|ISSN / Barcode FAQs|
What is an ISSN?
ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number and is a unique numeric identifier for serial publications. Serial publications are issued in succession but share the same title from one issue to the next. Examples of serials include journals, magazines, electronic journals, ongoing directories, newspapers, and monographic series.
Do I need one?
If your serial publication is intended for general circulation, you will need an ISSN. Once the publication is ready in printed or electronic form, you are required to submit one copy of the publication to the international body that issues ISSNs, as well as one copy to each of the five Legal Depositories (national libraries) in South Africa.
ISSNs are not needed for once-off publications, magazine specials, newspaper specials, finite publications, serials not intended for general circulation, calendars, diaries or posters.
Where can I obtain an ISSN?
You can order your ISSN through us. We will complete and submit the necessary information on your behalf, and do whatever follow up is necessary with the international organisation that issues the ISSN.
To order an ISSN, you will need to do the following:
Please note: The ISSN application service is for South African publishers and self-publishing authors only.
How soon should I apply for an ISSN?
Apply at least a month before the ISSN is needed. Ideally the request should be made as soon as the title and launch date of a new title have been decided upon. In certain cases, the international ISSN Centre may need additional information or may need to consult other ISSN national centres before the number is issued. This may take some time.
How much does it cost?
We charge R850 incl. VAT for the service. This is a once-off cost provided the title of the serial publication remains the same. We accept EFT and direct deposit payments. Details are included on the application form.
What is an ISSN barcode?
A barcode is an optical representation of data (usually in the form of lines) that can be read by a scanner and which shows certain data on certain products. Almost every product that is retailed has a barcode on it, including books and serial publications. Scanning of barcodes allows for quick retrieval of the product's important information such as name, product code, price and isssue, and helps the distribution chain with effective management of that product and easy point of sale transactions.
Do I need one?
If you intend selling your serial publication through the usual channels of distribution such as retailers, bookstores, online stores, libraries and distribution warehouses, your publication will need a barcode. A barcode can only be generated once you have an ISSN.
If you intend bypassing the distribution chain by selling or distributing your publication privately, or if you sell it through online stores that do not hold physical stock of your publication, then a barcode is not necessary.
Ordering a barcode
Once you have an ISSN, you can order your barcode here. If you don't already have an ISSN, you can order both items together.
Your barcode will be emailed to you within 1 to 2 working days from the date of application and proof of payment, except when ordering the ISSN and barcode together, in which case you should allow a full month.
We can supply a barcode to anyone with an ISSN number, regardless of country of operation or origin.
Note: We can also supply barcodes for 13-digit EANs/GTINs (used on all other retail products except books and serial publications).
How much does it cost?
Barcode costs are calculated on a sliding scale, details of which are included on the application form along with our banking details. We accept EFT and direct deposit payments.