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ONIX for Subscription Products is a family of XML formats for communicating information about serial products and subscription information, using the design principles and many of the elements defined in ONIX for Books. The original ONIX for Serials formats Serials Products and Subscriptions (SPS), Serials Online Holdings (SOH) and Serials Release Notifications (SRN) (see below) have more recently been joined by ONIX-PC and ONIX-PH. Current developments are focused mostly on ONIX-PC.

ONIX for Price Catalog (ONIX-PC) is an XML message structure for communicating product catalog and pricing information about serial subscription products such as journals. The message was originally developed in collaboration with ICEDIS (the International Committee for EDI in Serials – EDItEUR’s special interest group for the serials trade) and early versions were referred to as the ICEDIS Publishers' Price List message.

ONIX for Preservation Holdings (ONIX-PH) is an XML message structure conveying information about holdings of e-resources that have been preserved or that are the object of preservation initiatives. ONIX-PH communicates snapshot holdings statements and indicates the status of preservation work on each release of the e-resource covered. Structurally, the message is a specialized development of the SOH (serial online holdings) format and it utilizes the ONIX for Serials Coverage Statement to permit complex, multilevel communications of coverage and enumeration.

The development of the original ONIX for Serials messages – SPS, SOH and SRN – was undertaken in partnership between EDItEUR and NISO, the US National Information Standards Organization. Initially through a Joint Working Party and under the guidance of an ONIX Serials Steering Group, the original work has been taken forward to the point where three sets of application messages have been defined and piloted, each supported by an outline specification, XML schema, and other documentation:

SPS (Serials Products and Subscriptions) is a format for communicating information about serial subscription products, with or without price information, and optionally including subscription information relating to a particular subscriber.

SOH (Serials Online Holdings) is a format for communicating details of online serials holdings, for example from publication access management systems to user libraries.

SRN (Serials Release Notification) is a format for communicating information about the publication or electronic availability of one or more serial releases.

Alongside the three application message formats, there are two dedicated XML structures that specify in greater detail particular aspects of the information to be communicated:

ONIX Serials Coverage Statement is an XML structure capable of carrying simple or complex statements of holdings of serial resources. The Coverage Statement is not itself a message format, but rather a structure that is included in other ONIX for Subscription Products formats, including the ONIX for Serials application messages. The Coverage Statement may also be used to express holdings or coverage in other XML structures.

The ONIX Structured Name & Address model is an XML structure supporting the communication of highly structured party information, including names, addresses and public or proprietary party identifiers. Like the Coverage Statement, the Structured Name & Address model is not itself a message format but rather a module that can be included as needed in other ONIX or EDItX formats.

Each of these formats uses a common file of coded data elements, including permitted code values for each element.

The ONIX Serials Codelists file is included together with the XML Schema for each format, or the latest version can be downloaded separately here, so that code list updates can be obtained without re-installing the schemas themselves. An eye-readable version of the codelist is also available.

Fundamentally, ONIX for Serials is best viewed as a growing ‘toolkit’ of individual and composite elements and content definitions, out of which it will be possible to construct message formats for a variety of applications.

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