November 29, 2015

Book Industry Study Group (BISG) Publishes Revised Version of “Best Practice Recommendations For Identifying Digital Products”

A new version of the document was made available today by the BISG. The original version was published on December 7, 2011.

This document will be of special interest to catalogers and those who work with metadata.

Following initial publication of the best practice recommendations in December 2011, BISG’s Identification Committee spent several months reviewing the application of the recommendations across the book industry. As part of this process, committee members requested and received feedback on how they might clarify the recommendations made. The revised recommendations, published February 25, 2013, seek to address the issues that arose through this process.

It is important to note that most of the problems discovered by BISG’s Identification Committee surrounding the misapplication of ISBNs to digital content resulted from a lack of communication. In many cases, trading partners admitted to taking whatever information was given them and doing whatever manual manipulation was needed to get a job done, then moving on. In an environment as complex and evolving as the digital supply chain, this is obviously not ideal. Regardless of the specific recommendations outlined within the Policy Statement, perhaps the most important item to stress is the need for direct communication among trading partners.

Direct to Full Text:
BISG Policy Statement POL-1101: Best Practices for Identifying Digital Products ( (16 pages; PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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