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Thema has continued to gain traction over the nearly two years since the release of version 1.2. With its continuing growth of adoptions by both publishers and retailers, widespread support within publishing product management software, and real global participation in various Thema working groups and committees, the scheme has developed faster than expected and is clearly meeting a long-felt need in the international book market.

The Thema International Steering Committee approved the release of Thema version 1.3 at its recent meeting during the London Book Fair. With the release of version 1.3 – without doubt the most thorough revision and update of the scheme so far – Thema is becoming more mature, and delivering on its early promise.

The new version contains around 250 new subject codes, 225 new qualifiers and 75 new national extensions, each scrutinised by a working group of experienced metadata specialists and Thema users over several months of development work. There have also been numerous clarifications added, either as notes or as minor changes to the wording of headings, in order to make the meaning of each category clearer (particularly to those not using the scheme in their native language).

All the documentation can be found on EDItEUR’s website ( and on the interactive, multilingual Thema browser ( While version 1.3 is out now, most translations – languages other than English–  will take a few months to be updated. Existing documentation simply uses the English text when translated text is not yet available. 

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