The ISSN system


The ISSN system is comprised of the ISSN International Centre and the ISSN Network.

The ISSN Network is responsible for implementing the ISSN around the world. It is made up of ISSN National Centres. The ISSN International Centre coordinates their activity.


The International Centre for the registration of serial publications – CIEPS


The purpose of the CIEPS – or ISSN International Centre, an intergovernmental organisation - is to manage the International Serials Data System (ISDS), an automated registration system for serial publications in all disciplines.


The ISSN Network was formally established in 1975. The ISSN International Centre was officially created in Paris in 1976, under the terms of an agreement signed between UNESCO and France, the host country of the International Centre. This agreement consist in a law and decree which are regarded as a multilateral treaty for which UNESCO is the custodian of.


The Statutes of the ISSN International Centre constitute the main part of the 1976 agreement and govern the ISSN International Centre. They constitute the annexe of the decree.

To take advantage of the Centre’s activities, Member States and associate Members of UNESCO must be members of ISSN system.


Functions of the Centre


The ISSN International Centre coordinates the activities of the member countries.

It is responsible for maintaining and publishing the ISSN International Register (for more information about the ISSN International Register, see:


It is also responsible for assigning ISSNs to international publications, and publications issued in countries that do not have an ISSN National Centre.


It serves as a standardisation authority, distributes information concerning the ISSN and promotes its use.


The ISSN Network


The ISSN Network is responsible for implementing the ISSN around the world. It is comprised of 88 ISSN National Centres whose activities are coordinated by the ISSN International Centre. New members join the ISSN system on a regular basis.


The missions of the ISSN National Centres include:

- assigning ISSNs,

- maintaining local ISSN databases, and

- promoting the overall system.


ISSN National Centres are in contact with the publishers and bibliographical agencies of their countries, often in connection with their respective legal deposit systems.


ISSN National Centres are generally part of agencies that play an overriding role in the scientific and technical information system of the countries concerned.


The lits of the 88 National Centre is available on:


For more information about the ISSN system, see