R.R. Bowker, a leading publisher of bibliographic information, today announced the U.S. launch of the International Standard Music Number (ISMN) system, a uniform global standard for identifying all printed music publications available worldwide.

"The ISMN has actually been in existence for a decade and is currently used throughout Europe, but it is just now being officially introduced in the U.S. market by R.R. Bowker, the official ISMN independent agent for the U.S.," said Don Riseborough, Senior Managing Editor of the ISMN. "This global standard allows for fast and unique identification, quick and efficient ordering, and supports all bar coding and point-of-sale systems."

"Bowker has served as the U.S. book publishing industry's ISBN agency since its inception in 1968 and we believe that the ISMN has the potential of having a similar impact on the U.S. music publishing industry," said Michael Cairns, president of New Providence, N.J.-based R.R. Bowker. "We will immediately begin constructing a single database of all printed music publications, enabling simple and efficient searches for any title. This capability distinguishes the ISMN system from all other systems -- such as UPC codes and publishers' numbers -- that are not part of a central, searchable database."

As the independent agent in the U.S. market, R.R. Bowker is now inviting the participation of domestic music publishers in the ISMN system. For more information, go to www.ismn.org, or call Diana Luongo at 908/219-0283.

Founded in 1872, R.R. Bowker, a Cambridge Information Group company, is North America's leading provider of bibliographic information, and is also the official agency for assigning ISBNs in the United States. The company's flagship product, Books In Print(R), is available on the Internet at www.booksinprint.com, on CD-ROM and in hardbound print format. The Web-based version of Global Books In Print(TM) is located at www.globalbooksinprint.com. For more information, please visit www.bowker.com or call 1-888-BOWKER2 (1-888/269-5372).

Books In Print is a registered trademark, and booksinprint.com and Global Books In Print are trademarks of R.R. Bowker LLC. Other products and services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.