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Company will apply its experience with ISBNs to streamline administration of new naming standard

New Providence, NJ - June 21, 2012 - Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest, is the first U.S. registration agency for the new ISO-certified naming standard – ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier). Bowker will use its vast experience registering International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) to create a simple process for assigning ISNI’s unique 16-digit code to public identities in media content industries who are involved in the creation, production, management, and content distribution chains.

“Both Bowker and ProQuest have been deeply involved and strongly supportive of the creation of the ISNI because of its ability to help streamline all types of biographical research and produce more accurate results,” said Beat Barblan, Bowker’s Director of Identifier Services. “We’re pleased to now be able to help implement the process.”

The ISNI Agency, a worldwide group of organizations that serve researchers, created the standard to make it easier to accurately connect information with public identities, both real and fictional, and with institutions. The ISNI disambiguates identities so that an author Michele Smith is not confused with a guitarist Michele Smith or a singer with the same name. It’s especially practical for organizations administering rights, simplifying identification and administration of royalties. Bowker is currently one of only two registration agencies; U.K.-based Ringgold is ISNI’s first registration agency for institutional identifiers.

Through Bowker individuals and institutions can now start applying for an ISNI. Once the number is assigned, Bowker shares it across the global digital information industry, enabling research organizations to apply it to content by or about that party held in their databases. Users tapping into any of the organizations that use ISNIs will need only a name and just enough background data to zero in on the correct identity. Then, the ISNI will take over, connecting all the appropriate public information. Users can also start with an ISNI and find the identity and data that matches it.

To apply for ISNIs through Bowker or obtain more information, contact Laura Dawson, Product Manager, Identifiers, at Use ISNI’s free lookup interface at

About the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) The International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) is an ISO Standard (ISO 27729:2012) whose scope is the identification of public Identities across multiple fields of creative activities. ISNI streamlines content distribution chains, disambiguating natural, legal and fictional parties that might otherwise be confused.

ISNI is a creation of the ISNI International Agency (ISNI-IA) founded by CISAC, the Conference of European National Librarians (represented by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the British Library), IFRRO, IPDA, OCLC and ProQuest. The founding members include consortia representing more than 26,000 major world libraries, 300 rights management societies and research information giants OCLC and ProQuest, along with its business unit Bowker.

About Bowker
Bowker is the world's leading provider of bibliographic information and management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. Creators of products and services that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience, the company also generates research and resources for publishers, helping them understand and meet the interests of readers worldwide. Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest and the official ISBN Agency for the United States and its territories, is headquartered in New Providence, New Jersey with additional operations in England and Australia.

21 June 2012

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