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Service description

ISBN – International Standard Book Number


The ISBN identifier and related the associated metadata (information about on the book in question) identifies books intended for public use. The Finnish Finland’s national ISBN Agency is responsible for handing out ISBNs in Finlandissuing ISBN identifiers in the country. The agency Agency maintains a the national publisher register and provides information about Finnish publishers for national and international use. The ISBN  is an unambiguous identifier of a book. The identifier is used, for example, in

  • acquiring publications
  • inventory lists of publishers
  • invoicing
  • bookshop ordering systems 
  • international and national union catalogues
  • bibliographies
  • library lending systems
  • information searches

Separate ISBNs are granted to every book intended for public use in every publication format and each edition containing changes. The physical format of the book may be printed, audiovisual or electronic.

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

ISMN – International Standard Music Number

The ISMN is an identifier for sheet music publications. It is meant is free of charge.

The ISMN is an identifier for publications of notated music. It is intended as a tool for publishing and selling sheet notated music as well as music library operations. The ISMN makes finding and handling publications easier. The ISMN for sheet music publications corresponds to the ISBN for books. The Finnish ISBN Agency is responsible for both ISBN and ISMN activities.

An ISMN is given to all sheet music publications intended for public use and each part belonging to a sheet music publication available separately.

use of music libraries. The ISMN is not a statutory identifier, but the majority of publishers use it, because is in wide use by publishers as the ISMN identifies the sheet music publication and its publisherspublisher. The ISMN identifier is free to useof charge.