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International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) are assigned to books and ebooks. They are used by three main groups: publishing houses, book traders and libraries. All of the groups use ISBNs for ordering, stock control and any accounting that needs to be done. In addition, they use ISBNs for other purposes:
- Publishing houses use ISBNs to monitor sales date and manage rights and royalties
- Book traders use ISBNs for sales, bibliographic searches and books in print directories
- Libraries use ISBNs for information retrieval, inter-library loans, loans, cataloguing and maintaining a national bibliography.