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International Standard Book Number

COMMENT: An international system for books, in which each book is given its own particular number. Currently the ISBN is made up of ten digits; the first digit refers to the language (0 and 1 are the digits for English); the next group of digits (three, four or even six) refer to the publisher; the third group refer to the book; and the final digit is a check digit. From 2007, ISBNs will be made up of 13 digits, with the ISBN-10 number preceded by a 3-digit product code. ISBNs are used for cataloguing and ordering, and can be used for automatic stock movements if they are printed on the back of the book in the form of a barcode which can be read with a light pen.



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