BISG publishes report on use and modification of book product metadata

BISG publishes report on use and modification of book product metadata

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The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) announced today the publication of Development, Use, and Modification of Book Product Metadata, a 37-page report detailing how publishers, retailers, and other industry stakeholders create and use metadata. The report, prepared for BISG by Brian O’Leary of Magellan Media Consulting, also presents both process and future proofing recommendations to improve product metadata in the supply chain.

“This is a very important report for BISG and the industry,” said Ken Michaels, Chief Operating Officer of Hachette Book Group and Co-Chair of BISG. “There is a direct correlation between good metadata and increased sales, so we need to make every effort to ensure our customers are seeing the best possible information about the books and content they want to purchase.”

A five-page executive summary of the report is available free to all BISG members, and for a nominal fee to non-members. The full report is available for purchase at member and non-member prices. Both documents can be ordered at

The report, which was compiled from interviews with more than 30 industry stakeholders and a survey of the entire BISG membership, will serve as an important document for BISG’s Metadata Committee. Chaired by Richard Stark, Director of Product Data for Barnes & Noble, the Metadata Committee is working to update BISG’s Best Practices for Book Product Metadata, a roadmap for the provision of timely, accurate metadata.

A key component of the Best Practices document is the identification of 31 core metadata elements — price, publication date, ISBN, etc. — that should be included or acknowledged in every metadata feed. The new report identifies an additional 39 data elements, largely in the area of marketing, that have become increasingly important to both data senders and receivers. Included in that list are Related Editions (Work ID); Worldwide Subject Categories; Keywords; and Awards and Prizes.

“Brian’s report will be enormously valuable to our Committee,” said Len Vlahos, BISG’s Executive Director. “Reliable metadata is an important commodity for every member of the book industry supply chain.”


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