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Bowker® executive will provide counsel on ISBN standards globally

ANN ARBOR, MI, October 4, 2019 – The International ISBN Agency has elected ProQuest’s Beat Barblan as chair of its board of directors, where he’ll provide counsel and guidance on issues related to identifier standards in the book supply chain.

Mr. Barblan, Vice President of Publishing and Data Services at ProQuest affiliate Bowker – the official ISBN Agency for the U.S. and Australia – is a familiar name in the publishing industry. In addition to leading Bowker, he previously served as board treasurer for the International ISBN Agency. He also serves as treasurer of EDItEUR and is a board member of the Book Industry Study Group.

ISBN is a product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. Used in more than 200 countries and territories, the ISBN identifies a book’s registrant, title, edition and format.

“That 13-digit ISBN printed on the back of a book is one of the most familiar standards in the world,” said Stella Griffiths, Executive Director of the London, U.K.-based International ISBN Agency. “Establishing clear responsibility and governance ensures that the ISBN system is robust, authoritative and easy to use. We’re thrilled that Beat will bring his unique combination of publishing knowledge and industry experience to lead our board of directors.”

“I’m passionate about international standards that help the global book industry in areas like identification, metadata, search and discovery,” said Mr. Barblan. “Serving as board chair of ISBN International allows me to contribute my knowledge from ProQuest to the global publishing industry. I’m honored to accept this position and work with a group of experts from around the world.”

Mr. Barblan has held roles with Bowker since 2007 and had prior experience at Wolters Kluwer. A native of Switzerland, he has a degree in Philosophy from Rutgers University and a unique career history, having served as dispatcher for the Swiss Federal Railway System, translator for an elevator company, technology strategist for a hospitality company and foreign language teacher at a public middle school. His first name is pronounced “Bay-Yacht.”

About ProQuest (

ProQuest supports the important work in the world’s research and learning communities. The company curates six centuries of content – the world’s largest collection of journals, ebooks, primary sources, dissertations, news, and video – and builds powerful workflow solutions to help libraries acquire and grow collections that inspire extraordinary outcomes. ProQuest products and services are used in academic, K-12, public, corporate and government libraries in 150 countries.

Along with its companies and affiliates Ex Libris, Alexander Street, and Bowker, ProQuest helps its customers achieve better research, better learning and better insights. For more information, visit our ProQuest and Extraordinary Stories blogs, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

04 October 2019

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