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ISBN-13 Information

isbn-13 barcode

As of January 2007, ISBN agencies all over the world began to assign new ISBN numbers that are 13 digits long, replacing the 10 digit numbers previously provided. Since ISBN numbers are used to identify books for production, ordering, inventory, or researching, it is imperative that publishers understand the rationale and ramifications behind this upcoming major change. The complexity of making the transition variewd from publisher to publisher, depending on their existing systems and practices.


Benefits of the new ISBN-13 Format:

  • Increase the available number of ISBNs worldwide.
  • Enable conformance to the EAN global numbering system.
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    Converting to ISBN-13

    In essence, the ISBN-13 is the data encodation of the Bookland EAN – the number derived from the current ISBN in the bar code symbol.  Publishers can utilize onversion utility at www.isbn-international.org to convert their existing ISBN-10s to ISBN-13s.

    To convert the an ISBN-10 into a ISBN-13 format:

    Example:  0-123456-47-9
    1. Begin with prefix of “978”
    2. Use the first nine numeric characters of the ISBN (include dashes) 978-0-123456-47-
    3. Calculate the EAN check digit using the “Mod 10 Algorithm” 978-0-123456-47-2
    ISBN-10  0-123456-47-9 is now ISBN-13  978-0-123456-47-2

    Since January 1, 2007 , the numbers issued by all ISBN agencies have the new 13-digit structure; but as blocks of ISBN-13 s built on existing ISBN-10s are exhausted, new blocks will be prefixed with 979 instead of the current 978.



    Timing For The Transition