What ONIX is:
ONIX for Books is the international standard for representing and communicating book industry product information in electronic form.

ONIX stands for ONline Information eXchange and is an XML-based language used for computer-to-computer communication. It provides an accurate description of the product.

ONIX is a way of tagging information about your books—such as the ISBN, title, contributor, description, price, and availability. All of this data is needed to support the sale and marketing of your books in the supply chain.

BookNet’s Role:

BookNet Canada runs the Canadian Bibliographic Committee and sits on the international ONIX Committee that makes decisions about how to improve and expand ONIX standards to keep up with the needs of the industry. We have built quality reports into BiblioShare for quick and easy feedback, we’ve developed many resources to help you navigate ONIX, and are on-hand to troubleshoot things with you. If you would like to discuss changes to ONIX, send us a message.

Overviews & Beginners' Guides:

BNC 101: What Is ONIX?
New to ONIX? We’ve got the what, where, why and how so you can begin your journey towards familiarity. 

Overview from EDItEUR
EDItEUR is the international expert on all things book standard related. Check out their description of ONIX, its business benefits, development, maintenance and support team info, and more.

Best Practices for Product Metadata: Guide for North American Data Senders and Receivers [PDF]
Ready to dive right in? This manual has everything you need to know about creating the best possible ONIX files for your product. Bonus: the language is accessible even if you’re not an ONIX pro. Updated June 2015.

Staying Up-to-Date:

What’s New in ONIX and Bibliographic Standards
ONIX and Bibliographic Standards are a work in progress; they’re getting better every day. We’ve got the resources to keep you updated.

Further Resources:

BNC’s ONIX Information
Still haven’t realized the magnificence of ONIX when it comes to your book business? No problem. Let BookNet give you a couple more compelling resources.

Canadian Bibliographic Standard
Confused about what is required when it comes to bibliographic data? BookNet, the Book Industry Study Group, and EDItEUR are here to help you meet national and international standards.

ONIX Code Lists
Code lists are part of the fundamental language structure of an ONIX file. EDItEUR’s got your back when it comes to ONIX code lists new and old.

Tips & Best Practices:

Video Tutorial: Managing Sales Rights and Territory Statements in ONIX
Find out the best way to protect your sales rights and ensure clarity with your trading partners in your metadata.

Increase Sales & Lower Costs with Better Metadata
Learn why fine-tuning your ONIX game will increase the success of your business. We’ve made it easy with a step-by-step guide and a metadata glossary to boot!

Recommendations for Citing Common Core State Standards in ONIX
From the Book Industry Study Group, this handy document will help get your Common Core State Standard-aligned content discovered by teachers and educators.

Best Practices for Keywords in Metadata
How you can use keywords in your ONIX file to help readers discover your books

Transitioning from ONIX 2.1 to 3.0:

ONIX 3.0: Download the guides and lists you need to get started
ONIX 2.1 will no longer be supported after 2014. We suggest you jump in now and see what’s involved in transitioning to ONIX 3.0. The new version is more efficient and user friendly; once you adapt you’ll never go back (literally).

Using local DTD and XSD files after ONIX 2.1 sunset
ONIX 2.1 will no longer be supported after 2014. From January 2015, EDItEUR’s level of support for ONIX 2.1–which has been in use since mid-2003–will be reduced. If you are using 2.1, the removal of the XML tools–the DTD and XSD files hosted on EDiTEUR’s website–may cause problems in your IT systems. Never fear! Download these workaround instructions.


Let us know how we can help!

We want to help you with metadata and standards. If you have questions about industry standards and our resources haven’t answered them, please send us a message so we can lend a hand.