What information does an ISBN contain

ISBN search - uniquely identify books

Find books by ISBN number here:


- The ISBN is a 10- or 13-digit number that can be used to find any book
- The ISBN is on the back of the book next to the barcode or on the page with the bibliogr. Information
- Examples of ISBN numbers: 978-3442460717, 978-3-442-46071-7, 3442460719, 3-4424-6071-9


Books can be clearly identified with an ISBN. The International Standard Book Number is issued only once worldwide. If you are looking for a specific book, an ISBN search is the best way to find exactly the work you want. This article provides basic information about the ISBN and how you can easily find the book you want.


ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and was introduced by the American Library of Congress in 1969. With an ISBN search you can clearly find the literature you are looking for, because an ISBN number is only assigned once in the world for a book. With a new edition of a book or a changed form of the publication (paperback instead of hardcover), a publisher must assign a new book ISBN. An exception is an unchanged reprint. In Germany, book numbers are only issued by MVB GmbH in Frankfurt am Main. This ensures that each number is only assigned once.

An ISBN number search is the most convenient way to find a work. An ISBN must be included in every publication by a publisher printed clearly visible become. An ISBN search is useful in many ways. For example, if you have borrowed a book from a friend and want to buy the edition after returning it, you will find exactly this literature using an ISBN search. When doing academic work, it can also be useful to search for books by ISBN. Make a note of the books found next to the title with the ISBN number so that you can clearly identify them later and find them more easily.

1. Where can I find the ISBN?

An ISBN must be easy to find. You will usually find the number with 10 or 13 digits on the back of a book and on the insidebefore the actual novel begins. It does not matter whether it is a hardcover book or a paperback. If a book has a dust jacket, the number may not be on the back. In that case, look inside the novel. It should only take a few seconds to find the number you want. On the other hand, if you find an 8-digit number on the publication, it is an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number). This number is given to series and magazines. You cannot search for and find publications with ISSN using the ISBN search.

2. Why can't I find an ISBN in the book?

If you cannot find a 10 or 13-digit number in the book, it could be because it is an older book. The International Standard Book Number was im Introduced in 1969. Look for the year of publication in the novel to make sure there is no corresponding number. In some cases, books do not have an ISBN. Publication with the international book number is not mandatory. If a book does not have a 10 or 13-digit number, it is often a work with a small edition. These books are intended for a small group of people and are not available in bookshops.

3. Why does an ISBN also refer to software?

You can find the International Standard Book Number not only on books. The number is also on multimedia products and software. All publications with an editorial part usually have such a number, here too there is no obligation. Such a publication with an editorial content can, for example, be educational software. You can find these products like novels via an ISBN search on the Internet. Computer games and DVDs (films) in turn have an EAN (European Article Number). For the European article number there are also search engines on the Internet to determine a product.

4. What is the difference between ISBN-10 and ISBN-13?

On novels you will find a 10 and 13 digit number. Until 2006, an ISBN number consisted of 10 digits. At the January 1, 2007 the ISBN-13 was introduced internationally because in Eastern Europe and in English-speaking countries, due to many publishers, no new ISBN numbers could be assigned. The ISBN-13 has the prefix 978 or 979, which means that twice as many numbers can now be assigned. The numbers are only assigned once. The ISBN-10 remains in the books before 2007 and can be entered in the ISBN search. Only in the case of a revised new edition (e.g. new cover) are publications given a 13-digit number.

5. How is an ISBN made up?

Has the International Standard Book Number (13 digits) five components. You can find important information from the book number even without an ISBN search. Let's take the number 978-3-8289-9492-8 as an example. The first part 1 (978) is a prefix that was introduced in 2007 so that more numbers can be assigned worldwide. Second (3) is the country number for national and geographic language groups. The number 3 denotes Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The third part stands for the publisher's number (8289) and the fourth part describes the title number of an individual book in the publisher (9492). In our example it is about Weltbild-Verlag with numerous publications. At the very end is the so-called check digit. This can be used to calculate whether an ISBN is correct.

The ISBN-13 has five components

6. How does an ISBN search work?

An ISBN search is very easy. Just enter the number with 10 or 13 digits without hyphens and without spaces in the search mask. In a few seconds you will receive a result and the desired book will be displayed to you. You can use the free search on our partner site. In some cases you will not get a result. This is the case if you make a mistake on the number or the title is out of stock. This problem does not occur with newer books.

7. Conclusion:

ISBN means International Standard Book Number? Books can be clearly identified with the number consisting of 10 or 13 digits. If you enter the number in an ISBN search, you will quickly find the title you want.

  • Finding ISBN: The book number must be clearly visible. Whether paperback or hardback, you will always find the ISBN on the inside of a book. The number is often also on the back of a publication. It should only take a few seconds to find the 10 or 13 digit number you want. A number with 8 digits is what is known as an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) for series and magazines.
  • No ISBN: If the book cannot find a number, it may be an older publication. The ISBN was introduced in 1969 and has been awarded worldwide since that year. All novels published before 1969 do not have a number. An ISBN is not required. Anyone who only publishes a small edition of their book and does not want to sell the work through bookstores sometimes decides against an ISBN.
  • ISBN on software: The International Standard Book Number is not only found on books. The number is also assigned to software and multimedia products with an editorial content. This can be learning software, for example. Computer games and DVDs, on the other hand, have an EAN (European Article Number). You can also find search engines on the Internet for the European Article Number.
  • 10 and 13 digit ISBN: On publications you will find two digits with 10 and 13 digits. What is the difference? The ISBN-10 was awarded until 2006. On January 1st, 2007 the ISBN-13 was introduced. This step was necessary because publishers in Eastern Europe and in English-speaking countries could no longer assign numbers. With the new 13-digit number, enough book numbers can be assigned again.
  • Components of an ISBN: The international standard book number (13 digits) is made up of five components: prefix, country number for national or geographic language group, publisher number, title number in the publisher and check digit. Anyone who has a little experience with book numbers can see at a glance where a book comes from. For example, Germany, Austria and Switzerland always have the country number 3.
  • ISBN search: Would you like to find a novel using the international book number? Just enter the number with 10 or 13 digits in the ISBN search without hyphens and spaces. In a few seconds the desired book will be displayed to you. In some cases the search does not produce any result. This is the case if you typed the number incorrectly or the book is out of print, but this rarely occurs.
With this basic knowledge of the ISBN, important information can be quickly obtained from the 10 or 13-digit numbers on books. Use an ISBN search to find the publications you want in a few seconds.