Does the epub and paperback publication of same book requires separate following identifiers ?

  • ISBN
  • ISSN
  • ISMN
  • URN
  • LCSH
  • DDC

1 Answer 1


First, we need to distinguish what is what code is used for. Some code do not describe books (ISSN, ISMN, URN). Others describe library sorting (LCSH, DDC), where these systems were built long before computers and electronic books (LCSH - 1898, DDC - 1876). And there is not a complete practice of dealing with this.

ISBN - International Standard Book Number

This is for books. Practice is such that every format (Epub, PDF, Mobi, DjVu etc.) has own ISBN. (It should be.) Sometimes a paperback and a hardcover book have their own ISBN code.

ISSN - International Standard Serial Number

This is for periodicals (magazines, a periodically published series of books etc.) It is not required in my country. Perhaps it will be similar in other countries. What I know, the code should be the same (for paper and digital copy).

ISMN - International Standard Music Number for Printed Music

This is for music. No for ebooks.

URN - Uniform Resource Name

URN uses a "urn" scheme and does not address the availability of the identified resource. This is prefix example for ISBN and ISSN.


LCSH - Library of Congress Subject Headings

I am not American. I do not know how you handle it. I recommend visiting the congress library web site.

DDC - Dewey Decimal Classification or Dewey Decimal System

I suppose it should be taken as another edition of the book. What I know is distinguished by the letter (one character) at the end (in my country). But library practice may vary.


ISBN - different
ISSN - same + postfix
DDC - same + postfix

  • re ISBN I thought that hardback and paperback should have different codes and if they had the same one it is an error.
    – mmmmmm
    Oct 4, 2018 at 20:39
  • As to does an ebook need an ISIN - depends on publisher and way of dstribution e.g. Amazon does not require one. If an epub has an ISBN then it must differ from the paperback also Amazon format and epub and pdf will all have different ISIN
    – mmmmmm
    Oct 4, 2018 at 20:42

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