Newsletter March 2016


London Book Fair 2016 and Quantum Conference

LBF dates

The 2016 London Book Fair – part of London Book and Screen Week – will be held between Tuesday 12 and Thursday 14th April 2016. 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. The 45th London Fair has a roster of over a thousand exhibitors, and a huge range of free-to-attend seminars and events including BIC’s Supply Chain Seminar.

This year, the Fair also re-launches its Quantum pre-conference on Monday 11th April (it replaces the old Publishing for Digital Minds). This will deliver an unmissable blend of research, insight, networking and inspiration, with keynotes from Nick Bostrom of the Future of Humanity Institute, Gail Rebuck of Penguin Random House and Jo Henry of Nielsen, plus a lunchtime conversation between James Daunt of Waterstones and Stephen Page of Faner and Faber. Other speakers will give a data-driven overview of the global publishing industry and its place in the wider content and creative industries.

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. Meeting details are as follows:

Wednesday 13th April
Thema international steering committee (by invitation)10am–noonDark Room – boardroom 30
ONIX international steering committee (by invitation)1–3pmDark Room – boardroom 40
EDItEUR members open meeting3.30–5pmDark Room – boardroom 40

Note that the rooms have changed. The Dark Room venue is on the Gallery level of the Olympia Grand Hall.

Outside of these events, you can meet us on our own EDItEUR mini-stand 7K27.

Pre-registered tickets to the Fair are £35, or £50 on the day, but EDItEUR has 100 half-price passes to distribute. Please use this link to obtain your discounted tickets.

International ISBN Agency

Board news

We welcome Jon Windus, Head of Product Leadership for Nielsen Book, which operates the UK ISBN Agency, to the ISBN Board. Jon is responsible for the strategic direction of the UK Agency, and is leading the development of new online services for the UK ISBN Agency. Jon is a director of Nielsen Book Services Ltd and a non-executive director of Bibliographic Data Services Ltd. He sits on the Operational Board of Book Industry Communications (BIC), the UK book industry standards organisation, and chairs BIC’s Metadata Committee. He is also a member of the British Standards Institute committee for Identifiers and Metadata.

ISBN Users’ Manual

The International ISBN Agency’s Users’ Manual is the essential guide to the scope and implementation of ISBN for publishers, distributors, librarians and retailers – in fact for all participants in the supply chain. The Manual is available to view or download for free from the International ISBN Agency’s website.

Aside from English, the latest edition of the Manual is available in 14 other languages (Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, Estonian, French, German, Hungarian, Maltese, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovene and Spanish). The two most recent translations to be added are the Armenian and Maltese versions which we are very pleased to make available. We are very grateful to the respective national ISBN Agencies for their work in producing the translations.

In addition, there are also translations of earlier or adapted editions of the Manual in Swedish, Danish, Persian and Russian. Further information and guidance is available from the website.

International ISBN Agency at the London Book Fair

Stella and Nick from the International ISBN Agency will be attending all days of the London Book Fair. We will happily arrange to meet with you at a suitable time to discuss any ISBN-related issues you may have. Please contact us at

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Recent work on Thema has focussed on proposals for an updated version 1.2 of the scheme, which will be recommended for ratification at the meeting of the Thema International Steering Committee during the London Book Fair in April.

There were 249 comments received for Thema 1.2, either general suggestions for improvements to section of the classification scheme, or suggesting particular additions. A Technical Working Group created by the ISC has now considered these comments and produced its recommendation – around 120 additional categories and 60 clarifications or minor modifications of wording for existing headings. This means there’s is still great continuity with 1.1 and indeed, 1.0 from 2013: 87% of the proposed Thema 1.2 is the same as Thema 1.0, and nearly half of that change is addition of national extensions – this is a testament to the thoughtfulness of the original group of volunteers who created Thema.

Proposed changes in 1.2 include some additions to geographical qualifiers, taking the concept beyond the Earth to encompass bodies in the Solar system. This has application in various types of factual work (eg astronomy), but also has some interesting potential within fiction, especially science fiction (stories set on Mars, for example). There are also many additions within areas of the scheme that help provide futher distinctions between closely-related subjects, or where the sheer volume of titles available means further distinctions is important. This is particularly noticeable in music, where we have added codes for piano and violin to work alongside that of guitar. It is also noticeable in sport, where martial arts and winter sports have been reworked to provide more detail. There has also been a limited extension of style qualifiers, and a particularly interesting new narrative theme added to fiction. Terroir Fiction is a French concept where a strong sense of place deeply pervades the work (the locality or landscape itself provides character to the work, in the same way that terroir affects the character of wine). This is a code where a geographic qualifier will help identify the particular place involved more strongly. Full details of these changes have been distributed to members of the Thema ISC, and we hope to see them ratified at the London Book Fair.

Thema version 1.2 is expected to be published in late April or early May.

Thema mailing list

There’s an e-mail list for Thema modelled on the widely-used ONIX_Implement list. Join Thema_implement. This is a good forum for asking questions about Thema.

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ONIX for Books

Codelist maintenance, updated XML schemas

The Issue 32 release of the codelists was published a little after the January 2016 Newsletter. (Note that past Newsletters can always be found on the About page of the EDItEUR website.) Issue 32 is the last to feature updates specifically aimed at ONIX 2.1, so certain of the lists – for example lists 7, 10 and 78 – are now ‘frozen’ and there will be no further additions. Of course, ONIX 2.1 will still theoretically benefit from updates added to codelists that are shared with ONIX 3.0, but in practice, some ONIX 2.1 users may consider this the last codelist release they will support.

Issue 32 contains only a small number of additions, including:

Also distributed with Issue 32 are updated versions of the XSD and RNG schema files for XML validation of ONIX 3.0. These implement the ‘strict’ checking of numerical data elements such as <EditionNumber> or <Measurement>, to ensure that edition numbers are positive integers or that measurements are positive decimal numbers (you can’t have a negative or zero measurement…). These stricter limitations have been previewed with ‘strict’ versions of the schemas for the past year, and have now been incorporated into the official XML schemas. They don’t require any changes in properly-constructed ONIX 3.0 data.

Codelists issue 33

Issue 33 is in preparation, and expected to be released in late April or early May alongside ONIX 3.0.3 (see below). Proposals for issue 33 include:

Issue 33 will also include initial new codelists that are required for ONIX 3.0.3

Online access to ONIX codelists

Lasse Lehtinen, a Finnish ONIX user, has created a great online tool with an API and manual searching for codelist lookups.

ONIX training

Graham Bell delivered an intense series of ONIX training sessions – both ‘Essentials’ and ‘Advanced’ courses – in three cities across the US in early March, in co-operation with BISG. A further course will be held on May 13th in Chigago to coincide with BookExpo America: further details from BISG.

Progress on ONIX 3.0.3

Since the last meeting of the ONIX International Steering Committee in Frankfurt in October 2015, a small Technical Working Group has been developing recommendations for a minor revision of ONIX 3.0 (the third such revision, after 3.0.1 and 3.0.2). The technical working group has completed its task, and the recommendations for ONIX 3.0.3 are available for the Steering Committee to consider.

The recommendations include:

All the recommendations are optional, and all represent additions to the existing Specification, so no existing ONIX 3.0 will be invalidated as a result of any update. However, these additions will not become a part of ONIX 3.0 unless they are agreed by the International Steering Committee. Publication of ONIX 3.0.3 is expected in late April or early May.

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News from ICEDIS: serials, subscriptions & library supply

ICEDIS Meeting at UKSG Bournemouth, 13th April

Details of the next ICEDIS Committee Meeting have been finalised: it will be held on Wednesday 13th April in conjunction with the UKSG Conference in Bournemouth, UK. The venue will be the Bayview Suite 2, which is on the first floor of the Bournemouth International Centre (the UKSG conference venue), and the meeting will run from 1.30 to 4.00pm. The agenda for the meeting can be obtained directly from EDItEUR.

Some readers will already know that this year, UKSG and the London Book Fair will take place in the same week, making it difficult for some to participate in both events. With this in mind, and as an exception to our normal practice, we will also be offering a dial-in facility for those colleagues who cannot make it to Bournemouth in person. If you have not already registered your interest in this meeting, or would like details of the dial-in arrangements, please contact

ICEDIS co-Chair needed!

The Bournemouth meeting will be co-chaired by Shilo de Vries of Taylor & Francis and Laurie Kaplan of ProQuest. Sadly, this will be Shilo’s last meeting in the chair, as her term in office comes to an end. But it also means is that we are looking to nominate and elect a replacement co-chair to serve alongside Laurie for a three-year term. If you would like to know more about what the role entails, please contact Tim, who can tell you more.

ONIX-PC, version 1.2

Enhancements to the ONIX-PC (ONIX for Product Catalog) format have been the top priority recently, for the ICEDIS community and for those providing technical support at EDItEUR. Right now, there is a two-fold focus. The first priority is to conduct pilot exchanges and road testing of the new version 1.2 which provides a range of open access features, and the second is to encourage wider implementation and take-up in time for subscription year 2017 product and price exchanges this summer.

Four EDItEUR members – Harrassowitz, Wiley, Springer and LM Info – are carrying out pilot exchanges of v1.2 files, and EDItEUR is providing support by reviewing test files and providing guidance as necessary.

There is also good news from systems vendor Publishing Technology, which following user requests, has agreed to build features for exporting ONIX-PC information into its publishing support systems. Cambridge University Press and Elsevier hope to take advantage of this new facility in time for this summer’s pricing exchanges. Other publishers have the update under consideration, and this should enable a significant growth in adoption for ONIX-PC over the next 12 months.

Who is using ICEDIS and other serials standards?

For many years ICEDIS has openly encouraged as many organizations as possible – whether members of EDItEUR or not – to adopt the standards that it has been instrumental in creating. Simply put, the more organizations implement a standard reliably, the more pay-off there is for those who initially blazed the trail! Widespread visibility and adoption of standards benefit the many and not just the few.

EDItEUR is launching an exercise to update its information on exactly who has implemented what, with an initial focus on ONIX-PC and the legacy ICEDIS renewal standards. Tim Devenport will be in touch shortly to request your help in extending our records and the aim is definitely to spread the net wide so that we can capture – and make available to everyone – details of serials standards users within and beyond the ICEDIS group.

Watermarking in fraud prevention

ICEDIS members continue to report cases of serials content being effectively stolen, either by unscrupulous middlemen appropriating IP addresses or by personal-rate subscriptions being illegally traded and used to support institutional uses. Some ICEDIS members will have received briefings from PSI at recent meetings or taken part in a phone conference EDItEUR organized last year, both investigating problems with IP address misuse.

Another potential approach to this kind of problem involves the ‘watermarking’ of content, ie marking the journal prominently to show that it has been purchased for the exclusive use of a particular person or organization. This can apply to both digital and printed content, whether by embedding watermark text in online journals or by specialized print-on-demand and similar techniques to personalize printed journal copies.

A leading ICEDIS publisher has approached us to ask whether other member organizations have experience of using such techniques – if you have and are prepared to share your thoughts on this topic with other members, please contact Tim who will facilitate contact.

Standard identifiers for publishers

For business partners involved in high-volume e-commerce exchanges, being able to identify oneself speedily and unambiguously has never been more important. There already seems to be consensus around the use of consistent identifiers for customer organizations – witness the widespread assignment and uptake of Ringgold IDs – but relatively little apparent movement in terms of assigning identifiers to publishers themselves.

We would be interested to hear whether readers of this Newsletter could see benefits in using, for example, ISNIs to identify their own organizations (or parts thereof) and/or their imprints, so as to facilitate automated exchanges and disambiguation. Please contact Tim if you would like to discuss this idea further.

Something looks familiar?

A footnote to our more eagle-eyed readers! We experienced some technical difficulties emailing out the January 2016 issue of this Newsletter, so updated versions of several January ICEDIS articles are included here. We hope this is useful but apologies for repetition to those who may have seen them ‘first time round’

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Staff news

Alex Ingram leaving EDItEUR

Alex Ingram – who has become a familiar figure to many EDItEUR members over the last two years through his work on Thema in particular, and through participation in many other EDItEUR activities – plans to leave EDItEUR in the summer to pursue his other interest in cycling and transport policy. We’ll be sad to see him go, but as a result, we will be recruiting a new Standards Editor to continue work on Thema, ONIX and our other standards.

So fancy yourself as a standardista? It’s a job that suits someone energetic, with excellent communication skills and a background in the book industry – in retailing, publishing or anything in between. Some experience of EDItEUR’s standards is a distinct advantage, obviously. If you're interested in learning more, get in touch with Graham Bell at EDItEUR.

Award for Services to Independent Publishers

EDItEUR’s Graham Bell was awarded the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award at the recent 2016 IPG Independent Publishing Awards. ‘The entire book supply chain has been positively impacted by EDItEUR’s activities, and they deserve every recognition they get,’ commented one judge. The shortlist for this award included Stison Publishing Solutions, Firsty Group and Compass Independent Publishing Services.

Forthcoming Events

First EPUB World Summit

7–8th April, Librarie Mollat, 15 Rue Vital Carles, 33080 Bordeaux, France

The 2016 EPUB World Summit, organised by IDPF and European Digital Reading Lab (EDRL) is a unique chance to meet and share opinions, concerns, challenges and key achievements with European publishers, distribution platforms, digital stores, suppliers, and public institutions to get to know the potential of the EPUB format. Details and booking at (the event is sold out, but you can register to view a video stream of the conference).

Quantum Conference: Publishing and so much more

13th April 2016, Olympia Conference Centre, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX, UK

Quantum considers the challenges and changes of the post-digital publishing world, and delves into case studies, discussion, keynotes and panel discussions on the pressing issues, with a stellar cast of speakers. Details at

UKSG 39th Annual Conference and Exhibition

11–13 April 2016, Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Road, Bournemouth BH2 5BH, UK

UKSG’s Annual Conference and Exhibition is a major event in the scholarly communications calendar, and attracts over 900 delegates each year from around the world – librarians, publishers, content providers, consultants and intermediaries. The conference combines high-quality plenary presentations, lightning talks and breakout sessions with entertaining social events and a major trade exhibition.

London Book Fair

12–14th April 2016, Olympia, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX, UK

The London Book Fair provides publishers with the perfect platform to engage with customers, demonstrate their products, build brand awareness, conduct face to face business and – most importantly – make sales. More details at

EDItEUR will be holding a variety of meetings during the Fair, see details above.

BIC Building a Better Business Seminar

10am, 14th April 2016 at London Book Fair Olympia, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX, UK

BIC’s annual supply chain seminar at LBF has provided both national and international representatives of the book industry with an opportunity to meet and exchange views and information on all aspects of the supply chain. This year, the programme includes sessions on web services, on the need for technical skills in publishing, and on ONIX and Thema. Details of this free event from BIC.

IDPF Digicon @BEA

10–11th May 2016, McCormick Place, 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60616, USA

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) Digital Book Conference is the e-book conference for executives and professionals across the publishing industry including senior leaders, marketers, publishers and editors, educators, school district administrators, librarians, production teams, distributors, and programmers and developers. It runs co-located with BEA. The keynote speech will be delivered by Sir Tim Berners Lee, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, and the entire conference is co-sponsored by the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP). Details including the full speaker programme at, and registration is through BEA.

BookExpo America

11–13th May 2016, McCormick Place, 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60616, USA

BookExpo America (BEA) is the #1 book and author event for the North American book industry. It’s the best place to discover new titles, authors, and education about the publishing industry, and a dynamic environment for networking, sourcing, and relationship-building within publishing. It also features a series of targetted conference sessions. Details and registration from

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New EDItEUR members

Schilling A/S

Schilling is a leading European provider of highly specialised software and know-how for the publishing industry, offering an integrated set of application modules handling Contracts, Rights and Royalties, Publishing Lifecycle Management, Author relations, Subscription solutions and ERP. The company represents more than 40 years’ experience in the industry, and its trademark is its know-how, employees, and the added value it creates for customers. Schilling aims to grow publishing in partnership with its customers, and to supply the industry with innovative thinking and turn-key solutions. Successful software delivery is not enough: Schilling’s goal is to deliver success to its customers – which include leading international publishing houses in the Nordics and Northern Europe – based on the unique ‘Schilling model’.

International Membership of EDItEUR

Hachette Livre and Bonnier Group have become the first ‘international members’ of EDItEUR, a new membership category introduced to cater for large organisations with many international business units which might otherwise wish to become EDItEUR members in multiple markets. For Bonnier, for example, two separate parts of Bonnier group were previously members, and those memberships have been consolidated. International membership covers multiple business units and subsidiaries across multiple countries. Grateful thanks go to Hachette and Bonnier for choosing to become international members.

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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