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The '''International Standard Book Number''' (ISBN) is a unique<ref>Occasionally, publishers erroneously assign an ISBN to more than one title — the first edition of ''The Ultimate Alphabet'' and ''The Ultimate Alphabet Workbook'' have the same ISBN, 0-8050-0076-3. Conversely, books are published with several ISBNs: A ''German'', second-language edition of ''Emil und die Detektive'' has the ISBNs 87-23-90157-8 (Denmark), 0-8219-1069-8 (United States), 91-21-15628-X (Sweden), 0-85048-548-7 (England) and 3-12-675495-3 (Germany).</ref><ref>In some cases, books sold only as sets share ISBNs. For example, the Vance Integral Edition used only 2 ISBNs for 44 books.</ref> numeric commercial book identifier based upon the 9-digit ''Standard Book Numbering'' (SBN) code created by Gordon Foster,  Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin,<ref>Gordon Fosters original 1966 report can be found at  [https://web.archive.org/web/20110430024722/http://www.informaticsdevelopmentinstitute.net/isbn.html Informaticsdevelopmentinstitute.net]</ref> for the booksellers and stationers WHSmith and others in 1965.<ref name="history">{{citation | url = http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/isbn/international/history.asp | title = History | publisher = ISBN.org}}</ref>
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The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the ''International Organization for Standardization'' (ISO) and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108.<ref name="history"/> (However, the 9-digit SBN code was used in the United Kingdom  until 1974.) An SBN may be converted to an ISBN by prepending the digit "0". ISO has appointed the International ISBN Agency as the registration authority for ISBN worldwide and the ISBN Standard is developed under the control of ISO Technical Committee 46/Subcommittee 9 TC 46/SC 9. The ISO on-line facility only refers back to 1978.<ref>{{citation | url = http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=6897 | title = ISO 2108:1978 | publisher = ISO}}</ref>
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Since 1 January 2007, ISBNs have contained 13 digits, a format that is compatible with "Bookland" EAN-13s.<ref>{{citation | url = http://www.lac-bac.gc.ca/iso/tc46sc9/isbn.htm | title = Frequently Asked Questions about the new ISBN standard from ISO | author = TC 46/SC 9 | publisher = LAC‐BAC | place = CA}}</ref>
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Occasionally, a book may appear without a printed ISBN if it is printed privately or the author does not follow the usual ISBN procedure; however, this can be rectified later.<ref>Bradley, Philip (1992). "{{PDFlink|[http://www.theindexer.org/files/18-1/18-1_025.pdf Book numbering: The importance of the ISBN]|245KB}}. ''The Indexer.'' '''18''' (1): 25&ndash;26.</ref>
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
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