020 International standard book number

Introduction | Copy Cataloging Instructions | Reference Information and Examples


The MARC 020 field contains the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and related information.  An ISBN is a unique number assigned to an item by its publisher.  Each ISBN is a ten- or thirteen-digit number and has four parts: the language group of the country of publication, the publisher, the title, and the check character.  Thirteen-digit ISBNs must begin with either 978 or 979. In a printed book these four parts are usually separated by hyphens.

Copy Cataloging Instructions


|a: International Standard Book Number


|c: Terms of availability


|z: Canceled/invalid ISBN

Reference Information and Examples

For complete coding information, consult the OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards, 020.


ISBNs are taken from any source; information is never enclosed in brackets.

Single monographs

A single title may have multiple ISBNs. All that appear on the item should be included in the bibliographic record.


020 _ _ |a 9781886101111      (13 character ISBN)

020 _ _ |a 1886101116            (10 character ISBN)


On the bibliographic record for a monographic set enter the ISBN for the complete set and the ISBNs for the parts if available.  Enter the set number first followed by the part numbers in order. Enter the ISBN for accompanying material last.


020 _ _ |a 0379005506 (set)

020 _ _ |a 0379005514 (v. 1)

020 _ _ |a 0379005522 (v. 2)

020 _ _ |a 0379005530 (teachers manual)


On the bibliographic record for a part of an analyzed set enter the ISBN(s) for the individual part first. If the ISBN for the set is available enter it second.


020 _ _ |a 0379005514 (v. 1)

020 _ _ |a 0379005506 (set)

Qualifying terms

Include any qualification if it appears in the resource.


020 _ _ |a 9780842270877

020 _ _ |a 9780842270885 (pbk.)


020 _ _ |a 0387082662 (U.S.)

020 _ _ |a 3540082662 (Germany)



cil        09/09/2009


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Last updated 09/15/2009