Skip to main content

Research: Getting an ISBN

Library support for postgraduate students and researchers

What is an ISBN?

An ISBN is a unique identifier which identifies one specific version of a book or item.   An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation of a book for example; paperback, hardcover and eBook of the same title will each have a different ISBN.

Some Items for which an ISBN can be allocated

  • Printed books

  • Publications that are not intended by the publisher to be updated regularly or continued indefinitely

  • Educational/instructional films

  • Audiobooks on CD, or DVD (talking books)

  • Electronic publications either on physical carriers (such as machine-readable tapes, diskettes, or CD-ROMs) or on the Internet (for download or streaming)

  • Digitised copies of printed monographic publications

  • Microform publications

  • Educational or instructional software

    For a comprehensive list of publication types & information, go to the Thorpe-Bowker website

Requesting an ISBN for Your ECU Publication

To request an ISBN, complete the Request Form and email the completed form to

When an ISBN is allocated it is annotated on the request form and the form returned to the requestor for their records. The request is usually actioned within 2 working days. 

ISBNs are currently issued free of cost. 

Your Legal Deposit Obligation

Legal deposit is a requirement under the Copyright Act 1968. It is a statutory provision which legally obliges publishers to deposit copies of their publications in the National Library of Australia, State or Territory library in the region of publication.

This includes all Australian print and electronic books, journals, magazines, newsletters, sheet music, maps, websites and public social media. Legal deposit applies to any Australian person, group or organisation that makes this material available to the public for sale or for free.

Currently the requirements are,

One copy            Legal Deposit, National Library of Australia Canberra ACT 2600

One copy            Legal Deposit, State Library of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Centre, 25 Francis Street, Perth WA 6000

Your are also encourage to deposit:

One copy             ECU Library Services Centre, Joondalup

One copy            Legal Deposit, Records & Archives Management Services, ECU Joondalup



On 17 February 2016, the legal deposit provisions were extended to cover the online publishing.