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xISSN (Web service)

Use this Web service to retrieve a list of International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSNs) associated with a submitted ISSN, based on WorldCat information.

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xISSN Web service

The xISSN Web service supplies ISSNs and other information associated with serial publications represented in WorldCat. Submit an ISSN to this service, and it returns a list of related ISSNs and selected metadata. The service is based on WorldCat, the world's largest network of library content and services. The current xISSN database covers 742,395 ISSNs.

Ideal for Web-enabled search applications, such as library catalogs and OpenURL Resolvers, and based on associations made in the WorldCat database, xISSN enables an end user to link to information about alternate versions of serial publications.

How xISSN works

ISSNs are associated with each other using librarian-catalogued bibliographic records in WorldCat. ISSNs are related in two different ways: different editions of same serial (such as print and online editions) and historical relationships (ISSN changes that result from title changes, mergers, splits, etc.).

Using the xISSN Web service

To use the service, you submit an ISSN embedded in a URL to the xISSN server, and the server returns a list of associated ISSNs and relevant metadata. ISSNs for different editions of the same serial are grouped together. An ISSN group may also have historical relationships with other groups.

You may receive associated ISSNs in either XML, XHTML, Python, JSON, or Ruby formats. The xISSN server supports REST-based requests as well as the OpenURL and unAPI protocols.


  • Free service: The service allows 1000 requests per day without subscription.
  • Subscription: The service is free to OCLC cataloguing members after subscription. It is also available for other usage based on subscription