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The Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS)


Getting into CISS

We invite you to explore the website (you'll need to register first), learn more about CISS (pronounced "kiss") and understand the benefits of managing your own ISBN logbooks at any time, from anywhere.

To register for a CISS account, all publishers, including those who have already received ISBNs in the past, are required to complete the CISS Registration Form.

To register for your CISS account, publishers enter through the Register link. This is a one-time procedure. ISBN Agency staff will review your application and will contact you if they have questions. However, you will first be directed to the Permission Form/Waiver Agreement (see below).

For those already registered, please enter through the Login link.

Once approved, your user ID and user password, and instructions for using CISS, will be sent to you by email.

Please note: mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk (*). These must be completed or your application will be rejected.

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Completing the Permissions Form/Waiver Agreement

Before you join CISS, you will need to complete the Permissions Form/Waiver Agreement.

This permits Library and Archives Canada to reuse publisher information and item descriptions in other LAC online databases and publisher services, including the Canadian ISBN Publishers Directory, Cataloguing-in-Publication (CIP), the online catalogue of publications (AMICUS) and Legal Deposit.

Publishers who agree enter their publisher profile and book information one time only. The information will be automatically made available when requesting other LAC services.

Click "I Agree" to grant permission.

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Joining CISS

To join CISS, please complete the CISS Registration Form. This will supply CISS with relevant information about your publishing company, your publisher representative (the individual user of CISS) and the items for which you need ISBNs.

The registration form has four sections:

  • Publisher Information
  • Contact Person Information
  • Publisher/ISBN Activity
  • For New Publishers Only

You may return to any section at any time to add, change, or delete data you have input previously.

All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.

Publisher Information

This section of the registration form asks for information about the publisher. This becomes the official public publisher record. Several fields in this section will be displayed in the official publisher record in the Canadian ISBN Publishers' Directory.

Publisher Name*

This is the official name of the publishing company. It is also the official name of the group, society, association, entity, corporation, centre or person that pays the printer or manufacturer to produce the publication (book, CD etc.).

"Publisher name" is not:

  • the name of a printing company;
  • the name of a print-on-demand printing or publishing service;
  • an individual acting on behalf of a self publisher.


If you are an individual who is paying to print a title, you are a self-publisher. For self-publishers, a publisher name can be:

  • your personal name;
  • an official company name, whether or not it is legally registered

Street Address *

Where you would like mail to be delivered.

Enter the official address for the publisher. If you are a self-publisher, this may be a PO Box or your home address.

Address language
Complete the address information in the appropriate language for your institution. For bilingual institutions, you may enter the address in both English and French.

This information is displayed in the official publisher record in the Canadian ISBN Publishers' Directory.



Select from the drop down menu.


All new registrants must initially provide a Canadian address. Should the company/contact move to another country, the publisher can amend the information using the "Edit Publisher Info" screen but will not be assigned more ISBN's from the Canadian ISBN Agency.

Postal Code*


Use this format: 000-000-0000.


Optional. Use this format: 000-000-0000.


Optional. Enter the official publisher website address (URL).


In the Canadian ISBN Directory, this URL is inserted as a link to the publisher's website, so that the Canadian public can discover more about the publisher's products.

Contact Person Information

This section provides information on the publisher's representative or agent, who will be the one using CISS.

This information is for internal use only. It is not displayed in the Canadian ISBN Publishers' Directory.

Contact Name*

Enter the name of the person who will be accessing and managing the CISS ISBN account.

The contact is the primary person who manages ISBN/CISS participation.

Contact Job Title*

Select from the drop down menu.

Street Address*

Enter the contact's mailing address.




Select from the drop down menu.


Select from the drop down menu.


Indicate the telephone number where the contact can be reached during normal business hours. Use this format: 000-000-0000.




Enter the contact's email address. It may be different from the official email address for the publisher.

All notification messages from the Canadian ISBN Agency will be sent to this email address.

We strongly recommend that this email address be for a mailbox that can be monitored by multiple staff, to ensure that messages are not overlooked.

A publisher uses as its official mailbox, while the contact person's mailbox is


Publisher/ISBN Activity

This section provides information on the publisher's ISBN-related activities.

What was your last ISBN prefix?

What was the last ISBN assigned to you?


I don't remember

Check this box if you do not remember the last ISBN assigned to you.

How many ISBNs do you estimate you will use during the next 12 months?

Enter your best estimate.


For New Publishers

Only new publishers must complete this section.

Describe one (1) item (book, video, CD, etc.), which currently requires an ISBN. This information is required to set up your CISS account.

These bibliographic elements conform to the new ISO standard for ISBN-13 and also to BookNet Canada SilverLevel ONIX 2.1. From their CISS account, publishers may download their descriptions in XML format or in delimited text, for input into the BookNet Canada (BNC) Excel template, to exchange this data with their book trade partners. For more information on this, see the BNC ONIX Guidebook (

Type of Product*

This field refers to is the binding, media, or format of your product.

Select a product type from the drop down menu. These formats/binding categories are from the ONIX 2.1 standard.

A title that is published in several different format or binding versions must be assigned a separate ISBN for each different format/binding version.


  • Little red riding hood (print version)
    ISBN 978-0-9734000-0
  • Little red riding hood (audio version)
    ISBN 978-0-9734000
  • Little red riding hood (VHS version)
    ISBN 978-0-9734000-2

If other, please specify




The title is the exact, formal title that will appear on the publication title page of a book, or will be prominently displayed elsewhere for other formats.



Optional. Useful for distinguishing works with the same title but different subtitles.


Publication Date*

Enter the anticipated date of publication. Use this format: yyyy-mm-dd.


Click <Submit> when you have completed this section.

Once you have submitted your registration form, your application will be sent to the ISBN Agency. When it has been approved, we will send an email with your user name and a temporary user password to the email address you suppplied in the Contact Person Information section of the registration form. You will then be able to log on to CISS.

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Inputting Publication Information

Small publishers not intending to submit ONIX files to larger booksellers may not need to input all the information on this page. The default information already supplied will ensure you receive your ISBN. Please read the ONIX and CISS FAQ at the bottom of the help pages for further information.

For further information:


The 13-digit ISBN will be assigned automatically once all of the mandatory fields are submitted in this screen.

Product Form

The type of product being published (for example, book, CD-audio, or electronic book text). Select from the drop down menu.

Product Form Details

The specifics of the product. For example, when Product Form is Paperback, identify what type of paperback (such as mass market or trade). Select from the drop down menu.

Title or Product Name

The primary title (not subtitle).

Subtitle (if applicable)


Subject   NEW!

The main topic of product (for example, fiction, religion, or science). Select from the drop-down list.


The full name of the imprint or brand under which the product is used, as it appears on the title page.

Anticipated Date

The date when the product will be available from the supplier.

Publication Date

The official date when the product goes on sale.

Replacement ISBN

Identifies of a new product which replaces a current product.

Publication Status

The status of a publisher's product. Select from the drop down menu.

Number of pages  NEW!

Indicates the total number of pages in a printed product. If unknown or not applicable leave value at 0.

Contributor Role

The role played by a person or corporate body in the creation of the product. Select from the drop down menu.

Corporate Contributor Name

The name of an organization, staff, or corporate contributor.


The language of the product. Select from the drop down menu.

Measurement Type: Weight

The weight of the product, and the unit of measurement.

Measurement Type: Height and Width

The height and width of the product, and the unit of measurement.

Rights Type

The identification of sales rights or exclusions. Select from the drop down menu.

Rights Country

The country to which rights apply. Select from the drop down menu.

Supplier Name

The name of a supplier source (a trade publisher) from which the product may be ordered.

Returns Code

The returns conditions. Select from the drop-down menu.

Product Availability

Indicates product availability from a supplier. Used by both publishers and intermediary suppliers. Select from the drop down menu.

On Sale Date

The first date a product can be placed on sale. Use this format: yyyy-dd-mm.

Pack Quantity

The quantity in each carton or binders pack in the stock currently held by the supplier.

Trade Class

The general discount terms of trade generally offered by a publisher.

Price Type Code   NEW!

Indicates the type of price in the price amount element. The preferred usage for the Canadian market is to list the recommended retail price (RRP) without the inclusion of any sales tax.


The retail price.


A national and international currency list is provided in the drop down menu.

Add Buttons

Certain fields have Add Buttons to the right of the heading. These allow a publisher to add additional information to the field. For example: Books in more than one language can list all languages in separate rows.


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Using CISS to Manage Your ISBNs

Logging In

Using CISS

CISS users can perform the following actions:

  • Add, change, or delete publisher information
  • Add, change, or delete user information
  • View their account information
  • Request an ISBN block
  • Search for publications
  • View their logbook
    • Assign ISBN
    • Add, change, or delete a title
    • Add, change, or delete an item description
    • Add, change, or delete a format
    • Add, change, or delete a publication's status
    • Add, change, or delete a date
    • Print their logbook with or without ISBNs
    • Sort their logbook by:

      • ISBN
      • Title
      • Product Form
      • Projected Date
      • Publication Status
  • Search the Canadian ISBN Publishers' Directory
  • Search AMICUS
  • Download item descriptions in Silver level ONIX , XML format
  • Enter and download item descriptions in BookNet Canada Excel Template

Editing Publisher Information

  • Select <Profile> from the CISS Toolbar.
  • Click on the <Edit> button at the bottom of the page.
  • Complete all mandatory fields (marked with an asterisk *) on the <Edit Publisher> page.
  • Click <Save> when form is completed.

Viewing Logbook

  • From the Publisher Profile page, select <Logbook>.
  • On the Manage Logbook Page, you may:
  • Input/Edit Title
  • Input/Edit Item description
  • Input/Edit Format
  • Input/Edit Publication Status
  • Input/Edit Date
  • Sort logbook

Updating Item Description

  • Select <Logbook> on the CISS Toolbar.
  • Select the item you wish to edit by clicking on the number in the first column to open the individual item.
  • Input or edit the item description. Complete all mandatory fields (marked with an asterisk *) and answer applicable questions.
  • Click on <Submit>.
  • Click <Logout>.

Requesting an ISBN Prefix

Note: All ISBNs in your current logbook must be used before we can assign a new block.

  • From the CISS Toolbar in My Profile page, select <Logbook>.
  • Choose a block size based on anticipated publications.
  • Click on the <Send Request> button.
  • Click <Logout> when complete.
  • Your request is sent to the agency mailbox.
  • A staff person will review your request and assign the next block within 24 hours. (This time may vary if clarification is required.)

Logging Out

You may logout from any screen in CISS application at any time.

If you are in the process of entering data and have not yet finished, remember to select <Save> before logging out. Since there is no automatic save feature in CISS, it is very important to save the work you enter on any CISS screen if you will be away from your workstation for a while.

For security reasons, you will be logged off CISS automatically if you have not been active in the system for 12 hours or more.

To logout, click on the <Logout> link located on the CISS toolbar.

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General Information About CISS

Service Standard

Our service standard is the time staff will take to activate your user account and send you a user name and user ID, along with instructions on how to access your CISS account.

Our service standard is five to ten business days.

Agency staff currently serve 34,000 Canadian publishers, and many of our behind-the-scenes processes are not yet automated. Thank you for your patience.

Rush Service

ISBN is a free service. We make every effort to provide rush service to busy publishers who require a number in fewer than five to ten days.

Requests for rush service can be handled by contacting the ISBN Agency at 819- 994-6872.

Please ensure you provide the following information:

  • publisher name;
  • contact name;
  • telephone number;
  • publisher prefix.

13-digit Support

Need more information on ISBN-13? Please read What is ISBN-13?. If you still have any, send us an email at

User ID And User Password

The <User ID> is assigned by the Canadian ISBN Agency and will be sent to the email address you supplied in the Contact Person Information section of the registration form. For security reasons, user IDs are normally 8 characters long and contain a hyphen.

Forgot your Password?

If you forget your password, contact us by telephone (866-578-7777 (select 1+7+3)) or email ( Please provide the following information:

  • publisher name;
  • publisher telephone number; and
  • publisher ISBN prefix.

Upon validation, you will receive your temporary CISS password by return email. Once you have this temporary password:

  • login to CISS;
  • select the "change password" option; and
  • enter a new secure personalized password.


Do I have to join CISS everytime I need an ISBN?

  • No. It is only necessary to join CISS once. After approval by ISBN Agency staff you will be able to request ISBN prefixes and assign numbers to your publications.

What do I do when I get my prefix block of numbers?

  • Once received, you can begin requesting individual ISBN numbers from your prefix block (usually a block of 10 or 100 ISBN numbers) and assigning them to publications. This is done in the Logbook page by clicking Assign New ISBN. From there you will need to fill out the publication information in order to get your number. The numbers are assigned one by one so each time you need a number you will have to click Assign New ISBN and fill out the appropriate information.

Why do I need to fill so many fields in order to get an ISBN?

  • The fields are there to conform to the ONIX publishing standard used by most booksellers.

What is ONIX?

  • ONIX is a standard format or "language" that publishers need to use when distributing electronic information about books to wholesale, e-tail and retail booksellers, other publishers, and any other supply chain partner involved in the production, review or sale of books.

Where can I find explanations about these fields?

What if I don't plan to submit my information to booksellers?

  • If you don't plan to send your information to booksellers using the ONIX format then you can use the default information already entered into the fields. The only fields you will need to fill out in order to get your ISBN are Title, Subject and Contributor.

Does it matter if the information in the default fields don't apply to my publication?

  • Unless you plan to export the ONIX file to booksellers it doesn't matter. No one will see this information except you and ISBN Agency staff and you can always change your information at any time.

Why does CISS need to be compatible with ONIX?

  • Library and Archives Canada wishes compatability so publishers can submit their information using ONIX files if they choose. In Phase II of CISS development it will be possible for publishers to import their ONIX data directly into CISS automatically filling the fields in the Edit Publication field and therefore instantly obtaining their ISBN's. This will allow for rapid exchange of information between publishers, LAC and others in the publishing industry.

What if a field is not filled in properly?

  • If a field is not filled in properly you will receive an error message at the top of the page informing you which field needs correction.

I don't have all my information yet, does that matter?

  • No. You can go back into the Edit Publication page at any time to update your information once you have received your ISBN.