EDItEUR logo

Newsletter September 2013


CONTEC Frankfurt

There are under two weeks to go before the inaugural CONTEC Frankfurt event takes place. This new, highly-engaging event experience created to highlight the latest developments in publishing and to serve the needs of a broad range of industry players is organised by the Frankfurt Academy and EDItEUR. The full-day event will premiere on Tuesday 8 October 2013, just ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Once upon a time, there was the e-book. But that’s ancient technology now according to CONTEC Frankfurt keynote speaker and Internet expert, Sascha Lobo. He’s one of over 60 speakers who will gather on Tuesday 8 October to tackle some of the most provocative issues facing the entire publishing ecosystem – from trade and academic publishers to agents, techies, authors and librarians.

With a programme of deeply engaging sessions that will address the complexity of needs of a global industry in flux, CONTEC is truly the perfect pre-Frankfurt event. Be part of the conversation on data, responsive design, the implications of self-publishing on the industry, the future of academic and higher-ed publishing, partnerships with tech companies and startups, and so much more.

Speakers will include Mercedes Bunz, Director, Hybrid Publishing Lab of the Leuphana University; Victoriano Colodrón, Senior Director, Global Relations, CCC; Jill Cousins, Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation; Hugh Howey, author of the Wool series; Michael Kowalski, Founder of Contentment; Kristen McLean, Founder and CEO of Bookigee; Stephen Smith, President and CEO of Wiley.

EDItEUR is responsible for the dedicated Supply Chain track, and we are very grateful to our sponsors Virtusales and GiantChair for their willingness to support us at this event.

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.
See GiantChair in Hall 8, Stand L142
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.
See Virtusales in Hall 4, Stand D50

We are delighted to be able to offer a significant discount for the 2013 CONTEC event. EDItEUR is able to offer a special rate of € 440 + VAT, a 20% discount off the full price ticket. Use the promotional code CONTEC13SC. Please note that all tickets include a trade visitor’s five-day pass for the Frankfurt Book Fair itself, as well as full access to the CONTEC conference.

Please also see our full announcement for CONTEC at http://bit.ly/13F2sRU, or register now at http://www.buchmesse.de/en/academy/programme/00339/.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Back to top

The International ISBN Agency

Every year in September the International ISBN Agency holds an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to which all national ISBN Agencies are invited. This year, our meeting took place in New York, and was hosted by RR Bowker which operates the US ISBN Agency. This was the first time in nearly 40 years that the meeting had been held in the US so there was considerable anticipation about meeting there, but we are extremely pleased to say that our colleagues at Bowker, especially Beat Barblan, Kim Prime and Sharon Lubrano, ensured that our expectations were comfortably exceeded!

Over 75 delegates attended from around 55 different national agencies giving the meeting a very high degree of active participation. Among the agencies that attended for the first time were Bermuda, Caribbean Community, Haiti, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. Given the location of the meeting, Latin American agencies were especially encouraged to attend and it was pleasing to see 12 agencies from there represented including Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Peru.

Themes at the AGM included the procedures set down by ISO governing the forthcoming revision of the ISBN Standard as well as sneak previews of the new website and prefix management functionality that is currently under development. We were also very fortunate to have three excellent guest speakers (Len Vlahos of BISG, Noah Genner of BookNet Canada and Todd Carpenter of NISO) whose presentations each gave a different perspective on the current situation within the North American supply chains and standards arenas in particular.

In addition to the main AGM, on other days there was also a regional meeting organised by CERLALC for the ISBN Agencies of Latin America, a seminar for ISBN agencies that were new to the system or had not been to an AGM recently, and a regional meeting of the Nordic and Baltic Agencies. Initial feedback from the vast majority of ISBN agencies who attended the various meetings has been overwhelmingly positive.

For the last few years the International ISBN Agency has coordinated its Annual General Meeting with that of the International ISMN Agency – the identifier for notated music – and 2013 was no different. The ISMN meeting was held on 13 September at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, and the International ISBN Agency was represented as usual. As well as the annual reports by the Chair and the financial report, there were special presentations by the Library of Congress, who have just become the operators of the United States ISMN Agency, and by Wolfram Krajewski on NNND, a new concept for decentralised digital distribution in the digital sheet music market.

Back to top

ONIX for Books

Codelists development

Issue 22 of the codelists was published as expected at the end of July, as detailed in the previous Newsletter.

And Issue 23 is currently under consideration by ONIX national groups around the world. Issue 23 is a small update, including:

This Issue is intended for ratification at the meeting of the ONIX International Steering Committee during the Frankfurt Book Fair, and should be published before the end of October.

ONIX in China and Russia

Graham Bell at 3rd Forum for National Publications Supply Chain in Beijing, China

Graham Bell at 3rd Forum for National Publications Supply Chain in Beijing, China

Graham Bell recently visited both Beijing and Moscow to meet with the ONIX national groups in those countries and to present at supply chain events. Trade organisations in both these countries view ONIX as a vital ingredient in making their supply chains more efficient. The use of ONIX 2.1 in the Russian book trade is well-established and widespread, and ONIX users are beginning to consider the migration to ONIX 3.0 – the Russian Guild of Book Dealers (http://bit.ly/1fGCos9) leads this. In China (http://bit.ly/16ss2e4), new initiatives to make use of ONIX 3.0 are under way, including work on adopting ONIX as a Chinese national standard that began in 2010, a user interface to allow simple editing of complex book metadata from the North China University of Technology, and full documentation in Mandarin.

ONIX best practices

BISG and BookNet Canada have published a fully-updated version of their Best Practices for Product Metadata. This guide – required reading for North American ONIX users, and useful for everyone else too – now includes information on digital products and ONIX 3.0, and it can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/1h3TFJJ or http://bit.ly/15vQXNg.

ONIX training

Upcoming ONIX training courses include the regular ONIX: practical guidance and best practice course as part of BIC’s training programme – see http://bit.ly/15v297j – in London on 5th November, and a planned course in Oslo, Norway (contact Fride Fosseng at Bokbasen for details).

EDItEUR recently also ran its first ‘advanced’ course on ONIX for Books as part of BIC’s training programme. The course was overbooked, and will most likely be run again in the spring.

Back to top


Thema is a new, international subject category scheme for the classification of books and e-books.

Subject classification is characterised by numerous nationally-based schemes. Whether it’s BIC in the UK, BISAC in North America, CLIL in France, Warengruppen-Systematik in Germany… almost every country has its own, unique scheme. But for publishers selling books internationally, or for retailers importing books from overseas or selling to a global customer base, this creates an unnecessary barrier – either duplication of work to use multiple classifications, or what Michael Tamblyn of Kobo termed ‘map-o-rama’, a tough to manage web of imprecise and complex mappings from one scheme to another.

Thema grew out of work begun by BIC and Nielsen in the UK, and over the year since its initial announcement at Frankfurt in 2012 it’s quickly gathered strong international support. The intention is to be a single, international subject classification scheme for the global trade, initially alongside purely national schemes and perhaps eventually superseding them.

A draft version of the scheme was published in May 2013, and it can be browsed via an online version developed at EDItEUR, see http://bit.ly/176Mr5W. The online system demonstrates the commitment to internationalisation, as the scheme has been translated (at least in part) into several languages, including Arabic (http://bit.ly/14K7t9H) and Russian (http://bit.ly/1eJ7U9W.)

Thema top level in Arabic

The Thema management board has agreed that EDItEUR should take on the management of the standard, and the first meeting of EDItEUR’s Thema International Steering Committee will take place during the Frankfurt Book Fair – management of Thema will follow the established process used for the management of ONIX.

Back to top

Licensing Terms and Rights Information

ONIX-PL update

On 1 August, the ONIX-PL pages on the EDItEUR website were updated with an expanded introduction and three annotated examples of ONIX-PL licence expressions.

These real-world examples include the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 3.0), the NISO SERU Shared Electronic Resource Understanding, and the LIBLICENSE model agreement. Each example includes a link to the licence text, a downloadable copy of the XML expression, an HTML ‘summary view’ and ‘full view’ of the expression, and explanatory notes. The examples are accessible through the main ONIX-PL page (http://bit.ly/NYPrHi), or directly at http://bit.ly/19DCpqq, and they really help to demystify ONIX-PL.

We hope to add further examples in due course. Meanwhile, any feedback will be most welcome – please email info@editeur.org.

ONIX-RS: enhancing the message suite for rights discovery

The suite of messages comprising ONIX for Rights Information Services (ONIX-RS, http://bit.ly/1h4Lc8Y) has for several years successfully supported high-volume rights discovery exchanges during the ARROW project and its successor, ARROW Plus. Currently in version 1.0, the ONIX-RS messages have recently been reviewed for possible enhancements during the addition of new national partners to the ARROW consortium – bringing, for instance, requirements for the easier inclusion of transliterated text from non-Latin languages.

Working closely together with the primary group of ONIX-RS users, represented by Associazione Italiana Editori (AIE), EDItEUR is reviewing proposals for a group of enhancements that will result in an improved, version 1.1 standard. These proposals will be further discussed during the Frankfurt Book Fair, after which announcements will be made on the likely composition and timing of the new release. Please contact EDItEUR’s Tim Devenport or Guilia Marangoni at AIE if you would like to know more.

Back to top


EDItX Implementation News

EDItX implementations may not yet have reached the ‘big time’ of widespread international implementation, but a steady trickle is evident in the requests for information and occasional requests for new features. At the end of July there was a minor revision of the EDItX CDF Shipment Report format to meet the requirements of a new business case identified by a UK implementer: the need to report payments, such as charitable gifts, made by consumers but not leading to any physical (or event digital) shipment.

Back to top

News from ICEDIS: serials, subscriptions & library supply

ICEDIS Meeting before Frankfurt Book Fair

ICEDIS will be meeting in Frankfurt on the Monday afternoon preceding the Book Fair – 7th October, from 14:00 to 17:00. The meeting will take place in the Manhattan Room of the Bristol Hotel, Ludwigstrasse 15, Frankfurt am Main and is open to any members of EDItEUR with particular interest in the serials and subscriptions business. One important feature of this meeting will be a debate and decision on proposals and a timetable to update the core ICEDIS standards for the first time in over a decade. Please email info@editeur.org if you would like to join the meeting but haven’t yet registered: an agenda and a briefing document on the updating proposal are both available on request.

ICEDIS Meeting at the Charleston Conference

A reminder to colleagues based in North America that ICEDIS/EDItEUR will also be holding a meeting just ahead of the Charleston Conference. The meeting will take place on the morning of Wednesday 6 November in the Charleston Place Hotel, 205 Meeting Street, Charleston. We will be covering ‘core’ ICEDIS topics in serials/subscriptions and also giving a wider briefing on other current EDItEUR initiatives. An encouraging number of members have already registered to participate and if you would like to join the group, please contact Tim Devenport via info@editeur.org for details and an agenda.

ONIX-PC: Taylor and Francis updates to version 1.1.1

Taylor and Francis recently completed work to update its implementation of ONIX for Price Catalog (ONIX-PC, http://bit.ly/14TWhoO). Following a workshop earlier this year and internal review, T&F has now deployed the latest version of the standard (v. 1.1.1) – in line with agreement among a group of early implementers to make it more straightforward for other agents to use and ingest this rich price-catalog information. Please contact Shilo de Vries at T&F if your agency would like to join the growing list of recipients or to enquire about test communications.

Open Access progress

Two groups spanning the range of interests in the Open Access supply chain are continuing their work, as highlighted in an earlier EDItEUR Newsletter. The NISO Open Access Metadata and Indicators (OAMI - http://bit.ly/157tjlk) working group recently convened two subgroups reviewing, respectively, urgent “Phase I” requirements and other more complex cases that might be more thoroughly studied in a “Phase II” effort. The former requirements are converging toward simple, practical recommendations: pointing to a persistent location where license terms can be found, conveying validity dates for such licensing arrangements (including embargoes, where appropriate), and stating whether a particular article is “readable” by any arbitrary reader.

Whilst OAMI’s current focus is largely on indicators of license and usage conditions, the Jisc-sponsored work on Gold OA Infrastructure (http://bit.ly/16LCA24) is looking at the whole chain of activities impacted by Gold OA publication – from pre-submission and associated funding right through to eventual publication or deposit in appropriate repositories. EDItEUR continues to participate in this and the NISO initiative and will report significant progress in due course. Contact Tim Devenport via info@editeur.org if you would like to know more.

Back to top

Other Major Projects

Enabling Technologies Framework Project

EDItEUR’s Accessibility project lead Sarah Hilderley has completed work on a revision of Accessible Publishing: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers – the updated version will be posted on the EDItEUR website at http://bit.ly/Nw3mnK before the Frankfurt Book Fair.

And with support from WIPO and JISC TechDIS, a full set of five short interactive training modules that introduce major accessibility themes are now also available from the EDItEUR website – http://bit.ly/MxTDdg. These are a great way for publishing staff to get a quick overview of the major issues affecting accessibility, and how best to make e-books more accessible to print-impaired readers.


EDItEUR is participating in an EC-sponsored project, Digital Cultural Heritage: a Roadmap for Preservation (DCH-RP, http://bit.ly/10QDESR). This may be of particular interest to EDItEUR member publishers with a strong base in the humanities or to organizations actively engaged in preservation activities or as national memory institutions. The project seeks to establish guidelines and a shared direction that can support preservation strategies in museums, galleries, libraries and other heritage institutions across the European Union.

During a recent plenary session, DCH-RP participants recorded progress in early drafts of the roadmap, the formulation of a pilot registry of software services relevant to digital cultural objects and completion of the first of several planned proof-of-concept exercises. EDItEUR is acting as a bridge between the project and the publishing world. As well as encouraging dialogue, we are investigating factors that would encourage partnerships between those responsible for digital cultural holdings and publishers commercially active in related areas. Please contact Tim Devenport if you would like to hear more.

Linked Heritage

The European Commission-funded Linked Heritage project draws to a close at the end of September after 30 months, and the various documents from the project – including the three major reports authored by Michael Hopwood – are available at http://bit.ly/16C0a0m.

Upon completion of this work, Michael has now left EDItEUR – but he’s not gone far, and will be working for EDItEUR member MVB in Germany.

Back to top

Forthcoming Events

BIC Battle

30 September 2013
Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ, United Kingdom

BIC (Book Industry Communication) will shortly be holding the third in its regular series of ‘battles’, where speakers debate a specific topic. BIC’s third battle will look at the International Standard Book Number (ISBN); how do people use this number, what do people think they should use ISBNs for, and whether we should be using them at all.

There will be individual presentations from a panel of speakers, including EDItEUR’s own Stella Griffiths speaking in her role as Executive Director of the International ISBN Agency. In addition, the panel will answer questions directly from the BIC Battle Question Master and directly from audience members. Full details of the event, including how to register, can be found at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/6286566289.

There is a discount for members of BIC, and we are happy to announce that any members of EDItEUR who are not members of BIC are also entitled to a 15% discount from the ticket price by using the promotional code FOBSept2013.

Frankfurt Book Fair

9–12 October 2013
Messe Frankfurt, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The major forthcoming event is of course the Frankfurter Buchmesse. The 2013 event will take place beginning Wednesday 9 October 2013, and this year’s Guest of Honour is Brazil. As usual, EDItEUR will be hosting several meetings before and during the Book Fair, most notably CONTEC Frankfurt on 8 October. Details of all of our meetings are shown below:

ICEDIS Meeting at Frankfurt

Monday 7 October 2013. 14:00 to 19:00. Room Manhattan, Bristol Hotel, Ludwigstrasse 15, 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

ICEDIS – The International Committee on EDI for Serials – will hold its usual pre-Frankfurt Book Fair meeting on Monday 7 October 2013 at the Bristol Hotel. ICEDIS brings together business and technical representatives from the world’s leading journal publishers, subscription agents, distributors and other intermediaries in the library supply chain. Together these trading partners develop and define industry standards for EDI and other e-commerce applications to facilitate journal subscription processing and the exchange of subscriptions related information.

CONTEC Frankfurt

Tuesday 8 October 2013. 08:00 to 18:00. Marriott Hotel, Hamburger Allee 2, 60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

We sincerely hope you’ll join us for CONTEC. Full details are available above at CONTEC.

Thema International Steering Committee

Wednesday 9 October 2013, 10:00 to 12:00. Room Facette, Hall 3 Via, Messe Frankfurt, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The first meeting of the Thema International Steering Committee will take place during the Frankfurt Book Fair. Thema, which is discussed in more detail above, is a worldwide classification scheme that includes participation from representatives across the globe.

ONIX for Books International Steering Committee

Wednesday 9 October 2013. 13:30 to 15:00. Room Alliance, Hall 4C, Messe Frankfurt, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Frankfurt Book Fair will host the next meeting of the ONIX for Books International Steering Committee. Details about the latest revisions to the ONIX standard, updates to codelists and a discussion about proposed and future changes will all feature.

EDItEUR Open Meeting

Wednesday 9 October 2013. 15:30 to 17:00. Room Alliance, Hall 4C, Messe Frankfurt, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The next EDItEUR Members’ Open Meeting will take place at the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair and is open to any EDItEUR member. The meeting will provide members with an opportunity to learn more about EDItEUR’s current work with the standards and identifiers that it administers, along with the major projects in which it is involved. Members are also invited to provide feedback and suggestions for new areas of work.

ICEDIS North America Meeting

Wednesday 6 November 2013, 10:00 to 13:00. Charleston Place Hotel, 205 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401, USA

The North American meeting of the ICEDIS group – The International Committee on EDI for Serials – will return to Charleston in 2013, just ahead of the Charleston Conference. Last held in Charleston in 2011, the meeting is aimed towards our North American participants to provide detailed updates and discussions of current ICEDIS initiatives.

Back to top

New Members

Independent Publishers Guild (IPG)

The Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) is the trade association for independent publishers in the UK. It has 560 members, with a combined turnover of more than £500 million, who make an enormous commercial and cultural contribution to the UK’s economy. It supplies members with information and advice to help them grow and prosper. It represents their interest in the wider publishing industry. And it provides a friendly community in which independent publishers can share knowledge and experiences. Please visit www.ipg.uk.com for more information.

Hauptverband des Österreichischen Buchhandels

Hauptverband des Österreichischen Buchhandels is the Austrian Booktrading Association and becomes the first member of EDItEUR from Austria. It represents the interests of antique shops, wholesalers, bookstores and publishers. Founded in 1859, it is an association based on voluntary membership.

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