Newsletter June 2018


Frankfurt Book Fair

Once a year, Frankfurt turns into the world capital of the book and media industry. The Frankfurt Buchmesse (10th–14th October) is the world’s leading venue for printed and digital content – from children’s books and arts to education and academic publishing. Here’s where more than 250,000 publishing experts meet with peers and partners from the technology and creative industries – to do deals, exchange ideas and be inspired, to try out new technologies and cultivate contacts.

FBF18 Business Ticket

The ‘business class’ way to experience the Fair is via the Business Ticket. This premium ticket provides you with access to the Business Club for networking and meetings, exclusive events and entry to the Opening Ceremony, THE MARKETS conference and the Frankfurt Rights Meeting. You can beat the queues too, with early morning entry and a separate cloakroom.

Super early-bird registration for the Business Ticket is available from €413, a saving of 30%, until 31st July. For more details of the Business Ticket and discounted registration, see

FBF18 ISCS logo

EDItEUR’s annual International Supply Chain Seminar, a mini-conference dedicated to identifiers, metadata and content standards for book and e-book publishing, is the essential pre-Frankfurt event for publishers, distributors, booksellers and service providers keen to boost the effectiveness of their business.

Tuesday 9th October, 1:00pm until 5:30 (venue open from 12:30)
The programme is followed by a reception from 5:30
Haus des Buches, Braubachstraße 16, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2 minutes walk from Dom / Romer u-Bahn station in central Frankfurt
via EventBrite. Early-bird registration until 28th July from £125
Note that ticketing for the Supply Chain Seminar does not include entry to the Book Fair itself for 10th–14th October

The speaker programme focuses on real-world case studies, standards and best practices, and strategies that use technology to extract the most value from the supply chain. The main programme will be followed by a reception for all seminar delegates from 5:30pm onwards, to celebrate the first five years of success for the Thema subject category scheme.

EDItEUR thanks its partners MVB and Frankfurter Buchmesse for helping to make this event possible.

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Thema version 1.3 released

An updated revision of the Thema subject category scheme – version 1.3 – was released in April, following its ratification by the International Steering Committee at its meeting during the London Book Fair.

This new version was the result of 10 months’ work by a small multi-national working group appointed by the steering committee. The group considered a long list of proposals for brand new categories and text revisions to existing codes, and eventually put forward 261 new core subject categories and 397 modifications to existing core subject codes. A lot of these modifications were to the notes, as the group reviewed the wording of existing headings and notes to make their meaning and intended usage clearer. Feedback from the translation of previous versions of Thema had highlighted where some English language terms might not have been clear enough. Of course, not every proposal was accepted. Considerable time was spent looking at need for each proposed new category, the number of books that could fit into the proposed category, how easy it was to create the same notion as the proposal with existing combinations, before the updates were put to the International Steering Committee for feedback and final approval.

The update also saw the addition of over 150 new qualifiers. Around 100 of these were new place qualifiers, either those approved in 2017 after the revision work done on place qualifiers but held over for version 1.3, or as new national extension, from Japan, Czechia and Slovakia.

As Thema approaches five years old, version 1.3 is
the most thorough update of the scheme to date

All the version 1.3 updates are fully backward compatible with existing versions of Thema – there is no need to revise old data. You can see the updated version on the online browser at or you can download all the documentation, including the updated Basic User Guide, the updated, BIC v2.1 to Thema v1.3 mapping, and complete lists of all the version 1.3 categories and codes as spreadsheets and readable HTML documentation in multiple languages, from the EDItEUR website (at

Thema training courses

A half-day Implementing Thema training course will be run as part of BIC’s training programme in October 2018 (see Forthcoming Events below). EDItEUR can also offer Thema training in-house, either on a ‘train-the-trainer’ basis, or directly to editorial, marketing and sales staff. Contact for details.

If you have any feedback or questions about Thema please contact Chris Saynor at EDItEUR.

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ONIX for Books

Codelists Issue 41

The codelists for use with ONIX 3.0 were updated with the release of Issue 41 in late April, following ratification of proposals presented to the International Steering Committee during the London Book Fair.

Issues 40 (from January 2018) and 41 both introduced very few new codes. Examples include:

Various notes in the codelists (and other documentation) have been revised to make a stronger distinction between multi-item products and multi-products products. The former are those products aimed at the trade itself, which can or must be broken down and sold as individual products – a box of ten copies of a book, or a filled dumpbin for example – before sale to the consumer. The latter are products aimed at the consumer which themselves consist of multiple parts – book and toy, a print and e- bundle, and so on – and are not intended to be broken down and sold individually. In reality, the differentiation is not quite so clear cut – the two components of the book+toy might well also be available separately, a book product and a toy product. But the S* Product form codes (see codelist 150) generally apply to individual products that consists of multiple components. In contrast, the X* codes apply to products that comprise multiple copies of another product (or copies of multiple products) that are intended to be sold separately at retail.

The notes attached to various Publishing dates (publication date, sales embargo date and so on) were also revised, to bring greater clarity to the meaning of those dates. The definitions were previously very brief, and they have been supplemented with explanatory notes taken from the ONIX 3.0 Implementation and Best Practice Guide.

The latest codelists can be downloaded in various formats (readable HTML, PDF, or CSV, Tab, XSD, XML, JSON), and of course have been integrated into the various DTD, XSD and RND schemas and the Specification and best practice documentation for ONIX 3.0.

Codelists issue 42

A small set of proposals for Codelists issue 42 has been distributed to the ONIX National Groups for comment, and should be published in late July.

The proposals cover:

Validating your ONIX with the ‘strict’ XSD schema

An advanced XSD schema using XSD 1.1 was introduced earlier this year. While this remains a work-in-progress, it is mature enough to be a useful tool, both within EDItEUR and for ONIX developers – particularly as more organisations implement ONIX 3.0. At EDItEUR, it’s become the first tool to grab when faced with an ONIX file for evaluation.

This ‘strict’ schema carries out hundreds of checks on an ONIX file, over and above those in the ‘classic’ XSD schema (which is itself more rigorous than the commonly-used DTD), to ensure the file conforms with the Specification. Validation reports based on the strict schema have already allowed EDItEUR members to improve their ONIX output.

EDItEUR strongly recommends all ONIX users – senders and recipients – ensure their files validate using the classic XSD as a minimum. If you can validate ONIX files with oXygen, XML Spy or a similar software tool, you can begin to use the strict schema today.

Sadly, the strict schema does not work with Microsoft’s .NET XML parser, nor with simple tools based on libxml, because they don’t support XSD 1.1. But if you don’t have access to the necessary software, EDItEUR can provide confidential feedback to members who submit a sample ONIX 3.0 file. Fifty to five hundred or so records, a mix of print and electronic products, both forthcoming and published, will provide the most useful information.

Recipients: if data supplied to you shows common errors,
suggest a rule that could be added to the strict schema

If you have any feedback or questions about the strict schema, or would like EDItEUR to evaluate a sample of ONIX 3.0, please contact Graham Bell at EDItEUR. And if you’re already using the strict schema, ensure you pick up a fresh copy from the EDItEUR website from time to time, as there are improvements still being added.

ONIX training

EDItEUR provides in-house training on any aspect of ONIX from beginner to advanced. Contact for details. And BIC will be running a technical course on ONIX, primarily for developers, in July – see Forthcoming Events below.

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ISNI International Agency News

Open Linked Data from ISNI

ISNI LD model

During June, ISNI released initial details of its plans for Open Linked Data for review and comment. ISNI’s International Agency hopes that the extended description of the RDF data model provides sufficient information for prospective users to evaluate ISNI’s approach, and the ISNI-IA invites feedback and suggestions for particular use cases that promise to deliver the most value to participants. ISNI plans to make regular linked data exports of non-confidential information from the ISNI database available, initially in RDF-XML and JSON-LD formats, and under a Creative Commons CC Zero license waiver to encourage the widest possible dissemination and adoption of the dataset. The draft model documentation is available on request from the ISNI-IA. If you would like to know more about this initiative, or would be interested in participating in pilot data exchanges, please e-mail ISNI Executive Director Tim Devenport.

The ISNI Organizations Registry

On May 8th, ISNI held a briefing and outreach webinar entitled Optimising ISNI for the Identification of Organizations. The well-attended virtual meeting explored aspects of ISNI’s ongoing work to establish an Organizations Registry alongside its repository of person-related information in the global ISNI database. ISNI’s involvement in this area is not new, and to date over 700,000 ISNI identifiers have been assigned to organizational entities (out of a total of more than 10 million ISNIs assigned to date).

The webinar focused on two areas – establishing and verifying the need for a dedicated registry, and taking concrete steps to maximize the usefulness of the resource, initially for the scholarly and related communities. A copy of the webinar presentation and more information on follow-up steps, including the establishment of a formal Advisory Board, ISNI’s plans for database segmentation and regular data extracts etc, are available from Tim Devenport.

Music, Maestro, Please!

There continues to be keen interest in putting ISNI to work in the music industry. Following the announcement of YouTube becoming an ISNI Registration Agency (RAG), there have been numerous approaches from music publishers, musical content hosting services and other music industry intermediaries to discuss how best to integrate ISNI assignment into regular workflows. Two more companies active in the music sector – CI (Consolidated Independent, UK) and Soundways Inc. (USA) – have already become RAGs, and discussions are underway with a number of other trade bodies, music labels and others. ISNI is also engaging with industry experts to fine-tune and adjust ISNI assignment rules so as to reflect music industry norms.

Of course ISNI began in textual media. Although use cases vary, the underlying business drivers for recorded music are the same – the need to uniquely identify the individual persons, personas or organizations involved in the supply chain, to bridge between numerous proprietary identifier schemes, and to provide reliable mechanisms for disseminating the resulting ISNI IDs and supporting metadata.

Once again, if you would like to learn more about this initiative, or are interested in brainstorming possible partnerships, please contact ISNI Executive Director, Tim Devenport.

ISNI Membership update

Alongside the newer music RAGs mentioned above, ISNI is very pleased to welcome two more national libraries into membership. First to join was the Biblioteca Nacional de España (National Library of Spain), which becomes the latest library RAG, closely followed by the Kungliga Bilioteket (National Library of Sweden), joining as an ISNI Member.

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EDItEUR’s Website

EDItEUR website homepage

EDItEUR’s main website – – has switched to using https instead of the http protocol. This means that communication between your computer and EDItEUR’s server will be encrypted, and relatively secure and safe from interception. When using the site, you should see a little padlock symbol, some green text or some other security indication inside your browser’s address bar.

That doesn't mean that there’s anything secret or even private on the site – after all, EDItEUR seeks to disseminate its documents and standards as widely as possible, and all the documentation on the website is free of charge. It has more to do with ensuring members and other website users have confidence in the site’s integrity, and it also avoids the downgrading of non-https sites in Google’s search rankings.

The change should be entirely automatic, and you should see no real change in the site itself. You may wish to update any bookmarks you have, or links to the EDItEUR site – just add the extra ‘s’ in – but old links will continue to work.

Forthcoming Events

A Technical Introduction to ONIX & XML Training Course

9:30–5:00pm, 11th July 2018, Publishers Association, 50 Southwark Street, London SE1 1UN, UK

ONIX for Books is an application of XML, the global standard for representing documents and data in digital form. Delegates on this course will gain a basic technical understanding of the various aspects of XML that are fundamental to an understanding of ONIX. For more details see. Registration from £341 is via Eventbrite. EDItEUR members should use the ‘Friends of BIC’ booking option. For more details, see the BIC website.

BISG Metadata Recipient Summit

8:30am–4:00pm, 25th July 2018, Abingdon Press, 2222 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37228, USA

The second of three planned BISG metadata summits aiming to generate momentum for transitioning the North American book marketplace to ONIX 3.0. This full-day summit will focus on the requirements and issues for data recipients – data aggregators, distributors and retailers – in the metadata supply chain, with a goal of creating better metadata for everyone. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. BISG welcomes both members and non-members to participate in this Summit. For further details and (free) registration, see the BISG website.

Digital Book World Conference

2nd–4th October 2018, Music City Center, 201 5th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Digital Book World 2018 is a gathering of the wide world of publishing – trade and educational, corporate, independent and self-publishing, plus companies creating amazing tools and services for publishers. The core philosophy of Digital Book World is that the next big insight may not come from another publisher that looks just like you. Rather, it may come from an organization publishing material in an entirely different sector and in an entirely different way. For further details, see, Registration is via EventBrite.

40th International Supply Chain Seminar

1:00–5:30pm, 9th October, Haus des Buches, Braubachstraße 16, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

EDItEUR’s annual International Supply Chain Seminar, a mini-conference dedicated to identifiers, metadata and content standards for book and e-book publishing, is the essential pre-Frankfurt event for publishers, distributors, booksellers and service providers keen to boost the effectiveness of their business. Early-bird registration from £125 via EventBrite until 28th July. For further details, contact

Frankfurt Book Fair 2018

10th–14th October, Messe Frankfurt, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The 2018 Frankfurter Buchmesse will be the fair’s 70th anniversary, and this year’s Guest of Honour is Georgia. The Frankfurt fair is the most important international marketplace for content, as well as a trendsetting event for society and a major cultural festival. The Business Ticket will return to offer a comprehensive range of valuable services and a haven from the crowds. As usual, EDItEUR will be hosting several meetings ahead of and during the Book Fair. For further details and ticketing, see

EDItEUR ICEDIS Committee Meeting

13:30–17:00pm, 8th October 2018, Manhattan Room, Hotel Bristol, Ludwigstrasse 15, 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

ICEDIS will hold its next full meeting in Frankfurt, at the beginning of the week of the Book Fair. This is intended for members of EDItEUR with a particular interest in serials and subscriptions products. For further details, contact EDItEUR’s Tim Devenport.

EDItEUR EDItX International Steering Committee meeting

9:00–10:00am, 10th October, Room Consens, Hall 4.C, Messe Frankfurt

The EDItX International Steering Committee is open to representatives of EDItX national groups and other interested parties by invitation. For details, contact Chris Saynor.

EDItEUR Thema International Steering Committee meeting

10:15–12:00noon, 10th October, Room Brillanz, Hall 4.2, Messe Frankfurt

The Thema International Steering Committee is open to representatives of Thema national groups and invited observers. For details, contact Chris Saynor.

EDItEUR ONIX International Steering Committee meeting

1:00–3:00pm, 10th October, Room Facette, Hall 3 Via, Messe Frankfurt

The ONIX for Books International Steering Committee is open to representatives of ONIX national groups and invited observers. For details, contact Graham Bell.

Metadata Power Training Course

1:30–5:00pm, 24th October 2018, Ibis Styles Southwark Rose, 43-47 Southwark Bridge Rd, London SE1 9HH, UK

This introductory-level course on the commercial importance of metadata describes how publishers can take responsibility for and manage their data (without specifically mentioning ONIX). And it takes a look at the ‘data supply chain’ – how the key data gets from publisher to bookstore and library catalogue. For details and enrollment for this joint PTC/BIC/EDItEUR course, see the PTC website, or contact

Implementing Thema Training Course

1:30–5:00pm, 20th October 2018, Publishers Association, 50 Southwark Street, London SE1 1UN, UK

Besides providing an overview of Thema, details of the scheme and practical subject classification exercises, this course will guide delegates through the processes involved in implementing Thema in their systems and product records, and in managing the migration from BIC to Thema. Registration is via Eventbrite from £176. EDItEUR members should use the ‘Friends of BIC’ booking option. For more details, see the BIC website.

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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

Privacy policy

Alongside the introduction of new European privacy regulations, EDItEUR has updated its privacy policy. This can be viewed via the EDItEUR website. If you no longer wish to receive updates on EDItEUR’s activities via this e-mailed Newsletter, or if your contact details need updating, then let us know (via Copies of previous newsletters can always be viewed on the EDItEUR website.