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Newsletter November 2014


Digital Book World Conference 2015

Digital Book World conference

The Digital Book World Conference and Expo – now in its sixth year and with well over 1000 attendees from a wide cross-section of the industry – will take place in New York City on January 13–15th 2014. Keynote speakers include Seth Godin, Russ Grandinetti, Brian Murray, Linda Zecher and others, and full details of the conference agenda can be seen here.

EDItEUR is delighted to be involved once again in the DBW Fellowship Program, and EDItEUR members who are based outside the United States are entitled to a 25% discount for Full Conference or Total Access registration. Total Access includes workshops and the Launch Kids event on Tuesday 13th, as well as the full two-day conference on 14th and 15th. Register before December 16th for the lowest possible price.

Please e-mail EDItEUR for the promo code for this offer.

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International ISBN Agency News

Global Register of Publishers website

Release of the Global Register of Publishers

As part of the continuing development of its website infrastructure the International ISBN Agency has just released its Global Register of Publishers (www.grp.isbn-international.org).

The Global Register of Publishers (GRP) is a sister website to the main International ISBN Agency website. The GRP collates information provided by many of the 151 national ISBN agencies around the world about the publishers that have received ISBNs or ISBN prefixes. Anyone can use the GRP to look up details of any publisher who has received an ISBN allocation and for whom the data has been made available by the relevant national ISBN agency.

Crucially, this data is being made available freely to the public for the first time. Any user can access a limited amount of information without any obligation whatsoever. More advanced searches and more detailed publisher contact information are available by registering with the GRP using the simple, free, online form.

For more information about the GRP, including how to register, please visit the website.

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ONIX for Books

ONIX 2.1 sunset less than two months away

At the latest Frankfurt meeting of the ONIX International Steering Committee – one of the best attended of recent years, with virtually all ONIX national groups represented – the primary business was the impending ‘sunset’ of ONIX 2.1 at the end of December 2014. In less than two months, support for ONIX 2.1 will be reduced.

The decision to sunset version 2.1 – a version of ONIX which dates from June 2003, but which is fully compatible with 2.0 from 2001 – was made by the committee and announced three years ago. This ensured there was adequate time for planning, budgetting and any necessary software development. But most particularly in countries where 2.1 was best established, it’s clear that there are still many organisations which have not yet migrated to ONIX 3.0. So what will happen at sunset?

All organisations that continue to use ONIX 2.1, and developers who maintain applications that import or export ONIX 2.1, should note that last point. Anything that relies on the presence of files at http://www.editeur.org/onix/2.1/… will fail. There is a simple workaround that will allow validation of ONIX 2.1 to continue, which involves using a local copy of the DTD or XSD files. EDItEUR has published a technical note describing the workaround (download it from http://www.editeur.org/files/ONIX%202.1/ONIX_2.1_local_DTD_and_XSD_instructions.pdf). Many major users already use local copies of the DTD or XSD files, and all organisations that use ONIX 3.0 already work this way.

Those organisations that use the ONIX 2.1 Supply Update message – an abbreviated version of 2.1 for communicating simple price and availability updates – should note that sunset applies to this message too.

ONIX Codelists Issue 27

While sunset issues dominated the International Steering Committee meeting (minutes of all Steering Committee meetings are available on the ONIX Maintenance and support page of the EDItEUR website), representatives of the ONIX national groups also ratified Issue 27 of the codelists.

A full note listing all the additions to the codelists is available from the ONIX Codelists page of the EDItEUR website, and the new codes have been integrated into the documentation for ONIX 2.1 and ONIX 3.0. Key changes include additions for handling collections éditoriale in French publishing, coding for ‘shorts’ (small e-books that are often merchandised separately from conventional-length material), and advice within List 96 on the recommended number of decimal places in prices (eg $9.95 for US Dollars, but OR4.950 for Omani rials and R640 for Indian rupees).

As usual, the codelists are available as HTML and PDF readable documents, as comma- or tab-separated files, as an XML file, and integrated with the DTD and XSD files for both ONIX 2.1 and ONIX.3.0.

This issue is the last that will be integrated with the ONIX 2.1 DTD and XSD files, as they will be archived as ONIX 2.1 is sunsetted, but the codelist files will still be downloadable separately for continued post-sunset use of 2.1.

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Upcoming release of Thema 1.1

The Thema International Steering Committee held a well-attended meeting during the Frankfurt Book Fair, and took vital steps towards finalisation of Thema version 1.1. This has now been ratified, and is expected to be published along with an updated user guide by the end of November.

The new version is fully compatible with version 1.0, but contains over 100 new subject categories – including significant new categories for genre fiction, science and technology, and a wide range of refinements in children’s non-fiction. Some of the changes are specifically aimed at improving the fidelity of mappings (from example from BISAC to Thema), and some other improvements stem from work on translating or applying Thema in non-English language contexts.

When version 1.1 is published, the online Thema browser at http://editeur.dyndns.org/thema/ will be updated.

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News from ICEDIS: serials, subscriptions & library supply

ICEDIS meeting at Frankfurt Book Fair

On October 6th ICEDIS held its customary full meeting in Frankfurt, just ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Full minutes of the meeting will be circulated shortly, but key outcomes included the following:

On this occasion, ICEDIS also welcomed two guest presentations, both of which were well received. Springer’s Henning Schoenenberger gave a personal perspective on the utility of standards and well-structured metadata within a large publishing house. And Gaelle Bequet, of the ISSN International Centre in Paris, presented a very useful update on recent progress and initiatives undertaken by ISSN.

Open Access working group

As reported earlier, ICEDIS has established an Open Access working group to explore issues of interest arising from OA business models. Initial results from the working group were presented in both the Frankfurt and Charleston meetings and the ICEDIS Committee has asked that the group continue to meet. Please let us know via tim@editeur.org if you would like to join this group, which plans to meet next (via phone conference) in late November or early December.

Thus far, the consensus appears to be as follows:

ONIX-PC: implementation progress & other target audiences

The group of players using the ONIX-PC standard was recently significantly extended, when Springer’s implementation went live, joining those of earlier implementers Taylor & Francis, Wiley and Elsevier. The first round of ONIX-PC “receivers” included the agencies Swets (sadly no longer with us), LM Information Delivery and Lehmanns, whilst the standard is now in testing with Harrassowitz and under serious consideration by EBSCO and others.

ONIX-PC offers big potential savings in terms of speed and the avoidance of errors, whilst early implementers have anecdotally reported significant internal benefits by way of business process improvement, frequently starting with “fewer spreadsheets to maintain and control”.

Interest is now also growing in a wider potential audience for this public domain but richly structured metadata. At the time of writing we are sounding out library systems/service vendors and custodians of knowledge bases: several of these players have expressed interest in evaluating test files.

ONIX-PC: what’s in a name?

ONIX-PC first arose from efforts to design a vehicle to communicate price information about subscription products between publishers and subscription agents – and hence it was referred to as ‘ONIX for Price Catalog’. More recently, it has been pointed out that the descriptive product metadata that it contains is becoming equally if not more important than the prices – and this is certainly the case as ONIX-PC starts to be used for OA products. Fortunately for us, the ‘P’ in ONIX-PC can represent both Products and Prices while we consider and resolve this question of branding!

ICEDIS/EDItEUR update at the Charleston Conference

Continuing our tradition of recent years, we once again held a North American meeting of ICEDIS on November 5th in Charleston, SC, on the opening day of the Charleston Conference. Reaching out to those of our colleagues who do not routinely attend either the Frankfurt Book Fair or UKSG, we constructed the meeting to convey a briefing on both our serials/subscriptions agenda (ICEDIS) and on EDItEUR’s wider undertakings.

We were pleased to have a number of established EDItEUR members, but also several colleagues from the library/library services community in attendance. We also welcomed some guest attendees, who may consider joining EDItEUR in the future. Once again, meeting notes will be circulated shortly and a short presentation delivered by Tim Devenport and describing current ICEDIS and EDItEUR initiatives is available on request.

Elsevier’s Alexandra de Lange kindly acted as our guest speaker on this occasion, giving us an interesting briefing on a recent White Paper from OCLC and partners on data quality issues.

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Other Major Projects

DCH-RP: formal completion of the project

DCH-RP is an EC-sponsored project to design a roadmap for organizations across Europe charged with the preservation of digital cultural heritage. More specifically, the project has worked over the past two years to explore and recommend partnership approaches between potential providers of preservation services and their ‘customers’ – museums, galleries, libraries and other repositories of cultural heritage.

A central tenet of DCH-RP’s recommendations has been that the communities should harness emerging cloud and grid technologies to provide distributed infrastructure for preservation, using federated access methods and other tools frequently administered by the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in many EC member countries. More information is available from the project website and from a ‘showcase’ on the Digital Meets Culture portal.

EDItEUR has been an active partner within DCH-RP and has particularly sought to act as a bridge between the cultural heritage (CH) and publishing communities. Apart from networking and dissemination activities, EDItEUR has explored factors that might predispose publishers to partnering with CH institutions and has facilitated knowledge transfer on the considerable progress made in another digital sphere – namely, the preservation of e-journal content.

DCH-RP’s formal work concluded at the end of September with a final meeting and conference at the Italian Central National Library in Rome, followed in November by formal ratification by EC project administrators and reviewers. It is planned that advocacy and maintenance of the project’s main output – the Roadmap itself – will continue into the future. EDItEUR plans to hold several networking calls before the end of the year to reinforce this work. If you would like to know more or are interested in reading EDItEUR’s deliverable on Engagement with Commercial Publishers, please contact tim@editeur.org.


EDItEUR is participating as a subcontractor in the FORWARD project and has begun initial evaluation work. FORWARD looks at the rights environment for film, and EDItEUR aims to help build a methodology for diligent search and discovery of rightsholders for moving image works, to simplify the modern commercial exploitation of the content of film archives around Europe. This mirrors, to some degree, work done several years go on text-based works in the ARROW project, and the ARROW infrastructure is now available for use through the ARROW Consortium.

We will keep you updated with progress on this project, but if any readers feel that they can make a useful contribution in this field of work they are encouraged to contact us at info@editeur.org.

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Forthcoming Events

Digital Publishing Forum: New Business Models and their Impact on the Industry

Wednesday 19 November 2014, 16:00–18:00. Anatomy G04 Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom

Emma House, Director of Publisher Relations at The Publishers Association will chair the next Digital Publishing Forum. Technology and consumer demand and taste is driving change with a need for content to be packaged and delivered in many different ways to suit the preferences of the consumer – be they the leisure reader, the academic researcher or the educator. Technology is enabling this and book publishers are embracing these myriad opportunities. Emma will introduce speakers on what new business models look like, the response from the consumer and the future of the content marketplace. Please see here for more details about the DPF.

UKSG One-Day Conference: researchers’ needs from funding to outputs and beyond

Thursday 20 November 2014, 09:40–17:30. Grand Connaught Rooms (Edinburgh and Drawing Room), 61–65 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA, UK

UKSG’s 2014 one-day Conference brings together speakers from across the knowledge community to help delegates understand the critical issues that shape what we all do. This event is aimed at librarians and publishers who want to better understand how the changes in scholarly communications are impacting on the wider research community. It will be of particular benefit to librarians who are responsible for engaging with researchers and to publishers who want to know how the changing requirements of scholarly communication will impact their work.

BIC Training course – Advanced ONIX for Books

Wednesday 26 November 2014, 09:30–17:00. CILIP, 7 Ridgmount St, London WC1E 7AE, United Kingdom

This course is run as a collaboration between Book Industry Communication (BIC) and EDItEUR, and will be delivered by Graham Bell. It looks at some of the more advanced features of ONIX for Books, including its fundamental underlying principles, e-books, multi-component products, block updates, the migration from 2.1 to 3.0 and the new features introduced with 3.0.1 and 3.0.2.

The Advanced ONIX course is aimed at staff with management responsibility for metadata, either in IT, marketing or production within a publisher, or in similar roles in distribution and retailing. Please see here for more details about this course, inclusing how to sign up. EDItEUR members are eligible for member rates on this course.

Digital Book World Conference 2015

Tuesday 13 January to Thursday 15 January 2015. Hilton New York Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, United States

The 2015 Digital Book World Conference and Expo will take place as usual in New York City. The Conference & Expo extensively covers digital content and digital publishing strategies. In 2014 it brought together media, publishing and technology professionals from around the world focused on developing, building and transforming their organizations to compete in the constantly evolving digital media ecosystem.

This year’s program is focused specifically on the challenges and opportunities facing publishers and content providers of all sizes and business models, with key emphasis on the digital transformation.

Contact EDItEUR for 25% discount on the cost of conference registration.

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 in January 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.

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New Members


Draft2Digital is among the largest distributors of e-books in the industry and partners with some of the most powerful sales channels available, including Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, and others. CEO Kris Austin writes ‘Draft2Digital strives to be the most valuable partnership an independent or self-published author can have. It supplies free, simple and beautiful e-book formatting from most common file types, and allows access to multiple sales channels through a single, easy-to-use interface backed by industry-leading customer service. Draft2Digital believes standards are vital to the future of e-publishing and is excited to become an active member of EDItEUR.’

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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

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