The below MWE, compiled with pdflatex test.tex && biber test && pdflatex test.tex && pdflatex test.tex:

  isbn=true, % should also be for issn?

% in ieee.bbx, \printfield{issn} done only for @article; standard.bbx also has it for @periodical
@article {myinprocs,
  author = {Someb Authorb},
  title = {{Testing the title of inproceedings}},
  issn = {2341-2341},
  url = {http://example.com/inproc.pdf},
@inbook {myinbook,
  author = {Some Author},
  title = {{Testing the title of inbook}},
  url = {http://example.com/inbook.pdf},
  publisher={Some Publisher},
  editor = {Some Editor},
  edition = {1},
  volume = {2},
  series = {My Series},
  issn = {1234-1234},
  booktitle = {This Booktitle},
  address = {Someplace},


Testing inbook: \cite{myinbook}, \cite{myinprocs}



... output this:


Only the @article type outputs the ISSN field, while it is not output for the @inbook type. I've realized this is because the biblatex style ieee.bbx only does \printfield{issn} for the @article type.

How can I instruct biblatex to print the ISSN field also for the @inbook type - hopefully with the same style it is output in @article (e.g. the word "ISSN" being typeset with small caps)?

  • 3
    Sorry, but how can an entry inbook contain a ISSN field? ISBN for the book is ok, but ISSN?
    – Johannes_B
    Jun 4, 2015 at 21:22
  • Thanks @Johannes_B - it's a reference I've downloaded from somewhere which was formatted as inbook (possibly wrongly), now it turns out that book actually has ISSN, so I wanted to include that without changing the downloaded reference too much. Anyways, I managed to solve this using \xpatchbibdriver as in tex.stackexchange.com/questions/160152/… - at a later time, I might post a proper answer (but if someone posts an answer earlier, I'll accept that instead)... Cheers!
    – sdaau
    Jun 4, 2015 at 21:25
  • 2
    Books usually have a ISBN, that's why i am so confused. In fact, @article and @periodical are the only types that support a issn field.
    – Johannes_B
    Jun 4, 2015 at 21:27
  • 1
    Wikipedia quote: An ISBN might be assigned for particular issues of a periodical, in addition to the ISSN code for the periodical as a whole. An ISSN, unlike the ISBN code, is an anonymous identifier associated with a periodical title, containing no information as to the publisher or its location. I don't know your entry, but putting the isbn (if available) might be better.
    – Johannes_B
    Jun 4, 2015 at 21:32
  • 2
    btw: Do not blindly trust those downloadable bib-entries, especially when using biblatex. Due to its verious fields, no machine can parse a bibtex-conform entry to a real useful biblatex-conform entry. So adjustments will almost always be needed.
    – Johannes_B
    Jun 4, 2015 at 21:33

2 Answers 2


Despite the reservations expressed by some commenters here, it is not particularly unusual for a book to have both an ISBN and ISSN. Many self-contained scholarly books are issued as part of a series, often with the individual entries getting assigned a specific "volume" number. The book will generally bear a unique ISBN, as well as an ISSN shared by all books in the series. An example of such a series would be Springer's Lecture Notes in Computer Science (ISSN 0302-9743).

The xpatch package can be used to patch the various Biblatex entry types so that both the ISSN and ISBN are displayed. Here's an example (with optimizations courtesy of egreg):


Getting Biblatex to sensibly output the volume number also requires some work. Due to how standard.bbx handles volume entries, I find it more convenient to use the number field, and to define the series+number bibmacro as follows:

  {number}{\bibstring{volume}~#1 \bibstring{ofseries}}

Using these two tricks together, if you have a Biblatex entry such as

  author = {Gary Gnu},
  series = {Zoological Investigations},
  number = 9876,
  title  = {All About Gnus},
  year   = 1978,
  issn   = {1234-5678},
  isbn   = {978-1-56619-909-4},

it will appear as something like the following in your bibliography:

Gnu, Gary (1978). All About Gnus. Vol. 9876 of Zoological Investigations. ISSN: 1234-5678. ISBN: 978-1-56619-909-4.

  • LNCS "books" are not really books. They are proceedings. Anyway, this discussion is quite off-topic here.
    – yo'
    Dec 8, 2015 at 13:44
  • They're "books" in the usual sense of the word. In Biblatex parlance, yes, you should use @proceedings for them. Regardless, what I said about books (in either sense of the word) having ISSNs is still valid.
    – Psychonaut
    Dec 8, 2015 at 13:49

Looking at biblatex, @article and @periodical are the only types that support a issn field. ISSN is the acronym for International Standard Serial Number.

In contrast to serials in general, a periodical has been defined as "A serial publication with its own distinctive title, containing a mix of articles ... by more than one contributor, issued ... at regular stated intervals of less than a year, without prior decision as to when the final issue will appear." This includes magazines and journals, but not proceedings or newspapers. (Wikipedia - Serial)

Books on the other hand have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), which is unique with respect of authorship and the like.

ISSN and ISBN codes are similar in concept, where ISBNs are assigned to individual books. For particular issues of a periodical an ISBN might be assigned in addition to the ISSN code for the periodical as a whole. (Psychology Wikia)

That is indeed often seen for dissertations that are published as a title in a university periodical (Research at Duckburg university), but as they are still independent works, an additional ISBN is assigned.

In conclusion, use judgement to decide which information to place where. When downloading bib-entries from a website, double check if the information is correct.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .