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Publish: Requesting an ISBN

What is an ISBN?

An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) 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. ECU Library Services Centre is responsible for assigning ISBNs to items published by ECU staff with ECU as the publisher.

ISBNs can be allocated to:

  • Printed books
  • Digitised versions of 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)
  • Microform publications
  • Educational or instructional software

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

Request a new ISBN through ECU Library

complete the Request Form
you may request a new ISBN for each format of your publication
email the completed form to library@ecu.edu.au

When an ISBN is allocated, it is annotated on the request form and the form is returned to the requestor for their records. The request is usually actioned within 2 working days. 
ISBNs are currently issued free of cost. 
Please note your legal deposit obligation on page 2 of the form.

New ISBN: Your Legal Deposit Obligations

"Legal deposit is a statutory obligation which requires that any organisation, commercial or public, and any individual producing any type of documentation in multiple copies, be obliged to deposit one or more copies with a recognised national institution" (see: NED Resources)

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,

You are also encouraged to deposit:


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

ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) for journal titles

ISSNs are available through the Australian ISSN Agency in the National Library of Australia - click on the link to access the online form and for more information.