Newsletter September 2017


Frankfurt Book Fair

The Frankfurt Book Fair is fast approaching and it is the busiest time of the year for EDItEUR. It also happens to be the best time for EDItEUR members to meet staff face to face and simply reconnect. EDItEUR is holding its pre-Fair 39th International Supply Chain Seminar. We’re pleased to have worked closely with the Fair on this event, and the half-day Seminar will again be held within the Buchmesse on the afternoon of Tuesday 10th October (the afternoon before the Fair itself opens). It’s 13:00 in the Concord Room (Hall 4), with registration from 12:30 onwards. As ever, the event will focus on the technical aspects of publishing metadata and identifiers, standards and supply chain communication in which EDItEUR specialises.

EDItEUR will as with previous years, be holding its usual meetings for the International Steering Committees for ICEDIS, EDItX, Thema and ONIX, as well as its Open Meeting for members. Details of these meetings can be found in the Forthcoming Events listing below.

EDItEUR will also be supporting the Frankfurt Business Club and The Markets conference.

…and beyond

The first W3C Publishing Summit will be held in San Francisco, in November – replacing IDPF Digital Publishing events formerly held in May alongside Book Expo America. See the Forthcoming Events section for details.

39th International Supply Chain Seminar

EDItEUR’s annual International Supply Chain Seminar, a mini-conference dedicated to metadata and content standards for book and e-book publishing is the essential pre-Frankfurt event for publishers, distributors, booksellers and service providers keen to boost the effectiveness of their business.

Tuesday 10th October, 1:00pm until 5:30 (registration open from 12:30)
Room Concord, Halle 4.C
is via EventBrite, with tickets from £145
Note that ticketing for the Supply Chain Seminar does not include entry
to the Book Fair itself for 11th–15th October.

The speaker programme focuses on real-world case studies, standards and best practices, and strategies that use technology to extract the most value from the supply chain, and the main programme will be followed by a reception for all delegates. This year’s excuse: 10 years of the ISBN-13.

EDItEUR thanks its partner the Frankfurter Buchmesse for helping to make this event possible.

Frankfurt Fair Business Club

the Business Class ticket for the Frankfurt Book Fair

The Business Club is your shortcut to new business – connecting you to relevant networks, career-changing knowledge and VIP services, so that your time in Frankfurt is both more pleasant and successful.

business club logo

The exclusive events programme at the Business Club features international experts who present and illuminate key trends and opportunities in the media industry. With your Business ticket, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with the industry’s visionaries and decision makers. You can also take advantage of the comfortable ambience of the Business Club for your meetings and as a place to retreat.

You can select between a one-day or six-day ticket, and tickets covering Tuesday 10th (either a 1-day ticket for that day, or the full 6-day ticket) include registration for The Markets conference and access to the Frankfurt Rights Meeting. Other tickets include entry to a range of exclusive Business Club events throughout the Fair, as well as access to the pro-business environment of the Business Club Lounge. For more details on the Business Club, goto, and for registration go to

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International ISBN Agency News

Regional Meetings

The annual Balkan regional meeting was held in June 2017 in Bucharest, Romania, hosted by Biblioteca Nationala a României. Delegates from Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and the International ISBN Agency itself attended, and each national ISBN Agency gave a report on the situation with regard to ISBN and system developments in their respective countries. There were further presentations on updates in the Romanian Book Market, the revision of the ISBN standard, and the preparation of data files for the Global Register – the data the International Agency holds on ISBN ranges and publishers. The venue was particularly welcome, as this was the first time that Romania had been able to participate in a Balkan Regional Meeting.

In July, the International ISBN Agency was very pleased to participate in the 2017 meeting for the CERLALC (Centro Regional para el Fomento del Libro en América Latina y el Caribe) group of Latin American agencies. The meeting took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic hosted by Biblioteca Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña. The agencies of Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panamá, Paraguay, Spain and Uruguay were all represented at the meeting, plus delegates from the International ISBN Agency and from CERLALC.

The CERLALC meeting discussed ISBN and related issues affecting Latin America. The IIA was able to give a number of updates (revision of the Standard, ISBN contracts, data submission routines) as well as to hear about problems the agencies are encountering and to give advice. Each agency also gave a short presentation about the situation in their respective countries with regard to ISBN. During the meeting a number of the agencies also reaffirmed their interest in forming and participating in working groups focussing on ONIX and Thema, particularly with a view to developing proposals for additional codes that are relevant to their respective territories, and CERLALC itself has become a member of EDItEUR to provide suport for this effort.

ISBN Annual General Meeting

The International ISBN Agency’s Annual General Meeting recently took place in Ottawa, Canada on 11–12th September, kindly hosted by Library and Archives Canada. Around 70 delegates from 50 or so ISBN agencies attend, and a fuller report will be provided in a later newsletter.

ISBN Users’ Manual (6th edition)

The 6th Edition of the ISBN Users’ Manual is now available in 21 languages in addition to English, from It provides guidance on the structure and usage of ISBNs for print and electronic publications, as well as on the administration of the ISBN system as a whole. Appendices cover calculation of ISBN check digits and information on the distribution of differently-sized ISBN registrant ranges.

International ISBN Agency Board of Directors

This month, Jamshid Farahani (of the ISBN Agency serving Sweden) will join the International ISBN Agency Board. We congratulate him on his success in the recent election. María Isabel Deaza Pérez also joins the Board as the new CERLALC representative. We look forward to working with Jamshid and María Isabel.

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Following news of Amazon’s use of Thema to drive much of its ‘browse by subject’ in its European stores, there has been a notable uptick in interest in Thema.

Additional geographical qualifiers in prospect

EDItEUR’s Chris Saynor, supported by a working group formed by the Thema International Steering committee is wrapping up an effort centred on adding a large set of geographical qualifiers to version 1.2. Normally, place qualifiers are the province of national groups, which can propose national extension qualifiers for places of interest. They are used to refine the meaning of subject codes for travel guides, history books, and so on – any book where geographical detail might boost discoverability, even fiction set in a particular place. The project aims to add places in countries that don’t have national groups, and proposals due for ratification by the Steering Committee in Frankfurt comprise around 650 places based on great input from a large number of EDItEUR members and winnowed by the working group. Codes for these additional qualifiers will be created ‘as if’ they came from relevant national groups, and responsibility will be transferred if a national group is formed in future.

A preview of the geographical extension proposals can be viewed via the Thema browser at note that none of the proposals are final and the only codes that should be used in real data are those on the main browser at

Some countries are still not covered (for example Turkey or New Zealand), where a national group or potential group has indicated that its own proposals are in development.

Development work on Thema 1.3

The intent for Thema is that it should approach a two-year cadence for revisions, although early versions may well be updated more frequently than this and the timetable may always be modified according to the demands of Thema users. Version 1.2 was released in May 2016, and work has begun on updating the core subjects and qualifiers with the aim of releasing a revised version 1.3 early in 2018.

A working group set up by the International Steering Committee is currently working through hundreds of potential new subjects and qualifiers collected over the past year, with the aim of adding more detail across much of the scheme, but most particularly in genre fiction, social science and issues, education and physical sciences.

This process is ongoing, but key decisions will be made over the next month or two. If you have an interest in seeing particular developments in Thema, then let us know – either through your Thema national group or direct to Chris Saynor at EDItEUR.

Online browser adds experimental support for SKOS

The Thema online browser has recently been enhanced in minor ways – for example it is now at a new and permanent URL and uses more secure https connections rather than http – In English, EDItEUR has added hundreds of synonyms of terms used in the scheme, including American spellings, to make searching more flexible, and other language translations are likely to be enhanced in the same way over the next few months.

Less obviously – and this is for specialists only – the browser has been enhanced to support SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organisation System) via RDF/XML, which opens the way to using Thema in linked data. For example, the URI returns the XML shown. This is not ordinarily intended for use in a web browser – requests must normally specify RDF in the header.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rdf:RDF xmlns:skos=""
    <skos:Concept rdf:about="">
        <skos:inScheme rdf:resource=""/>
        <skos:notation rdf:datatype="xs:token">AB</skos:notation>
        <skos:prefLabel xml:lang="de">Kunst, allgemein</skos:prefLabel>
        <skos:prefLabel xml:lang="es">Artes: aspectos generales</skos:prefLabel>
        <skos:prefLabel xml:lang="fr">Arts : généralités</skos:prefLabel>
        <skos:prefLabel xml:lang="tr">Sanatlar: genel</skos:prefLabel>
        <skos:prefLabel xml:lang="en">The arts: general issues</skos:prefLabel>
        <skos:broader rdf:resource=""/>
        <skos:narrower rdf:resource=""/>
        <skos:narrower rdf:resource=""/>
        <skos:narrower rdf:resource=""/>
        <skos:narrower rdf:resource=""/>

This SKOS support is experimental and largely untested at present, but is usable even though there are a couple of known issues. Note the RDF does not have a language code in the URI, and it returns labels in all available languages. The URI for the SKOS scheme as a whole is If it proves successful, the same approach can be extended to ONIX codelists too.

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ONIX for Books

Multilingual online browser launched

EDItEUR has released an online browser for the ONIX codelists and codes at

business club logo

This works in similar fashion to the well-used Thema online browser, and lists all the codes and codelists in the latest issue (currently Issue 38) with translations in several languages. It launched with English, French, Italian, Norwegian and Spanish, and other translations will be added as they become available.

The browser allows you to find codes by clicking on headings, to search for text within the headings and notes, or to search by codelist number or data element name (eg searching for all the codes in List 150 or all codes used with <NameIDType>). It also has an ‘expert mode’ which shows when the code was first introduced, and whether it has since been revised. The intention is that the browser acts as a ‘hub’ for translations, to ensure the codelists are presented in a consistent way in each language. This is already prompting co-ordinated efforts to collate and improve the codelists in some languages, including for example German.

Although the browser is intended to track the ‘latest’ release of the codelists by default, there is also a version that uses only Issue 36, because this is the last edition of the lists usable with ONIX 2.1.

ONIX Codelists Issues 38 and 39

Codelists Issue 38 for ONIX was released in July, adding a range of new codes agreed by the ONIX national groups around the world for use with ONIX 3.0. There were also a number of minor refinements to notes associated with existing codes – for example to clarify the meaning of ‘ghost author’ as a contributor role, since the existence of true ghost authors is intended to be secret.

Key additions in Issue 38 included:

A workshop run by BIC and EDItEUR in the UK revealed some common issues with dimensions supplied in ONIX files, including dummy or default measurements and a confusion between the ‘trimmed page size’ and the ‘overall product size’ (for paperbacks, these measurements are the same, but for most other binding types they are not). These issues mislead retailers and cause extra work and cost throughout the supply chain, so ONIX data senders should check that their systems properly supply the correct dimensions.

Full details of Issue 38 can be found on the EDItEUR website at

Issue 39 of the codelists is in preparation. Proposals have been circulated to ONIX national groups for comment, and the intention is to ratify Issue 39 at the meeting of the ONIX International Steering Committee during the Frankfurt Book Fair, leading to publication before the end of October. Issue 39 proposals include further additions and refinements to the notes associated with a number of codes, as well as a small number of brand new codes and one entirely new codelist:

Review of real ONIX data forwarded to EDItEUR by publishers for testing and comment – something we are happy to do, particularly for EDItEUR members – has shown widespread misunderstanding of the terminology used with <RelatedWork>. By far the most common case should use code 01 to link a product to its underlying work. A common misunderstanding of the terminology used in List 164 means some publishers have been using code 02 instead. The proposal suggests clarifications in the notes associated with codes 01, 02 and 03, and ONIX 3.0 data senders should check their ONIX output predominanly uses relation code 01.

Clarifying notes are also suggested for various types of cover (cloth over boards, various types of leather binding), and for the three options used with <WorkRelationCode>.

ONIX 3.0.4 ongoing

ONIX 3.0 has been subject to minor updates on a biennial basis since 2010 (3.0.1 in 2012, 3.0.2 in 2014 and so on). The next minor update is due in early 2018, and the outlines should be agreed by the International Steering Committee at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Requests have been received from several of the ONIX national groups, with other ideas coming from EDItEUR members and EDItEUR itself, and proposals for the revision are with the national groups for comment. They include:

Many of these suggestions could be ratified at the meeting of the ONIX International Steering Committee during the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the intention is to introduce ONIX 3.0.4 around January 2018. However, some of the above suggestions will probably be referred to a working group, alongside more complex proposals for POD and e-book specifications and promotional events, with the aim of ratifying and publishing them later in 2018. EDItEUR members likely to be interested in POD specification, e-book conversion or the listing of promotional events within ONIX 3.0 are encouraged to discuss these issues direct with EDItEUR staff.

ONIX training

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News from ICEDIS: serials, subscriptions & library supply

ICEDIS in Frankfurt and Charleston

ICEDIS will be holding two meetings over the coming months. First up will be the ICEDIS meeting just ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair. We will meet in the Manhattan Room of our regular venue, Hotel Bristol, Ludwigstrasse 15, Frankfurt am Main, from 14:00 to 17:00 on the afternoon of Monday 9th October. The central focus will be on ONIX-PC, covering both its active and increasing use in the supply chain and several enhancements proposed.

Primarily for our North American membership, we will then meet again at the Charleston Conference. This session will update participants on ICEDIS news and also wider developments in a number of areas covered by EDItEUR, notably ONIX for Books, Thema and others. We’ll also take the opportunity to speak about ISNI and other public identifier schemes. The Charleston meeting will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday 7th November at the Hyatt Place, 560 King Street, Charleston Historic District, SC 29403.

Agendas for both meetings will be available nearer the dates. If you hope to attend, please drop a quick email to Tim Devenport so he can make sure you are alerted. Tim and ICEDIS co-chairs Henning Schoenenberger and Laurie Kaplan look forward to welcoming as many EDItEUR members as possible to both events.

ONIX-PC: implementations & continued rollout

Several major EDItEUR member publishers have been busy with their ONIX-PC implementations over recent months, culminating in sign-off tests of the new configurations. We welcome a newcomer to the ‘ONIX-PC club’, Cambridge University Press, which has been working with its systems partner and EDItEUR member Ingenta to implement the standard for the first time. Elsevier has also taken the opportunity to revamp its implementation and is now actively testing with some existing and new partners. Meantime, long-time ONIX-PC producer Wiley has worked diligently to port its ONIX-OC production routines to a new back-office system, involving a lot of careful remapping and checking along the way. Alongside the established ONIX-PC feeds from Springer Nature and Taylor & Francis, these developments have significantly enhanced the stream of well-structured product metadata coming into the journals supply chain.

We continue to encourage uptake by new ONIX-PC recipients – with EDItEUR member Innovative Systems, Kinokuniya and International Subscription Agency (India) among those testing and evaluating the feeds at the time of writing. Long-time ONIX-PC supporters Harrassowitz and LM Info continue to take data feeds and have been particularly helpful testing partners in getting some of this recent work operational.

ONIX-PC: planned enhancements

As trailed in earlier Newsletters, two developments of ONIX-PC are under consideration and we hope to report on these at greater length in Frankfurt. One is a minor but important enhancement so that users can, if they need to, split the prices of bundled products across the components of those bundles. An obvious application might be a print + online product where different tax rules apply to each of the components.

The other development is more far-reaching and involves proposals for a linked data representation of ONIX-PC information. Again, we hope to have completed a first evaluation and to have more concrete proposals by the time of the Frankfurt ICEDIS meeting.

ISNI International Agency News

New members and new domains of interest

These are busy times for ISNI (the International Standard Name Identifier), for which EDItEUR provides both administrative and executive management support. We have seen a further increase in membership of the ISNI International Agency over recent months, with three new Registration Agencies being established by Casalini Libri (also a long-time EDItEUR member), IDA (the Identification Agency, in Russia) and PCC (the Program for Cooperative Cataloging), whilst Brill Publishers has joined ISNI-IA as a regular Member.

Equally exciting has been continued interest in the possibilities of using ISNI to uniquely identify and disambiguate musical artists and performers and to offer similar facilities to actors, directors and producers in the film industry. As shown by the numerous active enquiries in these areas, the workflow challenges and requirements for unique, machine-usable and interoperable party identification are quite generic and are shared across domains far beyond those originally served by the ISNI standard.

We hope to publish the first issue of an ISNI Newsletter during the course of October. If you would like to know more and to be added onto the distribution list, please let ISNI-IA’s Executive Director Tim Devenport know.

ISNI Organisations Registry

ISNI has recently announced planned changes to its infrastructure, focused on providing open identifiers for organisations working in the field of scholarly communications. The ISNI Organisations Registry will enable organisations to change and correct their own ISNI records, and allow the scholarly community to identify researcher affiliations persistently and authoritatively, thereby supporting analysis of research output and impact.

ISNI is already an open party identifier, widely used in various sectors and designed to work in many contexts such as resource discovery and royalty payment attribution. The ISNI Registry contains identity records associated with named individuals [8.75 million] and organisations and institutions [0.7 million] involved in the scholarly and wider media industries.

As part of this initiative, ISNI-IA will manage its database of organisation records separately. The information it contains will be published under a CC Zero waiver, and data will be available as a download and through an API that enables both retrieval and resolution of ISNI records. ISNI-IA plans also to set up an Advisory Board for the ISNI Organisations Registry to ensure that the scholarly communications community has open and transparent access to ISNI-IA and is able to steer the efforts to ensure adoption of ISNI Organisation records and cross-walks between all of the important and relevant datasets.

This development responds to the requirements of the academic research community for identifying organisations, as articulated in a number of working groups (initiated by JISC CASRAI-UK, OCLC, ORCID, Crossref, DataCite and others). ISNI-IA has been involved in much of this work and its announcement reflects the needs expressed by research organisations and ISNI’s own membership – in particular for open access to core identification data and giving user groups influence over the direction and development of the system. For more information on this initiative, please contact Tim Devenport.

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New EDItEUR members

Rakuten Kobo

Rakuten Kobo is your favourite local bookshop, reinvented. Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten but headquartered in Toronto, Kobo enables more than 30 million book lovers worldwide to read anytime, anywhere, on any device. With award-winning eReaders and the free Kobo app for smartphones and tablets, Kobo is your portable reading world, with a catalogue of over 5 million e-books across 106 languages.

Kobo is committed to working with publishers, authors and booksellers to advance the transformation of books from print to digital. It sells e-books in 190 countries, offers tailored experiences in more than 20 of the biggest book markets, and its bookseller and retail partner network is represented in 6000+ stores around the world.

Stison Publishing Solutions

Stison is a growing company with a single aim… to give small and medium sized book publishers the chance to run their systems with the same efficiency previously only available to the much larger companies. Stison’s web-based Title Manager allows publishers to manage bibliographic data in one place for easy access and efficient distribution of information in ONIX and other formats, as well as generating AIs, catalogues and order forms. Other modules in the suite cover Production management, rights and royalties management, and website and e-book store solutions. Stison’s systems are quickly becoming widespread within the industry, and through close collaboration with customers, Stison is developing a solution that understands the needs of the book publisher.

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Forthcoming Events

EDItEUR’s 39th International Supply Chain Seminar

1:00–5:30pm followed by a reception, Tuesday 10th October 2017, Room Concord, Halle 4.C, Messe Frankfurt, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

EDItEUR’s annual International Supply Chain Seminar – a mini-conference dedicated to metadata and content standards for book and e-book publishing – is the essential pre-Frankfurt event for publishers, distributors, booksellers and service providers keen to boost the effectiveness of their business. Registration via EventBrite.

EDItEUR ICEDIS Meeting Frankfurt

2:00–5:00pm, Monday 9th October 2017, Manhattan Room, Hotel Bristol, Ludwigstrasse 15, 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

ICEDIS will hold its next full meeting in Frankfurt, at the beginning of the week of the Book Fair. This is intended for members of EDItEUR with a particular interest in serials and subscriptions.

EDItEUR EDItX International Steering Committee Meeting

9:15–10:15am, Wednesday 11th October 2017, Room Consens, Halle 4.C, Frankfurt Book Fair

The meeting of a new International Steering Committee for the EDItX family of messaging standards. Participation is by invitation only.

EDItEUR Thema International Steering Committee Meeting

10:30am–12:00, Wednesday 11th October 2017, Room Brillanz, Halle 4.2, Frankfurt Book Fair

The Thema International Steering Committee will meet again during the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair. This meeting will focus in particular at the Geographical national extensions and at initial proposals for Thema version 1.3. Participation is open to all representatives of the Thema National Groups, or by invitation.

EDItEUR ONIX International Steering Committee Meeting

1:30–3:00pm, Wednesday 11th October 2017, Room Facette, Halle 3. Via, Frankfurt Book Fair

The meeting of the ONIX for Books International Steering Committee will discuss the latest additions to the codelists, and proposals for revision 3.0.4 and other developments in the ONIX for Books standard. The meeting is for representatives of the ONIX National Groups, or by invitation.

EDItEUR Open Meeting for Members

3:30–5:00pm, Wednesday 11th October 2017, Room Facette, Halle 3. Via, Frankfurt Book Fair

The meeting, which is free and open to all members of EDItEUR, is a good opportunity to learn about EDItEUR’s work over the last few months with the standards and identifiers that it administers, along with the major projects in which it is involved. Members will also have the opportunity to meet the EDItEUR staff, learn about EDItEUR’s focus for the immediate future and to ask questions and provide feedback, as well as suggesting areas that EDItEUR might look at in the coming months.

LIBER Book Fair

4–6th October 2017, IFEMA – Feria de Madrid Hall 14.0, Avenida del Partenón 5, 28042 Madrid, Spain

LIBER, the largest showcase for books in Spanish, will be back in Madrid from 4–6th October to celebrate its 35th anniversary. Organised by IFEMA and promoted by the Spanish Federation of Publishers' Associations, this event provides plenty of business opportunities for publishers, systems providers and startups. There is a dedicated digital zone, an author’s zone and the LIBER Micro centre for entrepreneurs, as well as a programme of professional events. For details, see

ICEDIS at the Charleston Conference

2:00–5:00pm, Tuesday 7th November 2017, Hyatt Place, 560 King Street, Charleston Historic District, SC 29403, USA

The Charleston Conference is an informal annual gathering of librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials. It is designed to be a collegial gathering of individuals who discuss the issues of book and serials acquisition in a friendly, supportive and highly informal environment. This year’s theme is ‘Roll with the times, or the times roll over you’. For details see

UKSG One Day Conference

9:30–6pm, 15th November 2017, Grange Tower Bridge Hotel (Beaumont and Sidney Suites), 45 Prescot Street, London E1 8GP, UK

In recent years the globalisation and open dissemination of research has been a hot topic in the knowledge community – exploring issues such as how we support research dissemination and consumption across borders, increasing mobility, technological innovation and open research agendas. In contrast the last 12 months have been characterised by a contraction in both political and economic terms. The Conference brings together expert perspectives from the UK and beyond to explore how the world of scholarly communication is changing in response to the political upheaval of our time. Details from

W3C Publishing Summit

9–10th November, Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel, 1333 Old Bayshore Highway, Burlingame, California 94010, USA

The web is the universal publishing platform. This first W3C Publishing Summit examines how web technologies are shaping publishing today, tomorrow and beyond. Join the conversation as publishing industry leaders cover issues and innovations you need to know about to navigate the rocky shoals of digital transformation – including real-world projects and techniques that you can use today. Further details from

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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