UNB ECE4253 Digital Communications
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering - University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada

ISBN-13 Error Detection Tool

Error control codes can be implemented within written values such as account numbers and price tags by appending a single check digit.

978-1118115398
The final digit '8' serves for error control.

In the case of books, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN-13) adds a single check digit to create a 13-character book number. This standard replaced the old 10-digit version in January, 2007. While the new system allows for more books, it is weaker as an error control algorithm; in particular, certain digit transpositions are not caught.

Specifically, exchanging the adjacent digit pairs (0,5) (1,6) (2,7) (3,8) (4,9) in either order would not be detected.


ISBN-13 Check Calculation




   9    7    8    1    1    1    8    1    1    5    3    9    8  
  x1   x3   x1   x3   x1   x3   x1   x3   x1   x3   x1   x3   x1  
  --   --   --   --   --   --   --   --   --   --   --   --   --   
   9 + 21 +  8 +  3 +  1 +  3 +  8 +  3 +  1 + 15 +  3 + 27 +  8  = 110


110 ≡ 0 (mod 10)
The test PASSED since this result is zero.

There is a one-in-ten chance that a totally random number will pass this simple validity test.


Check an ISBN-13 number by entering it in the box below. Dashes may be used between digits as desired.

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2024-07-14 16:14:49 ADT
Last Updated: 2015-03-02
Richard Tervo [ tervo@unb.ca ] Back to the course homepage...