The main objective of the ISBD Review Group is to: maintain the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), which is intended to serve as a principal standard to promote universal bibliographic control, to make universally and promptly available, in a form that is internationally acceptable, basic bibliographic data for all published and unpublished resources in all countries.

The ISBD Review Group (ISBD RG) oversees the revision, management and promotion of IFLA’s International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), and provides a central coordinating body to which any ISBD-related issues can be directed.

The ISBD Review Group reports to the IFLA Advisory Committee on Standards. It is one of four Review Groups, these are standards bodies within IFLA, responsible of developing and maintaining IFLA bibliographic standards.

Terms of reference

The ISBD Review Group has the following purposes:

  • Maintain and revise the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) on an ongoing basis in line with bibliographic and technological developments and emerging cataloguing requirements.
  • Promote the use, translation into various languages, and implementation of the ISBD in national and institutional cataloguing codes and bibliographic control.
  • Develop and make available guidelines and tools for the efficient use and effective implementation of ISBD in different bibliographic and technological applications.
  • Monitor the developments of IFLA and non-IFLA related standards and other relevant communities that have impact on the ISBD.
  • Co-ordinate other activities regarding ISBD user communities’ requirements concerning development and use of the ISBD, ensuring that the ISBD continues to fulfil the needs of its user communities.
  • Support the Advisory Committee on Standards and other review groups, in areas of expertise and issues impacting the development, harmonization and integration of IFLA bibliographic standards.
  • Maintain links with relevant sections and standards bodies inside and outside IFLA, including formal relationships such as named liaisons on issues of mutual interests, and to address specific standardization and harmonization needs.

Organisation and reporting

The ISBD Review Group is one of four standard bodies reporting to the IFLA Advisory Committee on Standards.

Members of the ISBD Review Group are selected according to the established procedures and are appointed by the Advisory Committee on Standards. The Review Group may have a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 members. Review Group Committee members complete four-year terms renewable once through re-election. Individuals may be a member of only one Review Group but may serve as a liaison to multiple groups. The ISBD Review Group can also appoint expert advisors for a period of two years renewable once.

The ISBD Review Group members nominate their own Chair and the nomination endorses the appointment. The Chair serves for a period of two years and can be re-elected once. In exceptional circumstances, they can be re-elected for a third term on approval by the Advisory Committee on Standards.


The ISBD Review Group works closely with the other IFLA Review Groups:

It liaises with the IFLA Bibliography, Cataloguing and Subject Analysis and Access Sections in areas relevant to its work and focus as well as on matters of mutual interest.

The ISBD Review Group maintains formal relationships with external standards-issuing bodies such as RDA RSC, ISSN International Centre. The ISBD Review Group maintains a harmonization agreement for the three standards.