Bibliographic Cataloging: Selective Registration for ISSN Assignments

The Library of Congress serves as the U.S. ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) Center, and thus assigns International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSNs) to U.S. continuing resources. A unique ISSN may be assigned to the online and print formats of a continuing resource. Catalogers submit CONSER authenticated records in the CGP for online and print serials and integrating resources to the ISSN Center for ISSN assignment. Resources described in non-CONSER records and records for reproductions are excluded by the program.

See the ISSN Manual, 2.2.6. Reproductions and reprints for more explicit instruction on microforms.

GPO’s selective registration of continuing resources for ISSN assignments

Selective registration of continuing resources for ISSN assignments allows GPO catalogers to exercise judgment about which works will be submitted to the National ISSN Center based on guidance contained in ISSN Manual (PDF version), section 0.3, “Criteria for ISSN Assignment,” and 0.7.1, “Comprehensive Registration vs. Selective Registration.”

GPO articulates additional considerations for inclusion and exclusion criteria in the lists below.

Inclusion criteria

Government publications that are candidates for ISSN assignment include:

Exclusion criteria

Government publications that catalogers might consider to meet the exclusion criteria of ephemerality or of purely local interest include, but are not limited to:

  • newsletters and progress reports
  • limited duration serials for relatively small programs and projects
  • such frequently-but-irregularly revised monographs as local guides and consumer updates that are treated as serials
  • works that do not demonstrate stable issuance, e.g., works with multiple gaps between issues, such as an “annual report” for which 4 volumes are published in a 10-year period; or, works for which agency commitment to continuation and maintenance is questionable due to known or suspected lapses in funding or personnel, lack of website maintenance, apparent disappearance with website re-design, etc. An example of an agency statement that indicates questionable commitment that was given in response to a GPO question about intended seriality is:
    plans on being printed 2 to 3 times per year depending on staff availability and interest/demand (although we have only produced one publication so far).

When in doubt, exclude a continuing resource from ISSN assignment.

To exclude a work from GPO’s automated ISSN submissions, add the field: 922 NOISSN

The decision for exclusion/submission may be changed upon re-evaluation, which will occur via procedures implemented by the Electronic Continuing Resources Maintenance (ECRM) pilot project conducted in 2015-2016.