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Introduction - ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique International Publisher’s Identifier number, which is meant for monographic publications. ISBN is a thirteen-digit number, which replaces the handling of long bibliographic descriptive records thereby saving time, staff costs and reducing copying errors. ISBN is known throughout the world as a short and clear machine-readable identification number, which marks any book unmistakably. ISBN is a machine readable in the form of 13-digit i.e. Book land EAN Bar Code. This is the fast system for the running of electronic point of sale system in bookshops. ISBN mainly executes ordering and distribution of books, which is the fast and efficient method. ISBN is the essential instrument in modern distribution and rationalization opportunities in the book trade. An ISBN is an important factor in book market.

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) system was introduced in the world in 1972 and in India this system was put into operation in January 1985 by Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency for ISBN and in the alphabetical order of member countries, our country stands at serial No. 60. The book industry in India is a diverse space consisting of the wide range of professionals such as authors, editors, printers, booksellers and distributors etc. Today India is among the top multilingual publishing country in the world and is the 3rd third-largest market in the world for print book publishing.

The International ISBN Agency is appointed by [ISO] as the registration authority for the ISBN system worldwide. The International ISBN Agency is based in London and has appointed different National Agencies in different geographical areas to look after the administration of ISBN in that particular area for which they pay an annual fee to International ISBN Agency. RRRNA in India is responsible for registration of Indian Publishers, Authors (Self-publishers), Universities, Institutions and Government Departments who publishes books/seminars/conferences or any other eligible product. To obtain ISBN, applicants/stakeholders may apply to RRRNA- Indian ISBN Agency at The agency also sends the required reports and data annually to International ISBN Agency, London which is to be included in the Publishers International ISBN Directory.

Efforts have been made from time to time to streamline the operation of the agency which caters to the requirement of the applicants of the entire country. Accordingly, to streamline the process, the allotment of ISBN has been made completely online through the web portal Thus, with effect from 30th April 2016, all the ISBN applications are being processed through the online portal and to further make the process more user-friendly and in line with the norms of International ISBN Agency, London, the existing portal has been enhanced and came in to existence from 09.07.2020 onwards.