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Newsletter January 2015


London Book Fair 2015

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The 2015 London Book Fair will be held between Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 April, with a global roster of 1500 exhibitors and a range of 250 free-to-attend seminars and other events. The exhibtion returns to a former location in Kensington Olympia, a short walk from last year’s venue at Earl’s Court.

EDItEUR will as usual be hosting a number of key meetings during London Book Fair – read all about them in the Forthcoming Events section of this newsletter. In particular, please join us at the EDItEUR members’ open meeting on the middle day of the Fair. If you’re unable to attend our meetings or would like to speak to us informally, then please visit us on our Stand (7K41).

Pre-registered tickets for the Book Fair are £35, or £50 on the day. If you haven’t booked yours yet, EDItEUR has 100 half-price passes to distribute. Please e-mail info@editeur.org for details of how to obtain your discounted tickets.

Digital Minds conference

The seventh Publishing for Digital Minds Conference precedes the Book Fair on Monday 13 April. This too moves from its former central London location, and will be held in the Olympia Conference Centre adjacent to the main Book Fair exhibition hall.

The event brings together inspirational speakers drawn from the international trade and academic publishing industry, digital disruptors, prominent thinkers and best-selling authors. This year, Unbound co-founder and QI director of research John Mitchinson and Sam Missingham of HarperCollins will co-chair the conference. There will be sessions on:

with speakers including author David Nicholls, Rob Newlan from Facebook, Ed Humphrey of the British Film Institute, HarperCollins’ CEO Charlie Redmayne, Sonja Jefferson of Valuable Content, Helen Sun from Publishing Technology China, consultant Alison Jones, Javier Celaya of Dosdoce, Elisa Yuste from the Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez, Richard Mollet, Chief executive of the UK Publishers’ Association, Michael Healy of Copyright Clearance Center and Paul Brindley of Innovate UK.

EDItEUR members registering for the Digital Minds Conference can obtain a 10% discount on registration using the promo code LBF15DPM.

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International ISBN Agency News

The International ISBN Agency became members of the Linked Content Coalition in December 2014.

ISBN, like other publishing and media related work and manifestation identifiers such as ISSN, ISTC, ISMN, ISRC, DOI, falls within the remit of ISO Technical Committee 46, Subcommittee 9. This particular subcommittee within ISO has ‘Identification and Description’ as its main area of focus. Stella Griffiths was nominated to serve as Chair of Subcommittee 9 and, following a ballot among the national bodies who are members of the Subcommittee, she was appointed as the Chair (succeeding Professor Sam Oh). Stella’s term runs from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2017. A plenary meeting of SC9 members will take place in Beijing in early June 2015 (held to coincide with the TC46 plenary).

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ONIX for Books

The sun has set on ONIX 2.1

The long-planned sunset date for ONIX 2.1 – first announced back in January of 2012 – has now passed. This marks a planned reduction in the level of support provided by EDItEUR for what’s now a ‘legacy’ data format. In practice, this means:

Of course, the migration from 2.1 to version 3.0 has proceeded at different speeds among different organisations and different countries, and ONIX 2.1 has not simply stopped working – sunset is about the reduction in the level of support available. There will inevitably be many organisations which will continue to use 2.1 into 2015, although those organisations are strongly advised to update their systems to 3.0 as soon as possible.

Any organisation still using ONIX 2.1 after sunset may be affected by the removal of the DTD and XSD files. Online XML validations are no longer possible, and any metadata management applications that create or receive ONIX 2.1 messages and which relied on the presence of those files (eg in constructor functions) may now be failing. To avoid these failures, some active steps are necessary, and EDItEUR has published a guide describing a relatively simple but vital workaround.

New ONIX Acknowledgement message

The ONIX for Books Acknowledgement Format Specification released earlier this month is a separate and optional message intended to be sent to a data supplier in response to receipt of a standard ONIX for Books message. It allows an ONIX for Books recipient to:

It can form part of an automated ‘choreography’ of messages between sender and recipient (say between publisher and data aggregator, or between distributor and retailer). However, early implementations might at first use only the simplest functionality (confirmation of receipt).

Here’s a simple example confirmation from the documentation:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<ONIXMessageAcknowledgement release="3.0" xmlns="http://ns.editeur.org/onix/3.0/acknowledgement/reference">
            <SenderName>Retailer SA</SenderName>
            <AddresseeName>Publisher GmbH</AddresseeName>

The new specification (as PDF or HTML), plus DTD, XSD and RNG schema files, tag converters and sample acknowledgement messages, can be downloaded from EDItEUR’s ONIX 3.0 downloads page.

The message is designed to complement ONIX 3.0, but could in principle also be used with 2.1.

ONIX Codelists

Issue 28 of the ONIX codelists is in preparation, and should be released around the end of January 2015. This will be a relatively modest update, including:

ONIX training in New York, Boston

EDItEUR and charter member BISG are planning to run in-depth ONIX training in New York City and – for the first time – Boston in early March. Date and venue details are being finalised, but keep an eye on BISG’s website for details and bookings.

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Release of Thema 1.1

EDItEUR has released Thema version 1.1, an updated version of the multilingual subject classification scheme intended for use throughout the global book and e-book trade.

In-depth work by a technical subcommittee including Fride Fosseng (Bokbasen), Detlef Bauer (Libri), Michael Olenick (Bowker) and Howard Willows (Nielsen) was presented to the Thema International Steering Committee at its meeting during the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the new version was finalised in mid-November. The Thema online browser has been updated, and the updated scheme is downloadable as an Excel spreadsheet or as text (Word, PDF) in English. Work continues on updating the various other languages.

Thema Japanese Thema English

The new version builds on the experience of early adopters, suggestions from national Thema user groups and analysis of Thema translations and mappings. It includes around 120 new subject categories, 90 new qualifiers and roughly 200 other minor editorial changes, with most refinements in science and technology, children’s non-fiction, and genre fiction. These additions increase the power and expressivity of Thema classifications without adding extra complexity. No categories have been deleted or significantly modified, so existing metadata remains valid and does not need revision.

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Licensing Terms & Rights Information

ONIX-PL Article in NISO Information Standards Quarterly

The Winter 2014 issue of the journal Information Standards Quarterly, volume 26, number 4, published early February 2015, is focusing on the theme 'Licensing of Digital Content'. The issue includes a 'Standard Spotlight' article on ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL), contributed by EDItEUR's David Martin. The article provides a useful overview of the ONIX-PL standard and its progress to date, outlining the aims of the standard and how it is intended to be used, and describing the freely-available OPLE editing tool for creating and modifying ONIX-PL expressions. As happens with many new standards, ONIX-PL is working gradually towards a critical mass of usage. JISC Collections, the body that supports the provision of digital resources to the UK academic and research community, stands out as a successful early adopter.

Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) is a publication of the US National Information Standards Organization (NISO), which works closely with EDItEUR on ONIX-PL and other standards initiatives. ISQ is freely available for download in PDF format from the NISO website, or in printed form by subscription or print on demand.

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News from ICEDIS: serials, subscriptions & library supply

Open Access Working Group – OA Extensions for ONIX-PC

ONIX-PC (ONIX for Product and Price Catalog) is a standard developed by EDItEUR with lots of input from the ICEDIS community. The format provides a rich and highly structured means of communicating product and price information about subscription products.

Since ONIX-PC was originally conceived, a variety of Open Access publishing models have become much more prevalent, bringing with them the need to communicate product attributes that differ from those of conventional, paid subscription or tolled products. Examples include simply indicating that a title is hybrid or fully OA, whether embargoes apply, which APCs (article processing charges) are payable and at what rates, etc.

ICEDIS has established an Open Access working group, whose first major task is to identify which features need to be added to ONIX-PC so that it can more comprehensively support OA titles and promote their visibility and usage in today’s very “busy” online environment. A very productive kick-off call was held on 20 January and further virtual meetings are scheduled during February and March to progress this work – which essentially will scope and design the next version of the standard.

New Channels for ONIX-PC Information

Now that the ONIX-PC format is being routinely produced by a number of global serials publishers, it is becoming more evident that its “payload” of descriptive metadata is potentially of interest beyond the initial publisher-to-agency distribution channel. With this in mind, EDItEUR and ONIX-PC implementers are in active contact with other players in the subscriptions ecosystem, including library system vendors, organizations hosting open knowledge bases and ISSN agencies. If your organization would like to evaluate the advantages of receiving ONIX-PC feeds from Springer, Taylor & Francis or Wiley Blackwell, please contact Tim Devenport at EDItEUR. We hope to be able to report progress on this exploratory work by the time of the next ICEDIS meeting.

ICEDIS at UKSG: Glasgow Meeting in April

A date for your diary! The next full meeting of ICEDIS will be held on the final day of this year’s UKSG Conference in Glasgow, starting at 13:30 on Wednesday 1 April. Details of the venue are being finalized with the organizers and will be announced in due course, together with an agenda for the meeting. Among the items for discussion will be the continued rollout of ONIX-PC and various extensions to meet the needs of Open Access publishing, together with updates on the business case for a new generation of ICEDIS standards. We are also delighted to announce that William Kilbride, Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition, will be our guest speaker. If you would like to attend this session – open to all EDItEUR members with an interest in serials and subscriptions products – or to learn more about ICEDIS, please email info@editeur.org.

ISSN: does life begin at forty?

During 2015 the ISSN serials identifier is forty years old, having been first published as ISO standard 3297 in 1975. More than 1.8 million ISSNs have been assigned to date and another 60 thousand are typically registered each year. To mark this milestone, the ISSN International Centre is planning to publish a special issue in the journal Ciência da Informação: here is a link if you wish to submit an article (in English) for inclusion in that issue.

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Other Major Projects

Arrow Association and ONIX-RS

Some Newsletter readers will know that the Arrow Association was established in 2013/14 to continue and commercialise the rights discovery services originally developed during the ARROW Project. EDItEUR is a founder-member of the association. Following the successful use of the ARROW infrastructure during the project phase, discussions are now underway with several new clients, some for business use cases that extend the original range of ARROW queries.

A key component of the ARROW infrastructure is a series of XML messages originally designed to request information on the publication and rights status of book titles in the collections of national libraries. In some cases the process goes further, with libraries requesting licenses (for digitization and onward use) via the relevant Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs). The XML messages developed during the project formed the basis of the ONIX-RS suite of messages – ONIX for Rights Information Services. Please contact Tim Devenport if you would like to know more about this approach.

What may be less widely known is that quite high volumes of rights discovery ‘transactions’ have already been processed in this way, leading to significant time savings and efficiency improvements for the user organizations. Two early live applications supported small-scale digitisation programmes for thematic collections of books. In 2012 the UK RROs (the Publishers Licensing Society and the Authors Licensing and Collection Society) enlisted ARROW’s help on rightsholder identification and licensing while collaborating with the Wellcome Trust Library on digitizing 1,400 books in an international genetics collection. And in 2013, this was followed by ARROW support for a British Library/UK RROs programme to digitize a collection of 2,000 books about World War I, published internationally as part of the Europeana Collection 1914–18 initiative.

More recently, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) is part-way through the ambitious ReLire programme to digitize Out Of Commerce works published in France in the 20th Century. Using ARROW’s services to support decision making on which works to include in the programme, the BnF submitted approximately 300,000 requests to ARROW in 2014, with plans for an equivalent throughput in 2015. For more information on services provided by the Arrow Association, please contact Paola Mazzucchi at AIE in Milan.


The FORWARD Project is an EU-funded initiative in the domain of films and audiovisual (AV) works. Its objective is to create an EU wide, standardized system to assess and register the rights status of AV works, with a focus on orphans – those works still under copyright protection but for which the rightsholders are either unknown or untraceable. FORWARD is conceived as being functionally similar to the ARROW service created some years ago, with which EDItEUR was also closely involved – though of course it relates to films rather than books. Thirteen European partners, including eleven film heritage institutions and commercial film libraries, are participating in this three-year project, which began in 2013.

One component of the project is to choose or develop appropriate metadata schemes – both for the FORWARD service’s central repository and for communicating information between the national film institutions and the centre. Additionally, there is a strong requirement for a comprehensive and rigorous approach to capturing identifiers (preferably both standard and persistent) for the film works, associated contributors (both persons and organizations) and other entities crucial in rights discovery.

EDItEUR is working as a subcontractor to project partner CINECA on some aspects of this work, both in metadata and identifier selection and in developing XML serializations to facilitate communications.

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Forthcoming Events

2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Friday 30 January to Tuesday 3 February 2015. McCormick Place West, 2301 S Dr Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, IL 60616, United States

The midwinter meeting of the American Library Association takes place this month in Chicago.

The conference features exhibits, updates, discussion groups, institutes and speakers, covering a whole range of issues such as innovation and transformation, ebook lending and usability, digital content,community engagement, leadership, the impact and potential of new technologies, books and awards, copyright, outreach, privacy, services for makers, library advocacy, core values, career development, teaching and learning, and best practices on a range of library-related concerns.

Digital Publishing Forum: What Digital Skills do Publishers Need?

Wednesday 4 February 2015, 16:00-18:00. Medical Sciences 131 A V Hill Lecture Theatre, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom

The aim of this latest Digital Publishing Forum session is to explore the digital skills that are needed to work in publishing today, where your skills can be applied across the various sectors of publishing, and what the industry is doing to upskill the workforce. Whether you are new to publishing, looking to upskill or looking to understand how your skills can be better applied across the broad base of the publishing industry, this seminar will help clarify the opportunities and needs of employers.

Speakers are drawn from several large publishers in the U.K. and include:

and the session will be chaired by Emma House of the Publishers Association.

2015 PSP Annual Conference

Wednesday 4 to Friday 6 February 2015. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20037, United States

The 2015 PSP Conference is entitled Beyond Disruption: Publishing in the Real World and runs for three days in Washington DC. The Conference is organised by the Association of American Publishers and in 2014 will include the following five separate plenary sessions:

Please visit the website of the Association of American Publishers for more information.

ASA Annual Conference 2015

Monday 16 to Tuesday 17 February 2015, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP, United Kingdom

The conference of the Association of Subscription Agents & Intermediaries brings together all the participants in the academic content supply chain to discuss the latest trends in research processes, publishing workflows and commercial practices.

The overall theme of the 2015 conference is Research-to-Reader – the complete workflow of creating, validating, publishing, supplying, finding and consuming research information. Within the overall theme, the conference will focus on three core areas: Research practices; Publishing workflows; and Using research.

The keynote for the 2015 conference will be given by Derk Haank, CEO of Springer.

Digital Publishing Forum: Legal Issues

Wednesday 4 March 2015, 16:00-18:00. UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom

The March Digital Publishing Forum event is to focus on legal issues affecting the publishing industry. Full details and speakers will be confirmed shortly and interested parties should check back on the Digital Publishing Forum webpage in early February for more details.

UKSG 38th Annual Conference and Exhibition

Monday 30 March to Wednesday 1 April 2015. Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Exhibition Way, Glasgow, G3 8YW, United Kingdom

The 2015 UKSG Annual Conference will take place from 30 March to 1 April 2015 in Glasgow.

It’s the perfect opportunity for all players in the serials information chain – both industry newcomers and seasoned campaigners – to exchange news, views and information on the rapidly changing and developing global serials scene, to find out about the latest product and service technologies, and to make new friends and business contacts. The full conference programme can be found here. EDItEUR’s ICEDIS Committee will meet as usual during the event.

Thema International Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday 15 April 2015, 10:00–12:00. Conference room One, Olympia Conference Centre, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX, United Kingdom

The Thema International Steering Committee will meet during the 2015 London Book Fair – at London Book Fair’s new home in Kensington Olympia. This will be the first meeting of the committee since the release of version 1.1 of the Thema subject classification code system and this meeting will look at the first year since the launch of Thema scheme, and at how the geographical and other qualifiers can be extended.

ONIX for Books International Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday 15 April 2015, 13:30–15:00 Conference room One, Olympia Conference Centre, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX, United Kingdom

The next meeting of the ONIX for Books International Steering Committee will be held during the London Book Fair. This meeting will be first the since the sunset of ONIX version 2.1. The Committee will as always discuss the latest developments in the ONIX for Books standard, including the Acknowledgement message.

EDItEUR Open Meeting for Members

Wednesday 15 April 2015, 15:30–17:00 Conference room One, Olympia Conference Centre, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX, United Kingdom

The first EDItEUR Open Meeting of 2015 will take place during the London Book Fair. All EDItEUR members are welcome, and interested non-members may participate by invitation (please e-mail us if you are a non-member that would like to attend).

The meeting provides members with an opportunity to meet the EDItEUR staff face-to-face, to learn more about EDItEUR’s current work with the standards and identifiers that it administers, and to find out about the projects in which EDItEUR is involved. Members are also invited to provide feedback and suggestions for new areas of work.

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New Members

arvato systems logo

Arvato Systems is a systems integrator with a solid reputation, implementing not only standard software, but also offer tailor-made, industry-specific and individually developed solutions. Arvato Systems employs more than 2,500 dedicated employees at 25 sites throughout the world. As part of the wider Arvato network, a leading global BPO provider belonging to Bertelsmann, Arvato Systems has the capability to create entire value chains and combine IT with other Arvato services to deliver an integrated service offer from a single source via the intelligent combination of systems integration and planning, operation and support.

One of Arvato Systems’ core areas of expertise is the world of media. Customers benefit from its tailor made solutions for broadcast management, media asset management, and publishing, enhanced by marketing and enterprise solutions that are in use today in more than 30 countries.

You can visit Arvato’s website at www.arvato-systems.com.

arvato systems logo

Forlæggerforeningen – the Danish Publishers Association – becomes the third member of EDItEUR from Denmark. They aim to promote member publishers’ common interests and act on behalf of publishers in relation to the Government, politicians, authorities, the press and the public in general. They also liaise with organisations outside of Denmark and they are a member of the International Publishers Association.

EDItEUR was delighted to be able to participate in an event held by the Danish Publishers Association in September 2014 in which Graham Bell presented on both ONIX for Books and Thema.

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For further details, contact

Graham Bell, Executive Director, EDItEUR
United House
North Road
London, N7 9DP
Tel: +44 20 7503 6418
Mobile: +44 7887 754958
E-mail: graham@editeur.org