August 29, 2002
ISSN# for Norwegian weblogs denied

As I announced last week, I applied to the Norwegian ISSN office for an ISSN number for this weblog, which - I dare claim - is a reasonably periodical publication. Well, anyway, I have received the official verdict:

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 12:36:01 +0200
From: ISSN Norway representative
To: andersja
Subject: andersja's blog

Til Anders Jacobsen

Takk for henvendelse. Jeg har sett p "publikasjonen" under adressen du har oppgitt i brevet og funnet ut at jeg ikke kan tildele ISSN til denne. Jeg ser p denne som kontinuerlig oppdatert hjemmeside og ikke vanlig periodisk dokument. Fordi definisjonen av et periodikum er meget vid, kan hvert nasjonalt senter selv begrense omfanget av periodika som tildeles ISSN. ISSN Norge har bestemt at hjemmesider (inkludert blog) ikke tildeles ISSN.

Hper et det er i orden.

Med vennlig hilsen
n n
ISSN Norge

Briefly summarized for our non-Norwegian-speaking readers:
Thank you for your request. I have taken a look at the "publication" at the address you referenced in your application and decided that I cannot assign an ISSN for it. I consider it a continuously updated homepage and not a regular, periodic document. Since the definition of a periodic publication is very wide, every national centre can limit the scope of publications that are assigned ISSNs. ISSN Norway has decided that homepages (including blogs) are not assigned ISSNs.

I hope this is ok.

Sincerely,...

Take that, Jill (blogging at ISSN 1502-8003) ;-)

Ah well ... I was just trying to do my share for the librarians... I'm sure we both (the librarians and me) will live happily on...

Update 2002-08-29:
I emailed ISSN Norway for further detailing on the justification for refusing ISSN nubmers for all blogs. Excerpts from the answer below:

Jeg er helt enig med deg nr det gjelder faglige innslag. Det er mye interessant stoff der. Det som jeg reagerer p nr det gjelder blog er, at det er mye, mye mer enn faglig stoff der.

Da vi tildelte ISSN til [tidlige weblogs] var denne publikasjonsformen forholdsvis ny for oss.

Senere har ISSN-miljet internasjonalt kommet frem til at vi ikke tildeler ISSN til bl. a. personlige hjemmesider:

"Commercial web sites, personal web pages, web pages which contain only links to other URLs and short-lived or dead web sites are not considered as having priority for ISSN assignments" (utdrag fra ISSN International Centres homepage).

Siden vi anser at blog faller innen denne kategorien fr den heller ikke et slikt nummer.

Translation:
I agree with you regarding andersja's blog containing relevant content. There is a lof of interesting material there. What I react to with blogs in general is that there is a lot, a lot more than relevant content in them.

When we assigned ISSN numbers to early weblogs, this way of publication was relatively new to us.

Later, the ISSN establishment has reached a consensus where we don't assign ISSN to among other things personal webpages:

"Commercial web sites, personal web pages, web pages which contain only links to other URLs and short-lived or dead web sites are not considered as having priority for ISSN assignments" (excerpt from ISSN International Centre's homepage).

Since we consider blogs to sort under this category, they will therefore not be assigned an ISSN number.

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Comments

Those bastards. The US application process is apparently offline, or I'd have one already (printing the form out just seems so 20th c.).

BTW, Jill's permalinks are wonky - they have an extra /arkiv in them if you lift them from the archive page itself.

Posted by: Graham on August 29, 2002 05:18 PM

Thanks for that, Graham. Jill's link updated.

Good luck in applying for an American ISSN (if they ever take their process online ;-) ... Looks like it's going to be tough no matter which country one is applying in though...

Posted by: andersja on August 29, 2002 10:23 PM

I heard via Hilde that the ISSN people in Norway gave me the ONLY ISSN number awarded to a blog in Norway. I guess I lucked out being the first to apply, huh? And they can't take it away from me, apparently. Yee-ha! (I have this second hand and may well have added my own fabulations to it without realising it so, well, this might not be very reliable information).

Perhaps there should be a separate system for blogs? ISSBN? International Standard Serial Blog Number?

I should fix those permalinks, huh? Yup.

Posted by: Jill on August 30, 2002 10:21 AM

Jill - I guess an ISSBN would just be an addition to or replacement of existing blog metadata initiatives (or of dmoz/ODP, or even DNS itself?) -- the added value of getting an ISSN# would be that it is an established standard that librarians all over ther world adhere to, not just some new meme/invention for blogger convenience...

Posted by: andersja on August 30, 2002 10:56 AM

I have a sort of strange idea: What if you used a script to google-translate your site into say German and feed the result back into a blog - could you then apply for a German ISSN number?

Posted by: Martin Roell on October 29, 2002 11:06 PM

Thanks for the creative suggestion, Martin, but to be honest I think your idea would be an even longer shot than getting a legitimate Norwegian ISSN...

Posted by: andersja on October 29, 2002 11:38 PM
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BLOG.schee.info: Blog 內容與 ISSN 申請 (February 26, 2003 09:08 AM)
"早期幾個動快的人,都有機會為自己的 blog 申請到 ISSN, 如 Scripting.com 或是 Textism.com . 後來有人嘗試再申請,就被打回票了。 ISSN 在台灣沒有 office 嗎?"
jill/txt: issn (September 30, 2003 09:13 AM)
"The national library in Norway refuses to give ISSNs to weblogs, although many weblogs clearly fit the definition of a periodical worthy of an ISSN: periodical, archived, dated, one title, some kind of serious (faglig) content, etc. Obviously the ISSN..."

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