In addition to being a registration agent for ISBNs, Bowker is also a registration agent for ISNI. This is a new identifier - the standard was published in 2012 - for people and organizations. The mission of ISNI is (from the ISNI website):
- Assign to the public name of a writer, artist, performer, researcher, publisher, etc. a persistent unique identifying number in order to resolve the problem of name ambiguity in search and discovery.
- Diffuse each assigned ISNI across all repertoires in the global supply chain so that every creative work is unambiguously attributed to its creator or publisher wherever that work is described.
By achieving these goals the ISNI will act as a bridge identifier across multiple domains and become a critical component in Linked Data and Semantic Web applications.
ISNI is useful in tracking rights and royalties, but also in search and discovery. Wikipedia has begun incorporating ISNIs in its entries for notable people. Every author in Bowker's Books in Print is being assigned an ISNI. And there are many organizations around the world who have all contributed name and organization information to the ISNI database, meaning that if a person is listed with one of those organizations, they will be (or have been) assigned an ISNI.
At Bowker, we are excited to be participating in new methods of search and discovery for authors and publishers. To see if you have already been assigned an ISNI, check ISNI's search page here. If you have not yet been assigned your ISNI, please email ISNI@bowker.com for information on how to do so.