Metadata Committee

A close-up of a computer screen covered in metadata text. The text is in white, orange, and teal on a dark background.

About the Metadata Committee

The Metadata Committee is responsible for suggesting changes to the ONIX standard and its code lists, so distributors and retailers can easily identify what a book is about and successfully market it. Building on BISG best practices, we make recommendations to help metadata providers and recipients provide timely, high-quality metadata for all book formats.

Image of metadata committee chair Claire Holloway
Committee Chair:

Claire Holloway, OCLC

Join this committee        Committee charter 

Committee Objectives

  • Shape and communicate identification and metadata standards such as ISBN and ONIX 3.0
  • Strengthen documentation of the metadata supply chain
  • Identify weaknesses in the current approaches
  • Make recommendations for operational improvements to metadata or structural changes in the metadata supply chain to address shortcomings

What we do

We suggest changes to the ONIX standard and its code lists, as well as oversee its development and maintenance. The Metadata Committee also acts as a forum for members to discuss current issues in ONIX and metadata in general, sharing ideas and solutions across a broad spectrum of companies, including data senders and recipients.

"The Metadata Committee provides a place where the unsung heroes of the publishing industry can come together to learn from each other and focus energy onto topics that the greater industry needs to know about. We communicate the standards and best practices that support the information transfer about all aspects of books. Without metadata, who can know about the book and how to buy it?”

Claire Holloway, OCLC, Metadata Committee Chair

When We Meet

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The 3rd Wednesday of every month at 10:00 a.m. ET.

View all Metadata Committee events

What We Produce

From metadata best practices to an ONIX implementation grid, we create recommendations and materials to improve the industry.

Statement on misuse of the title and subtitle fields (May 2023)

Industry support for the statement on misuse of the title and subtitle fields

Check out our other work

Committee Working Group

This committee supports a Metadata Best Practices working group that meets monthly to:

  • Review the current version of the  BISG Metadata Best Practices Guide
  • Suggest updates to the BISG Best Practices Guide that reflect needs specific to the U.S. market
  • Solicit full-committee feedback on the content of planned updates


Committee FAQ

When it comes to book publishing and marketing, metadata are the vital details about a book that allow distributors and retailers to easily identify what it’s about and successfully market it. These include things like page count and critical reviews, title, author or series.

ONIX (ONline Information EXchange) is the international standard for representing and communicating book industry product information in electronic form.

Across book publishing, identifiers are typically numeric or alphanumeric strings that specify an aspect of the supply chain. An ISBN uniquely identifies a manifestation of a book. An ISNI uniquely identifies an author or contributor, as does an ORCID in the academic and scholarly space. A standard approach to creating and maintaining identifiers across the publishing ecosystem improves transparency, faciliates reporting, and reduces friction in moving physical and digital products across the supply chain.

Explore Our Committees

Rights Committee          Subject Codes Committee          Supply Chain Committee          Workflow Committee

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View from above of a desk with an open laptop, books lined up neatly, a pair of glasses, a camera, and apple, and a small pottted plant. The laptop is cropped at the keyboard, and most of the space is empty desk.