True College Quotes

“A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

- Theodore Roosevelt

What is an ISBN?

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 10-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally.

What is the purpose of an ISBN?

The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, allowing for more efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors.

What is the format of the ISBN?

Every ISBN consists of ten digits and whenever it is printed it is preceded by the letters ISBN. The ten-digit number is divided into four parts of variable length, each part separated by a hyphen.

Does the ISBN have any meaning imbedded in the numbers?

The four parts of an ISBN are as follows:

  • Group or Country Identifier which identifies a national or geographic grouping of publishers
  • Publisher Identifier which identifies a particular publisher within a group
  • Title Identifier which identifies a particular title or edition of a title
  • Check Digit is the single digit at the end of the ISBN which validates the ISBN

Why do some ISBNs end in an "X"?

In the case of the check digit, the last digit of the ISBN, the upper case X can appear. The method of determining the check digit for the ISBN is the modulus 11 with the weighting factors 10 to 1. The Roman numeral X is used in lieu of 10 where ten would occur as a check digit.

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