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Much of BISG's work in the area of standards and best practices happens within its committees and working groups, where industry professionals from all sectors of the supply chain come together to build consensus and develop standards, policies, best practices documents, and educational tools in support of greater efficiency for the entire publishing ecosystem. 

Current committees and working groups are listed below. To find out more about BISG committees and working groups, or to get involved, contact kim(at) 

If you are already a member of BISG, you can also go to your groups feature here when you are logged into the website to join any of the working groups or committees.



BISG's Coordinating Council is a forum comprised of the BISG committee chairs and BISG staff, convened to set and measure the activities of BISG's committees, while balancing them with BISG's wider efforts in standards and best practices, education, events, and research.

Composition of the BISG Coordinating Council

  • Coordinating Council Chair: Beat Barblan, Bowker
  • Committee chairs
  • The BISG staff

Role of the BISG Coordinating Council

  • Coordinate committee activities to maximize operating efficiency
  • Establish priorities for committees and validate resources, deliverables, and timelines
  • Establish measures of success 
  • Identify new initiatives and opportunities
  • Communicate committee work to the BISG Board of Directors, BISG membership, and the industry at large
  • Ensure strategic alignment of BISG committee work to BISG's other efforts in standards and best practices, education and events, and research

Method of decision making

  • Primary: consensus
  • Secondary: by majority vote

Criteria for prioritizing Committee activities

  • Business value to BISG membership
  • Business value to the publishing industry
  • Time to implement
  • Costs, both financial and opportunity
  • Impact




Join the committee here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

BISG's Content Structure Committee develops best practices for representing book content, whether destined for print or digital output and delivery.

The committee takes a practical and useful approach to providing short, easily digestible pieces of information (whether web posts, brief white papers, etc.) that address specific content structuring needs and related issues. A particular effort is made to involve or collaborate with other organizations working on related guidelines, such as EDItEUR, IDPF, and NISO. One of the top priorities for the committee is to support and promote the adoption of EPUB 3.

Content Structure Committee Chair
Bill Kasdorf, Apex Content Solutions

Committee Working Groups

Accessible Publishing Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

The Accessible Publishing Working Group is in the midst of developing educational resources to promote best practices for accessibility in publishing, including a Quick Start Guide to Accessibility. 

Accessible Publishing Working Group Chair: Robin Seaman, Benetech 

EPUB for Education Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

The EPUB for Education (formerly known as EDUPUB) working group is focused on building resources to facilitate the adoption of EPUB for Educational purposes, the EPUB profile now in development by the IDPF for next-generation educational content. The first outcome of the working group is the Getting Started with EDUPUB guide, available in Summer 2015.

EPUB for Education Working Group Chair: Paul Belfast, Jones & Barlett Learning

EPUB 3 Support Grid Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

The EPUB 3 Support Grid working group developed and maintains the BISG EPUB 3 Support Grid, now located as part of the site, through a partnership with the IDPF and the DAISY Consortium. The EPUB 3 Support Grid is a resource for publishers and reading systems developers for determining what features of EPUB 3 work on the most popular reading systems, apps, devices, and platforms, and is intended to promote widespread adoption of EPUB 3, the standard for cross-platform functionaliy of ebooks. 

EPUB 3 Support Grid Working Group Chair: Bill Kasdorf, Apex CoVantage

Fixed Layout for Ebooks Working Group (Dormant)

The Fixed Layout for Ebooks Working Group is focused on addressing the issues specific to creating fixed page layout for current ebook readers and platforms. In February 2013 the Working Group published version 1.0 of the Field Guide to Fixed Layout for Ebooks. Updates to the Field Guide are are made as needed, but the working group is currently dormant. 

Fixed Layout for Ebooks Working Group Chair: Dave Cramer, Senior Digital Publishing Technology Specialist at Hachette Book Group

Fonts for Ebooks Working Group (Dormant)

The Fonts for Ebooks Working Group provides education and guidance in how to obtain, manage, and use fonts for ebooks, with a particular emphasis on EPUB 3. The Working Group offers practical guidance and best practices for industry use in the form of FAQs, white papers, web posts, and the Field Guide to Fonts for Ebooks published in summer 2014. The guide will be updated as needed, but this group is currently dormant.

Fonts for Ebooks Working Group Chair: Lucy Albanese, Design Director at HarperCollins Publishers

Interactivity for Ebooks Working Group (Dormant)

Stay tuned for updates from BISG on the Interactivity Working Group! The group, having been dormant for the past year, may be reconstituted in late summer 2015 to complete work on the Field Guide to Interactivity for Ebooks




Join the committee here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

BISG's Identification Committee monitors, reviews, and develops best practices for the use of identifier standards in the book industry. It also contributes to the development of emerging identifier standards and the implementation of new ones.

In 2014 the committee completed a revision of BISG's Guide to Identifiers (formerly known as the Roadmap of Identifiers), updating the information to reflect current identifiers used throughout the publishing industry supply chain, and creating an interactive HTML-based diagram in addition to the formerly available PDF. Current focuses of the Committee include the revision of the ISBN standard currently in progress within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). BISG participates in the ISO working group (ISO TC46/SC9) responsible for the ISBN revision through the representation of the Committee Chair, Phil Madans.

Also on the committee's agenda is a look at the industry's need for a work-level identifier that uniquely identifies original content, such as the International Standard Text Code (ISTC). This discussion is ongoing, along with the investigation of business use cases for such an identifier across various sectors: publishers, retailers, libraries, and aggregators.

The Committee is also responsible for the publication of Best Practices for the Identifying Digital ContentBISG's official policy statement on the identification of digital products, revised in February 2013 to include or expand the sections on DRM and usage rights, recommendations for identifying content components, and more graphical representations of existing use cases. 

Identification Committee Chair
Phil Madans, Hachette Book Group




To join the committee, please go here. (Please note, this is a members only option. To Join BISG please go here.)

BISG's Metadata Committee oversees the development and maintenance of the ONIX for Books standard in the U.S. market. The committee suggests changes to the ONIX standard and its code lists, on behalf of the U.S. In addition, the committee acts as a forum for its members to discuss current issues in ONIX and metadata in general, sharing ideas and solutions across a broad spectrum of companies, including both data senders and recipients.

In addition to other ongoing work, the Committee published and maintains the Best Practices for Product Metadata: Guide for North American Data Senders and Receivers through regular updates. The most recent version of the document is available for download here

Metadata Committee Chair: Richard Stark, Barnes & Noble

Committee Working Groups

Product Data Certification Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

The Product Data Certification Working Group launched in November 2015. The working group is charge wtih developing a new ONIX data certification program using the new BISG Biblioshare site's certification engine, and the Product Metadata Best Practices as the foundation for the certification ruleset. BISG plans to implement the new program and launch it to the industry in spring 2016. 

Product Data Certification Working Group Co-Chairs: Tom Richardson, BookNetCanada and Margaret Harrison, Ingram Content Group 

ONIX 3.0 Implementation Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

The ONIX 3.0 Implementation working group is responsible for developing tools to assist the US book industry's transition from ONIX 2.1 to ONIX 3.0, including the ONIX 3.0 Implementation Grid, first published in June 2015 and upated in November 2015. Further to this publication, the group will focus on developing educational programs to encourage adoption and ease implementation of ONIX 3.0. 

ONIX 3.0 Implementation Working Group Chair: (Currently Vacant Position) Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

The Working Group is focused on identifying relationships between key ONIX elements and for enhanced discoverability of books in web browsers, and creating an ONIX to mapping to facilitate the ability to repurpose this metadata. Working Group Chair: Graham Bell, EDItEUR.

Keywords Working Group (Dormant)

The Keywords Working Group is responsible for publishing and updating the Best Practices for Keywords in Metadata, a guide for data providers and recipients detailing how to incorporate keywords into ONIX metadata to enhance book discovery. The guide was first published in May 2014 and is availabe for free download here. The working group is currently dormant. 

Keywords Working Group Chair: Jenny Bullough, Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Common Core Working Group (Dormant)

In June 2014, the Common Core Working Group published the Recommendations for Citing Common Core State Standards in ONIX, which describes how to use ONIX metadata to describe Common Core-aligned publications, as well as suggestions for changes to ONIX for better citation of Common Core-aligned texts. The document has since been revised and updated to include broader recommendations for citing educational standards and objectives by the Educational Taxonomy Working Group. The working group is currently dormant.

Common Core Working Group Chair: Patricia Payton, Bowker




Join the committee here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

Through its Rights Committee, BISG develops, maintains and advocates industry-wide best practices designed to support the standardized electronic transmission of a defined set of rights information between trading partners, now and in the future. 

Following a brief hiatus in 2013 and early 2014, BISG organized a Rights Summit in June 2014 to reassess BISG's role in mitigating issues in the discovery, management, and licensing of rights in the book industry through the work of the Rights Committee. The outcome of the Summit is summarized in this white paper. Slides from the Summit are freely available here

The Committee was reconstituted in December 2014, and is currently focused on research to determine the value of and specific needs for a set of standards or best practices for improved rights management, discovery, communications and transactions. 

Committee Chair
Ashley Mabbitt, Director of International Rights, John Wiley & Sons

Committee Working Groups

Rights Standards Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

This working group was formed in March 2015, and is charged with conducting research to determine the interest among rights community stakeholders in a set of standards for rights terminology and transactions, to better understand how to meet the needs of the industry and the role of standards to ease friction in this area. 

Rights Standards Working Group Chair: Ashley Mabbitt, Director of International Rights, John Wiley & Sons



Join the committee here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  


BISG's Subject Codes Committee maintains the BISAC Subject Headings, Merchandising Themes and Regional Themes, and provides guidance on the implementation and use of the lists by publishers, retailers and other interested parties.

Committee Chair
Connie Harbison, Baker & Taylor

Committee Working Groups

Educational Taxonomy Working Group (Dormant)

Reporting to the Subject Codes Committee, this working group has updated and expanded upon the Common Core Working Group’s Recommendations for Citing Common Core State Standards in ONIX to create The Educational Taxonomy and the Recommendations for Citing Educational Standards and Objectives in Metadata. The Educational Taxonomy is an organized list of key terms used to describe learning objectives within books and other educational resources. Common learning objectives among Common Core, Next Generation Science, and other emerging educational standards were evaluated to create the taxonomy. The taxonomy and revised recommendation dcoument will be published in June 2015.

Educational Standards Taxonomy Working Group Co-Chairs: Connie Harbison, Baker & Taylor and Patricia Payton, Bowker

Thema Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

The Thema Working Group contributed to the development of the Thema international standard for book subject classification, and continues to monitor revisions to the standard. Following the publication of Thema version 1.0 in late 2013, the group completed the BISAC to Thema mapping, and resumes meetings to update the mapping on an annual basis, as updates are made to both Thema and BISAC. BISG members receive the mapping for free; non-members may obtain a copy of the mapping by purchasing a copy of the BISAC Subject Headingslist

Thema is managed by EDItEUR. Further details about Thema can be found on the EDItEUR website here. EDItEUR has also opened a mailing list for Thema implementation queries. Anyone can join the Thema list here.

Thema Working Group Chair: Michael Olenick, Bowker




Join the committee here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

BISG's Supply Chain Committee investigates and formulates new methods, or enhances existing methods, that increase the efficiency of book manufacturing and distribution processes. 

BISG stepped back to refocus this committee's priorities based on feedback from a supply chain pain points survey circulated in early spring 2015 as well as the Manufacturing & Distrubtions Summit held on April 28, 2015 at the Book Manufacturers' Institute annual Management Conference. The Committee resumed meeting in October 2015 under new leadership, and has formed two new working groups (see below). 

Supply Chain Committee Chair
Shayna Webb Dray, Kaplan Publishing

Committee Working Groups

Commerce Standards & Optimization Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

The Commerce Standards & Optimization Working Group's mission is to review, develop, and promote processes and best practices within the book supply chain across publishers, suppliers, trading partners, and retailers.

Commerce Standards & Optimization Working Group Chair: Ed Spade (Ingram) 

Product & Packaging Best Practices Working Group

Join the working group here (option for members only, if you'd like to join BISG please go here).  

The Product & Packaging Best Practices Working Group is currently being formed and will begin by updating BISG's Guidelines for Shipping Container Labeling, and proceed to promote best practices for product materials, packaging and labeling.

Product & Packaging Best Practices Working Group Chair: Nanette Delumpa-Roach (B&N)



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