- BISAC Subject Codes
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If you're a non-member company, please click on the hyperlink below for your correct category:
Are you a BISG member? If so, click on any of the above links (A, B, C, D, or E) and download the BISAC codes for free! Receiving the annual BISAC updates is one of the many perks of BISG membership. (Not a member yet? Go here to join!)
A standard used throughout the supply chain to categorize books based on topical content. Includes:
BISAC to Thema
BISAC to BIC
New JUV/JNF to YA/YAF mappings
The BISAC Subject Headings List, also known as the BISAC Subject Codes List, is used to standardize the electronic transfer of subject information between trading partners.
BISAC Subject Headings can determine where books are shelved in a brick and mortar store or the genre(s) under which they can be searched for in an internal database.
BISAC Subject Headings describe the topical content of a book and do not cover non-content-oriented ways of grouping titles (such as "gift books"). Other fields in BISAC communications formats (language, audience, age range, grade range, format/ binding/packaging, supplementary format/binding/packaging, merchandising themes) are used to describe a book in ways not covered by the Subject Headings list. Since Merchandising Themes are closely related to Subject Headings, the Themes and codes used in this field are included at the end of the Subject Headings package (along with usage instructions).
Database access (purchased here) offers an end-user license allowing companies to incorporate BISAC into internal databases and systems. The license is FREE to BISG members; non-member pricing is based on annual company revenue and all fees go towards supporting BISG's costs for annual maintenance of the BISAC standard.
Database access includes the full BISAC Subject Headings lists in downloadable Word, Excel, and PDF formats; BIC-to-BISAC, BISAC-to-Thema and JUV/JNF to YA/YAF mappings; and End User License Agreement.
Alternatively, the complete BISAC Subject Headings list is available free online for anyone who wants to look up codes on a book-by-book basis.
To assist BISAC users who buy and sell internationally, BISG created a BISAC to Thema mapping and a BIC to BISAC mapping (included). Thema is the unified international standard for subject classification, intended to limit the need to map to multiple subject category schemes when buying and selling books across multiple geographic territories. The BISAC to Thema and BIC to BISAC mappings are included with the purchase of a BISAC license. Both mappings are updated annually.
At the request of a number of publishers, BISG's Subject Codes Committee introduced Young Adult Fiction and Young Adult Nonfiction Subject Codes in 2015. If you didn't update in 2015, you can still find these codes in the 2016 edition. BISG's Subject Codes Committee created a mapping of JUV/JNF BISAC subjects to the new YAN/YAF BISAC subjects. This is a basic one-to-one mapping from the JUV and JNF BISAC codes (2014 and 2015 editions) to the new YAF and YAN BISAC Codes (2015 edition).
The mapping table is intended for those who would like to programmatically move the BISAC subject codes of all young adult titles in their database from JUV to JNF codes to YAN and YAF codes. Users who are moving titles manually can also use the mapping as a reference.
The mapping is available for free to all BISAC purchasers and BISG members, and is included in the BISAC 2015 Edition package. For nonmembers wishing to download the mapping, please purchase and download the complete BISAC 2016 Edition package.