Newsletter February 2017


London Book Fair 2016 and Quantum Conference

The 2017 London Book Fair – part of London Book and Screen Week – will be held between Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16th March 2016. The Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. It brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets, and a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. The 46th London Fair has a huge range of free-to-attend seminars and events, including BIC’s Building a Better Business seminar sponsored by Nielsen.

EDItEUR has a small stand – you can meet us 7K39 – and 100 half-price tickets for members. E-mail for the link for a ticket.

The Fair is preceded by the Quantum Conference on Monday 13th March. Details and registration from Quantum – now combined with Nielsen’s Book Insights conference – focuses on the consumer by drilling down on how different audiences discover, purchase and interact with content. The conference will also showcase some of the most innovative practices from both inside and outside the industry, and spotlight how best to communicate and sell to different consumer segments in the UK, the US and around the world.

EDItEUR will be hosting a number of key meetings during London Book Fair. In particular, please join us at the EDItEUR members’ open meeting on the middle day of the Fair, a great chance to pose your questions to EDItEUR staff and consultants:

Wednesday 15th March
EDItX international steering committee (by invitation)9.15am–10amDark Room
Thema international steering committee (by invitation)10.30am–noonDark Room
ONIX international steering committee (by invitation)1.30–3.00pmDark Room
EDItEUR members open meeting3.30–4.30pmDark Room

The Dark Room is on the gallery level of the Olympia Grand Hall.

International ISBN Agency News

ISO (International Organization for Standardization)

ISBN is an international standard published under the auspices of ISO – the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards – as ISO 2108. ISO is based in Geneva, Switzerland, has published more than 21,000 standards, and has members in 163 countries. This year, ISO is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its 1947 foundation.

London Book Fair

The International ISBN Agency will be represented at London Book Fair on 14–16 March 2017. If you’re a delegate from a national ISBN agency, please do let us know you will be attending the Fair and we’ll gladly arrange to meet with you to discuss any ISBN-related issues. Alternatively, International ISBN Agency staff will be present at certain times on the EDItEUR stand (7K39).

Other meetings

After a short interruption in the schedule, a regional meeting of the Nordic–Baltic agencies will be held in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 March 2017. The National Library of Finland is graciously hosting the 2017 meeting and we look forward to hearing from the agencies about developments and ISBN issues that have arisen in that region in the last couple of years.

Thanks to our kind hosts at the Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc, a regional meeting of the Arab world agencies is planned for Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 May 2017 in Rabat, Morocco. We hope that many Arab world agencies will be able to attend this important meeting.

Planning is also underway for the 2017 Balkan regional meeting on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 June 2017 in Bucharest, Romania, and we thank Biblioteca Nationala a României for their generous offer to host. The 2017 Balkan Meeting will involve delegates from the ISBN agencies based in the region as well as the International ISBN Agency.

New online Portals available

The National Library of Estonia, which runs the Estonia ISBN Agency, has released a new web-based portal for its publishers, The portal brings all the services provided to publishers by the National Library together in one place. Publishers can make applications for ISBNs, as well as other identifiers such as ISMN and ISSN, and also download barcodes for their publications.

The National Book Council for Malta has released its ISBN database both online and freely available as open data – see The database contains important information including the publisher, author, title and, of course, the ISBN. It is free to all.

We would like to thank both ISBN agencies for their work in developing these portals and their efforts in providing a high quality service for publishers.

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ISNI International Agency

About ISNI

ISNI – the International Standard Name Identifier – is ISO standard 27729 for the unique identification of the public ‘personas’ of people or organizations. Some five years after the initial implementation of the standard, over 10 million ISNI identifiers (known as ISNIs) have so far been assigned – approximately 8.5 million of them to persons (and their pseudonyms) and the remainder to organizations.

The standard is implemented and governed by the ISNI International Agency (ISNI-IA), representing a range of member organizations and under contract to ISO. ISNI-IA has a Board made up of Founding Members CISAC, SCAPR, OCLC, IFRRO, and the Conference of European National Librarians (represented by the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France), together with Ringgold. The ISNI Assignment Agency (ISNI-AA), operated under contract by OCLC, looks after the underlying database and computer systems.

BL and BnF contribute staff to ISNI’s Quality Team (ISNI-QT), which has a system-wide remit to spot-check the data and systems and apply corrections as they are reported, as well as helping develop the numerous matching algorithms used in ISNI assignment. And EDItEUR supports ISNI-IA, both administratively via EDItEUR’s Suzanne Rozario and in terms of executive management via Tim Devenport, recently appointed Executive Director of ISNI-IA.

ISNI-IA news

Interest in ISNI continues to grow, as does the membership of this cooperative venture. There are now over 30 organizations actively involved, including 12 Registration Agencies with the remainder being either Founding or Regular Members.

Building on an already strong base of library-community users, there has been increasing interest in recent months from major players in the music and film sectors. This is not altogether surprising, given the challenges that ISNI can help overcome apply to many different media sectors – unique identification of parties involved, disambiguation between apparently similar but actually distinct entities, and offering a bridging function between a multiplicity of other identifier schemes.

Later this year ISNI-IA plans to launch a periodic ISNI Newsletter that will offer short, regular briefings on developments and initiatives within the community of ISNI users. If you would like to sign up to receive this e-newsletter, please let Tim Devenport know.

ISNI registration agencies

At the time of writing, ISNI has 12 Registration Agencies (RAGs), charged with assigning ISNIs in response to requests from the communities within which they operate. Some of the RAGs are operated by National Libraries, such as the Bibliothèques nationales of France and of Luxembourg, the British Library and the Dutch KB, and the National Libraries of Korea and of Poland. Others are government agencies like Kültür ve Turizm Bakanligi in Turkey and the National Assembly Library of Korea, or commercial entities like Electre, Numerical Gurus and Ringgold. The newest RAG is the Italian bibliographic information and publication supplier Casalini Libri, which will be joining ISNI this spring.

Whilst many RAGs focus on persons important to the culture and literature of their own countries, others specialize on more functional grounds. For example, Ringgold has a particular focus on identifying organizations while Numerical Gurus specializes in offering ISNI assignment to individuals.

ONIX for Books

Release of ONIX codelists issue 36

Issue 36 of the ONIX codelists were released in late January, adding a number of new capabilities to both ONIX 2.1 and 3.0. Highlights of the new issue include:

This last new code, for ONIX 3.0 only, allows a knowledgeable publisher or other ONIX data provider to deliver a chunk of JSON-LD data which can be used by a retailer to boost the online search ranking of their web page that features the book. So for example,

    <Text>{ "@context" : "", "@type" : "Book", "name" : "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe", "isPartOf" : { "@type" : "BookSeries", "name" : "The Chronicles of Narnia" },"author" : { "@type" : "Person", "givenName" : "C.S.", "familyName" : "Lewis" } }</Text>

could be added to a web page in the following way:

<script type="application/ld+json">{ "@context" : "", "@type" : "Book", "name" : "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe", "isPartOf" : { "@type" : "BookSeries", "name" : "The Chronicles of Narnia" }, "author" : { "@type" : "Person", "givenName" : "C.S.", "familyName" : "Lewis" } }</script>

The JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data within the <script> tag can then be seen by major search engines as they search the web, and once seen will most likely make that particular web page appear higher in any relevant search results. This uses a metadata vocabulary from, which is backed by Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Yandex. This metadata isn’t as structured as ONIX, and isn’t suitable for the supply chain, but does have a significant role in optimising web pages for search engines. A joint paper on this topic is due from BISG and EDItEUR in April.

As noted in the last Newsletter (older issues can always be read on the EDItEUR website), Issue 36 of the codelists is the last to be compatible with ONIX 2.1. Future codelists – from April’s Issue 37 – will be usable with ONIX 3.0 only. Of course this does not mean that 2.1 will cease working: it means only that continued use of 2.1 will require continued use of issue 36 of the codelists (or possibly an earlier issue). The archived versions of the ONIX 2.1 specification and XML files have been updated to issue 36, and can be downloaded from the EDItEUR website.

EDItEUR has circulated a small set of proposals for Issue 37 of the codelists, which are due for release in April. This will be the first issue that is not compatible with ONIX 2.1 – although of course, no individual new codes have been added in lists used only by 2.1 since the end of 2015.

ONIX news in brief

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Thema version 1.2 language updates

The Spanish translation of Thema has been updated on the browser version of Thema at, and is also now available as downloadable files on the EDItEUR site (readable HTML and PDF plus a spreadsheet version are available). The Thema browser currently supports 16 languages. A new Québécois variation will be added soon.

National extensions

A range of new geographical national extensions were added in January, covering provinces and cities in Spain. In the January update, there were also a handful of Spanish time period and language extensions, and the UK added national extensions for educational purposes for Northern Ireland. Full details can be read on the Thema page of the EDItEUR website.

Proposals for new national extensions have also been received from the recently-created Irish group, as well as from the groups from France, Quebec and the UK. These will be reviewed at the next meeting of the Thema International Steering Committee at the London Book Fair. Once these have been ratified by the ISC, they will be available on the EDItEUR website and the interactive browser. We will also announce their publication via the Thema implementation mailing list and via Twitter (@EDItEUR_org).

Amazon on Thema at the London Book Fair

At the upcoming BIC Building a Better Business seminar at the London Book Fair, Isabel Gouveia, POC Browse Books Europe, Amazon, will be giving a presentation on what plans Amazon has for Thema and how these plans will ensure an intuitive customer browsing experience: ‘Amazon Books Browse Tree Guides are documents intended to help publishers understand the structure of the Amazon’s Books category, including what classification metadata needs to be added to each product so that titles are assigned to the specifically correct place in the store. The Thema classification scheme is the backbone for those assignments, providing accurate and detailed subject information across international markets, and ensuring the most intuitive customer browsing experience.’

The programme of the seminar also includes presentations by EDItEUR staff Graham Bell on metadata, and Tim Devenport on ISNI. The event is free to attend.

Thema news in brief

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ICEDIS and serials standards

ONIX-PC update: preparing for the 2017 pricing round

The earliest spring flowers are just breaking through the chilly northern hemisphere earth, but ICEDIS publishers are already preparing for the next major round of journals product and pricing updates this summer. There continues to be a gradual expansion in usage of the ONIX-PC standard, which offers a robust framework to communicate rich product metadata, complex pricing models, and open access features.

Ingenta’s operating division Vista has carried out work to allow publishers using its software to generate ONIX-PC files directly. This has broadened the potential reach of the standard: Cambridge University Press has carried out ONIX-PC testing and Elsevier has re-engineered its implementation of the standard. And early adopters Wiley, Springer and Taylor & Francis routinely continue to generate journals product information in ONIX-PC format.

A range of ‘downstream’ users – whether subscription agencies, library system vendors or libraries themselves – may wish to evaluate or start ingesting these valuable metadata feeds: if you are interested, contact Tim Devenport who can put you in touch with the producing organizations.

ICEDIS at UKSG – focus on library supply

Will you be attending UKSG this spring? If so, pencil in the ICEDIS meeting that will again be held on the final day of the conference. This year, UKSG will be returning to Harrogate’s International Centre. The ICEDIS group will be gathering from 1.30–4.30pm on Wednesday 12th April, and all EDItEUR members are welcome to attend. In addition to the customary updates on serials standards, NISO and other initiatives, and ONIX-PC, the meeting’s special focus is on how we can better serve the ultimate end-users, the libraries and their patrons. ICEDIS co-chairs Henning Schönenberger (Springer Nature) and Laurie Kaplan (ProQuest), along with Tim Devenport, look forward to welcoming you to Yorkshire.

ICEDIS at Frankfurt and Charleston, Autumn 2016

ICEDIS held its full Committee Meeting just ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair, on Monday 17th October 2016. ONIX-PC developments and promotion of adoption of the standard occupied the first half of the meeting, along with discussions of possible future extensions to the standard to cater for EU tax and the possibility of rounding the standard out so it can become a vehicle for conveying open access information to the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals). The committee also devoted time to a discussion of the format and future role of the ICEDIS group.

Guest speaker Heather Staines, Board Member of Project COUNTER, kindly delivered a racing update on the upcoming Release 5 of the COUNTER code, and Todd Carpenter (NISO) was able to pass on an in-depth briefing on a variety of standards initiatives of interest to the predominantly serials audience. The meeting was rounded out with briefings on persistent public identifiers, with the focus on this occasion on ISNI and ORCID.

Some three weeks later, Heather reprised her COUNTER briefing as part of a joint EDItEUR/ICEDIS meeting on 2nd November for participants at the Charleston Conference. Given the predominantly North American library background of this audience, Tim Devenport and co-chair Laurie Kaplan devoted more time to explaining EDItEUR’s wider involvement in standards and identifiers work – including ISBN, ISNI, ONIX Books developments, and the rapid international uptake of the Thema standard – alongside the more familiar serials topics. Nettie Lagace ably represented NISO at the Charleston meeting and reported a range of relevant initiatives, including ISO revisions underway or planned to the ISSN, ISBN and ISTC standards.

Minutes of the Frankfurt ICEDIS and notes on the EDItEUR/ICEDIS joint session in Charleston will be available shortly from the EDItEUR website or on request from Tim Devenport.

New members


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Forthcoming Events

BISG: Making the case for ONIX 3.0

8.30am, Tuesday, 7th March 2017, Harvard Club, 35 W 44th St, New York City, NY 10036, USA

BISG is running a half-day programme focusing on the business case for ONIX 3.0, the roadblocks slowing its implementation and how efforts can be made to encourage adoption of 3.0 rather than the ageing ONIX 2.1. Speakers include Chris Saynor, standards editor of EDItEUR, Fran Toolan (Firebrand), Tricia McCraney (Virtusales), Ralph Coviello (Bowker), Clark Fife (Macmillan), Margaret Harrison (Ingram) and Richard Stark (Barnes & Noble, and chair of the BISG metadata committee). Registration is free of charge to BISG members, otherwise $99 to non-members. Further details from Brian O’Leary of BISG.

EPUB Summit 2017

Thursday 9th–Friday 10th March 2017, Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, Boulevard de l'Empereur 4, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Paris-based EDRLab is organising the second two-day EPUB summit. The main objective of this event is to ‘touch’ what the EPUB digital publication format can bring to the professionals and to the readers of the 21st century in terms of flexibility, interoperability and accessibility. With the EPUB Summit, EDRLab aims to strengthen a true spirit of cooperation between professionals and push to the massive adoption of the EPUB 3 format by the European publishing industry.

Quantum Conference: Consumer Insights and more

9:30am–5pm, Monday 13th March, Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX, UK

Quantum has been refined for 2017 with a renewed focus on consumers, audiences, partnerships and more. The compact programme will present attendees with invaluable data, provided by Nielsen, actionable insights and inspiration. The conference will delve into case studies and panel discussions through an inspirational line-up of speakers.

The London Book Fair

9am–6:30pm, Tuesday 14–Thursday 16th March 2017, Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX, UK

The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. LBF sees more than 25,000 publishing professionals arrive in London every year, to learn, network, and kick off their year of business. EDItEUR has some half-price entry tickets for members – contact for details.

EDItEUR events at the London Book Fair

Wednesday 15th March 2017, Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX, UK

EDItEUR will hold meetings for the International Steering Committees for EDItX, Thema and ONIX, together with an open meeting for members and invited guests during the London Book Fair, in the Dark Room venue within Olympia. Details above.

BIC Building a Better Business seminar

10am–12.30pm, The Dark Room, Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX, UK

Since 1999, BIC’s annual supply chain seminar at LBF – now titled the Building a Better Business seminar – has provided both national and international representatives of the book industry an opportunity to meet and exchange views and information on all aspects of the supply chain. This year’s seminar includes presentations from Amazon, IBM, Nielsen, Elsevier and EDItEUR staff – full details of the programme here. The event is free and does not require pre-registration.

Tech Forum & ebookcraft

9am–5.30pm, Friday 24th March, MaRS Discovery District, 101 College Street, Toronto ON M5G 1L7, Canada

Tech Forum is an annual conference presented by BookNet Canada that focuses on digital developments in the book publishing industry. As the largest tech-focused professional development event in the Canadian publishing industry, it provides hundreds of book industry professionals with the opportunity to learn, debate, network and glimpse the future of our industry. Details from the dedicated Tech Forum & ebookcraft website.

ebookcraft takes place on Thursday 23rd March, with workshops for e-production on Wednesday 22nd March

UKSG Conference

8am–6.30pm, 10–12 April, Harrogate International Centre, Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG1 5LA, UK

The UKSG annual conference is a major three-day event in the scholarly communications calendar. It covers a wide range of topics relevant to publishers, content providers, librarians and intermediaries. It attracts around 900 delegates each year from around the world and is a great opportunity to keep up to date with trends, get practical information and network. The Annual Conference and Exhibition takes place in the UK each Spring and is open to all. UKSG members benefit from a significant discount on fees. The conference combines high-quality papers and breakout sessions with social events and a major trade exhibition.

Programme details and registration (£475 + VAT for UKSG members, £645 for non-members) from

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For further details, contact

Graham Bell, Executive Director, EDItEUR
United House
North Road
London, N7 9DP
Office: +44 20 7503 6418
Mobile: +44 7887 754958