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ICEDIS (the International Committee on EDI for Serials) is EDItEUR's special interest group for subscriptions, serials and library supply. ICEDIS provides business input for the development of subscriptions standards and acts as the governance body for all of EDItEUR's standards and best practice advice in this area. ICEDIS Terms of Reference provide a constitution and framework for its activities.

Participation in ICEDIS is open to any interested organization that is a member of EDItEUR and there is no separate membership fee. ICEDIS includes representatives of publishers, subscription agents, systems vendors and other intermediaries active in the sector. A full list of EDItEUR members can be found here.

ICEDIS has two co-chairs, both senior figures from the subscriptions supply chain and elected by ICEDIS participants. Currently the co-chairs are Laurie Kaplan (Proquest) and Henning Schoenenberger (Springer Nature). EDItEUR provides management support, business analysis and technical consultancy.

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Aims and Objectives

ICEDIS exists to promote the use of standards and protocols between trading partners in the library supply chain. Its underlying aim is to facilitate rapid, accurate and automated communications about subscription products.

To achieve these objectives, ICEDIS works within EDItEUR to:

  • Be proactive in the formulation, development, testing and implementation of agreed business-to-business standards;
  • Encourage the exploitation and acceptance of such standards, thus enhancing cost-effective and value-added services throughout the industry;
  • Be recognized as a key international and independent forum for the formulation, maintenance, administration and dissemination of B2B e-commerce standards in the supply chain;
  • Work together with other standards and trade organizations to optimize the range and accessibility of standards developed for the subscriptions industry.

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Standards Overview

EDItEUR develops and maintains a wide range of standards to support the library supply chain and trading/usage of subscription resources. ICEDIS is responsible for the governance of these standards, which fall into two main groups: descriptive formats to communicate key items of metadata about subscription resources and transactional formats to support trading activities.

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Metadata Standards

All of the metadata formats currently supported utilize the ONIX XML approach. A comprehensive list of these formats is given in the ONIX for Subscription Products section of this website, covering the following standards:

  • ONIX-PC - a product and price catalog format for subscription products
  • ONIX-PH - a format to describe holdings of preserved e-resources
  • ONIX for Serials - a family of metadata standards, including SPS, SOH and SRN
  • ONIX-SPS - conveying metadata about serial products & subscriptions
  • ONIX-SOH - a format to describe holdings of e-resources
  • ONIX-SRN - release or publication details for serial resources
  • Serials Codelists - a set of controlled-value codelists used in conjunction with the ONIX messages
  • Serials Coverage Statement - conveying complex enumeration schemes and ranges for serial resources
  • Structured Name & Address Model (working draft) - a standardized model to allow the communication of names, addresses and party identifiers.

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Transactional Standards

Transactional messaging standards that EDItEUR supports span several different formats. Those most recently developed, or under development, use the EDItX XML approach, which is the transactional counterpart of the ONIX formats:

Several messages from the EDIFACT family are specifically utilized in the serials supply chain for invoicing and claiming operations. They are documented here:

A group of ICEDIS Fixed-length Formats were originally developed by ICEDIS itself; these are also in widespread use and are maintained by EDItEUR. Further information can be found here:

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Standards Supported by ICEDIS Members

Many members of EDItEUR who participate in ICEDIS have implemented (or have plans to implement) a wide range of standards and protocols related to serials and subscriptions management. A snapshot survey of the standards supported by each member organization is available here. This can be particularly helpful to business partners who are evaluating the uptake and benefits of each standard.

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ICEDIS currently has full, face-to-face meetings three times a year. Two of these meetings are held in conjunction with important events in the publishing and library supply calendar - the UKSG Conference in spring and the Frankfurt Book Fair in autumn. The third meeting is held alongside an appropriate event in North America - with recent venues including the Annual NASIG Conference and the Charleston Conference.

These full meetings of the ICEDIS Committee are used to review progress, confirm or amend recommendations, and prioritize efforts for the following period. Details of forthcoming or previous meetings can be found in the Events section of this website, in the bimonthly EDItEUR Newsletter or by writing to Minutes or summaries of the most recent meetings can be downloaded here:

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Working Groups

ICEDIS uses themed Working Groups to progress its project activities. The Groups themselves are composed of volunteers from member organizations particularly interested in a particular topic. Meeting virtually via phone conference, and supported by one or more EDItEUR consultants, the Working Groups debate and advise on subjects prioritized by the full ICEDIS Committee.

Outputs can take the form of advice to the ICEDIS membership, formulation of best practice recommendations, and the development of new or amended messaging formats. ICEDIS Working Groups Terms of Reference outline the framework within which the Groups operate.

One Working Group, dealing with implications for standards of Open Access business models, is currently active. Most of its present work focuses on extending the ONIX-PC product catalog format so that it can comprehensively support descriptive metadata exchanges relating to subscription products that are either partially or fully open access.

Three other groups concluded their work in recent years, with the deliverables described below:

  • Price/Payment Reconciliation - developing best practice recommendations to minimize the business pain associated with price/payment mismatches. The resulting best practice document may be found here.
  • New Orders - formulating an XML message structure for subscription orders, focussing first on new (rather than renewal) orders and transfers between agents. This standard awaits piloting. Comprehensive documentation on the ICEDIS New Orders format may be found here.
  • Structured Name, Addresses & Identifiers - scoping and testing an XML model for exchanges of structured information tol replace the largely free-text communications currently used and enable more automated matching and processing. The structured model developed with inputs from this group is described at more length here, and elements of the model are already incorporated in the ICEDIS New Orders format.

To participate, make suggestions or find out more, write to

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For More Information

If you would like to find out more about the work of ICEDIS, ask advice on implementing the relevant standards or participate in one of its Working Groups, please write to

To contact one of the co-chairs, please contact either Laurie Kaplan or Henning Schoenenberger.

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