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International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs)

If an individual or a group (as “author”) has created a monographic work (e.g., a physical book, an e-book, an audiobook, an instructional video, a CD-ROM), this work should be assigned an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) by its publisher before being distributed. If it is intended by an author that Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne be identified as the publisher of a work, whether the work is in English or French, then the author should contact the University Librarian to request an ISBN, which will identify the University as the publisher. 

Generally, if the work is issued or sponsored by an academic or administrative unit of Laurentian University, it may be considered a Laurentian University publication.  In case of doubt, before providing an ISBN, the University Librarian will consult with the University’s Chief of Staff, who has general oversight of Laurentian University communications, as to whether the work should be identified as a Laurentian University publication. The University Librarian serves as the contact between Laurentian University and ISBN Canada, and maintains the list of Laurentian University ISBNs that have been assigned, reporting, in this regard, to the Chief of Staff upon request.

Each specific format or edition of a given work should have a distinct ISBN (unless more than one format will be distributed together as a unit, e.g., a book distributed with an accompanying CD); an ISBN for each such format or new edition should be requested.  Upon request, the University Librarian may also be able to offer assistance with respect to an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) for a serial publication or an International Standard Music Number (ISMN) for a musical publication. 

The following resources on ISBNs may be helpful:

  • ISBN Canada – The Canadian ISBN Agency, the unit within Library and Archives Canada (LAC) that assigns ISBNs to Canadian publishers publishing primarily English-language or bilingual works.  There is much important information on ISBNs in Canada on its website, including a helpful FAQ and a searchable list of primarily English-language and bilingual Canadian publishers.
  • Attribution ISBN – The Canadian ISBN agency within Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) that assigns ISBNs to Canadian publishers producing primarily French-language works.  There is much important information on ISBNs in Canada with respect to French-language publishing, including a searchable list of French-language publishers in Canada. 
  • International ISBN Agency – The international agency that coordinates ISBN assignment among nations.
  • ISBN Users’ Manual (2012) – A helpful general explanation of ISBNs and their use.

Cataloguing in Publication

Once a work has been assigned an ISBN, it may be eligible for the Cataloguing in Publication service by Library and Archives Canada. Cataloguing in publication data will be helpful for libraries that may wish to acquire the work or for booksellers if it is a work for eventual sale.  The University Librarian can assist in assessing the eligibility of a work and with completing and submitting the application form.  

Legal Deposit

Many works published in Canada are subject to the requirements of Legal Deposit.  Legal deposit is a means of creating a record of Canada’s publication heritage; works acquired under the program become a part of the collection of Library and Archives Canada. The University Librarian can assist in assessing the applicability of legal deposit requirements to a given work and can assist in completing the deposit of the work with Library and Archives Canada.