ISTC (International Standard Text Code)

The International Standard Text Code (ISTC) is a new ISO identifier which is used to collocate or link the various manifestations of a textual work.

ISTC is a numbering system for the unique identification of text-based works i.e. any content appearing in any format print or digital. An ISTC does not “belong” to a single author/publisher; rather, it “belongs” to the work it identifies. This means that the same ISTC number should be used to identify the same content even when it is being published by a different publisher and/or in a different publication format.

The ISTC provides sales analysis systems, retail websites, library catalogues and other bibliographic systems with a method of automatically linking together publications of the “same content” and/or “related content”, thus improving discoverability of products and efficiencies.

An ISTC number is the link between a user’s search for a piece of content and the ultimate sale or loan of a publication.

The Registration Agency for ISTC in the ANZ region is Nielsen Book Australia and New Zealand. For advice on registration services email


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