ISBNs and legal deposits

An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique identifier for a book or book-like item to allow that specific publication to be distinguished and located. An ISBN isn’t mandatory, but it will ensure that your publication is listed in Books in Print and easily identifiable. An ISBN is applied to an individual item (e.g. one title or edition of a title) and is unique to that edition. For example, if a book is released as an eBook as well as a paperback, it should have two ISBNs, one for each format.

UNSW Library is authorised to allocate ISBNs for UNSW publications. There is no cost to the individual requester.

To obtain an ISBN for a non-UNSW publication, contact the Australian ISBN Agency.

Serial publications such as journals and annual reports do not qualify for an ISBN and would usually have an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN). To obtain an ISSN, contact the Australian ISSN Agency.

ISBN requests

UNSW Library provides ISBNs on request for teaching and research publications produced at UNSW. To qualify for an ISBN from the UNSW Library, the publication must:

  • be produced by current staff and/or students of the University of New South Wales
  • be an eligible material as outlined by the ISBN agency
  • have the University of New South Wales or one of its entities as the primary publisher
  • be available for sale or distribution outside the University of New South Wales.

Submit an ISBN request form

Legal deposit

Under the Copyright Act 1968, it is a legal requirement to deposit copies of a publication with the National Library of Australia. For all publications produced in Australia, legal deposit is also required at a number of NSW locations under the New South Wales Copyright Act 1879-1952, ss 5-7.

If your work is subject to legal deposit in New South Wales, it must be deposited at all of the following locations:

Location Contact details
State Library of New South Wales


Phone: +61 2 9273 1490

Postal address:

Legal Deposit,
State Library of New South Wales,
Macquarie Street, Sydney,
NSW 2000, Australia

NSW Parliamentary Library


Phone: +61 2 9230 2384

Postal address:
Legal Deposit Officer,
NSW Parliamentary Library,
Parliament House,
Macquarie Street, Sydney,
NSW 2000, Australia

University of Sydney Library


Email publication details including title, ISBN and description, and the library will provide deposit instructions.

National edeposit


Phone: +61 2 9273 1734

Learn more about National edeposit (NED).
Access NED and select to Make an edeposit.