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SICI (Serial Item and Contribution Identifier)

What is the SICI?

The SICI is defined in ANSI/NISO Z39.56-1996 (Version 2)

This Serial Item and Contribution Identifier (SICI) standard defines a variable length code that will provide unique identifications of serial items (e.g., issues) and the contributions (e.g., articles) contained in a serial title. The standard is intended primarily for use by those involved in the use or management of serial titles and their contributions. While the SICI code is intended to be applicable to both automated parsing and human-readable environments, it does not prescribe any specific machine-scannable symbology, nor does it prescribe a specific machine-readable interchange format for electronic transmission of the coded data.

The SICI code is composed of three segments: Item, Contribution, and Control. The interrelationship among the three segment types is crucial to constructing and parsing the SICI string. All segment types and the delimiters that define them must appear in a SICI string even when the content of a given segment type is empty.

The Control Segment is administrative in function. By using assigned codes, it identifies the version of the standard used in creating the SICI, and includes a check character for verification of the integrity of the SICI.

The Item Segment describes and identifies the specific serial item by enumeration and/or date and is the foundation upon which the Contribution Segment is based.

The Contribution Segment identifies a specific intellectual contribution within an item by using location and/or title data.

Item Segment
1234-5679 ISSN
(19950221) Chronology
1:2:3 Enumeration
Contribution Segment
<Start character for this segment
123: Location code (e.g. page, frame number, reel number)
ABCDEF Title code
> End character for this segment
Control Segment
2. CSI: Code Structure Identifier for the type of SICI being constructed
0. DPI: Derivative Part Identifier that denotes an integral part of a published item or contribution, such as the table of contents or the abstract of an article
TX; MFI: Medium / Format Identifier is a two-letter alphabetic code to indicate the form the item takes (e.g. TB = Braille, CO = online (remote), TX = printed text)
2- Standard Version Number
A Check Character: an alpha-numeric character calculated from the SICI string


Item: Library Journal Vol. 120 no. 5. March 15, 1995
SICI: 0363-0277(19950315)120:5<>1.0.TX;2-V

Item: Peters, Paul Evan. "Information Age Avatars" Library Journal Vol. 120 no. 5. March 15, 1995. p. 32
SICI: 0363-0277(19950315)120:5<32:IAA>2.0.TX;2-0

Item: Abstract from Lynch, Clifford A. "The Integrity of Digital Information; Mechanics and Definitional Issues." JASIS 45:10 (Dec. 1994) p. 737-44
SICI: 0002-8231(199412)45:10<737:TIODIM>2.3.TX;2-M

More detail on the SICI Standard

Further details on the development of the standard and details of the standard itself are available from:

Recording a SICI in MARC 21

SICIs should be recorded in field 024.4 SICI

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Content by: Ann Chapman of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 11-Mar-2010
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