Allocation of ISBN Identifiers

Since 2010 the Saxon State and University Library (SLUB) has been offering the allocation of ISBNs and ISSNs (International Standard Serial Number for serial collected works/journal series) for scientific publications published at TU Dresden.

What is a ISBN?

An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a worldwide valid identification number for monographic publications. It uniquely identifies products such as printed books, e-books, illustrated calendars and maps, making them unmistakable.

Publishing products are accompanied by an ISBN from the moment they are produced so that they can be clearly identified at any time, which is why they are indispensable for the book trade. ISBNs are also an important tool for libraries, playing an important role in the acquisition and cataloguing of books.

When do I need an ISBN for my publication?

An ISBN for a book is not mandatory. If you want to publish and sell a work in large numbers, you should always apply for an ISBN. This is the only way to make your book easily available through bookshops. Applying for an ISBN at the SLUB Dresden is therefore automatically accompanied by the entry of your publication into the Verzeichnis lieferbarer Bücher (VLB) so that booksellers can easily find your publication and distribute it in bookshops.

As soon as you make a change to your book, you also need a new ISBN. This applies, for example, if you republish a hardcover edition as a paperback. Any changes in the text or the cover of the work also require the allocation of a new ISBN. An unchanged reprints or a just change in price, on the other hand, do not require a new ISBN.

What do I have to consider when applying for an ISBN?

As a member of the Technische Universität Dresden you can easily apply for an ISBN for your publication via this web form (in German). There you can enter all the relevant data of your publication for the entry in the index of deliverable books and determine a book trade price. Please note that according to BuchPrG §6 para. 1, a book trade discount of usually 25% must be granted when selling your work to bookshops.The submission of a total of 3 deposit copies (1 to the SLUB Dresden and 2 to the DNB Leipzig (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Deutscher Platz 1, 04103 Leipzig)) is a prerequisite for the awarding of an ISBN and must be completed by the applicant immediately after completion of the printing process at his own expense. The obligatory delivery according to §11 SächsPresseG is thus fulfilled.

With the registration in the VLB, your publication is available in the book trade. By applying for your ISBN, you agree to keep the availability status of your publication and your contact details up to date with us. This enables us to forward incoming orders from booksellers to you. If your title is out of stock or your contact information changes, please notify us immediately at After the minimum delivery period you have selected has expired, your title will automatically be archived in the VLB and set to the status "not available". If you wish to continue to distribute your title in the book trade beyond this period, you can maintain the availability status by confirming the status with us on a quarterly basis. If you do not wish to continue availability in the book trade or we no longer receive confirmation from you, your title will automatically be archived in the VLB and will therefore no longer be available in the book trade.

Do I need an ISBN for an electronic publication on Qucosa?

We recommend all scientists/academics at the TU Dresden to publish their work parallelly or via self-archiving/secondary publication in the open access repository Qucosa. However, the allocation of an ISBN for a publication is not related to any legal issues, such as copyright or distribution rights to this copy. Publications that are only published electronically cannot therefore be assigned an ISBN. For publications that are published parallelly or initially in print or as an electronic publication outside Qucosa, an ISBN can be assigned for the print edition.