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Delivering Timely, High-Quality Metadata

Monday, March 19, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brian O'Leary

Through its committees and working groups, BISG surfaces and addresses problems that touch two or more parts of the book industry supply chain. Over the past year, we’ve been particularly focused on the work required to deliver timely, high-quality metadata throughout the book industry supply chain.

This effort started as something narrower: an effort to promote the use ONIX 3.0, the current metadata standard, in the U.S. market. At BISG, we still want to help make that happen, but it requires the agreement of data recipients, particularly retailers, something we can encourage but cannot require.

While we work on ONIX 3, a broader conversation about metadata cannot wait. As the bulk of discovery has moved online, with growing use of mobile devices as the first screen, the importance of delivering timely, high-quality metadata has never been greater.

To address the issues that affect our ability to provide and process high-quality metadata, BISG has scheduled three one-day meetings with providers (May 17), recipients (July 25), and both (a joint summit set for September 17). These meetings will surface issues that providers and recipients can work on separately or jointly, with the goal of adopting an industry plan of action at or after the September meeting.

Although the topic has been a regular part of the metadata committee for the past year, we are also gathering industry data. We fielded two surveys last week, one targeted at metadata providers, the other addressing metadata recipients. Some companies might see themselves in both categories, and they were invited to fill out both surveys.

We are also reaching out to specific companies throughout the supply chain, to better understand the issues, concerns, and opportunities we can address in the three in-person discussions planned in 2018. The results of the survey, these interviews, and committee discussions will shape the agendas for these meetings.

While BISG is a membership-led organization, the three metadata meetings and all outreach efforts will include both members and non-members. There’s always a value in joining BISG – participation in committee deliberations is an important example – but we want to conversation about delivering high-quality metadata to be relevant to the industry, not just to our membership.

This work is guided by a comprehensive plan for 2018 that we have posted on the BISG web site. If you’re interested in being part of any of these meetings, contact BISG and let us know where you’d like to join us. The two surveys will be open until the end of March, and you can expect a report out by mid April.


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