The International Standard Text Code (ISTC) system is a global identification system for textual works, even though such works may be published in many different forms. It can identify content separately from the products (e.g. a book, journal, e-book) which contain it and is particularly useful in administering copyright, licensing, collocation, royalty/fee payment, improved discovery services and sales analysis. The ISTC fills a void in the market, in so far as it also identifies the author/creator as well as the work itself (and therefore elements of rightsholder to the work). In addition it is seen as a prerequisite for an efficient RRO role in the digital environment, as this would entail some form of identification of elements of textual works and individual creators and copyright holders involved. As such it is key to the core activity of IFRRO members.
IFRRO – together with Nielsen, RR Bowker, and CISAC, is a member of the consortium which operates the ISTC International Agency (ISTC-IA), which operates the ISTC Registration Agency for the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO).