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International Standard Serial Number Registration

***Advisory (May 22, 2020) : In view of the state of national emergency that the country is facing, please see Public Advisory No. Jet-01 for the guidelines on application for ISBN, ISSN and ISMN.

What is ISSN?

ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number. It is an international identifier for serials and continuing resources in the electronic and print worlds. It can be assigned to any serial or continuing resource whether past, present or to be published in the forseeable future whatever the medium of production [e.g. print, online, CD-ROM, etc.].

ISSN in the Philippines

The ISSN National Center in the Philippines started operating in late 1975 with the National Science Development Board (NSDB) as the National Center.  In 1981, the ISSN National Center was transferred to the National Library as part of its integrated bibliographic services.  This is in keeping with the internationally accepted practice of establishing National Centers within the framework of national libraries together with the national agency for ISBN as part of its supportive programs.

What is the use of ISSN?

The ISSN, the unique identifier for serials, is used by many different types of organizations and interest groups to fulfill a wide range of purposes:
  • Publishers and subscription agencies: ISSN enables disambiguation between titles that are the same or similar to each other. It is a key data element for successful Open URL implementation.
  • Press distributors: Faster and easier distribution thanks to the embedding of ISSN in EAN 13 bar codes.
  • Libraries and union-catalogues: Records can be downloaded in order to update a local catalogue or database. Valuable for file matching and de-duplication; for document delivery and inter-library loan; for transactions with subscription agencies [ordering, claiming, paying invoices, etc.].
  • Scholars, Researchers, Scientists: The ISSN Portal is an important source of information for worldwide bibliographic queries. The ISSN is also a basic requirement for all scholarly serials and publications: it is taken into account in the evaluation process of scholarly publications.
  • Electronic resources management and access: The ISSN is the major key for the building of knowledge bases for the management and access to electronic resources, and for the accurate building and processing of Open URLs.


Publications eligible for ISSN assignment:

ISSN is requested only if the publication is either print or electronic which belongs to one of the categories stated below:

  • Serial. A continuing resource in any medium, issued in a succession of discrete parts, usually bearing numbering, that has no predetermined conclusion. Examples of serials include journals, magazines, electronic journals, ongoing directories, annual reports, newspapers, monographic series, and newsletters.
  • Journal. A term frequently used for periodical, particularly more learned periodicals.
  •  Newspaper. A serial issued at states and frequent intervals, usually daily, weekly or semi-weekly and that reports events and discuses topics of general current interest.
  • Magazine. A print periodical containing miscellaneous pieces (such as articles, stories,poems) and often illustrated.
  • Monographic series. A group of separate continuing resources related to one another by the fact that each continuing resource bears, in addition to its own title proper, a collective title applying to the group as a whole, i.e., the title proper of the series. The separate continuing resources may or may not be numbered. The items within a series may be monographs or may constitute serials.


Publications NOT eligible for ISSN assignment

  • Personal resources (personal web sites and web pages, online diaries)
  • Resources focusing on a company, a product, an institution or an organization advertising and promotional websites, commercial web sites, product information web sites, company, organization and institutional websites.
  • Ephemeral resources or materials that are transitory or short-lived.
  • Web sites consisting  only of links.
  • Books.  The identifier applicable to books is the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).


When should a new ISSN be assigned?

When the title of the publication undergoes a major change, a new ISSN is assigned. If the medium of a publication changes, e.g. from print to online, a new ISSN is assigned.


How to access the ISSN Portal?

  • Identification by Login and Password or by IP[Optional: submission of lists an d titles]
  • ISSN Data also available via downloading of data files in different formats [MARC21, UNIMARC or tabular], or via the Z39.50 protocol in MARC21.

How to obtain an ISSN?


    1. Dully filled out NLP-052 ISSN Information Sheet

    2. Submit the publications:

        ◦ For print publication, two (2) copies of the first issue (or at least the sample copy/mock-up copy/manuscript) with the title page, editorial responsibility, frequency statement and publisher indicated on it.

        ◦ For CD/DVD, two (2) copies of the first issue (or at least the sample copy/mock-up copy/manuscript) with the title label/cover, editorial responsibility, frequency statement and publisher affixed on the disc and/or on the container.

        ◦ For online publication, valid URL with editorial responsibility and frequency statement with complete contact details (name of publisher/institution, address, telephone number, mobile number, e-mail (institutional domain)) should be displayed on the publication website.

    3. Registration fee of Php.120.00


    1. Consult the ISSN National Centre of the Philippines for assessment of the publication to be published.

    2. ISSN will be issued only to the AUTHORIZED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE.

    3. Fill-out application form (NLP-052 ISSN Information Sheet).

    4. Submit the accomplished and signed form in two (2) copies together with the requirements.

    5. Submit the documents at the National Library of the Philippines, Bibliographic Services Division (NLP-BSD) Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 PM, except on holiday.

    6. Pay the registration fee.

Applications may be sent through any of the following:

    1. Hand-deliver
    2. Courier Service
    3. Postal Mail

Payment may be in form of:

    1. Postal Money Order (payable to: National Library of the Philippines)
    2. Cash

Address to:

National Library of the Philippines
c/o Mr. Carmelo Agapito Baranda
OIC, Bibliographic Services Division
T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila

Contact Information:

Tel. No.: 5336-7200 loc. 406-407



ISSN Brochure (A4 size paper)

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