Popular Category:Articles with invalid ISBNs

Note that the ISBN hyphenation rule-base is a living document. While bots try to keep up, as of 11 May 2012 there is a known issue with certain ranges which have recently been assigned to countries, notably numbers beginning (798) 610 and (798) 611.

This is a maintenance category of articles with invalid ISBNs. It is often included by means of the template . If you fix an ISBN please remove the template or category from the article. Many article/ISBN problems are listed at .

Reasons for invalid ISBNs

The main reasons for invalid ISBNs are -

  • not enough digits (could be a 9 digit SBN or even 8 digit ISSN - but be careful could be another reason)
  • invalid checksum

Also possible are

  • Invalid country code / publisher code (see the International ISBN Agency website) (nothing should start with 6, for example)
  • invalid characters (,. etc.)
  • too long (but could be ISBN13 or even an ISBN13 with the digits "13" in front giving 15 digits, or "10" giving 12).
  • run-ons - "ISBN xxxxxxx-73" where the -73 isn't part of the ISBN
  • 13 digit numbers that start with anything other than 978 or 979-10 (as of 2012).
  • other...

ISBNs should not be listed because of

  • incorrect hyphenation
  • ISBN:
  • spaces instead of hyphens

These errors should simply be fixed.

The ISBN may have been incorrectly labelled invalid, but we have (to our surprise) found several examples where the publisher has put an invalid number on the book (see for examples).

Note that just because a number has not been identified as invalid, it doesn't mean it corresponds to the book in question, or indeed any book.

Thirteen-digit ISBNs starting with 978

As of 2007, all publishers are expected to provide newly-issued books with 13-digit ISBNs. Many books published between 2004 and 2006 have also been (explicitly) assigned ISBN-13s (they all have one based on the 10 digit ISBN, or 9 digit SBN). The effect of the new standards policies is that every recent book has a pair of equally-effective ISBNs, one ISBN-10 and an equivalent ISBN-13 that begins with 978. (Many current books have both ISBNs actually printed on the back cover). Books issued after 1 January 2007 are expected to have at least the ISBN-13 printed on them. Until books with the 979 prefix start to appear, it will be possible to uniquely refer to any book either by its ISBN-10 or its (equivalent) ISBN-13 and both numbers will continue to be reserved for use by that book by the local ISBN agency. Beginning with the 979 prefix, only the ISBN-13 will work or be meaningful for the given book since there will no longer be an equivalent ISBN-10. There are some plans to eventually phase out the use of ISBN-10s but the effective timing of that is still not clear.

Update: As of 2012 the 979-10 range has been documented as for use in France or French.

Handy hints


  • The ISBN may not show in blue (since a recent update to the magic word. 22 December 2006)
  • The ISBN may be unhyphenated, but correctly hyphenated ISBNs are preferred per .
  • The template may be next to the ISBN
  • The text may be next to the ISBN
  • You can look at this list (of specific problems) .


  • If you have the book, that is almost always a good place to look. (see talk page)
  • Use WorldCat, national libraries, Alibris, Abebooks, Amazon (now includes the desired ISBN-13s) or other resources from
  • Use a search engine
  • Sometimes the same invalid ISBN is on several (or many) pages!

Asking for help

  • The talk page of this category is currently visited reasonably often.
  • The talk page of the article can be good
  • The person who put the ISBN in may be able to help
  • You can ask these people for help:

See also

Pages in category "Articles with invalid ISBNs"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.



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