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ISBN, ISSN and CIP Explained

International Standard Book numbers - ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally. While an ISBN is not mandatory, and does not provide copyright on a work, it is the principal world-wide ordering device for the international book trade and library market. 

ISBNs are assigned by ISBN group agencies in 166 countries, coordinated by the International ISBN Agency in London. The Australian ISBN Agency assigns ISBNs in Australia exclusively.

The South Australian Department of Health is registered with the Australian ISBN Agency as a publisher, and purchases ISBNs for its publications.

Obtaining an ISBN:

All publications of the Department of Health other than ephemera* should have an International Standard Book number (ISBN). When the publication is at final draft stage, the draft document should be sent to the library with a request for an ISBN.

Send requests to:

You will be sent an ISBN for use with each publication.


Cataloguing-in-Publication data 

Once you have obtained an ISBN for a publication, Cataloguing in Publication data can be assigned. General information about CIP can be found at

A Word document explaining how to complete the application for CIP is available at: It is STRONGLY recommended that you consult this document BEFORE beginning an online submission in order to ensure that you have all the necessary information to hand.

Send requests for CIP for your publication via the online application form:

Legal Deposit - print

According to our legal deposit obligations all print publications in South Australia must have copies lodged at various sites. When your printing is complete send seven copies of your document to the library, and we will take care of the rest of the process. Send copies to:

Attn: Jillian Small
Royal Adelaide Hospital Library
1 Port Road
Adelaide SA 5000 

Or via courier to: 

Attn: Jillian Small
Royal Adelaide Hospital Library
DX 800

International Standard Serial numbers - ISSN

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is a unique code for the identification of serial publications. It can be used wherever information on serials needs to be recorded or communicated. The ISSN is the serials equivalent of the ISBN and is intended for reuse with each new issue.

Obtaining an ISSN:

An application for an ISSN may be completed using the online application form from the National Library. (

Please read the information about the use of the ISSN on the National Library website:

* Ephemera: items "that are transitory or ephemeral in nature such as: trade catalogues, telephone directories, almanacs, timetables, comic books, colouring-in books, pamphlets, fill-in books, diaries, calendars, tri-fold brochures and other types of material not for permanent retention." Website - National Library of Australia, Cataloguing in Publication, (Accessed 13 Jan 2017)