ProQuest and the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) International Centre are joining forces to improve the electronic loading and matching of serial titles for any product or system. The organizations are pinpointing active serial titles without an ISSN and assigning an appropriate identifier. Under the supervision of the International Centre, national ISSN Centers determine whether the ISSN is simply missing, or has never been assigned.
The outcome of the project will be a huge benefit to librarians, publishers, and vendors as more serial titles will have ISSNs registered in the ISSN International Register compiled by the ISSN network and in the Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory® and Ulrichsweb™ references.
Representatives of the ISSN International Centre based in Paris and ProQuest’s content team in New Providence, New Jersey first discussed the idea in November of 2014. A pilot project was started in February of 2015, using the Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory reference as the initial resource to find active serial records from the Netherlands without an ISSN. Over the last few months, the Ulrich’s team, the ISSN International Centre, and the Netherlands ISSN Center have been discussing the findings and improving the process.
Laurie Kaplan, Content Business Analyst Lead at ProQuest said, “During the project, the Ulrich’s team identifies active records from specified countries that do not have an ISSN entered in the Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory database. The ISSN International Center then determines whether these records correspond to publications already identified with an ISSN in the ISSN International Register and if so, informs ProQuest and communicates the corresponding ISSN and ISSN-L. If an ISSN does not exist for the particular publication, the appropriate ISSN Center assigns an ISSN to the resource and includes the record in the local catalogue and the ISSN International Register. The updated serial records will be returned to ProQuest for inclusion in Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory and Ulrichsweb”.
Gaëlle Béquet, Director of the ISSN International Centre / CIEPS noted “Libraries worldwide will benefit from this cooperation between ProQuest and the ISSN International Centre as it will result in more complete data being available for active periodicals published around the world. Both parties acknowledge that assigning ISSN is only the first step in furthering the value of ISSN in the publishing world. Newly assigned ISSNs must be incorporated into publisher files and included on publishers’ websites for the ISSN to become part of the process of transferring and updating titles for librarians. ProQuest and the ISSN International Centre will work together to encourage the use of the newly assigned ISSNs by the appropriate publishers and providers of serial content”.