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Topic: ISBN-13 vs ISBN-10

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Subject: ISBN-13 vs ISBN-10
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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What is the difference between the two?

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 63
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Books are switching over to the new ISBN-13 system. Older books will only have the ISBN-10 numbers. During the transition period, many books had both numbers. Now, many new books only have the ISBN-13 number. (I have a few 2008 books that still have both numbers, but I think that's being phased out.)

The new ISBN-13 number should be identical to the bar code number, but that's only with the new books that only have the ISBN-13 number. The old ones that had both the ISBN-10 and the ISBN-13 didn't necessarily match up with the bar code.

At the moment, the ISBN-13 number starts with 978, then has the first 9 digits of the old 10 digit ISBN, plus a different number at the end. (The number at the end is calculated from the other numbers and is used as a check to make sure the ISBN was typed correctly.) But the prefix will eventually go to 979 when the 978 numbers run out (and on from there, I suppose.)



Last Edited on: 8/2/08 11:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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None really :)  In 2007, all books published had to have a 13 digit ISBN number, and most books will have both during the time the 13 digit number was being phased in. 



Last Edited on: 8/2/08 11:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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Huh, interesting, Thankx!

I am copying some ISBN numbers to search for, so wanted to know if only grabbing the 10 would be okay.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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Yes, the 10 digit number is fine!

Date Posted: 8/3/2008 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Basically they have the new 13 ISBN  because they are running out of numbers..LOL

The first few numbers of the ISBN acutally do mean something, like the language it is printed in. So its not just some random number :)