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In Canada ISBNs are managed by Library and Archives Canada. Getting an ISBN in Canada is easy and even better, it's free. The Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS) is a free ISBN Canada has an online service allowing publishers to assign ISBNs to future publications.


979-ISBN-13 are in use in the Canadian supply chain and they have no corresponding ISBN-10 value.  Therefore an ISBN-10 can no longer represent all book products in our market and BookNet Canada can no longer recommend that ISBN-10 be used in data exchanges for new book records.   Some end users may still ask for ISBN-10.  If you are using 979-ISBNs you should ensure that they have the capacity to use your identifier, but there is no harm in supplying ISBN-10 on 978-ISBNs and some software will automatically include them.    (Note: be Be sure your software doesn't attempt to create an ISBN-10 based on a 979 ISBN-13.)

How Do I Convert ISBN-10 to a 978-EAN/ISBN-13?

  • First: A reminder that you cannot convert a 979-ISBN-13 to ISBN-10.  Only 978-ISBN-13 can have a corresponding ISBN-10.  ISBN-10s can only be converted to a 978-ISBN-13.
  • Second: An observation that conversion utilities that support ISBN-10 are disappearing and you should not rely on ISBN-10.  ISBN-13 is the only active ISBN type in the Canadian market
  • Pragmatically there remains a need to work with legacy data so here's some remaining resources that might help
  • For single conversions either way:
  • Here is a useful Excel spreadsheet bulk converter ISBN10-13 Converter.xls (the orginal original source of this document follows but this link is no longer active:

    While this conversion spreadsheet works, GREAT CARE MUST BE TAKEN when converting ISBN-10s with leading zeros OR that may be loaded as 9 (or fewer) digit numbers (which may have happened on the data already).  legacy data held in Excel spreadsheets often has it's leading zeros stripped).  The spreadsheet makes no allowance for this.
    Using 0-538-75077-4 as an example for both problems:
    • 10 digit ISBN-10 0538750774  loses it's zero and becomes 9 digit 538750774
    • The spreadsheet assumes all numbers are 10 digits and strips off the tenth number as it's the (a check digit) and then re-calcuate the correct check digit for the 978-ISBN-13
    • 0538750774  should become  053875077 but if the column contains 538750774 as a 9 digit number it is simply transferred (the spreadsheet doesn't prevent transfer of a 9 digit number)
    •  The resulting ISBN-13 calculation can proceed on the incorrect number and create different results. There is only one correct match for 0-538-75077-4