notified, over the telephone or in writing, to the National ISSN Centre, to update the identification data of the respective publication.

g) What happens to a publication that does not have ISSN code?

All serial publications in Romania are entered and registered in the national database, with or without ISSN code, insofar as they are sent to the Legal Deposit, according to the Law no. 111/1995 republished.

h) Who is responsible for the content of a publication?

The liability for the content of a publication is incumbent, as appropriate, to the institution/ organization achieving the text or on the editor. The National ISSN Centre is not competent to assess, in anyway, the quality of the content of a publication and the ISSN code does not relate in any way to the content of the publication.

i) Which is the connection between the ISSN code and the copyright?

The ISSN code does not confer and does not replace the copyright.

j) Which is the connection between the ISSN code and the ISBN code?

In some cases, certain types of documents may have dual coding ISSN/ ISBN. The analysis of these cases, according to the international valid rules, is incumbent to the National ISSN Centre.

k) Does the ISSN code have a term of validity?

No. The ISSN code is valid as long as the publication keeps the title it was registered with. Any title change entails the assignment of a new ISSN code.