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Google Search Feature: Find an ISSN

August 19, 2010

I may be way behind the curve here, but today I accidentally discovered another Google Search Feature that I did not know existed. I needed to find an ISSN number for a journal (Jewish Quarterly Review). I was going to head over to our local catalog or WorldCat and look it up. As chance would have it, the cozy Google search box was there waiting for me on my laptop screen, saying (almost audibly), “Hey, John, why don’t you just use my box to look for that International Standard Serial Number? Everybody’s doing it.”

So I did. I entered jewish quarterly review issn and clicked the magic button.

And here’s what I saw display in 0.46 seconds (Is web searching getting slower? Come on!)…

Nice. So nice, that I thought I would try another just to see what happened…and another…and another…and the game was on.

I did discover that the ISSN search feature doesn’t always work. In most cases when it didn’t work, however, the first result usually came from JournalSeek. Just as good. And it seems to work better for popular magazine titles as opposed to scholarly journals (not a scientific study, just a cursory observation).

Granted, if you enter [journal/magazine name] issn into Google, chances are the first result is probably going to give you what you need. I just thought it was interesting that Google (at least sometimes) offers the answer as one of those handy-dandy search features, like unit conversions.

So there you have it–Another tidbit of search knowledge and something to share at the next party you attend.

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