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LIS-E-RESOURCES 2004

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Subject:

ISSN revision

From:

Hugh Taylor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

An informal open list set up by the UK Serials Group <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 2 Apr 2004 13:49:19 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (67 lines)

Apologies for cross-posting.

As many of you will be aware, the ISSN standard is currently under review.
There's more on this at the website of the Working Group charged with the
revision work:
http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/iso/tc46sc9/wg5.htm

One issue that is particularly critical for libraries is the Working
Group's charge to "clarify policies for assigning ISSN to different
editions or versions of a resource". At its meeting in late January the WG
decided "to conduct an enquiry on different scenarios, among the different
professional communities using the ISSN". This is from section 10 of the
minutes, a full copy of which is at
http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/iso/tc46sc9/wg5/wg5n7.pdf

Fuller details of the survey itself are in another document:
http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/iso/tc46sc9/wg5/wg5n8.pdf

Regina Reynolds, Head, National Serials Data Program (U.S. ISSN center)
presented to the WG a very interesting paper
http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/iso/tc46sc9/wg5/wg5n4.pdf
outlining the issues surrounding the current practice of assigning
different ISSNs to print, online and CD-ROM versions of the same title. The
paper goes on to list the many problems that the current policy brings.
Indeed, I suspect these problems were the main reason why members voted to
review the standard now rather than merely to extend it for a further
5-year period.

One of the scenarios that's on the WG's list, and the one which I
personally find easily the most persuasive, is what's listed in the
documentation as Scenario C:
---
"Change the current policy so that a "base" ISSN will be assigned at the
title level and standardized/controlled suffixes will be assigned, when
needed, as add-ons to that base ISSN to identify each different media
version."
---
It's worth noting that this scenario already has the strong support from
much of the US library community, as the appendix to Regina's document,
quoting responses to a National Information Standards Organization survey,
indicates.

I think it's likely that few (if any) UK libraries will be included in the
telephone survey that the ISO WG is undertaking (unsurprising given that's
it a worldwide survey covering all types of ISSN stakeholder). But I would
urge you to make sure serials colleagues - as well as any systems folk who
have to administer access to e-journals (esp those who have Link Resolvers
in place, or who are thinking about them) - think about the issues that
this review raises. If you feel strongly that Scenario C is the best one
for libraries, then consider contacting one of the WG members and putting
your point of view. (Although there's no membership list on the website,
David Baron and Robina Clayphan of the British Library are listed as
participants at the Paris meeting.)

The ISSN revision is important for so many reasons. And the basis for
constructing and assigning ISSNs is a crucial matter for libraries.
Scenario C seems the best way of meeting present and future needs.
--
Hugh Taylor
Head, Collection Development and Description
Cambridge University Library
West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR, England

email: [log in to unmask]   fax: +44 (0)1223 333160
phone: +44 (0)1223 333069 (with voicemail) or
phone: +44 (0)1223 333000 (ask for pager 036)

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