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ISPI (International Standard Name Identifier)

What is the ISNI?

The International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) is a draft ISO Standard (ISO 27729). It's scope is the unique identification of public identities throughout the media content industries in the creation, production, management, and content distribution chains. The ISNI provides a tool for disambiguating public identities that might otherwise be confused. It is not intended to provide direct access to comprehensive information about a public identity but can provide links to other systems where such information is held.

An ISNI is made up of 16 decimal digits, the last one being a check character.

Example: ISNI 1422 4586 3573 0476

Work on the ISPI project began in August 2006. The ISNI is currently a Draft ISO (International Standards Organization) Standard referred to as ISO 27729. The standard has been developed by an international working group under the auspices of Technical Committee 46, Subcommittee 9 of the International Organization for Standardization. Voting on the draft will close at the end of March 2010.

Notes on use

Who can have an ISNI? People, both living and dead (e.g. book author, illustrator, performer, narrator), legal entities (e.g. a record label, publishing house or film production company) or even fictional characters (e.g. Harry Potter, Peter Pan, Superman). Sometimes more than one ISNI is needed.

Lewis Caroll will be assigned an ISNI and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson another ISNI.

Günter Graß, Guenter Grass and Guenter Graß are character set variances of the same public identity so have the same ISNI.

Transliteration variances of the same public identity also receive the same ISNI.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Peter Tchaikovsky are linguistic variances of the same public identity and again receive the same ISNI.

ISNI Agency

The Registration Authority for this standard is the ISNI International Agency.

Recording the ISNI in MARC 21

The ISNI is provisionally expected to be recorded in Field 024 (Other Standard Identifier) in both bibliographic and authority formats but some details have still to be resolved. Currently the subject of MARBI Discussion Paper 2010-DP03.

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Content by: Ann Chapman of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 23-Feb-2010
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