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Obtaining ISSNs

March 12, 2003

After reading fawny's ISSN guide, I figured I would go out and apply for an ISSN.
It would appear that the British Library are not interested in awarding weblogs an ISSN. I enquired last week as I noticed that I had all the criteria necessary for obtaining such a number.
There is a blanket ban on awarding ISSNs to weblogs by the British Library. This is confusing; their guidelines state that any serial that has a date, clearly defined name and regular updates are eligible, be they online or not.
Taken from the library of congress' ISSN site:

Criteria for Assigning ISSN

The same criteria for determining if a serial is eligible for an ISSN apply to electronic and print publications: an intention to continue publishing indefinitely and being issued in designated parts. In the case of electronic serials--especially those available online, such as on the Internet--the most significant criterion is that the publication must be divided into parts or issues which carry unique, numerical designations by which the individual issues may be identified, checked in, etc. Electronic serials that are issued as individual articles meet this criterion as long as the articles carry a unique designation. Thus, a database issued quarterly on CD-ROM and carrying quarterly date designations would be eligible for an ISSN while the same database as an online service which was being continually and seamlessly updated would not be eligible.  

The interesting thing is that their ban was for websites in general; so one of my other projects, Politicalia, (an online web service for UK politics) is not able to achieve one either, even though I want to produce a version daily. (ie, stoping short of actually printing it daily).
I guess I need to appeal to the US ISSN providers... perhaps they'll be more lenient.

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