EDItEUR logo

Newsletter November 2013


Frankfurter Buchmesse logo Frankfurt Book Fair 2013 and
CONTEC Frankfurt

EDItEUR participated extensively throughout the Frankfurt Book Fair, and our sincere thanks go to all those who supported or attended these events. In 2013, as in previous years, we hosted meetings for our committees in many areas of our work. These include ICEDIS and the International Steering Committees for ONIX for Books and for Thema. We would particularly like to thank the attendees of the EDItEUR Open Meeting we held for EDItEUR members - we are very grateful to you for committing your time to attend and it was a genuine pleasure to see a number of new representatives from across our membership.

One of the new events in which we played a significant role was CONTEC Frankfurt. Held on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair, this conference showcased the merging worlds of publishing and web technology. CONTEC Frankfurt included the Supply Chain Track produced by EDItEUR, and which we are pleased to say featured excellent, informative and engaging content on a number of issues. You can view the session details, speaker listing and a selection of the presentations by visiting our website at http://bit.ly/1irI8aw.

Final thanks go to the CONTEC Supply Chain track sponsors for 2013:

Giant Chair Virtusales logo
Onixsuite is a metadata management platform produced by GiantChair Inc., a company with over ten years of expertise in the book industry. GiantChair helps publishers maximize the quality of their book metadata either via Onixsuite itself or through customized consultation, checking and cleaning of book metadata.
More details at www.onixsuite.com/
Virtusales is the UK’s market leader for publishing software and is successfully growing globally in USA, Europe and Australia. Our Biblio suite of systems run the publishing processes for Penguin Random House, Hachette, Pearson Education, Pan Macmillan, Harvard University Press and a growing number of high-quality independents.
More details at www.virtusales.com/

Back to top

Featured Event: Digital Book World Conference 2014

DBW logo

The forthcoming Digital Book World Conference and Expo will take place in New York City in January 2014, and EDItEUR is delighted to be a supporting organisation. We will be involved in the Fellowship Program and EDItEUR members who are based outside the United States are entitled to a 25% discount for the Total Access Pass or Individual Full Conference registrations. Please e-mail EDItEUR at info@editeur.org for the reference code for this offer, which is available until 31 December. Further information about the conference is available in the Events section of this newsletter, and at http://bit.ly/Tbtzwp.

Back to top

The International ISBN Agency

There have been some changes in the International ISBN Agency Board and its Executive Committee recently. Ronald Schild of MVB (which operates the German ISBN Agency) became the Chairman of the International ISBN Agency Board in September, replacing Julian Sowa who had resigned in the summer, and Beat Barblan of RR Bowker (which operates the US ISBN Agency) became the Treasurer. Maarit Huttunen from National Library of Finland (which operates the Finnish ISBN Agency) remains Vice Chair, and former Chairman Piero Attanasio of AIE (which operates the Italian ISBN Agency through its service company EDISER srl) both continue as members of the Executive Committee. We also welcome two new members of the Board – Jonathan Nowell of Nielsen (which operates the UK ISBN Agency) and Carol Riccalton from the Publications Office of the EU (which operates the EU ISBN Agency). Also, as the International ISBN Agency is a Charter Member of EDItEUR, the IIA Board nominated Beat to serve as its representative on the EDItEUR Board and he was welcomed to his first EDItEUR Board meeting in Frankfurt last month.

In June, ISO Technical Committee 46 (TC46) (Information and Documentation) and its subcommittees held their annual plenary meetings. As an ISO Standard, ISBN falls under Subcommittee 9 (Identification and Description) of TC46 and at the SC9 plenary meeting the International ISBN Agency proposed that it was already clear for a number of reasons including developments in digital and multi-media products that the Standard should be revised. This proposal was agreed and a resolution to that effect was passed by the national bodies and other delegates present. In August, National Standards bodies of participating countries wrote to their members and invited them to nominate experts to serve on the ISBN revision working group. The deadline for such nominations passed on 31 October and we have just learned that 12 countries (Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, UK and US) have agreed to be part of the working group. In addition, as a liaison organisation, GS1 will participate in the working group. In total, 25 experts have been nominated. A first meeting of the working group will be convened by EDItEUR’s Stella Griffiths. The revision of the ISBN standard is expected to be a three year project and we will report regularly on its progress in future newsletters.

Back to top

ONIX for Books

ONIX International Steering Committee

At its meeting during the Frankfurt Book Fair, the committee – which ultimately guides the development of ONIX for Books, ensures its international relevance and encourages implementation – agreed proposals for the development of a second minor update of ONIX 3.0, which is now planned for release early in 2014. This update is slated to include:

During the meeting, the committee also approved the release of Issue 23 of the codelists.

After three years of service as Chair of the steering committee, Noah Genner of BookNet Canada stepped down, and the committee elected Laurent Dervieu of Electre as chair for the next three years. Laurent will take up the baton at the next meeting.

Codelists development

Following approval of Issue 23 of the codelists by the International Steering Committee, the updated codelists have been published on the EDItEUR website. This update includes:

The lists can be downloaded in a variety of formats from the EDItEUR website at http://bit.ly/ZDtUIF. Development of Issue 24 is well under way, and it should be released at the end of January 2014.

Back to top


Thema version 1.0 ready for real-world use

A highlight of EDItEUR’s Frankfurt Book Fair experience was the launch of Thema, the new, international, multilingual subject category scheme for the classification of books and e-books. A year on from the initial announcement of the Thema project, and after more than a year of low-key, behind the scenes technical work, Howard Willows of Nielsen launched Thema version 1.0 with a presentation during the Supply Chain track at the CONTEC conference.

Version 1.0 of the scheme is now ready for real-world use (with a suggested ‘sunrise date’ of 31st December 2013).

EDItEUR convened the first meeting of its new Thema International Steering Committee during the Fair. This group elected Howard Willows as its first chair, and approved release of version 1.0. This incorporates a few improvements over the pilot version previously available, including some code changes to improve compatibility and some rationalisation of national extensions.

Thema arts categories in Spanish

The full list of Thema codes and categories – initially in English only – and some basic instructions for use, including how assign categories and how to embed the category codes in ONIX, can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/1cF8XDc. The interactive online version - http://bit.ly/176Mr5W - shown above (with a few selected translations) has also been updated to version 1.0. Translations into other languages will be added as they become available.

Back to top

Licensing Terms and Rights Information

ONIX-PL Developments

After a period of some consolidation and reflection, there seems to be a reawakening interest in machine-readable and structured license expressions. ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL) has long provided a rich and comprehensive framework for the expression of usage and other license terms; and JISC Collections (the collective licensing body for the UK academic community) has created ONIX expressions of most of its current licenses and made them accessible to member libraries.

Over recent months, NISO has sponsored an effort to ‘seed’ the marketplace with ONIX-PL expressions of a significant number of license models used by major commercial publishers and library consortia. This work is being carried out by consultant Selden Lamoureux, on behalf of NISO and with some technical support and guidance from EDItEUR.

Continuing the horticultural analogy (!), the project appears to be bearing fruit in that Serials Solutions (a major ILS vendor and part of the Proquest group) is now actively engaged in reviewing and uploading the ONIX-PL expressions into its knowledge base. In turn, the ONIX-PL expressions may then be communicated onward to library clients and also leveraged to create other useful and value-added services to those clients.

The project was the subject of a very lively presentation at the Charleston Conference in November, entitled Uncork Your Licenses! How ONIX-PL Can Help License Data Flow and co-presented by Todd Carpenter (NISO), Selden Lamoureux and Ashley Bass (Serials Solutions/Proquest). Please contact info@editeur.org if you would like to know more or if, as a publisher, you would be willing for one or more of your standard licenses to be encoded into ONIX-PL.

Back to top

News from ICEDIS: serials, subscriptions & library supply

ICEDIS at Frankfurt

In early October, just ahead of the Book Fair, the ICEDIS Committee held a full and lively meeting in Frankfurt. Attendance at the meeting was good, despite some weather-related problems that left some unfortunate ICEDIS members stranded in the UK. Among the items on the agenda were status reports on working group activity, the election of a new co-chair (see below), a proposal for eventual migration to a new family of ICEDIS standards and the now traditional brainstorming sessions.

Alongside discussion of known challenges in getting implementations underway, the meeting also heard about emerging issues related to open access publishing and the growing traction for party identifiers such as the Ringgold organizational ID (http://www.ringgold.com/), the ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier, http://www.isni.org/) and ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID, http://orcid.org/).

Minutes of the meeting have already been circulated to member organizations. Please contact one of the co-chairs or email tim@editeur.org if you would like to know more.

ICEDIS Standards for New & Emerging Business Challenges

Probably the most significant item on ICEDIS’s agenda at Frankfurt was the question of ‘new standards to meet new challenges’. Or more specifically, a proposal prepared by EDItEUR at the Committee’s request to migrate over a period of years to a new family of ICEDIS standards, better suited to the business models that have evolved since the existing standards were created in the late 1980s and 1990s.

After much discussion, several themes emerged. First, there was overall agreement that we should proceed in further developing plans for the migration. Second, it was recognized that well-reasoned business cases would be necessary to mobilize organizations and to secure the necessary resourcing. Third, we noted that a good deal of the groundwork has already been done (through our recent work on the XML claims, new orders, price catalog and structured address standards).

Given the volume of business that is handled using the existing standards, particularly that for subscriptions renewals, this exercise will need to be approached in a carefully planned and prudent way. Also, we are conscious that communication of our plans will be at a premium, especially since there is a very long tail distribution of users outside of the ICEDIS group itself.

EDItEUR’s Tim Devenport is working with the co-chairs to define how best to take this initiative forward. If you would like to see a copy of the proposal document or wish to participate in working through this planned transition, please email tim@editeur.org.

A New Co-chair for ICEDIS

At the Frankfurt meeting Elsevier’s Keith Whiter completed more than three very active and productive years as co-chair of the Committee and handed on the baton. The meeting unanimously voted in Shilo de Vries, from Taylor & Francis, to take over the role for a three-year term. Based at T&F’s headquarters near Oxford in the UK, Shilo is a senior customer service manager; she will serve alongside Dan Heffernan of Advantage, who continues as the other co-chair. Welcome Shilo and farewell and thanks to Keith!

ICEDIS at Charleston

Over recent years, EDItEUR has tried to spread the word about ICEDIS to a wider audience, not all of whom are able to participate in the Europe-based meetings at UKSG and the Frankfurt Book Fair. This year was no exception and we again held a North American ICEDIS meeting in November to coincide with the Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. Quite a diverse group of participants showed up, including both established ICEDIS/EDItEUR members and a number of guest organizations, keen to learn what we have to offer.

Given the make-up of the audience, we made extra efforts to showcase not only ICEDIS work but also wider EDItEUR initiatives such as our work on Accessibility for the Print Impaired, the Thema subject classification scheme and ONIX for Books developments. There was particular interest in potential uses for ONIX-PL (reported elsewhere in this Newsletter) and ways in which this and other standards might map into communications between libraries and their ILS and knowledge-base suppliers.

We were also fortunate to have very lively guest speakers who updated us on the GOKb initiative sponsored by Kuali OLE and the rapid strides being made in the area of managing copyrights and content repackaging by the SIPX start-up company from Stanford. Kristin Antelman presented for GOKb and Heather Staines & Franny Lee made up the SIPX team.

All in all, a very interactive and successful session! Meeting notes and copies of presentations will be distributed later this month. Contact co-chair Dan Heffernan or Tim Devenport if you have questions or suggestions for future U.S.-based meetings.

Open Access Developments

Several open access (OA) metadata and standards initiatives are approaching completion of their Phase One activities. In the UK, JISC has recently made available for public consultation the initial recommendations from its group working on Vocabularies for Open Access or "V4OA" (http://bit.ly/HXhR5M). Meanwhile, NISO has almost completed work on a first version of its report on Open Access Metadata and Indicators - http://bit.ly/157tjlk: expect publication of this document over the coming weeks. EDItEUR continues to monitor and/or participate in these various OA activities and will highlight developments in future issues of this Newsletter.

Back to top

Other Major Projects

Enabling Technologies Framework Project

In recent weeks EDItEUR has been asked to speak at a number of events about The Enabling Technologies Framework Project. These included the ALPSP International Conference (September 2013), where we presented on Accessibility - are you missing a strong market for your content?, CONTEC Accessibility session (October 2013), where a session on accessibility featured in the EDItEUR sponsored Supply Chain Track, and the Klopotek Forum: Production in Publishing (Frankfurt Book Fair, Oct 2013), where the session attended by Sarah Hilderley was entitled Digital Books For all: Challenges and Opportunities in Mainstream Accessibility.

Five separate web training modules for publishers are now also available for download from the EDItEUR website at http://bit.ly/MxTDdg. A joint project between EDItEUR and JISC Techdis, these are a series of half-hour online training resources that will help publishers in a range of different roles to make adjustments to business and workflow processes that will benefit all readers and, in particular, disabled readers.


As highlighted in previous issues of this Newsletter, EDItEUR is participating in the EC-sponsored DCH-RP project (http://bit.ly/WglVyd.) Our plans to build bridges between the project team and the world of commercial publishing received a useful boost during the Frankfurt Book Fair, with several EDItEUR members expressing interest and a willingness to participate.

To date, EDItEUR has contributed to the development of a pilot registry of software tools and services useful to organizations embarking upon digital preservation programmes. We have also provided input to a survey of standards relevant to these activities. Now the focus shifts toward active engagement of publishing partners – both in proof of concept activities and in establishing the likely terms and conditions most likely to encourage longer-term partnerships.

Please email tim@editeur.org if you would like to know more or wish to get involved. Also, there is a showcase of some DCH-RP activities to date on the website DigitalMeetsCulture (http://bit.ly/17IBQf8), operated by one of the project partners.

Linked Heritage

The EC-funded Linked Heritage project has now formally ended, with an end-of-project review in Luxembourg on 14th November. EDItEUR’s work on the potential for commercial partnerships with Europeana (http://bit.ly/PM6JKc) was completed in association with EDItEUR member MVB and project partners mEDRA, ICCU, NSL, Pintail, Promoter and TIB. Final reports on the project work are available at http://bit.ly/16C0a0m, and the opportunities for commercial links will now be carried forward by Europeana’s Task Force on Public-Private Partnerships.

Back to top

Forthcoming Events

Online Information 2014

20–21 November 2013. Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EQ, United Kingdom

Online Information 2013, entitled Adapting to disruptive technologies and creating value with people, platforms and information, is set to welcome over 400 delegates from 35 countries to debate the most pressing challenges facing information professionals today. There will be keynote presentations from Mark Stevenson, futurist and author of An Optimist’s Tour of the Future, Tom Steinberg, founder and director of mySociety and Jacob Morgan, author of The Collaborative Organisation and co-founder and principal of Chess Media Group.

Digital Book World Conference 2014

13–15 January 2014. Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, 811 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019, United States

The 2014 Digital Book World Conference and Expo will take place as usual in New York City. The conference sessions strive to offer attendees the most practical, relevant and actionable programming on everything from e-book publishing and internet marketing to digital solutions for selling and marketing your books. See digitalbookworldconference.com. EDItEUR members based outside the United States are entitled to a 25% discount for the Total Access Pass or Individual Full Conference registrations (offer valid until 31 December 2013). Please e-mail EDItEUR at info@editeur.org for the reference code.

ALA Midwinter Meeting

24–28 January 2014. The Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, United States (and selected other venues.)

The midwinter meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) will take place in Philadelphia in January 2014. Highlights include the Auditorium Speaker Series featuring Wes Moore and the ALA President’s program, and full details can be found at http://alamw14.ala.org/.

ASA Annual Conference 2014

24–25 February 2014. Cavendish Conference Centre, 22 Duchess Mews, London W1G 9DT, United Kingdom

The 2014 Association of Subscription Agents Conference is entitled Transforming The Publishing Landscape. The conference will cover the issues and forces shaping the scholarly publishing landscape - featuring innovative industry leaders addressing the issues from the perspective of publishers, institutions, librarians, aggregators, archival repositories, and subscription agents and intermediaries. Additional information about the programme can be found by visiting http://subscription-agents.org/conferences.

Back to top

New Members

Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) is the international membership body which works to support and represent not-for-profit organisations and institutions that publish scholarly and professional content around the world. Its membership also includes those that work with not-for-profit publishers. ALPSP has over 320 members in 40 countries, who collectively publish over half of the world’s total active journals as well as books, databases and other products. For further details please see http://www.alpsp.org.

For further details, contact

Mark Bide, Executive Director
United House
North Road
London, N7 9DP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7503 6418
Mobile: +44 (0) 7785 306267
E-mail: mark@editeur.org

Back to top