Informatics Development Institute, Ireland
E-mail dmherlihy at eircom dot net


The original 1966 Report by F. G. Foster which initiated the scheme in the UK and Republic of Ireland that was subsequently adopted by The International Standards Organisation as the standard for world-wide use.

It can be downloaded from this site as a 37K RTF file.


"A Report by F. G. Foster. Introduction: The Publishers Association carried out in 1966 an inquiry into the feasibility of the adoption by the U.K. book trade of a standard system of numbering all book titles. The conclusion that has been reached is that there is a clear need for the introduction of standard numbering, and that substantial benefits will accrue to all parties therefrom. The following is a summary of the scheme and report on its implementation to date. "


Gordon Foster (1920-2010):

Fellow emeritus TCD, was professor of statistics at Trinity College Dublin and a former dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Systems Sciences.  Before joining Trinity, he held the chair of computational methods at the London School of Economics. He headed a number of international projects and worked on evaluation studies of the socio-economic impacts of informatics. He acted as consultant to UNIDO in assisting to develop their policy on the role of informatics in third world development. He was the author of the coding system for books, International Standard Book Numbering (ISBN), now in worldwide use.  He published numerous reports and technical papers in probability theory, applied statistics, computer systems performance modelling, information systems design, information technology assessment, operations research and management science. 



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