Skip to main content

Bowker® executive will provide counsel on ISBN standards globally

ANN ARBOR, MI, October 4, 2019 – The International ISBN Agency has elected ProQuest’s Beat Barblan as chair of its board of directors, where he’ll provide counsel and guidance on issues related to identifier standards in the book supply chain.

Mr. Barblan, Vice President of Publishing and Data Services at ProQuest affiliate Bowker – the official ISBN Agency for the U.S. and Australia – is a familiar name in the publishing industry. In addition to leading Bowker, he previously served as board treasurer for the International ISBN Agency. He also serves as treasurer of EDItEUR and is a board member of the Book Industry Study Group.

ISBN is a product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. Used in more than 200 countries and territories, the ISBN identifies a book’s registrant, title, edition and format.

“That 13-digit ISBN printed on the back of a book is one of the most familiar standards in the world,” said Stella Griffiths, Executive Director of the London, U.K.-based International ISBN Agency. “Establishing clear responsibility and governance ensures that the ISBN system is robust, authoritative and easy to use. We’re thrilled that Beat will bring his unique combination of publishing knowledge and industry experience to lead our board of directors.”

“I’m passionate about international standards that help the global book industry in areas like identification, metadata, search and discovery,” said Mr. Barblan. “Serving as board chair of ISBN International allows me to contribute my knowledge from ProQuest to the global publishing industry. I’m honored to accept this position and work with a group of experts from around the world.”

Mr. Barblan has held roles with Bowker since 2007 and had prior experience at Wolters Kluwer. A native of Switzerland, he has a degree in Philosophy from Rutgers University and a unique career history, having served as dispatcher for the Swiss Federal Railway System, translator for an elevator company, technology strategist for a hospitality company and foreign language teacher at a public middle school. His first name is pronounced “Bay-Yacht.”

About Bowker® (

Bowker is the world's leading provider of bibliographic information, connecting publishers, authors, and booksellers with readers. Bowker provides tools and resources, such as the Books In Print® database and Identifier Services ( to help authors promote and sell their books. Bowker, a ProQuest affiliate, is the official ISBN Agency for the United States.

04 October 2019

Featured Press Releases

Self-Publishing Grew 40 Percent in 2018, New Report Reveals

According to the latest report from ProQuest affiliate Bowker, self-publishing grew at a rate of more than 40 percent in 2018.
Read More

ProQuest OASIS® Platform Enriched with Bowker Books in Print® Data

ProQuest announces the enrichment of its OASIS catalog with the bibliographic information from the Bowker Books In Print service.
Read More

New Record: More than 1 Million Books Self-Published in 2017

According to the latest report from ProQuest affiliate Bowker, self-publishing grew at a rate of more than 28 percent in 2017, up from an 8 percent increase during the prior year.
Read More

ProQuest Press Team