FAQ Categories

About Deposit Web

1.         What is Deposit Web?

Deposit Web is an online portal for publishers to deposit materials published in Singapore. It also provides publishing services such as issuance of International Standard Numbers and Cataloguing in Publication.

2.         How do I access the services provided in Deposit Web?

A registration is required at Register as New Publisher.

3.         Must I pay a fee to use the services provided in Deposit Web?

The deposit of Singapore’s publications and application for International Standard Numbers and Cataloguing in Publication are currently free-of-charge.


4.         I have forgotten my password. What do I do?

You will need to reset your password via the Reset Your Password function on the Deposit Web page.

Alternatively, you may email the Legal Deposit Office at

5.         I would like to deactivate a user under my publisher account. What do I do?

You may email the Legal Deposit Office at

6.         I no longer publish and would like to close my account. What do I do?

You may email the Legal Deposit Office at

Legal Deposit

7.         What is Legal Deposit?

Legal Deposit is a statutory function of the National Library that enables the library to collect and preserve all works published in Singapore as part of Singapore's heritage.

The National Library Board Act requires two copies of physical publication and one copy of electronic publication published or produced in Singapore and made available for sale or public distribution in Singapore to be deposited with the National Library within four weeks from the date of publication.

8.         What are the benefits to publishers?

The National Library is the custodian of Singapore’s published heritage. Through Legal Deposit:

o    Materials will be preserved for long-term access and use by future generations

o    A trusted repository for printed and digital materials will be created

o    Published works will enjoy wider exposure locally and internationally

9.         What publications are required to be deposited?

Materials that are published or produced in Singapore and made available for sale or public distribution in Singapore are required for deposit. These include:



  • Annual reports
  • Books
  • Brochures, leaflets, pamphlets, posters
  • Commemorative publications
  • Conference papers and proceedings
  • Exhibition and gallery catalogues
  • Journals
  • Magazines
  • Maps
  • Music scores
  • Newsletters
  • Newspapers
  • Yearbooks
  • Audio visual recordings published in physical carriers such as CD-ROMs, DVDs
  • E-annual reports
  • E-books
  • E- brochures, leaflets, pamphlets, posters
  • E-commemorative publications
  • E-conference papers and proceedings
  • E-exhibition and gallery catalogues
  • E-journals
  • E-magazines
  • E-maps
  • E-music scores
  • E-newsletters
  • E-newspapers (published in tabloid layout)
  • E-yearbooks
  • Films, videos, music

If the publication has both print and electronic format for sale or public distribution, both print (2 copies) and electronic (1 copy) formats of the same publication are required for deposit.

10.     What materials are excluded from Legal Deposit?

Materials that do not need to be deposited are as follows:

  • Materials only printed in Singapore but published elsewhere
  • Materials with little or no substantial text (e.g. blank forms, calendars, timetables)
  • Materials for internal circulation only (e.g. legal documents, training manuals, course notes, minutes of meetings)
  • In-house materials (e.g. training manuals, course notes, minutes of meetings, presentation slides)
  • Incomplete documents or abstracts, summaries, tables of content, annexes, or appendixes without the complete publication
  • Databases or web-based applications
  • Final art of print publications
  • Patents
  • Photographs and pictures
  • Proprietary trade catalogues and trade circulars
  • Unused footage of films or materials for broadcasting purposes

11.     Am I required to deposit the final art of my print publication under Digital Legal Deposit?

Final art of print publication is not required under Digital Legal Deposit if this format is not published for sale or public distribution.

12.     Which organisations/parties are required to deposit?

All commercial and non-commercial publishers are required to deposit their published materials if they are for sale or public distribution.

Examples include:

  • Audio-visual producers
  • Book publishers
  • Business organisations
  • Government agencies
  • Self-publishers
  • Schools
  • Social clubs and organisations

13.     How do I deposit my publications?

Publishers are encouraged to log in to Deposit Web to complete an online deposit form. Two copies of the publication can be deposited through post or in person at:

Legal Deposit Office
National Library Board
Library Supply Centre
3, Changi South Street 2
Xilin Districentre Building B, #03-00
Singapore 486548

Mon – Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed on Public Holidays
Please access via Cargo Lift 5 to Library Supply Centre Checkpoint for deliveries by hand

National Library
100 Victoria Street
Singapore 188064
Level 1 Information Counter

Mon – Sun: 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Closed on Public Holidays

Public Libraries’ book drop

Please label your parcel clearly as materials for the Legal Deposit Office before depositing. Please click here if you wish to print the address label.

14.     How do I deposit my digital publications?

For electronic publication with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or International Standard Music Number (ISMN), publishers are required to log in to Deposit Web to deposit the file.

For electronic publications without an international standard number, publishers are required to complete this deposit form and email the form and the electronic publication(s) to the Legal Deposit Office at with the subject “Digital Legal Deposit”.

Only one copy of the electronic publication is required to be deposited. Please ensure that your digital publication is in a single document, does not have any Technological Protection Measures or other technical usage restrictions, and are uncompressed, or using lossless compression.

15.     What file format is accepted for Digital Legal Deposit?

Our accepted digital file formats are:


Accepted Formats

Text-based content




Audio recordings


Video recordings


Please contact us if you wish to deposit in file formats not listed in the table above.

16.     When must I deposit my publications?

Publishers are required to deposit two copies of their physical publication and one copy of their digital publication within four weeks from the date of publication.

17.     Would I be penalised if I were to deposit after the stipulated requirement of four weeks after the date of publication?

Publishers who refuse to deposit physical or electronic publications that come under Legal Deposit may be subject to a fine, but in practice, the National Library works closely and collaboratively with individual publishers and through key partners such as the Singapore Book Publishers Association to encourage joint efforts to keep an important part of our history.

18.     Do I need to deposit my publication that does not have an ISBN?

All publications, with or without ISBN, should be deposited with the National Library if it’s for sale or public distribution

19.     I have deposited the first issue of my magazine. Am I required to deposit subsequent issues?

Publishers are required to deposit the first and every subsequent issue if it’s a physical publication, and one copy if it’s a digital publication.

20.     Can I use one form to deposit a print and an electronic publication?

You are required to submit two different forms so that we can trace the movement of the deposited items.

21.     What happens to my deposited publications?

As the purpose of Legal Deposit is to preserve our nation's published heritage, deposited titles will be for reference only at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.

Physical publications’ bibliographic records are available via PublicationSG online catalogue. You can search and place a reservation to consult the publications. For more information about this service, please visit PublicationSG.

Electronic publications are available at Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, Level 11 designated terminal. Access is limited to one user at a time with no downloading, copying or printing allowed. The publications are available online via BookSG if permission has been granted by the copyright owner.

22.     How does the National Library ensure that my deposited electronic publications are secured and preserved?

The National Library Board’s (NLB) infrastructure is maintained in a secured environment protected by firewalls and antivirus software. NLB also has in place a digital strategy to ensure that deposited digital content is preserved. This includes a good secure storage system and migration of formats that are becoming technologically obsolete.

23.     Is Legal Deposit the same as copyright?

Legal Deposit should not be confused with copyright. Copyright protects literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and is granted automatically to an author as long as their work is original and expressed in a tangible form such as in a recording or in writing.

All intellectual property rights shall remain exclusively with the publisher. Deposited publications will only be used for non-commercial educational or research purposes at NLB’s onsite platforms. In the event that a user indicates interest to use copyrighted content, we will refer them to the respective publishers.

Information about copyright is available at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

24.     Is Legal Deposit related to Web Archiving?

Legal Deposit and Web Archiving are statutory functions of the National Library through the provisions of the National Library Board Act. These two functions enable the National Library to collect and preserve Singapore published materials in all formats.

The difference between Legal Deposit and Web Archiving is how the materials are collected. Legal Deposit is a requirement for publishers to deposit copies of their publications, whereas websites are archived by National Library with no action required by the website owner. Please visit the Web Archive Singapore portal for more information about Web Archiving.

International Standard Numbers

General Questions

25.     How do I apply for ISBN/ISSN/ISMN?

Publishers are required to create an account in Deposit Web. Thereafter, you may apply for an ISBN/ISSN/ISMN via the online application forms.

26.     Is there an application fee for ISBN/ISSN/ISMN?

The supply of ISBN, ISSN and ISMNs to Singapore publishers is currently a free service provided by the NLB as the acting National Agency for Singapore.

27.     Does ISBN/ISSN/ISMN guarantee copyright?

The use of international numbers does not guarantee copyright. The purpose of the international numbers is to provide a unique identity to the publications and to distinguish publications which may have similar or identical titles.

Copyright on the other hand protects the literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. Information about copyright is available at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

28.     Can I return or cancel ISBN/ISSN/ISMN issued to me?

Once issued, the international numbers cannot be cancelled or re-assigned. It is therefore of utmost importance that the publisher ensures that the international numbers he/she applies for will be used correctly and according to the rules set by the International Centre. Any waste of ISBN/ISSN/ISMN is regrettable.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)

29.     What is an ISBN?

The ISBN is a 10 or 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-related products. It allows publishers, book suppliers and libraries worldwide to easily locate and order items. With effect from 1 January 2007, the ISBN has been changed to 13 digits.

30.     Who is eligible for a Singapore ISBN?

Singapore and Singapore-based publishers who publish either a book, book-related product or a pamphlet/brochure of eight pages or more in Singapore, can apply for Singapore ISBNs.

Eligible Singapore and Singapore-based Publishers are as follows:

o    Individual publishers i.e. self-publishers, author publishers. Applicable to Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents only.

o    Commercial organisations e.g. commercial publishers, business companies, publishing houses, audio-visual producers, etc. who are registered in Singapore.

o    Non-commercial organisations such as

§  Government departments and agencies of Singapore

§  Academic institutions e.g. schools, colleges and universities in Singapore

§  Registered societies, religious societies, clan associations, clubs etc. in Singapore.

Distributors, booksellers and printers do not qualify as publishers (unless they are also the publishers).

31.     What are the requirements for applying for an ISBN?

You should apply for an ISBN if it is:

o    A first time publication. Subsequent reprints of the same publication can use the same ISBN as the original publication.

o    Publications that are not intended by the publisher to be updated regularly or continued indefinitely (continuing resources/publications are to be assigned an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)).

o    A new edition of a publication.

o    An existing publication published in a new format, for e.g. a book title re-issued in a CD-ROM format requires a new ISBN.

32.     What is a Block ISBN?

Block ISBN is assigned to publishers that publish more than 80 publications per year. A block ISBN can be assigned in sets of 10, 100 or 1000.

33.     What types of publications are eligible for an ISBN?

Publications that are monographic (i.e. one-off publications, not periodicals or serials etc.), text-based (or predominantly text-based) and available to the public are considered eligible within the scope of the ISBN Standard.

Examples of types of publications which an ISBN can be assigned are:

  • Printed books and pamphlets
  • Audiobooks in CDs or DVDs
  • Braille publications
  • Digitised copies of printed monographic publications
  • Educational or instructional films and videos
  • Educational or instructional software
  • Electronic publications either on physical carriers (e.g. CD-ROMs) or on the Internet
  • Maps
  • Mixed media publications (where the principal constituent is text-based)

Materials which should not be assigned an ISBN are:

  • Abstract entities such as textual works and other abstract creations of intellectual or artistic content
  • Art prints and art folders without title page and text
  • Continuing resources treated in their entirety as bibliographic entities (individual issues may qualify for ISBNs)
  • Ephemeral printed materials such as advertising matter and the like
  • Electronic bulletin boards
  • Emails and other electronic correspondence
  • Games
  • Greetings cards
  • Music sound recordings (these publications are to be assigned ISMN)
  • Personal documents (such as an electronic curriculum vitae or personal profile)
  • Printed music (these publications are to be assigned ISMN)
  • Music sound recordings (these publications are to be assigned ISMN)
  • Software that is intended for any purpose other than educational or instructional

For more information, please refer to the ISBN Users’ Manual.

34.     What types of electronic publications are eligible for an ISBN?

Publications available electronically (e.g. e-book, e-book app, CD-ROM, or on the Internet) will qualify for an ISBN provided that it contains text and is made available to the public and that there is no intention for the publication to be a continuing resource. Such publications may also include pictures and sounds.

Electronic publications which should not be assigned an ISBN are:

o    Publications that are subject to frequent update and where access is possible to these changes almost immediately, such as online databases

o    Bulletin boards

o    Emails and other electronic correspondence

o    Games

o    Personal documents (such as an electronic curriculum vitae or personal profile)

o    Promotional or advertising materials

o    Schedulers/diaries

o    Websites

For more information, please refer to the ISBN Users’ Manual.

35.     Where should I display and print the ISBN?

Please refer to “Location and Display of the ISBN on Publications” in the ISBN Users’ Manual.

36.     Can NLB change the rules of ISBN allocation?

The ISBN is based on an ISO (International) Standard which specifies the basic structure of an ISBN. The rules for its allocation and the administration of the ISBN system are set by ISBN International Agency. The ISBN National Agency Singapore has to comply with and ensure compliance to the rules.

37.     Where can I find more information about ISBN?

You can find out more information from the International ISBN Agency.

38.     Where can I find the information about barcode number for non-book related products?

Non-book related products may use the International Article Number (EAN). The EAN International-Uniform Code Council (EAN-UCC) is a supply chain standards family name that includes product barcodes printed on the majority of products available in stores worldwide and electronic commerce. In 2005, the standards organisation GS1 (Global Standards) was created to consolidate EAN and UCC. You can find out more information at GS1.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

39.     What is an ISSN?

An ISSN is an 8-digit code used to identify serials publications regardless of medium.

40.     Do I need to submit additional information for ISSN application?

You may be required to submit the following information for verification purposes:

For a print publication:

o    PDF or JPEG the Title page

o    PDF or JPEG the Cover page

o    PDF or JPEG the Editorial page

For an electronic publication:

o    PDF or JPEG the Title page

o    PDF or JPEG the Cover page

o    PDF or JPEG the Editorial page

o    PDF or JPEG of the jacket (if the publication is on CD-ROM)

o    A valid URL address (if the resource is online)

41.     What are the requirements for applying for an ISSN?

Publishers should obtain ISSNs only for serial publications. A serial is a publication issued in successive parts to be published under a common title for an indefinite period.

A separate ISSN is required for every format (print, electronic or online) and language that it is published in.

42.     What types of electronic publications are eligible for an ISSN?

All continuing resources irrespective of their medium (print, electronic or online) are eligible for an ISSN. Some examples of continuing resources/publications are:

o    Annual publications (reports, directories, etc.)

o    Journals

o    Magazines

o    Newspapers

o    Blogs

o    Websites

You can find more information at the official ISSN page on " What is an ISSN".

43.     What types of electronic resources are not eligible for an ISSN?

Electronic or ongoing integrating resources which should not be assigned an ISSN are:

o    A personal website or an online personal diary

o    A short-lived resource, whose end is determined from its conception

o    A company, product, institution or organisation e.g.

§  Advertising, commercial or promotional website

§  Information site for one or more products

§  Corporate / institutional and community website

44.     Am I able to apply for an ISSN before I publish an electronic serial publication?

ISSN is usually not assigned to electronic or ongoing integrating resources prior to the publication date.

45.     Where should I display or print the ISSN on?

For a print publication, the ISSN should be shown:

o    Preferably, in the upper right corner of the cover

o    On the pages where editorial information is shown

For a publication in electronic media, the ISSN should be shown:

o    On the homepage or on the main menu, if it is an online publication

o    On any part visible to the naked eye (microfiche header, CD-ROM or DVD label, box, case, etc.), if the publication is on a physical medium

46.     Where can I find more information about ISSN?

You can find out more information from the ISSN International Centre.

International Standard Music Number (ISMN)

47.     What is an ISMN?

ISMN is the International Standard Music Number. It is a unique number for the identification of all notated music editions worldwide. The edition can be in print or digital format for sale, for hire or distributed free of charge; whether as a part, a score, or an element in a multi-media kit.

48.     What types of publications are eligible for an ISMN?

Publishers, including author publishers, should obtain an ISMN for the following types of printed music:

o    Anthologies

o    Commentaries published with the notated music (if available separately)

o    Braille music publications

o    Electronic publications of musical notations

o    Individual parts, available separately

o    Microform music publications

o    Miniature (study) scores

o    Other media that are an integral component of a publication of notated music (e.g. a tape recording that is one of the 'parts' of a composition)

o    Pop folios

o    Sets of parts

o    Song books (optional)

o    Song texts or lyrics published with the notated music (if available separately)

o    Scores

o    Vocal scores

Note: For a publication consisting of scores and parts, the full score, the set of parts as a whole, and each individual part (if available separately) must be assigned its own ISMN.

The following types of publications which should not be assigned an ISMN are:

o    Books on music except when they contain examples of notated music

o    Periodicals and series as a whole, as distinct from individual volumes in series

o    Stand-alone sound or video recordings (including recordings available on computer media)

49.     When do I need to use a different ISMN for the same publication?

A new ISMN is required when:

o    There is a change to the publication’s Title; Publisher; Musical or literary content; Additions; Alterations; Major change in physical size; Binding

o    A facsimile reprint is produced by a different publisher

o    It is a microform edition

50.     Where should I display or print the ISMN on?

The ISMN must appear prominently on the item itself and printed in easily legible type (9 point or larger). The preferred location is on the back of a score or part, and if possible, with the copyright notice. Alternatively, the ISMN may be printed at the bottom of the first page of music.

When the item is a single sheet, the ISMN should appear in only one place on the item.

51.     Where can I find more information about ISMN?

You can find out more information from the International ISMN Agency.

Cataloguing in Publication (CIP)

52.     What is Cataloguing in Publication (CIP)?

The CIP record created observes the internationally established cataloguing standards and thereby facilitates distribution of information on the publications throughout the world.

A CIP record is created from information supplied by publishers which includes the author, title, publisher, date of publication, price (if available) and the International Standard Book Number (ISBN). The Library of Congress Subject Headings and Dewey Decimal Classification numbers are also provided to facilitate access and retrieval.

53.     What are the benefits of applying for the CIP?

CIP helps to promote books even before they are published. It is also a useful aid to libraries for acquisitions and cataloguing of new titles.

The CIP record is created in WorldCat, the world’s largest library catalogue which is used extensively by most libraries in the world.

54.     How does a Singapore publisher obtain a CIP record?

The CIP form can be submitted online via the Deposit Web and can also be requested via email at

It is important that publishers submit accurate and sufficient information in the CIP application form. Incomplete or inaccurate information may cause delays and the application may be returned to the publisher for further clarifications.

Catalogue records are created on the basis of the information provided on the work's title page and the subject matter covered by the work. Therefore, although the completion of the CIP application form is important, it is also essential that the following information is submitted together with the CIP application:

o    Title page

o    Verso of title page (copyright page)

o    Table of contents

o    Introduction and preface (if available)

o    Any publicity material prepared for the publication

55.     Do I need to have an ISBN before I apply for CIP?

All publications must include an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) before applying for CIP. The NLB is the ISBN Agency in Singapore and will issue ISBNs upon request.

More information on ISBN is available at the ISBN Page.

56.     How much does it cost the publisher to apply for the CIP?

A CIP record is currently provided free of charge.

57.     How long does it take to obtain a CIP entry for a book?

The CIP application will be processed within five working days.

58.     How will I receive the CIP record?

The CIP record will be returned to the publisher by mail, fax or email.

59.     How does a CIP entry appear in a book?

A CIP record as printed in the book will appear as such:

National Library Board, Singapore Cataloguing in Publication Data

Names: Baker, Maurice, 1920- | Baker, Edmund, editor.
Title: The accidental diplomat : the autobiography of Maurice Baker / by Maurice
     Baker ; edited by Edmund Baker.
Description: Singapore : World Scientific, 2014.
Identifiers: OCN 881509045 | ISBN 978-981-4618-30-4 (hardcover) | ISBN 978-
     981-4618-31-1 (paperback)
Subjects: LCSH: Baker, Maurice, 1920- | Ambassadors--Singapore--Biography. |
     College administrators--Singapore--Biography.
Classification: LCC JX1664 | DDC 327.2092--dc23

60.     Where should the CIP record be printed in the book?

The CIP record must always be printed in the publication. It can be printed on the back of the title page, either as a typeset version or as a full or reduced-size photo facsimile. The data elements, however, must be printed completely, without any alterations to sequence, punctuation, capitalization or spacing. The punctuation or capitalization may sometimes seem peculiar but it is prescribed by standards that permit the catalogue record to be understood internationally.

61.     Is the CIP Programme offered only to English book publications in Singapore?

The CIP programme is available for books published in Singapore in the four official languages (i.e. English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil).

62.     Is CIP compulsory?

CIP is not compulsory. It is a voluntary programme of cooperation between publishers in Singapore and the NLB.

63.     What do I do if there are changes to my publication after a CIP record is created?

Publishers are required to immediately notify the CIP team via email at if there are changes to the submitted information. This is to ensure that the CIP made available to booksellers, wholesalers and libraries are correct and up-to-date.

64.     I am publishing a revised edition. Can I use the same CIP data?

You will need to apply for a new CIP. This is because a revised edition is significantly different from the first publication.

65.     Is CIP available for the publishing of other types of materials such as magazines, journals, annuals etc. and non-print materials?

The CIP programme is limited to books that are published principally in English, Chinese, Malay or Tamil. For more information about the scope of the CIP programme, please refer to the Cataloguing in Publication page.

66.     Can I request for CIP for reprint titles?

Reprint is defined as a new impression of an existing edition, with no alterations in the text/content and imprint. You need not apply for CIP for this reprint title, as the work would have already been catalogued.

Contact Details

How can I contact the NLB?

For more information or clarification, please contact us.

For enquiries on Cataloguing in Publication (CIP):

For any other enquiries:

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