Rechecking items with no ISBN or ISSN

All items should be added to the DCS with an ISN (an ISBN for a book or an ISSN for a journal) where available, but some items either do not have an ISN or were published before the mainstream introduction of ISNs in the late 1960s.

When adding an item with no ISN you will have to manually confirm the permissions as these cannot be checked via the CLA Check Permissions tool, as permissions are granted on a title level and ISNs are required for this automated check.

Each year on or around August 1 these titles will need to be rechecked to ensure they are still covered by the Licence. Previously all links to content were broken and all non-ISN checking happened through the dashboard.

In order to make this process more efficient and give HEIs more breathing room to check items with no ISN, whilst not affecting student access to content, links will no longer be broken. However, the onus is now on HEIs to ensure that they review these titles using their HEI Report.

Rechecking items with no ISN should ideally be complete either before September 1 of any given year.

Below we will take you through how to check the permissions for items without an ISN by the use of your HEI report and our list of excluded publishers


To check these please start by generating your HEI Report. 


Once generated add a filter. To do this click on the corner icon in the spreadsheet and then go on to the 'Data' tab and click 'Filter'.


Clicking on the filter button on column N and selecting 'Blanks' will highlight the titles that will need reviewing. 


Now you have been left with just the titles with no ISN you have a choice of how to handle them: what you do next depend on whether you have a lot of titles without an ISN or just a few. You can click on one of the links below to read the guide relevant to you:


Few titles with no ISN

Having between 1-10 titles probably makes it easier to go through them one by one to check the permissions as before. However this time you can be assured that links are still accessible by students and you have less urgency to complete straight away. 

Assuming that permissions were correctly identified when the request was first added, you then only need check that the publisher does not appear on the Excluded Works List. The list is here:

If the publisher has subsequently become excluded you can either delete the request, cancel the override, or mark as excluded. It is your choice which option you choose, all three will make the link become inaccessible to students.

To change the request details you can search for the Request ID (Column B) on the DCS Dashboard. Here you can delete the request or click on the request to enter it. 



When in the request you are able to update by cancelling the override or marking the request as excluded (this is up to you, cancelled items will be 'NotFound' in the HEI report, excluded items will be marked as 'Excluded' in the HEI Report).


If the publisher has not become excluded no action needs to be taken until you recheck next year.


Many titles with no ISN

If you have over 10 titles with no ISN, using a pivot table maybe more efficient, as you can focus on publishers instead of individual requests. 

Highlight all the data by clicking the cell on the top right hand corner.


Copy the data and then paste onto a new tab.



Once in the new tab, highlight all data (as indicated above), then enter the 'insert' tab and click 'PivotTable'. Click 'OK' in the popup. 



When in the new Pivot tab, in the 'PivotTable Fields' scroll down to 'Publisher' and select this. Then drag this down to the 'Values' area below. 


Now you can focus on the publishers instead of each individual title. Review these publishers against the Excluded Works List ( and see if any are now excluded. 

If any publisher is now excluded, or if there are blank results or you just need any more information, simply double click on the count result (even if blank) to see all the requests in one tab together.



You can then review these titles using the Request ID and exclude, cancel the override or delete as necessary (see instructions in the section above). 

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