May 26, 2022

Name Identification: Use of ISNI is Growing Fast Among Authors, Says New Bowker Analysis

From Bowker/ProQuest:

A new analysis of Bowker Books In Print shows that a full 33 percent of its contributors have the ISO-certified International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) connected with their names and in use in the database. ISNI was created just over two years ago and has topped 8 million assignments, 2.33 million of which are represented in Books In Print, showing rapid uptake by authors and other contributors.

Published in early 2012, the standard applies a unique 16-digit code to public identities, providing a single identifier that can be leveraged across many applications, syncing alternate or disparate spellings of the same name, and eliminating confusion when names are alike. ISNIs are in use by organizations such as Wikipedia, Digital Science, ORCID, and many others. 

“This extraordinary growth in use in just two years reveals the standard’s ability to simplify the process of identification,” said Beat Barblan, Bowker’s Director of Identifier Services and Treasurer of the ISNI International Agency. “Information about authors and other contributors to books is found in many locations – from research databases to organizations paying royalties. The ISNI is a simple, effective way to ensure accuracy. With an ISNI, we know we are referring to the correct Dan Brown or Stephen King.”

See Also: Name identification using the ISNI: An interview with Laura Dawson (via The Scholarly Kitchen)

See Also: France: BnF is First National Library in the World to Become ISNI Registration Agency (February 27, 2014)

See Also: International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) Assignments Top 7 Million (December 19, 2013)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.