January 28, 2022

Books: New Global Subject Codes Standard Launches During Frankfurt BookFair, Say Hello to PanThema

The following news from the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), an industry group that develops and maintains BISAC  subject headings. These headings are used in bookstores. Recently, we mentioned that BISAC headings are now being used by some libraries.

Is today’s news something libraries need or should be a part of? A collaboration opportunity?

From Today’s BISG Announcement:

Book industry representatives from 15 countries announced today the formation of a new, global standard to categorize and classify book content by subject. The project, initially known as Thema, was first announced during the Tools of Change Supply Chain Conference taking place during the Frankfurt International Book Fair.

“This is a very important step forward in creating a truly global community of book data,” said Jesus Peraita, Technical Director of DILVE, within the FGEE (Federacion de Gremios de Editores de Espana), the group’s first chair. “Thema will not only facilitate the sale of content across borders, but is also flexible enough to allow each market to retain its unique cultural voice.”

A new, independent organization created to manage Thema will be governed by a multinational Board of Directors.

Countries currently participating in the Thema project include: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Pan Arab Group, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Thema will continue the work already begun by the iBIC project managed out of the United Kingdom. Book Industry Communication (BIC) and Nielsen Book, who jointly own iBIC, have graciously donated the iBIC intellectual property to the Thema Board for the creation of the global standard.

The new standard is meant, initially, to work alongside existing standards such as BIC, BISAC, CLIL, etc. The long range goal is to move all markets to the global standard, helping to eliminate confusion among both upstream and downstream trading partners. BISG, working through the auspices of its Subjects Code Committee, will have responsibility for the application of the standard in the US.

Direct to PanThema Web Site

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.