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Newsletter May 2015


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International ISBN Agency News

2015 Meeting for Balkan Agencies

The annual regional meeting for ISBN agencies from the Balkan Region took place on 12 and 13 May. This year’s host was the National Library St. Cyril and St. Methodius in Sofia, which runs the Bulgaria ISBN Agency. They held a wonderful meeting in the impressive National Library building.

The meeting included representation from five other national ISBN agencies (Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Srpska) as well as the International ISMN Agency (the standard for notated music product identifiers). Amongst important topics for discussion was the revision of the ISO standard for ISBN (see below), the recording of data pertaining to publishers and their ISBN prefixes, and the new edition of the ISBN Users’ Manual currently being prepared. The Balkan group has been meeting regularly since 2009, and we are pleased that the agencies continue to regard this meeting as an important date in the calendar.

Revision of the ISBN Standard

The Working Group completed the Committee Draft (CD) version of the revised ISBN Standard which was issued to all national member bodies of ISO/TC46/SC9 to cast votes and submit comments. The ballot opened in February and closed on 3 April. The results of the ballot were very positive with 26 ‘yes’ votes and just 4 abstentions (there were no ‘no’ votes). This marks an important milestone in the standard revision process. A number of countries sent in comments and the working group shall need to consider these. The ballot result means that the Group has approval to progress to work towards the next stage which is Draft International Standard (DIS). The target date for the DIS is November 2015. Most meetings of the Working Group take place via WebEx but the next meeting will be just the second face to face meeting – in Beijing in early June, timed to coincide with the International Standards Organisation’s TC46 plenary meetings. The main topic for discussion in Beijing will be the comments the the Working Group have received about the CD.

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ONIX for Books

ONIX Codelists Issue 29 released

The ONIX International Steering Committee – the body where each of the ONIX national user groups are represented, and which ultimately governs the development of ONIX – ratified Issue 29 of the ONIX codelists at its meeting during the London Book Fair. The updated codelists, which contain around three dozen new codes in all, were published on the EDItEUR website at the end of April.

The main additions include various codes to improve the way comic books can be handled in ONIX. There are also new codes that enable limitations to be set on the sale of e-books to services offering subscriptions to consumers (eg not for sale to subscription services, or not for sale until a particular date), and for setting prices specific to subscription services. Also included are codes for the channel structure of audiobooks and soundtracks (mono, stereo, surround sound etc) and for noting official adoptions or recommendations for textbooks (eg when a book is recommended by a ministry of education).

As usual, the updated codelists are available in a number of forms, including readable PDF and HTML documentation, CSV, tab-separated, JSON and XML data files, as well as being integrated into the latest versions of the ONIX 3.0 DTD and XSD schema files. They can be downloaded from the ONIX codelists or ONIX 3.0 downloads sections of the EDItEUR website, and can be used with either ONIX 3.0 or the now-legacy version 2.1, as well as with the ONIX Acknowledgement message.

ONIX news in brief

Requirements for the next update of ONIX 3.0

EDItEUR has begun to collate requirements for additions to what will become the next minor update – ONIX 3.0.3. Potential additions to the standard will be considered and prioritised, with draft proposals likely to be presented to the International Steering Committee at its next meeting during the Frankfurt Book Fair. A version 3.0.3 update is likely to be published at the beginning of 2016. EDItEUR members and participants in ONIX national groups should consider any new requirements and provide them to EDItEUR before the end of July.

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New translations for Thema 1.1

Two new languages – Polish and Danish – have joined the Thema family in the last few weeks. These new translations are available both on the interactive Thema online browser and as spreadsheets that can be downloaded from the EDItEUR website. The Danish translation is by Birgit Gøtterup of DBC (Danish Library Centre, the organisation responsible for cataloguing for Danish libraries) and EDItEUR member Dansk Foræggerforeningen (Danish Publishers Association). The Polish translation has been provided to EDItEUR by Renek Mendruń of EDItEUR member the National Library of Poland.

Polish Thema browser Danish Thema browser

The Swedish translation, from EDItEUR member Bokrondellen, has also been updated, to take into account the new categories in Thema 1.1 and some minor improvements in the labelling of existing categories.

The Basic Instructions for using Thema (available in English only, for the moment) have also been updated to version 1.1.

Thema mappings

Mappings from established subject category schemes to Thema form an important stepping stone towards adoption of Thema. Of course mappings are imperfect, but they provide a basic level of classification and make it simpler to provide Thema subject codes for backlist titles without having to re-classify everything manually.

National user groups reported at the recent meeting of the Thema International Steering Committee during the London Book Fair that the mappings from the BIC and BISAC schemes have now been updated to use Thema version 1.1 (and also to cope with the latest 2014 version of BISAC). The updated mappings are available from EDItEUR’s website, and from BISG.

The BISAC to Thema mapping used by BookNet Canada’s free automated bulk mapping tool has also been updated. And this tool has been used to add Thema codes to all of BookNet Canada’s bibliographic records for Canadian publications in its Biblioshare system.

Of course, if an organisation adopts Thema as its primary classification system, there’s a need for a ‘reverse mapping’ – so it can continue to provide BIC or BISAC codes to those customers who need them. As a result, EDItEUR and BIC are beginning work on a Thema to BIC reverse mapping, which should become available later in the year.

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News from ICEDIS: serials, subscriptions & library supply

ICEDIS Meeting at UKSG Glasgow

ICEDIS held its usual spring meeting this year on the last day (1 April) of the UKSG Conference in Glasgow. The session was well attended and covered a wide range of topics, from the progress of the Open Access Working Group (see next), through next generation messaging to a discussion of licensing standards and initiatives.

Particular thanks are due to Elsevier’s Keith Whiter for standing in at very short notice as Chair, as both Shilo de Vries and Dan Heffernan had to cancel their travel at the last moment. Guest speaker William Kilbride of the Digital Preservation Coalition shared some personal and illuminating perspectives on Publishing and Digital Preservation.

At headline level, key items discussed included these:

Full minutes are available on request from info@editeur.org and the next ICEDIS meeting will be held in Frankfurt on Monday 12 October, just before the opening of the Book Fair – please make a note in your diary now!

ICEDIS Open Access Working Group

The ICEDIS OA working group is developing ideas on standards-based approaches to communicating information about open access journals and other online resources. Current efforts focus on defining OA extensions to the ONIX-PC product catalog format: thanks to continued inputs from the membership, EDItEUR is well advanced in developing metadata structures that will be included in the next release – version 1.2 – of the ONIX-PC standard.

Once the necessary documentation and supporting resources (XML schema, sample files, etc.) are in place, we will move to a phase of road-testing the new version. Springer and LM Info have already stated their plans to participate in piloting the new version and others, including Wiley, Harrassowitz and EBSCO, have this under active consideration. If you would like to join the working group or learn more about what we’ve discussed or agreed to date, please contact tim@editeur.org.

Matching IP Addresses with Organizations

IP address authentication has for many years played a key role in controlling access to journals and other online resources. Recognition of IP addresses also forms the basis of important usage measurements, notably COUNTER statistics. But of course both of these functions – access control and usage measurement – depend crucially on the IP addresses or ranges being correctly linked with the organizations to which they are supposed to belong. There is considerable evidence of errors and inaccuracies in this linking, leading potentially to unintended access to expensive resources and the potential for distorted usage reporting and fraud.

After approaches from several member organizations, EDItEUR recently hosted a conference call of interested parties, to discuss possible approaches to minimizing these problems. Some progress was made on the call in terms of identifying underlying factors, and there was broad agreement on, for example, the need to unambiguously identify the organizations (or parts thereof) claiming to own or use the IP addresses in question. Publishers and solution providers were represented on the call, although it was felt that the inputs of subscription agents and LMS vendors would also have been useful.

If you are interested in this topic and would like to contribute your viewpoint or see summary notes on the discussion (available soon), please email tim@editeur.org.

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Forthcoming Events

2015 SSP 37th Annual Meeting

Wednesday 27–Friday 29 May 2015. Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202, United States

The 2015 SSP Annual Meeting will examine the ways in which organizations of all shapes and sizes, regardless of discipline, mission, or products, are experimenting and innovating to develop solutions that will ensure a sustainable future. The meeting will focus on connecting these diverse perspectives so that attendees can share insights and experiences and learn from each other. Details from the conference website.

BookExpo America, IDPF Digital Book 2015 Conference and BISG Making Information Pay

Wednesday 27–Friday 29 May 2015. Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street, New York City, NY 10001, United States

BookExpo America (BEA) is the number one book and author event in North American Publishing. Book industry professionals can discover new titles, meet favorite and new authors, learn about trends shaping the book industry, and network with those who have a passion for books and reading. A BEA ticket includes access to BEA exhibits and BEA conference sessions.

BEA is co-located with Digital Book 2015, the IDPF’s flagship digital publishing conference for executives and professionals across the publishing industry. BISG’s Making Information Pay is a track of Digital Book 2015. Details from the BookExpo website, from IDPF and from BISG.

NASIG 30th Annual Conference

Wednesday 27–Saturday 30 May 2015. Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport, 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202, United States

The 30th annual conference of NASIG will be entitled Building the Digital Future and will take place near Washington DC. The annual conference provides a casual venue for preconferences, formal sessions, practical workshops, special events, and networking, with an emphasis on thoughtful discourse and informality. Details from the NASIG website.

A Technical Introduction to XML and ONIX

Tuesday 2 June 2015. Faber Creative Spaces, Bloomsbury House, 74–77 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DA, United Kingdom

This training course, run by EDItEUR member Book Industry Communication and XML expert Francis Cave, provides delegates with an understanding of the principles of XML and its applications to the ONIX metadata standard, the structuring of content and publishing workflows. Booking via Eventbrite.

ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition

Thursday 25–Tuesday 30 June 2015. Most events at Moscone Center, 747 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States

ALA Annual Conference programs, updates, conversations, and other events cover key 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, development, teaching and learning, and best practices on a range of library-related concerns. Details from the conference website.

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New Members


Deanta Global is a provider of publishing services to some of the world’s leading academic, professional and legal publishers. Deanta specialise in managing production services more efficiently than competitors, through a unique combination of highly-skilled, content-focused people, centralised process and innovative technology in the form of DeantaSource. Deanta’s website is www.deantaglobal.com

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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