page last updated 31st May 2017


Thema is a multilingual subject category scheme designed to meet the needs of publishers, retailers and trade intermediaries in all sectors of the global book publishing business. It is managed by an international group of stakeholders, and is free to use. Thema aims to enhance the merchandising, discoverability and potential sales of books by simplifying the communication of accurate and detailed subject information across international markets and reducing the need to maintain numerous national subject schemes.

Thema is a global scheme and is based on hierarchical code structures. It is a general purpose scheme and is not intended to replace specialist or library schemes but is designed to replace national general purpose book trade schemes over time. In the medium-term, the benefit is that users need only map between their own scheme and Thema, rather than to and from numerous other schemes used by trading partners.

BIC runs the UK Thema National Group, which feeds directly into the International Thema Steering Committee.

Read our BIC Bite about Thema here.
Alternatively, you can visit the Thema website here to find out more.

Thema Subject Categories Version 1.2 can be found here.


THEMA VERSION 1.2 - Released May 2016

The Basic User Instructions for Thema V1.2 can be found here.

For more information, please see EDItEUR's website here.


THEMA ARTICLE - Embedded Job Advisors & Thema - March 2016

EDItEUR’s Graham Bell writes an article for Public Libraries News (PLN) Newsletter regarding Thema and the benefits of its use in libraries.

Read the full article here


THEMA ARTICLE - Book Description Standard Goes Worldwide - December 2015

Nielsen’s Howard Willows (and the Chair of the UK Thema National Group) provides an update on Thema, the subject classification scheme for the global book trade.

Read the full article here


THEMA ARTICLE - Making Cents of Subjects - December 2015

EDItEUR’s Graham Bell outlines the merits of Thema, the international and multilingual subject category scheme aiming to enhance merchandising and discoverability, reduce duplication of work and boost sales across the global book trade.

Read the full article here


THEMA 1.1 MAPPINGS - March 2015

Mappings are now available from BIC 2.1 to Thema 1.1, and CLIL to Thema 1.1. More information and the mappings themselves can be found on the EDItEUR website, here.

THEMA 1.1 MAPPINGS - September 2015
Reverse mapping from Thema 1.1 to BIC 2.1 is now available. More information and the mapping itself can be found on the EDItEUR website, here.

Other available mappings include: BISAC 2016 to Thema 1.2 (available directly from BISG).


EDItEUR has now set up a support mailing list for implementation questions and / or requests for clarification. Join this mailing list by clicking here.


Alternatively, find out more about Thema Maintenance and Support on EDItEUR's website, here.

THEMA VERSION 1.1 - Released December 2014

Press Release - EDItEUR publishes Thema 1.1

Thema Version 1.1 Codes and Headings

For more information, please see EDItEUR's website: here.
For the multilingual online browser, please click here.


A Guide to the Differences between Thema and UKSLC


Press Release EDItEUR publishes Thema 1.0, 1st November 2013


Press release 10th October 2012