Nielsen backs e-book ISBN standard

<p>Nielsen Book is to exclude e-books from its database that do not comply with the International ISBN Agency standard that each different format of an electronic publication has a separate ISBN.</p><p>In a statement issued today (11th August), the company, which operates the UK ISBN Agency, said e-books must be identified by an ISBN particular to each specified format in order to qualify for inclusion in the Nielsen Book database and appear in the BookScan charts.</p><p>Nielsen Book said the policy was in line with recommendations made by the International ISBN Agency and was intended to support supply chain best practice and communicate product identification accurately to retailers, libraries and consumers.</p><p>The company said: &quot;In our discussions with publishers, we acknowledge that their e-book initiatives to date may not have required per-format identification. Equally we do not believe that many publishers see their current e-book arrangements remaining fixed as their only route to market for digital content for the long term. We believe that hardwiring bibliographic and identification practice to the limited requirements of current initiatives and experiments runs the risk of storing up inhibitors to future flexibility and adds potential costs of system re-engineering down the line. On these grounds, we recommend that publishers adopt the most flexible policy now on product identification.&quot;</p><p>The &quot;most appropriate&quot; organisation to assign ISBNs to individual products was the publisher, Nielsen Book said, although it added that it would be &quot;fully supportive of third-party assignment where required&quot;.</p>