ISBN Sweden

National Library of Sweden has launched a new ISBN service

Now you can apply for and retrieve your assigned ISBNs and ISMNs in our new ISBN service on 

ISBN Sweden

ISBN Sweden assigns identifiers to publishing houses and other publishing entities. We manage the following identifiers: 

  • ISBN – an identifier for publications of a monographic nature (books)
  • ISMN – an identifier for musical publications

ISBN and ISMN are voluntary, and confer no copyright or other legal protection, nor do they provide name protection. Protecting a company name requires registration with the Swedish Companies Registration Office.

The ISBN Agency is, unfortunately, unable to answer questions regarding the rules that apply to the actual name of a publisher, but rather refers such questions to Bolagsverket [the Swedish Companies Registration Office]. 

It is also possible to search the Swedish ISBN register to see which names have already been registered by ISBN Sweden. The ISBN Agency prefers that name-related issues be resolved before applications regarding ISBN and ISMN are submitted.

About ISBN

ISBN - International Standard Book Number - is a unique identifier for monographic publications and maps published for general distribution. The ISBN makes it easier to relocate materials when you search for, order, and distribute books. ISBN is primarily intended for use by retail booksellers.

The number also makes use of GS1 bar codes possible and works in connection with internal and external data communications.


ISBNs can be used for audio cassettes, disks, DVDs, etc., if the contents are comparable to the contents of a book. ISBN can also be used for online publications if the documents are monographic and of a relatively permanent nature.

Various product versions of a single publication require a separate ISBN, e.g., a hardbound book, paperback, audio book, and e-book.

ISBN should not be used for printed music, newspapers, serials, offprints, price lists, manuals, almanacs, forms, theater and exhibition programs, etc.


An ISBN consists of 13 digits (ten digits before 2007) and is preceded by the letters ISBN. The digits are divided into five groups separated by hyphens, as follows:

ISBN 978-91-7000-229-8

  1. Prefix (978) 
  2. Group or country identifier (91 = Sweden) 
  3. Publisher identifier (7000)
  4. Title identifier (229) 
  5. Check digit (8)

Location and Display

The ISBN must appear on the pages of the book, preferably the verso of the title page. If there is no space on the title verso it may appear on the foot of the title page, and if possible on the outside (foot of the back of the jacket and/or the lower section of the outside back cover).

The letters ISBN must precede the digits, as shown below. 


Applicants for an ISBN (in Swedish) must have a Swedish publication address. The ISBN is free.

It is important to note that ISBN is not mandatory and the number does not convey copyright or other legal protection.


If you have questions about ISBN, please contact ISBN Sweden.

Last updated: 2017-12-28
Contact person: Jamshid Farahani, e-mail:

More information

ISBN Users’ Manual

ISBN English info

Guidelines for the assignment of ISBNs to ebooks

Contact Details
January 5 2018

Phone Hours:
M-F 10-11:30
+46 (0) 10 709 30 90
E-mail: isbn[atsign]

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