International ISMN Agency

The International Standard Music Number for Notated Music.
A System for Publishing, Distribution and Library Practices

Industry LinksLinks to ISMN Agencies

ASCAP, American Society of Composers, Authors, Publishers:

ASCAP is a membership association of more than 400,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music.

CERLALC, Centro Regional para el Formento del Libro en América Latina y el Caribe:

CERLALC is the Regional Centre for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was founded in 1971 as a result of an agreement between the UNESCO and the Government of Colombia.
In the book sector, the organization formulates, encourages, and supports initiatives of Latin American and Caribbean nations. Some of its main aims are: improve the book infrastructure in general (production, dissemination and distribution of books), help to develop and coordinate the book market, support book and reading promotion activities.
CERLALC has been very helpful regarding the establishment of ISBN agencies and the introduction of the ISBN system in the region.

CISAC, The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers:

CISAC works towards increased recognition and protection of creators' rights. As of June 2010, CISAC numbers 229 authors' societies from 121 countries and indirectly represents around 3 million creators and music publishers within all the artistic repertoires.

DOI, International DOI Foundation:

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is an identification system for intellectual property in the digital environment. Developed by the International DOI Foundation on behalf of the publishing industry, its goals are to provide a framework for managing intellectual content, link customers with publishers, facilitate electronic commerce, and enable automated copyright management.


EDItEUR is the international group coordinating development of the standards infrastructure for electronic commerce in the book and serials sectors. EDItEUR has developed a number of key standards that are already internationally used within the books and serials supply chains to facilitate e-commerce, enable the transmission of rich metadata records, and that use existing identifiers.


Europeana is a project funded by the European Commission with the goal of making Europe's cultural and scientific heritage accessible to the public. Europeana enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. It promotes discovery and networking opportunities in a multilingual space where users can engage, share in and be inspired by the rich diversity of Europe's cultural and scientific heritage.

GS1, formerly European Article Number:

GS1 is dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors. The GS1 system of standards is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world.

IAML, International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres:

IAML encourages and promotes the activities of music libraries, archives and documentation centres to support and facilitate the realization of projects in music bibliography, music documentation and music library and information science at national and international levels.

IFLA, The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions:

The IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users.

IFPI (ISRC), International Federation of the Phonographic Industry:

IFPI is the International Trade Association representing some 1,300 record producers in over seventy countries around the world.
IFPI's role: The recording industry's commercial success depends upon its ability to invest and nurture new talent, and to receive remuneration for its works. IFPI's goal is to ensure that the recording industry is able to realise its potential throughout the world--by securing effective legislation to protect the recording industry's rights; adequate enforcement of that legislation, and unrestricted access to markets--and this is extended equally to the on-line environment. In order to achieve this, IFPI activities cover a number of areas, including: anti-piracy; new technologies; promoting national legislation and international conventions; providing information.
The International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is the standard international identifier for sound recordings. It numbers each recording of a piece, regardless of the context or carrier on which it is issued.

IMC, International Music Council:

The IMC founded in 1949 by UNESCO, is the world's largest network of organizations, institutions and individuals working in the field of music. The International Music Council promotes musical diversity, access to culture for all and unites organizations in some 150 countries worldwide in building peace and understanding among peoples of all cultures and heritage.

ISAN, International Standard Audiovisual Number:

The International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN) (ISO 15706) is applied to all audiovisual works. The term "audiovisual work" means any work consisting of an animated series of images, whether or not it is accompanied by sound. An ISAN identifies works, not publications or broadcasts as their physical representations. ISAN makes it possible for all rights holders (authors, interpreters, producers) to identify the audiovisual work. 

ISBN, International Standard Book Number:

The ISBN is a unique machine-readable identification number, which marks any book unmistakably. This number is defined in ISO Standard 2108. The number has been in use now for forty years and has revolutionised the international book-trade. 170 countries and territories are officially ISBN members. The ISBN accompanies a publication from its production onwards. The scope of ISBN excludes notated music.

ISNI, International Standard Name Identifier:

The ISNI is a draft ISO Standard (ISO 27729) whose scope is the identification of public identities of parties: that is, the identities used publicly by parties involved throughout the media content industries in the creation, production, management, and content distribution chains.

ISO, International Standards Organisation:

ISO is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards. ISO 10957:2009 specifies the International Standard Music Number (ISMN), which is a means of uniquely identifying editions of notated music.

ISSN, International Standard Serial Number:

The ISSN is a unique identifier for all kinds of serials. Certain publications, such as a year-book, annuals, monographic series, etc. should be assigned an ISSN for the serial title (which will remain the same for all the parts or individual volumes of the serial) and an ISBN for each individual volume. Publishers of serials should apply to the International ISSN Centre or to their national ISSN centre to obtain ISSNs for their serial publications.

ISWC, International Standard Work Code:

ISWC is a unique, permanent and internationally recognized ISO reference number for the identification of musical works.


mEDRA is the multilingual European Registration Agency of DOI, the standard persistent identifier for any form of intellectual property on a digital network.


MIDEM and MidemNet bring together the music industry's influencers and decision makers from across the globe. MidemNet provides insightful analysis into the mobile and digital music markets. Together, they are the best place to license and discover music, find solutions, make deals, keep abreast of industry trends and to meet the people that could transform your business; a concentration of ideas and opportunities on a global scale.

MPA, British Music Publishers Association:

The Music Publishers Association exists to: safeguard and promote the interests of music publishers and the writers signed to them; represent these interests to government, the music industry, the media and the public; provide publishers with a forum, a collective voice and a wide range of benefits, services and training courses; promote an understanding of the value of music and the importance of copyright; and provide information and guidance to members of the public. The vast majority of MPA members will derive at least some of their revenue from printed music, whether through direct involvement in the sale or hire of scores and parts, or by the licensing of their print rights via a third party.

MLA, Music Library Association:

The MLA provides a professional forum for librarians, archivists, and others who support and preserve the world's musical heritage.

NISO, The National Information Standards Organization:

NISO, a non-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), identifies, develops, maintains, and publishes technical standards to manage information in our changing and ever-more digital environment. NISO standards apply both traditional and new technologies to the full range of information-related needs, including retrieval, re-purposing, storage, metadata, and preservation.


OCLC is a global cooperative organization built by member libraries, archives, and museums that work together and are committed to each other, and to the OCLC organization to share resources, expertise, and costs.

UCC, Uniform Code Council, Inc.:

The mission of the UCC is to take a global leadership role in establishing and promoting multi-industry standards for product identification and related electronic communication. The goal is to enhance supply chain management thus contributing added value to the customer. 

URN, Uniform Resource Name (Internet Engineering Task Force):

The URN (Uniform Resource Name) is an identification system for elecronic information, not limited to publications. The URN syntax allows the integration of the ISBN and other international standard numbers if so desired. Under the Nordic Metadata Project a proposal was made to use URNs for the identification of the legal deposit in European national libraries, provided no other international standard numbers were assigned to the item. The use and function of URNs would be very similar to DOIs.