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ISBN barcodes

The International Standard Book Number is a unique commercial book identifier. The numbers are assigned to publishers by the national Agency in the country of publication.

As of January 2007 all ISBN Agencies began issuing 13 digit ISBN numbers instead of the 10 digit number used previously.

The old ISBN-10 barcode coding scheme was EAN-13/UCC-13, with the first three digits being 978 OR 979, and 9 digits the ISBN number of the book (without the ISBN check digit). The final digit is the EAN/UCC calculated check digit. Since the introduction of the ISBN-13 system the first three digits have been assigned as part of the ISBN-13 number.

  ISBN barcode image

Note that the final digit of the older 10 digit ISBN numbers was an ISBN check digit and this was NOT included in the barcode image. The barcode image does contain the EAN check digit.

The newer 13-digit identifiers are assigned by local ISBN Agencies to new books and book-related products and include all 13 digits - the last of which is calculated in the same way as the checkdigit of EAN-13 barcodes (see the dLSoft EAN Checkdigit calculator). These identifiers, "ISBN-13s", incorporate the older Bookland EAN into a new book identifier where the prefix can be either '978' or '979'.

ISBN barcode 
(Shown enlarged)

dLSoft Barcode components automatically recognize ISBN-13 barcode data starting with 978 or 979 and generate the appropriate ISBN-13 barcode. dLSoft Barcode components will generate ISBN-13 barcodes using the ‘978’ prefix from data supplied as the older ISBN 10 data.