April 1 – April 8, 2010 Edition BISG Explains New ISTC Code for Publishers

NEW YORK, NY/March 30, 2010–The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and Book Industry Communication (BIC) this week co-published for public comment a discussion paper on the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) designed to foster understanding of the unique book identifier and to clarify its potential benefits.

gWefve commissioned this paper to encourage our members to take a long hard look at the opportunities ISTC can offer the book industry,h commented Peter Kilborn, Executive Director of BIC. gTheir active support is essential if the standard is to achieve the critical mass it needs to deliver real benefit, especially as digital formats proliferate in the future.h

The ISTC has been called one of most important identifiers since ISBN. The ISO standard, published in 2009, identifies an underlying textual gworkh independently of a specific manifestation. It provides a much needed mechanism for identifying an original text that may be available in many seemingly different published versions with different ISBNs. By doing so, it has the potential to provide better, more targeted online search and discoverability.

From the introduction: The International Standard Text Code (ISTC) is a new identifier for the book industry. Whereas International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) provide a unique identity in the supply chain for each individual product format (either physical products-hardback, paperback; or digital products and formats-downloadable audiobook, PDF e]book, etc.), an ISTC identifies the underlying creative textual work.

Within ISTC, textual works are precisely defined. They are the outputs of creative or intellectual effort expressed as text (a unique string of words in a particular order), intended for publication.Thus Hamlet and Pride and Prejudice are textual works-in this context entirely abstract entities, independent of the physical or digital bindings/containers/wrappers in which they may be presented. A unique ISTC identifier therefore is applied to all editions and versions of the same core content. The use of ISTC thus identifies and groups together all formats or manifestations of the underlying work.

Access the Discussion Paper (25 pages; PDF) ||| HTML

Additional Info Here Source: BISG, BIC