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ISSN is acronym for International Standard Serial Number which identifies the title of serial publications. ISSN is a 8 digit number which including a checksum digit, and preceding alphabetic prefix ISSN. ISSN barcode smybology was first designed in 1970's by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) as identification code in serial publications. It is used in print and non-print industry, including magazines, newspapers, and annual reports. ISSN coordination is international. The NSDP (National Serials Data Program) is responsible for registering and assigning ISSN for publishing industry. ISSN Barcode Smybology is based on the EAN-13 barcode. It uses the EAN-13 to encode ISSN number with a special prefix. ISSN barcode smybology was defined by the standard of ISO 3297-1975/ANSI Z39.9-1979.
Encoding Data of ISSN Barcode Smybology
ISSN Barcode Smybology is capable of encoding Arabic numerals ranges from 0 to 9.
Also an upper case X could be encoded in the final place as check digit.
Valid encoding character set is: 1234567890X
Structure of ISSN Barcode Smybology
ISSN barcode smybology consists of the 6 parts. Like ISBN (International Standard Book Number) or local control numbers, a distinction must be preserved.
  • Numbers are preceded by An ISSN. The letters are appears as 2 groups each with 4 digits. A hyphen is used to separate the numbers.
  • The ISSN prefix. Number 977 follows immediately with the number ISSN to identify it is an ISSN code
  • The following 7 digits of the ISSN; Please note these digits may not be represented which encoded with an EAN-13
  • The sequence variant which is 2 digits long space and indicates the price code
  • The check digit is always located in the right most position. It is computed from the entire EAN number - 977+ISSN (without ISSN check digit) +Sequence variant (Signify price changing)
  • Two digit add-on; the supplementary digits are used to signify the various issue numbers. The ISSN symbol may show with or without the two digit add-on.
Checksum Digit Calculation of ISSN Barcode Smybology
Checksum digit offers the error correction capability of the barcode. It is essential for preventing scanning errors. The ISSN barcode smybology computes check digit by using a modulus 11 basis method. This method employs weights 8 to 2 calculation process. Just follow the steps:
  1. First, take the first 7 digits of the ISSN barcode smybology
  2. Second, assign weight value from 8 to 2 of the first 7 digits in the sequence from left to right position. The left-most digit encoded in the ISSN barcode smybology will be assigned with weight value of 8 while the right-most one will be assigned with weight value 2.
  3. Multiple the weight value related with the digit value
  4. Sum up all the result and divide this summary by the modulus 11
  5. Add a No. to let the result be even divided by 11. The No. added is the checksum digit.
Please note an upper case X is used in the check digit position if the remainder is 10. Checksum digit is 0 if there is no remainder.
Applications of ISSN Barcode Smybology
  • Publishing Industry: ISSN barcode smybology could be used to identify the serial publications including journal, newspaper
  • Catalogue Database: ISSN barcode smybology could be used as recode and also ISSN register to control the database
  • Subscription agencies: ISSN barcode smybology is used by the agency between publishers and their customers as intermediaries
  • Retailers and wholesalers could use ISSN based barcodes to control the magazine and newspaper circulation