The ISSN identifies continuing resources. The Finnish ISSN Agency is responsible for assigning the identifiers in Finland and for sending the information on publications which have been assigned ISSN identifiers to the ISSN Portal.

The ISSN is used to identify a particular magazine, series or other continuous resource from other publications. The identifier is used in

Publishing industry ordering and distribution systems to facilitate the recognition of publications

The ISSN is tied to the title of the publication. If the title changes, the identifier must also be changed. A separate ISSN must be assigned to different publication formats.

Information on publications which have been assigned ISSN identifiers will be entered both into the national Fennica database and the international ISSN Portal.

The ISSN identifies sets of publications and is thus not applicable for texts such as articles. A continuing resource is an indefinitely continuing text publication published in a printed or electronic format with a common title. Continuing resources include the following:

Multi-volume works (e.g., encyclopaedias) and publication series belonging to projects are not continuing resources, as they are usually designed to have an end date.