ISBN applies also to electronic publications:
- Offline items, like floppy
disks, CD-ROMs, are treated like any other publication.
- Online items may be completed
and finalised publications, like a textbook on the Internet. In this
case an ISBN would suffice.
- An online publication may
be a bibliographic or fact database that is subject to change any second.
This would be comparable to an encyclopedia or dictionary which is also
constantly updated in other media, without each little amendment leading
to a new edition or new ISBN. Only significant and/or structural changes
(including title changes) would require new ISBNs.
material (e.g. hypertext) would only be considered covered by the same
ISBN if the related material is actually part of the publication.
- If an online publication
is available under different operating systems and/or command languages,
each "format" would require a separate ISBN.
"Notes on the allocation of ISBN to non-printed-books")
ISBN for elegible software products
- An ISBN is used to identify
a specific software product. If there is more than one version (perhaps
versions adapted for different machines, carrier media or language version),
each version must have a separate ISBN.
- When a software product
is updated, revised or amended and the changes are sufficiently substantial
for the product to be called a new edition, a new ISBN must be assigned.
- A relaunch of an existing
product, even in new packaging, where there is no basic difference in
the performance of the new and the old product, does not justify a new
ISBN, and the original ISBN must be used.
- When software is accompanied
by a manual which is useful only as an adjunct to the software, the
software needs the manual before it can be operated, and they are sold
as a package, one ISBN must be assigned to cover both items.
- When two or more items in
a software package can be used separately, or are sold separately as
well as together, then
the package as a whole must have an ISBN
b) each item in the package must have
- An ISBN should be assigned
to a software product independently of its physical form (e.g. if software
is only available from a remote database from where it is downloaded
to the customer.)
- As well as identifying the
product itself, an ISBN identifies the producer or manufacturer; it
should not be used to identify a distributor or wholesaler of the product.