About the ISTC Allocating ISTCs An ISTC can only be allocated to a textual work by an authorised ISTC registration agency; this will usually follow a request from either the creator of the work or an authorized representative, e.g. a publisher of that work. The person or organization that asks for a work to be registered and provides the metadata for it is called the “registrant”. It is important that the information about a work should be provided by someone knowledgeable and responsible, ensuring that information is as accurate as possible. There may be some situations where a third party, e.g. a national library, wishes to register a number of textual works which are out of copyright; if there is no longer any living representative for the author, then a third party, (in this example, the library) would be allowed to act as the registrant for these works.

What is eligible for an ISTC (and when)?

ISTCs are designed to identify textual works, i.e. the outputs of creative and/or intellectual effort expressed wholly or predominantly in textual form that are intended for publication. Textual works which include illustrations, whether created specifically for the work or reused from elsewhere such that they are regarded as an integral part of the work, are eligible for ISTCs. Works that are entirely graphic, with no text, are not eligible for ISTCs. If you are not sure whether a work is eligible for an ISTC or not, please contact your local ISTC registration agency for advice.

An ISTC may be allocated to an eligible work as soon as sufficient information about the work can be provided; the work does not have to have already been published. In fact, it is preferable to allocate an ISTC before publishing the work, so that the “product record” (which, if it is for a book, would usually be identified with an ISBN) can include the ISTC as an attribute of the product record from the outset.

An ISTC can equally be assigned to a work after its publication, although care needs to be taken in case there are multiple editions (e.g. the same work in different formats and/or through different publishers).