Product Data Excellence Awards

BIC Product Data Excellence Awards Accreditation Scheme

The scheme is designed to encourage publishers to appreciate the contribution made by accurate and timely product data to their sales; to enable them to demonstrate their commitment to making that data available in the supply chain; and to enable them to benchmark their performance against their competitors.

Application to the scheme is free, and is open to BIC members and non-members alike.
Publishers applying for accreditation must have published, (or have scheduled to publish) 10 or more titles.

The new scheme, launched in 2010, offers three levels of award, which recognise the issues individual publishers face and the increasing complexity of maintaining and transmitting product information: the BIC Basic award (the original ‘BIC with the tick' scheme); the BIC Excellence award; and the BIC Excellence Plus award for outstanding performance. All require data to be submitted to bibliographic agencies electronically, preferably using ONIX to do so. A supplementary ‘e-Tick' for publishers who provide product data on e-books and other digital content within acceptable time and quality standards is also available within each award level.

The BIC Basic award
This award is open to publishers able to supply electronically by any agreed means the mandatory elements required by the BIC Basic standard within the following timeliness criteria: 

1) 60% of new titles fully compliant 16 weeks ahead of publication; and
2) 80% of all currently available titles meeting the BIC Basic completeness standard.
3) A new element (cover image) has been added to the BIC Basic standard; and this needs to be available by the date of publication.

The BIC Excellence award
This award is open to publishers using ONIX in versions 2.1 and above to supply the enhanced ONIX element set (see below) within the following timeliness criteria:

1) 60% of new titles fully BIC Basic compliant 16 weeks ahead of publication; and
2) 80% of currently available titles meeting the BIC ONIX completeness standard.

The BIC Excellence Plus award
This award is open to publishers on the same terms as the Excellence award except that 60% of new titles must be fully compliant with the enhanced BIC ONIX element set 16 weeks ahead of publication.

The 'Digital Tick'
The supplementary e-tick is awarded to those applicants in each category who submit regular infomation about their e-books and other digital products to the data agencies within the criteria of the BIC Basic completeness standard. Given ebook work flows, timeliness is for the time being, not a criteria for consideration.

As of July 2016, the Digital Tick award has been frozen as the Product Data Excellence Award (PDEA) Accreditation Scheme undergoes a refresh by the PDEA Task and Finish Working Group. This means that since July 2016, no new Digital Tick awards have been considered or made. It is the intention of the revised PDEA Scheme (which will be launched in due course) to measure both digital and physical product metadata under the one Product Data Accreditation Award without the need for a separate Digital Tick.

Timing requirements
All awards are also dependent on updating of pre-publication data no less frequently than weekly (assuming changes have taken place) and of price and availability of published titles on a daily basis.

ONIX 3.0 Badge
The PDEA Accreditation Panel will now be reviewing organisations’ progress with ONIX 3.0 and awarding ONIX 3.0 Badges to eligible, accredited organisations on a quarterly basis. If you are an accredited organisation and you begin to test an ONIX 3.0 feed or have a live feed that you have not informed BIC about, please do let us know. Providing your feed is both live and supplied to at least one of the recognised UK data aggregators your organisation will be eligible to attain the ONIX 3.0 Badge at the next Accreditation Panel.

Scheme structures

Publishers will only be considered for certification who operate electronic systems to maintain product data and supply data electronically - and, in the case of ONIX users, provide valid files capable of automatic ingestion into aggregators' systems.

Accreditation will be based on all qualifying titles published by the applicant and (in the case of multi-national publishers) all titles made available to the UK market originating from overseas divisions of the same company.

The scheme is open to publishing companies or divisions of publishing groups where a stand-alone system of product data provision is in place, and will be judged on the combined performance standards of publishers and their distributors.

Certification will be granted at the discretion an independent BIC review group on the basis of information provided on the application questionnaire, parts of which will be reviewed by Nielsen BookData, Bowker and BDS to confirm that observed performance is consistent with the information provided. The group meets on a quarterly basis to consider new applications, reaccreditations and to review accredited publishers' performance.

The decision of the BIC review group will be final and not subject to appeal. Publishers whose applications have been rejected are, however, entitled to reapply when six months have passed from the initial decision of the audit group.

Certification will be granted for a period of one year, and renewal will be automatically reviewed by the review group. Where it is not possible to grant automatic renewal accreditations may at the discretion of the review group be extended for a maximum of six months (i.e. two quarters). After that period, publishers so disqualified will be invited to reapply after a further six months.

Quarterly Deadlines 2019:

Please note that currently accredited organisations will be contacted by BIC directly when they are due for renewal; at this time they will be invited to relate information to support their application for reaccreditation - the deadlines below apply to these supportive statements. For this reason it is imperative that accreditees keep BIC informed of organisational changes that affect point of contact for the scheme. 

The following deadlines apply to new applicants to the scheme (in addition to those who have lost their accreditation and wish to apply again following a period of 6 months). As the panel meets quarterly, organisations have the opportunity to apply for the scheme at multiple points across the year. 
Please note that all submissions are confidential. 

The PDEA Accreditation Scheme application deadlines for 2019 are as follows:

  • Friday 4th January 2019
  • Friday 5th April 2019
  • Friday 5th July 2019
  • Friday 4th October 2019


Bibliographic elements required for accreditation

For BIC Basic

For ONIX Release 2: all versions (updated May 2010)

For ONIX Release 3.0 (May 2010)


Publishers' application form and questionnaire


List of Currently Accredited Organisations