May 20, 2022

Report: Results of International Survey on the Use of ISBD (International Standard Bibliographic Description)

From the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations):

The survey, available online, was sent to several IFLA groups and many mailing lists for immediate release, and was also put out on the IFLA website. After preliminary results were drafted, several other national libraries were contacted, with requests sent out in other languages than English because it was noticed that there were few responses from some parts of the world.

The survey was primarily intended for national cataloguing committees, national libraries, and national, regional, or multinational rule-making bodies. The Survey Study Group intended that the responders should be institutions involved in creating cataloguing rules or in defining national profiles or procedures for their application. Probably the words “other interested groups” in the text of the distribution generated some misunderstanding since many responses came from other types of institutions such as university, special and even public libraries. Their responses are also included in the results.


There are some inconsistencies in the answers. Despite this, the results are very useful in order to draw a broad picture about the use of the ISBD and other rules or standards, and also about future directions.

Direct to Full Text Report (18 pages; PDF)

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.