Publisher Item Identifier
The Publisher Item Identifier (PII) is a unique identifier used by a number of scientific journal publishers to identify documents.1 It uses the pre-existing ISSN or ISBN of the publication in question, and adds a character for source publication type, an item number, and a check digit.
A PII is a 17-character string, consisting of:
- one character to indicate source publication type: "S" = serial with ISSN, "B" = book with ISBN
- ISSN (8 digits) or ISBN (10 characters) of the serial or book to which the publication item is primarily assigned
- in the case of serials an additional two digit number to pad the difference between the 8-digit ISSN and an ISBN (suggested are the last two digits of calendar year of the date of assignment, which is not necessarily identical to the cover date)
- a 5-digit number assigned by the publisher that is unique to the publication item within the serial or book
- a check digit (0-9 or X)
When a PII is printed (as opposed to stored in a database), the 17-character string may be extended with punctuation characters to make it more readable to humans, as in Sxxxx-xxxx(yy)iiiii-d or Bx-xxx-xxxxx-x/iiiii-d.
- Publisher Item Identifier as a means of document identification, Elsevier web site, last update 9 April 1998, accessed October 2003
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