Accessing the ISSN network
Accession to the ISSN Statutes and establishment of an operational ISSN National Centre
Formal procedures and technical arrangements
The first step to be taken by a Country wishing to establish an operational ISSN National Centre is to accede to the Statutes of the International Centre, which is an intergovernmental organisation whose activities are conducted for the benefit of Member States.
Accession to the Statutes
The Government (Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs) of the Country wishing to accede to the ISSN Statutes and to establish an ISSN National Centre should send a letter to the Director General of UNESCO stating that the Country accedes to the Statutes of the International Centre for the Registration of Serial publications (ISSN International Centre) and indicating the official body that is designated to act as the ISSN National Centre. Please note that the ISSN National Centre should normally be hosted by an institution which has easy access to serials collections in the Country and to the legal deposit circuit.
Once the ISSN International Centre is officially notified by UNESCO of the accession of a new Country to the ISSN Statutes, a second step has to be taken : the signature of a bilateral working agreement on the establishment of a National Centre. It is signed by the Director of the institution designated as National Centre and the Director of the ISSN International Centre.
This agreement lists the mutual responsibilities of both Centres and the technical arrangements: periodicity of data exchange, medium of exchange...
It should be noted that ISSN numbers have to be assigned free of charge, and that ISSN National Centres have to report their records to the ISSN International Centre, according to the rules of the ISSN Network.
Publications and services are provided to the National Centres operating in the member countries which comply with ISSN rules and contribute to the budget of the International Centre. The annual financial contributions are voted by the General Assembly of Member Countries every second year and are calculated according to the Gross National Product of the country. On request from the concerned Country, the ISSN International Centre ( ) provides indication regarding the amount of the annual contribution of the Country.
The contributions may be paid by any official body designated to this effect by the Governement, and not necessarily by the institution hosting the ISSN National Centre"
After the signature of the working agreement, the new National Centre receives all necessary documentation and working tools to help in establishing the operational procedures.
ISSN assignment procedures in the absence of a National Centre
In the absence of a National Centre in a given Country, the International Centre handles ISSN assignments upon request to serials issued in this Country.
On request from the concerned Country, the ISSN International Centre provides information regarding the number of ISSN assigned to publications issued in the Country. Once the new ISSN National Centre is established, the corresponding records are transmitted to the new ISSN National Centre.
In the mean time, publishers from the Country should request ISSN for their serial publications using forms which can be found on the ISSN web site. It is also possible to request ISSN directly through the ISSN Web site.The list of the ISSN Network Member Countries and ISSN National Centres can be found on the ISSN web site.
For any further question regarding the accession procedures and technical arrangements regarding the establishment of an operational ISSN National Centre, please do not hesitate to contact the ISSN International Centre.