Press Releases


BIC announces date for BIC Standard Subject Categories Scheme end of life 
London 24th February 2022

Book Industry Communication (BIC) today announced its plan to make obsolete the outdated BIC Standard Subject Categories scheme (BSSC) by the end of February 2024, as it scales up efforts to encourage the UK book industry to fully adopt Thema (the international, multi-lingual subject category scheme for the global book trade) in its place.

Full press release, here.

BIC announces new Board of Directors  
London, 22nd November 2021 

Book Industry communciation (BIC) today announced the appointment of Ruth Jones, Director Global Sales, Digital Services at Ingram Content Group as Chair of its newly formed Board of Directors. The new board is one of a number of changes at BIC following an extensive governance review which focussed on re-shaping BIC in order to create an agile, responsive organisation that reflects the diversity of the current book industry and delivers a greater sense of ownership amongst the BIC membership. It replaces both the Executive and Operational boards which have now disbanded and means BIC members will have a greater say in BIC's strategy and schedule of work as they will now be eligible to nominate a suitable representative from within their own organisations for election to the new Board of Directors.

Speaking of her recent appointment Ruth Jones said  "I am delighted to become Chair of the BIC Board as we transition to a new structure. The book supply chain needs to develop best practices to respond to new business and environmental challenges. It's exciting to be a part of  BIC's focus on addressing real problems and affecting change though collaboration with its members."

The directors of the new board are as follows:
Graham Bell, Executive Director, EDItEUR 
Simon Ellison, Merchandising Director - High Street, WHSmith 
Gareth Jarrett, Director of Book Publishing Services, Taylor and Francis 
Natalie Jones, Head of Programmes, CILIP 
Ruth Jones, (Chair), Director Global Sales, Digital Services, Ingram Content Group 
Dr Cordelia Rogerson, Head of Collection Care and Metadata Management, The British Library 
Fraser Tanner, Managing Director, Batch Ltd and a Director of the Booksellers Association Group Ltd 
Karina Urquhart, Executive Director, Book Industry Communication Ltd (BIC) 
Jon Windus, Head of Product Leadership, Nielsen Book

Read the full press release here.


BIC announces appointment of its Green Supply Chain Committee Chair and launches its Green Supply Chain Work Plan 

London, 11th October 2021 

Book Industry Communication (BIC) today announced the appointment of Rachel Martin, Global Sustainability Director, Elsevier, as Chair of its recently created Green Supply Chain Committee. With representatives from 20 organisations, this committee has been established in order to serve as a strategic, central point for senior representatives from key book industry stakeholder organisations to convene on a regular basis to lead, drive and facilitate high level, cross-industry conversations, collaborations and drive forward solutions for environmental issues pertaining to the supply chain.  Benefitting from a direct link to the Green Book Alliance (GBA), BIC's Green Supply Chain Committee is responsible for overseeing the delivery of its recently agreed Green Supply Chain Work Plan, which uses the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals as its framework.

Full Press Release, here.

Launches its Metadata Capabilities Directory 
London, 22nd July 2021 

BIC is delighted to announce the launch of its Metadata Capabilities Directory (MCD), a new facility powered by BIC members for BIC members, enabling participants to share information with each other about their own use of metadata within the supply chain. The MCD has been created as part of BIC's Metadata Map project.

The MCD is the first facility available to UK book trade organisations, (and organisations trading with UK book trade organisations), to record and describe what actually happens within their own metadata activities. All participants in the MCD will provide a full response to an extensive survey which provides a detailed record of their own metadata policies and practices. By recording, aggregating, and sharing actual behaviour across our industry, the MCD will provide an overview of the whole, which will enable contributors to benchmark and calibrate their own activities and help identify development priorities for the future. 

More information and full Press Release here 

BIC, BookNet Canada, BISG form International Green Book Supply Chain Alliance
29th September 2020

Book Industry Communication (BIC) today announced the formation of an International Green Book Supply Chain Alliance with BookNet Canada (BNC) and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG). The alliance will include information sharing, joint planning, environmental events, and other supply chain initiatives.

Read the full Press Release here.


BIC Launches UKSLC 1.2
London, 30th September 2019

BIC announced today that it has launched a refreshed UK Standard Library Categories (UKSLC) scheme which is now based on the international Thema subject categories, where previously it was based on BIC subject categories. Version 1.2 constitutes a significant update of the scheme since it was launched in 2008 as e4Libraries Subject Category Headings. 

Read the full Press Release here.

BIC Launches BIC Realtime for Libraries
London, 20th September 2019

BIC announces launch of a new set of industry standard APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) through its BIC Realtime for Libraries initiative.

Using these new XML web communications, library businesses will now be able to communicate with trading partners quicker and more effictively, and get real-time, immediate replies to requests rather than having to depend on processing of data transactions in batches. 

Read the full Press Release here.  

Find out more about BIC Realtime for Libraries APIs / web services, here.

BIC Launches Refreshed Product Data Excellence Award Accreditation Scheme

London, 31st July 2019

BIC is delighted to announce the launch of its refreshed Product Data Excellence Award (PDEA) Accreditation Scheme.

Metadata underpins our digital age. It drives discoverability and sales, and therefore demands careful attention in terms of its initial creation and ongoing maintenance. BIC’s PDEA scheme currently awards accreditation to more than 50 publishers for the quality of their metadata. The updated and refreshed accreditation scheme is the result of an extensive, in-depth review of BIC’s current scheme, which was last updated in 2010, and encourages further improvements in metadata supply across the industry. 

Read the full BIC press release here.

Find out more about the revised PDEA Scheme, here.

BIC Launches Metadata Map Project at London Book Fair,
12th April 2018

London, 9th April 2018

BIC is delighted to announce that the launch of the BIC Metadata Map project will be made at the “Building a Better Business” seminar on Thursday 12th April.

Metadata underpins our digital age. It drives discoverability and book sales but all too often we have little knowledge of just how this vital asset flows through the supply chain to reach customers. To help publishers, retailers and others improve their understanding and target their resources more effectively, BIC has commissioned a 2-year project to map the increasingly dynamic and complex flow of metadata from producer to consumer.

The ‘map’ will be the sum of contributions from collaborating participants in the metadata supply chain and is intended to be published as an updatable online resource for contributing organisations, to show where the metadata goes, what happens to it, who uses it, and how.

Read the full BIC press release, here.

BIC Statement on Best Practice for Subtitle Field in
Metadata Feeds
London, 9th March 2018

Some publishers and other metadata providers are using the subtitle, and sometimes the title fields, in metadata feeds to carry marketing and promotional text. By this we mean using phrases such as ‘Sunday Times Best Seller’, ‘Gripping read from…’, ‘The Richard & Judy Book Club thriller 2017’, ‘”The best thriller writer alive” Another Author’, ‘Man Booker prize winner’ and so on. It is important for discoverability, good customer experience and an efficient data supply chain that these data fields reflect only the true title and subtitle text that appears on the title page. The valuable promotional text should be included in separate and dedicated promotional text fields, and all metadata recipients, including wholesalers and retailers, should be using these fields appropriately. 

Read the full BIC statement, here.

New Chair of the BIC Operational Board
London, 14th July 2016

Book Industry Communication (BIC) the UK book industry's independent supply chain organisation, announced today that Ruth Jones has been appointed Chair of the BIC Operational Board, taking up the role when current Chair, Mark Majurey, steps down at the beginning of September 2016.

Commercial Director & VP, Digital Publishing at Taylor & Francis Group, Mark Majurey, said: “It has been an honour and privilege to have served as BIC’s Chairman for the past five years. During that time BIC has helped its members continue to manage the physical supply chain as well as meeting the challenges of new digital developments within the industry. I am thrilled that BIC will continue under Ruth Jones’ stewardship as the new Chair and have no doubt it will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Karina Luke, Executive Director at BIC said: "Both the BIC Executive and Operational Boards are extremely grateful for the 5 years of dedicated support, commitment and service from Mark. BIC is delighted that Ruth has agreed to take over the reins from Mark as Chair of the Operational Board going forward.“

Ruth Jones, Director Business Development at Ingram Content Group said of her appointment: “BIC is at the heart of the book supply chain, and I am honoured to chair the Operational Board.”

Ruth Jones will be speaking at BIC’s New Trends in Publishing Seminar on Tuesday 6th September in London. Click here for further information about this event. 


Notes to Editors:
For more information, please contact: 

For more information about BIC, see the 'About BIC' webpage on the BIC website:

Publishers Green Network Open Meeting and Relaunch
London, 28th April 2016

PGN Open Meeting and Relaunch:
Thursday 26 th May 2016
Pearson, 80 Strand, London, WC2R 0RL

16.00 – 17.00   Open Meeting
17.30 – 19.00   Keynote from David Nussbaum, WWF UK, followed by a drinks reception

The Publishers Green Network will relaunch on Thursday 26 th May with an open meeting followed by a keynote presentation from David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF UK.

The Publishers Green Network aims to help those in the book industry increase sustainability and reduce their overall environmental impact. The PGN looks at the complete process / supply chain for physical and ebooks by providing a networking / information sharing forum to facilitate this. The meeting, from 16.00 – 17.00, is open to any interested parties. To reserve a place, please email

Following a short networking break, there will then be a keynote presentation from David Nussbaum. To book tickets, register here.

David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF UK, will speak on recent developments in the international and national sphere, setting a framework for the global Climate agenda, and current priorities for WWF. Focusing on what this might mean for the publishing industry, Nussbaum will look at the need for partnerships with environmental charities.

Stephen Lotinga, CEO of The Publishers Association will then lead an 'in conversation with' David Nussbaum, taking questions from the floor.

The afternoon will close with a drinks reception.

PGN Chairman, Ashley Lodge, says; "I am really delighted to be relaunching our group with David Nussbaum, the CEO of WWF UK. I passionately believe the PGN's information sharing forum has an important role to play in ensuring that the publishing industry continues to minimise its environmental impacts."


Note for Editors:

The Publishers Association and BIC are cosupporters of the Publishers Green Network.

The Publishers Association is the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK. Membership comprises over 100 companies from across the trade, academic and education sectors.

For more information about BIC, see our 'About BIC' section at the bottom of this page.

The Publishers Green Network is a voluntary group designed to help the publishing industry increase sustainability and reduce its overall environmental impact. The PGN looks at the complete process/supply chain for physical and ebooks by providing an environmental networking / information sharing forum to facilitate this.

For more information please contact: Seonaid MacLeod, 020 7691 9191,

BIC Launches New Set of Web Standards with BIC Realtime
London, April 5th 2016

Book Industry Communication (BIC), the book industry's independent supply chain organisation, announced today that it has launched a new set of industry standard APIs through its BIC Realtime initiative, previously known as BIC web services.

BIC Realtime is a suite of 19 business APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) created for retailers, suppliers and data providers in order to enable immediate data exchange and facilitate instant two-way communications relating to product metadata, ordering, fulfilment, finance and returns.

The new set of XML standards have been developed to enhance existing EDI capabilities within the book trade through the use of additional messages alongside traditional electronic data exchange. Using XML web communications, businesses will now be able to communicate with trading partners quicker and more effectively, getting real time replies to requests rather than having to depend on processing of data transactions in batches.

The standard business APIs now available via BIC Realtime are quick to develop, install and test. Additionally, businesses can deploy BIC Realtime solutions much more cost-effectively than traditional EDI, and trading partners will be able to support and communicate via BIC Realtime APIs swiftly and without weeks of testing.

Karina Luke, Executive Director of BIC commented: "BIC has been establishing standards and promoting best practice in the book supply chain for over 20 years. We have long been advocates of EDI and other industry standards, which help to improve and evolve workflows for publishers and their trading partners, and BIC Realtime is the latest initiative designed to advance our supply chain further. I look forward to seeing it become established and hope that retailers, suppliers and data providers alike will embrace the idea and together make ourselves a stronger and more efficient industry.”

BIC Realtime will be presented at BIC’s Building a Better Business Seminar 2016 on Thursday, 14th April at the London Book Fair. Click here for further information about this event. 

More information on BIC Realtime including use cases and message formats are available on the BIC website click here.


Notes to Editors:
For more information, please contact: 

For more information about BIC, see the 'About BIC' webpage on the BIC website:

UK Library Industry Declares Support for New BIC Framework
London, October 2015.

Leading UK suppliers from the RFID and LMS community declare their public support for the Library Communication Framework (LCF), which provides an unprecedented level of interoperability between systems from different vendors.

In a move that should be applauded by the industry, BIC and leading RFID and LMS suppliers from around the UK have been working over the last three years on a communication framework to replace the now dated Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP)2 protocol.

SIP2, an extension of SIP, allowed the interchange of data between systems to happen –predominantly between an LMS and a self-checkout unit. Originally released in 1993 by 3M Library Systems, the protocol soon became the de-facto standard in libraries, and has been tweaked ever since but is now considered (by some) to be stretched to its limit.

LCF is a modern framework, based on web protocols, that builds on the foundations that SIP2 laid in the early years. The framework continues support for all existing communications, but supplements the basics with a range of calls that not only allows self-service systems to communicate more efficiently with the LMS, but opens up bi-directional communication to a range of other devices – such as handheld inventory devices.

Supported officially by Book Industry Communications (BIC) and the suppliers and associations listed below, LCF is now the recommended framework for libraries seeking to ensure the interoperability of their solutions. Librarians should be looking to adopt LCF, and to ensure that their system providers (including LMS and RFID) are developing their products in support of the framework. This applies for libraries wishing to implement new systems, or upgrade current systems to take advantage of these new features.

RFID vendors confirming their support include:
2CQR, 3M Library Systems, Bibliotheca, D-Tech, Intrepid Security and PSP Asset Protection.

LMS and system vendors confirming their support include:
Axiell, Capita, Civica, Infor, Innovative, Insight Media, SirsiDynix and Microlibrarian

In addition, the framework is officially backed by BIC and the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), with BIC providing the ongoing technical support and maintenance. In order to govern and facilitate LCF’s development, BIC hosts 2 key LCF Groups: the LCF Review Group (charged with the marketing and promotion of the framework) and the LCF Technical Panel (charged with technical development, responding to requests for change, improvements to the framework).

Karina Luke, Executive Director for BIC commented “BIC is delighted to have been in the position to develop and support LCF from the beginning, but it is really the adoption by the UK suppliers that makes this initiative work. Without the breadth of suppliers that have joined the programme, it simply would not be possible for new frameworks to breath into life. Along with our fellow associations, we wholeheartedly recommend that libraries look to work with their suppliers to implement LCF and take advantage of the benefits it can offer”.

The vendors listed above have either already implemented support for LCF in their systems or have committed to officially doing so before the end of Q1 2016. In addition, technical teams from each vendor continue to provide input both into the framework specification and into cross-supplier system testing to ensure compliance for their customers.


Notes to Editors:
For more information, please contact: 

For more information about BIC, see our 'About BIC' section at the bottom of this page.

BIC Production Training Courses Achieve 95% Satisfaction Rating
London, 24th July 2015

BIC Training Logo

Book Industry Communication (BIC), the book industry's independent supply chain organisation, announced today that its suite of training courses, specialising in areas of book production, achieved a 95% satisfaction rating for courses run in 2014, according to recent feedback.

BIC's training programmes, designed for publishing professionals and run by industry experts, are now well-established in the trade and are recognised for offering knowledge and learning in practices across the publishing supply chain, with particular emphasis on the technical and commercial aspects relating to book production. 

The courses are developed in conjunction with production directors at some of the UK's largest global publishers, such as HarperCollins, Cambridge University Press, Orion and Oxford University Press. Focussing on the key elements of print and digital production, with specialist training in paper and colour printing, children’s books, digital book production, and shipping, each course offers trainees a combination of theory and practical applications, all delivered by the industry’s most qualified and experienced practitioners.

Feedback in the first 12 months has been positive, with over 95% of attendees saying they would recommend BIC's production courses to other colleagues, 88% rating BIC's production practitioners as excellent, 85% citing course relevance as excellent, and a 100% satisfaction rate for course content (subjects covered). 

Now in its second year, BIC is pleased to announce the following courses for its 2015 training schedule;

An Introduction to Paper & Colour Printing
Producing Children’s Books
Digital Book Production Explained
Shipping Explained

All production course profiles and how to book, can be found on the BIC website here:
Training Information 

Karina Luke, Executive Director of BIC commented: "We are delighted the feedback on BIC’s courses has been so enthusiastic and positive. We have worked hard, both with our publisher partners and our trainers, to provide training schemes that offer exceptional quality and value to the industry and to receive such enthusiastic comments is fantastic. BIC is committed to driving initiatives that support growing the publishing supply chain and we are proud to be working with many of the largest and best-known publishers and suppliers in the industry to develop and provide training schemes and certificates that are recognised in the community that help the next generation of publishing experts find their niche."

Of BIC’s training courses, Mike Levaggi, Group Production Director at Harper Collins said: “We at HarperCollins have now sent people on a number of the BIC training courses with really positive results. Invariably they have come back with improved knowledge, full of enthusiasm and new ideas to put into practice. The benefits to us have been seen in teams that can operate more independently, with greater confidence and also the morale benefit you invariably get when people feel the company is prepared to invest the time and money on their development. We will continue to use this form of training as a key part of our staff development programme.” 

Fiona McIntosh, Orion Group Executive, Orion Publishing Group said: “Holding the training in the printers adds a practical dimension to the theory being taught and helps the trainee thoroughly understand the concepts through seeing it happen.”

Nancy Roberts, Business Process Director, Cambridge University Press said: “We have found the BIC production courses to deliver real, practical value; as one example, the trip to the paper mill has given our team a much better understanding of the paper-making process and what the different options are, and the quality of conversations they are now able to have with suppliers have opened up new opportunities to reduce costs and maintain quality. I would strongly recommend these courses as delivering hands-on experience which enables staff to do their jobs better.” 


Notes to Editors:
For more information, please contact:

For more information about BIC, see our 'About BIC' section at the bottom of this page.

Pilot Draft of Thema Global Subject Codes Published 
London, 16th April 2013

Thema Board also announces sunrise date for the new standard

The acting Board of Directors for Thema (a Board created  to support the Thema Global Subject Scheme standard) announced at the London Book Fair today that a pilot draft of the Thema standard has been published. The Thema standard is intended to provide a single unified scheme for the categorisation of book content for the global book trade. 

The Thema standard has been developed over the last two years with the active participation of working groups representing thirteen countries in Europe and North America, as well as a Pan-Arab Group, under the direction of Thema Technical Committee Chair Howard Willows (Senior Manager, Data Development, at Nielsen Book).  By combining a robust selection of shared subject categories with an expansive list of subject qualifiers which can contain national variants and extensions, Thema provides a structure that has global application while meeting local needs.  The hope is that additional national groups from countries around the world will review, comment on, and ultimately adopt the Thema standard. Interested communities are urged to treat this initial draft as a beta version.

“As publishers and retailers conduct an increasing amount of their business across a multitude of markets, often with distinct cultural and linguistic identities,” said Karina Luke, interim Chair of the Thema Board of Directors, and Executive Director of Book Industry Communication (BIC), “it has become clear that a truly global solution to categorize and classify book content was needed. Thema answers that call.”

Initially designed primarily to support international trading, and not immediately intended to replace market-specific subject codes, such as BIC, BISAC or CLIL, Thema will greatly reduce the need to map from one scheme to another, and lays the foundation for a future reality in which one classification system will be adopted worldwide. 

In addition to the announcement of the publication of the Pilot Draft of the standard, the Thema Board also announced a “sunrise date” of December 31, 2013 for Thema implementation. This is the earliest date by which publishers and others upstream in the supply chain should be prepared to include Thema codes in their metadata, and the earliest date by which retailers and others downstream should be expected to accept Thema codes.  

 “With the pilot draft now published,” noted Emad Eldeen Elakehal (MD,, a Thema Board and Technical Committee member representing the Pan-Arab Group, “we expect interest in and adoption of the standard to ramp up quickly.”

The standard Thema grew out of iBIC, a fledgling subject code project based on version 2.1 of the BIC Subject Category scheme.  BIC and Nielsen Book, who jointly owned the intellectual property for iBIC, graciously donated it to the Thema Board of Directors for the creation of the Thema standard. 

The initial draft of the Thema standard will be available for download from the Thema website by 20 April 2013. Anyone interested in learning more about Thema should contact his or her closest local representative. A list of representatives can be found on the Thema website. 

Thema Governance
The organisations involved in the founding of Thema have agreed that the on-going maintenance and development of Thema will be managed in a similar open way to existing standards such as ONIX, through a combination of National Groups, a specialist Technical Committee and a Steering Body. Details of the constitution, remit and organisation of these groups are being finalised. Participation will be open to all interested parties and is actively encouraged. Full details of how organisations worldwide can engage and participate at the most appropriate level will be forthcoming within the next few weeks.


About Book Industry Communication Ltd:
Established in 1991, BIC is an independent not-for-profit membership organisation working at the heart of the book industry to promote supply chain efficiency, develop and support the uptake of standards and best practice, and bring people together to share, discuss, debate, and learn from one another. Sponsored by The Booksellers Association, The British Library, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and The Publishers Association, BIC is governed by both an Executive and Operational Board, comprised of members from across the entire book industry.

Visit BIC at and follow at @BIC1UK