Thema
Tom Richardson
Neha Thanki
June 23, 2014
1. Subjects in Context
2. Thema Overview
3. Thema Implementation
Thema in 3 easy pieces
Subjects in Context
Subject
Audience
Audience Range
Why do publishers supply these
metadata values?
They allow your trading partners, librarians, and
other data users to
• select the right books, and
• winnow book lists do...
These are broad, generalized values but without
them the only option to differentiate between
Trade Fiction and Picture Bo...
Don’t contradict yourself.
• Pairing a General Trade audience code with a
Juvenile subject is a contradiction of terms.
Do...
All Juvenile and Young Adult books need
Audience Range
coding to support at least interest age as well as
grade and readin...
It will be used to present your books to
consumers, provide structure to websites,
catalogues and other systems that help
...
• Trade Book Classification
• Library Book Classification
• Keywords
Types of Subject Classifications
Done by librarians to classify books within broad
world knowledge based systems – LC and Dewey.
Publishers don’t need to d...
Best Practices for Keywords in Metadata
https://www.bisg.org/publications/best-
practices-keywords-metadata
and the subjec...
• Limited vocabulary
• Subjects are groupings of books that are
available for sale.
It exists to provide RETAILERS (and th...
Both
Thema and BISAC
are trade book classification systems.
• Mandatory on ALL books sold.
• A single subject to describe the book’s main
subject.
• Be specific – this is used by oth...
• Use as many additional subjects as
appropriate, but fewer are better.
• Use the highest code in the hierarchy.
Additiona...
Thema Overview
Thema is live!
• Version 1.0 was released November 2013
• BISAC to Thema Mapping and support is
available
• 2014 is the ye...
A single subject classification scheme supporting
global trade for all book products
Physical or Digital
for the purpose o...
It’s a possible replacement for BISAC Subjects.
(But no Canadian or US retailer wants publishers to stop
supporting BISAC ...
It will replace BIC Subjects.
(The current version of BIC is the last one. The UK will
use Thema for future updates.)
Them...
It just a system of codes that establishes a book’s
Main Subject and Additional Subjects
for retailers, done for the same ...
Publishers could clearly communicate all
product data internationally
– except subject classification.
The need was obvious
Thema can replace local schemes and the need
for endless mappings & conversions.
Retailers and anyone using international
...
Digital metadata is international.
This is obvious
AIE
Amazon.co.uk
Australian PA
Baker & Taylor
Barnes & Noble
BIC
BISG
Bokrondellen
Booknet Canada
Bowker
BTLF
CB
Danish PA...
National Groups are formed and include all
English speaking markets.
Governance is similar to ONIX and run by
EDItEUR.
The...
Thema
• Supports both the English and French
language supply chains in a single list.
• English and French Thema governance is
d...
1KBC
Canada’s Thema Geography Code already has
148
sub-codes
and there are 7 additional Canada
specific political and soci...
• Thema has the potential to provide
better coverage of Canadian subjects.
• Thema gives Canadian publishers better
suppor...
BISAC to Thema Translator
http://bisactothema.biblioshare.org/
BISAC to Thema Translator Manual
https://booknetcanada.atla...
• Continue to provide BISAC Subjects on new
titles and maintain it on their backlist.
• Begin supplying Thema Subjects and...
Canadian and international retailers, or any
other service provider, can’t adopt Thema
(or any new metadata standard) unti...
Thema is a positive and useful
standard for Canadian publishing
that deserves rapid adoption.
Thema Implementation
Get the documents from EDItEUR site
www.editeur.org/151/Thema
• Version 1.0 headings and code (Excel)
• Basic Instructions...
2. Familiarize yourself
The Basic Instruction PDF is short – 12 pages:
1. Introduction (pg 1)
2. Structure (pg 1-2)
3. Six...
7. Use in ONIX (pg 10-11)
8. In other formats (pg 12)
Technical staff (implementers or receivers) will
find pages 10 to 12...
The 20 Subject Categories by
Their Code’s Leading Character
A The Arts
C Language & Linguistics
D Bio., Lit. & Lit. Studie...
The 6 Qualifier Lists by
Their Code’s Leading Number
1 Geographical
2 Language
3 Time period
4 Educational Purpose
5 Age &...
Available on the following Qualifier Lists:
• Geography (Canada has 155)
• Time Period
• Educational Purpose
• Interest Ag...
YBC
Children’s picture books
Plus Qualifier List 5 has
Merchandising codes:
5HCJ Mother’s Day
Love You Forever
NHF
Asian history
1KBC-CA-OSM
Greater Toronto Area
3MNQX c 1880 to c 1889
3MNQZ c 1890 to c 1899
3MP c 1900 to c 1999
The ...
1 Geography
1K The Americas
1KB North America
1KBC Canada
Hierarchy and National Extensions
Example Code: 1KBC-CA-OSM
-CA-...
Any database or metadata suite that can handle
• repeatable subjects
And assumes a subject is represented by
• a defining ...
Make sure your system can distinguish between
the book’s Main Subject and its Additional
Subjects.
A Main Subject is the O...
Can you export Thema codes in ONIX or any
other document?
If you use ONIX 2.1, does your software support
the Main Subject...
Raise awareness among
• Marketing staff
• IT or your software vendor
• Editorial and data quality – who will
have new leve...
No retailer can implement their Thema
program until they have data to vet, but
you can make sure they know what
you’re doi...
Thema
• Code front list and best selling titles
• Map codes from existing scheme for
backlist
Review and update coding bas...
Thema
At this point there’s no such thing
• Maintain BISAC Subjects and apply them as
you have in the past.
Retailers need...
Thema
• BISG’s BISAC to Thema mapping
• ^ awesome because your titles (should)
already have BISAC codes!
• BISAC to Thema ...
BookNet has set up a Google Group Email list:
“A discussion board for the Canadian English
language publishing supply chai...
Shy? Have a question you don’t want in front of
your peers?
You can solicit help from BNC staff at the same
email.
biblio@...
The Thema National Group for Canada
(English Language Supply Chain) needs a few
good people to read, think, and represent ...
Thank you
biblio@booknetcanada.ca
Tom Richardson: trichardson@booknetcanada.ca
Neha Thanki: nthanki@booknetcanada.ca
http:...
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Thema webinar from BookNet Canada, June 2014

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Thema is a new international subject classification standard for books. It should be used in addition to BISAC (the North American subject classification standard). Download these slides for helpful information on what Thema is, why you should use it, and how to start implementing it.

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  • Like all metadata, you’re supplying data points to populate another company’s system, but why?
  • Subject and audience values are used to do “selects” – create book lists. End users pre-process the data to make their sites work. They group, assess, classify books to fit their and their perceived customer needs. Subject and audience information are the first thing they use.
  • In most organizations the right person, and it’s likely one specific person, has to see your book information if it’s be dealt with properly. And for smaller publishers automated data cleaning routines are more likely to interact with your file than someone looking at the data, let alone a copy of the book.
  • So your best protection is to be both professional and specific. Don’t contradict or repeat yourself. You’ve got to trust that the end user is using your data in an equally systematic and professional way – and support them in that by providing information they can use.
  • This is just stuff from the Joint BNC / BISG Best Practices for North American Data Suppliers. If you don’t have the version released in 2013 you should get it.
  • It’s a sad truth but Audience metadata, and to a lesser extent Subject information, is the most likely part of any publisher’s book record to be modified by third parties.
  • So that’s the general lay of the meta-land. My focus here is describe Trade Book Classification, but first let’s look at two other types of “Subject” coding you might use.
  • Library subjects are created by librarians – with training in doing it right. It’s up to the individual publisher, but I’ve never understood why more use isn’t made of C.I.P. data in ONIX – you have it on file for all your books and it contains library subject coding. If nothing else it provides an alternate vehicle for discovery. There’s never a guarantee retailers will use it but libraries would. I can say BiblioShare gets requests for this sort of data and that we’re working with libraries who need it.
  • This is important – and retailers are looking for Keywords – so there’s a whole webinar upcoming and Best Practice Document on this, but for this discussion you might consider Keywords a way to flesh out and personalize Trade Book Classification – bridge it’s severely limited vocabulary with the terms real people might use.
  • Librarians are generally trying to classify books so that their clients – researchers and the public – can access the ideas and knowledge within them. The number of books written about the subject is irrelevant. OK: Ideas, knowledge and enjoyment are why books are written, but the goal in Trade Book Classification is to make manageable for retailers the great morass of books available for sale -- today. It’s actually all about the volume of books available.

    The point here is that Trade Book Classifications systems are related to the book’s subject but intentionally limit their vocabulary to a humanly manageable amount – which seems to be something between 1000 and 3000 subjects or so. And they are intended to be used without specific training. Let me re-phrase that: Your business probably uses a subset of any trade book classification system and should understand how retailers want your books classified. Publishers have a reasonable expectation that retailers should know something about marketing different subjects (or they should cultivate retailers who do). There’s lots of skill and choice here – but really all that’s being done here is taking the huge volume of books published down to a scale where someone with broad knowledge of an area can find your book. And it’s not about classifying a specific book perfectly.
  • I hope you knew this one already. Trade book classification systems exist for the publishing supply chain – not libraries, not government -- they’re ours to use – and contribute to. These other groups care too much about our classifications because they are the only ones we supply and distribute systematically – and that’s something we as an industry should think a bit about but that’s beyond this discussion.

    Trade Book Classifications are ours and publishers and retailers SHOULD be looking to add and change the vocabulary in them because what’s published, who buys and what sells changes over time.
  • Trade book classifications have two components: A Main Subject and Additional Subjects. Every book should have a “main” subject. No one cares how many subjects the book covers – you supply the primary one – a single subject as primary.

    If that bothers you think of it as the way to direct your book to the very best “gatekeeper” at a retailer – there’s never more than one so there can only be one Main Subject. And don’t forget that it has to make sense with the rest of the metadata, especially the Audience data.

    And be specific!! Very few books are truly “General” and trade book classifications are usually criticized as being too crude. The codes are hierarchical and the ‘gatekeepers’ are professionals, who actually know that “Fiction, Historical Romance” means it’s a fiction book. Don’t insult them with a “General” classification unless it’s genuinely the value that fits the book.
  • Think of additional subjects as way to highlight “other shelves” in the bookstore that a book could be placed. Does a book of stunning photographs that explore what became of Civil War battlefields belong in Photography or History. Well, choose the “gatekeeper you think the book would appeal to the most, and supply the other as an additional subject. Let the retailer market the book to their customers based on that.

    Don’t overuse codes. If you find yourself listing a series of “subset” codes and there’s an overarching one in the subject hierarchy, no one is going to thank you for pointing out your book includes all the sub-disciplines.

    Publishers complain that every additional code is an expense. And it is – for everyone in the supply chain. Place your book where customers will look for it -- not where they might find it through serendipity. Too many or inappropriate subject coding doesn’t help anyone sell your book.
  • Thema webinar from BookNet Canada, June 2014

    1. 1. Thema Tom Richardson Neha Thanki June 23, 2014
    2. 2. 1. Subjects in Context 2. Thema Overview 3. Thema Implementation Thema in 3 easy pieces
    3. 3. Subjects in Context
    4. 4. Subject Audience Audience Range Why do publishers supply these metadata values?
    5. 5. They allow your trading partners, librarians, and other data users to • select the right books, and • winnow book lists down. These metadata values are used to direct book metadata within organizations to professionals and decisions makers who specialize in areas like Children’s Books, Nonfiction, Romance, etc.
    6. 6. These are broad, generalized values but without them the only option to differentiate between Trade Fiction and Picture Books is manual vetting. Most organizations will direct a book based on what you tell them in the metadata, but if it goes to the wrong gatekeeper it may not go further.
    7. 7. Don’t contradict yourself. • Pairing a General Trade audience code with a Juvenile subject is a contradiction of terms. Don’t repeat codes. • Coding is hierarchical – you don’t need to supply a “Fiction-General” code if you’ve supplied a specific fiction code. Be professional and specific
    8. 8. All Juvenile and Young Adult books need Audience Range coding to support at least interest age as well as grade and reading age values if appropriate. Ranges should be specific (3 years or less). Support the metadata fully
    9. 9. It will be used to present your books to consumers, provide structure to websites, catalogues and other systems that help consumers find (and buy) the book. at best by a cursory assessment with little chance of appeal. If your data is accurate If not, your data is replaced
    10. 10. • Trade Book Classification • Library Book Classification • Keywords Types of Subject Classifications
    11. 11. Done by librarians to classify books within broad world knowledge based systems – LC and Dewey. Publishers don’t need to do this -- or have the training required -- but most books have C I P Cataloguing In Publication information on file. Why not add that information to your to your metadata to help support library sales? Library Subject Classifications
    12. 12. Best Practices for Keywords in Metadata https://www.bisg.org/publications/best- practices-keywords-metadata and the subject of a future BNC Webinar. Keywords are a discovery tool, a way to provide search term alternatives, but they provide an important way to add specificity to generalized Trade Book Classification Keywords
    13. 13. • Limited vocabulary • Subjects are groupings of books that are available for sale. It exists to provide RETAILERS (and their customers) a guide to the “right section” and “right shelf” of their bookstore or on-line site. Trade Book Classification
    14. 14. Both Thema and BISAC are trade book classification systems.
    15. 15. • Mandatory on ALL books sold. • A single subject to describe the book’s main subject. • Be specific – this is used by other publishing professionals. Main Subject
    16. 16. • Use as many additional subjects as appropriate, but fewer are better. • Use the highest code in the hierarchy. Additional Subject(s)
    17. 17. Thema Overview
    18. 18. Thema is live! • Version 1.0 was released November 2013 • BISAC to Thema Mapping and support is available • 2014 is the year of implementation
    19. 19. A single subject classification scheme supporting global trade for all book products Physical or Digital for the purpose of Trade Book classification for retailers. What is Thema?
    20. 20. It’s a possible replacement for BISAC Subjects. (But no Canadian or US retailer wants publishers to stop supporting BISAC yet – and BISG plans to continue to support BISAC indefinitely.) Thema is new
    21. 21. It will replace BIC Subjects. (The current version of BIC is the last one. The UK will use Thema for future updates.) Thema is new
    22. 22. It just a system of codes that establishes a book’s Main Subject and Additional Subjects for retailers, done for the same reasons you use BISAC or BIC now. It’s a molehill, not a mountain. Thema isn’t a big time commitment
    23. 23. Publishers could clearly communicate all product data internationally – except subject classification. The need was obvious
    24. 24. Thema can replace local schemes and the need for endless mappings & conversions. Retailers and anyone using international metadata saw the advantage immediately. The need was obvious
    25. 25. Digital metadata is international. This is obvious
    26. 26. AIE Amazon.co.uk Australian PA Baker & Taylor Barnes & Noble BIC BISG Bokrondellen Booknet Canada Bowker BTLF CB Danish PA Dilve Editis Electre Elkotob.com Elsevier Giant Chair Guild of Book Dealers (Russia) Hachette HarperCollins Informazioni Editoriali Ingram Japan Publishers Organisation Kobo Kogan Page Libri MVB Nielsen Book Norske Bokdatabasen NTCPDS China Random House Springer Waterstones Sign-in was rapid
    27. 27. National Groups are formed and include all English speaking markets. Governance is similar to ONIX and run by EDItEUR. Thema is being used now. Europe has active use.
    28. 28. Thema
    29. 29. • Supports both the English and French language supply chains in a single list. • English and French Thema governance is distinct and independent of each other, while cooperating on the final code list. Why is it needed for Canada?
    30. 30. 1KBC Canada’s Thema Geography Code already has 148 sub-codes and there are 7 additional Canada specific political and socioeconomic codes Why is it needed for Canada?
    31. 31. • Thema has the potential to provide better coverage of Canadian subjects. • Thema gives Canadian publishers better support for international sales. Why is it needed for Canada?
    32. 32. BISAC to Thema Translator http://bisactothema.biblioshare.org/ BISAC to Thema Translator Manual https://booknetcanada.atlassian.net/wiki/displa y/UserDocs/BISAC+to+Thema+Translator Help: bisactothema@booknetcanada.ca The tools are in place
    33. 33. • Continue to provide BISAC Subjects on new titles and maintain it on their backlist. • Begin supplying Thema Subjects and Qualifiers on new titles and backlist as soon as possible to facilitate retailer adoption and help identify problems. Data suppliers are asked to
    34. 34. Canadian and international retailers, or any other service provider, can’t adopt Thema (or any new metadata standard) until publishers begin to provide data. It’s up to publishers first
    35. 35. Thema is a positive and useful standard for Canadian publishing that deserves rapid adoption.
    36. 36. Thema Implementation
    37. 37. Get the documents from EDItEUR site www.editeur.org/151/Thema • Version 1.0 headings and code (Excel) • Basic Instructions (PDF) • Executive briefing (PDF) 1. Gather materials
    38. 38. 2. Familiarize yourself The Basic Instruction PDF is short – 12 pages: 1. Introduction (pg 1) 2. Structure (pg 1-2) 3. Six Rules and Two Notes (pg 3-4) 4. Subject Categories summary (pg 4-7) 5. Qualifiers summary (pg 7-8) 6. Examples (pg 9)
    39. 39. 7. Use in ONIX (pg 10-11) 8. In other formats (pg 12) Technical staff (implementers or receivers) will find pages 10 to 12 helpful as it has information about what valid codes should look like as well as guidelines for how and why to truncate codes. 2. Familiarize yourself
    40. 40. The 20 Subject Categories by Their Code’s Leading Character A The Arts C Language & Linguistics D Bio., Lit. & Lit. Studies F Fiction & Related G Reference & Interdisciplinary J Society & Social Studies K Economics, Finance, Business L Law M Medicine & Nursing N History P Mathematics & Science Q Philosophy & Religion R Earth Sci., Geography T Technology, Engin., Agric. S Sports & Outdoor Recreation U Computing & Info Technology V Health, Relationships W Lifestyle, Hobbies & Leisure X Graphic Novels, etc. Y Children’s, Teenager, & Educ.
    41. 41. The 6 Qualifier Lists by Their Code’s Leading Number 1 Geographical 2 Language 3 Time period 4 Educational Purpose 5 Age & Special Interest 6 Style
    42. 42. Available on the following Qualifier Lists: • Geography (Canada has 155) • Time Period • Educational Purpose • Interest Age & Special Interest Neither Language nor Style Qualifiers have national extensions. National Extensions
    43. 43. YBC Children’s picture books Plus Qualifier List 5 has Merchandising codes: 5HCJ Mother’s Day Love You Forever
    44. 44. NHF Asian history 1KBC-CA-OSM Greater Toronto Area 3MNQX c 1880 to c 1889 3MNQZ c 1890 to c 1899 3MP c 1900 to c 1999 The Chinese in Toronto from 1878
    45. 45. 1 Geography 1K The Americas 1KB North America 1KBC Canada Hierarchy and National Extensions Example Code: 1KBC-CA-OSM -CA- Canadian Nat Extension O Ontario OS Southwestern ON OSM Greater Toronto
    46. 46. Any database or metadata suite that can handle • repeatable subjects And assumes a subject is represented by • a defining code value • In association with a unique code Should be able to support Thema – or any subject system in ONIX. 3. Assess your systems
    47. 47. Make sure your system can distinguish between the book’s Main Subject and its Additional Subjects. A Main Subject is the ONE mandatory Subject Code Qualifiers may also be part of Main Subject, but generally Qualifiers are “additional” subject support. 3. Assess your systems
    48. 48. Can you export Thema codes in ONIX or any other document? If you use ONIX 2.1, does your software support the Main Subject Composite? 3. Assess your systems
    49. 49. Raise awareness among • Marketing staff • IT or your software vendor • Editorial and data quality – who will have new levels of accuracy available in subjects. 4. Get your company on-board
    50. 50. No retailer can implement their Thema program until they have data to vet, but you can make sure they know what you’re doing. They’ll likely want to test your data! 5. Talk to your trading partners
    51. 51. Thema • Code front list and best selling titles • Map codes from existing scheme for backlist Review and update coding based on what you’ve learned • Export as metadata (notify recipients) Review and update coding based on feedback from retailers Implementation Milestones
    52. 52. Thema At this point there’s no such thing • Maintain BISAC Subjects and apply them as you have in the past. Retailers need time to make a transition. Neither Thema nor BISAC are, or should be considered a substitute for support for • Keywords • Library subject headings Legacy subject schemes
    53. 53. Thema • BISG’s BISAC to Thema mapping • ^ awesome because your titles (should) already have BISAC codes! • BISAC to Thema Translator • Demo! www.bisactothema.biblioshare.org Starting from BISAC
    54. 54. BookNet has set up a Google Group Email list: “A discussion board for the Canadian English language publishing supply chain to trade tips and information about the Thema book subject classification system.” Join by sending a request to the above email. Problems? biblio@booknetcanada.ca
    55. 55. Shy? Have a question you don’t want in front of your peers? You can solicit help from BNC staff at the same email. biblio@booknetcanada.ca
    56. 56. The Thema National Group for Canada (English Language Supply Chain) needs a few good people to read, think, and represent the needs of our supply chain in international decisions (not to mention a better name). The Group Discussion Board is a good starting point on this. Participate? biblio@booknetcanada.ca
    57. 57. Thank you biblio@booknetcanada.ca Tom Richardson: trichardson@booknetcanada.ca Neha Thanki: nthanki@booknetcanada.ca http://www.booknetcanada.ca Sign up for free BNC eNews facebook.com/BookNetCanada @booknet_canada

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