Thema me up, Scotty

Thema version 1.2 released

A new version of Thema (1.2) has been released into the world, and everyone should download it. EDItEUR has everything you need here, along with some easy-to-follow basic instructions that have recently been revised. In this latest release, Thema has introduced 125 new subject categories and supports 180 new national extensions (though no changes have been made to the Canadian extensions). The old categories are still intact, and previous codes in Thema have not been significantly modified or deleted, which is excellent news for your backlist. 

Why use Thema?

The more information retailers have on your titles, the better chance your titles have of being discovered and ultimately sold. Subject classifications are key, and while North America continues to rely mainly on BISAC classifications, Thema aims to be globally used and eliminate the need for scheme-to-scheme mapping by:

  1. supporting international sales more effectively than BISAC, which is mainly tailored to the North American market.
  2. providing more support for Canadian marketing through its extensive system of National Extensions, which allow you to tailor your metadata to specific regions while still keeping up with a global standard.

Is there support for Thema, though?

While a global standard that can be customized down to specific regions sounds great, it's useless if there's no North American support for it. Fortunately, Canadian retailers are becoming more aware of Thema's benefits and Indigo will be accepting Thema subject classifications as part of its current initiative to improve their metadata resources.

At BookNet, we've seen use of Thema in BiblioShare increase five-fold in the past year and we've provided this BISAC-to-Thema Translator to help bridge the gap between the two schemes.

Get involved

If you want to be more involved in Thema, or are looking for a place to seek help, you can join the Canadian English Language Thema User Group. Beyond being a place to seek help, this forum also provides a way for the Canadian publishing supply chain to propose changes and support new Canadian extensions as well as influence the direction of Thema development overall. Contact us at for more information.

You can also join the International Thema Implementers User Group by contacting EDItEUR at