Press room

New Global Subject Codes Standard Launches at Frankfurt Book Fair

Collaborative Effort Is Underway to Internationalize Book Classification

Frankfurt, Germany (October 10, 2012) — Book industry representatives from 14 countries announced today the formation of a new, global standard to categorize and classify book content by subject. The project, initially known as “Thema,” was first announced during the Tools of Change Supply Chain Conference taking place during the Frankfurt International Book Fair.

“This is a very important step forward in creating a truly global community of book data,” said Jesús Peraita, Technical Director of DILVE, within the FGEE (Federación de Gremios de Editores de España), the group’s first chair. “Thema will not only facilitate the sale of content across borders, but is also flexible enough to allow each market to retain its unique cultural voice.”

A new, independent organization created to manage Thema will be governed by a multinational Board of Directors. Countries currently participating in the Thema project include: Australia, Austria, Canada,  France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Pan Arab Group, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Thema will continue the work already begun by the iBIC project managed out of the United Kingdom.  Book Industry Communication (BIC) and Nielsen Book, who jointly own iBIC, have graciously donated the iBIC intellectual property to the Thema Board for the creation of the global standard.

“We greatly appreciate what BIC and Nielsen have done,” said Noah Genner, CEO of BookNet Canada, “and we look forward to growing and expanding that work under Thema. We encourage all national groups to get involved. There is no doubt that bringing clarity to classification will help us all sell more books domestically and internationally. “

The new standard is meant, initially, to work alongside existing standards such as BIC, BISAC, CLIL etc. The long range goal is to move all markets to the global standard, helping to eliminate confusion among both upstream and downstream trading partners. BookNet Canada, working through the auspices of its Bibliographic Committee, will have responsibility for the application of the standard in Canada.

For more information, interested parties should contact Noah Genner ( or Jesus Peraita at A temporary website has been published at


About BookNet Canada

BookNet Canada is the non-profit agency created by the Canadian book industry and the Department of Canadian Heritage to facilitate improvements in the book industry supply chain. It provides services and develops standards and certification in areas including electronic commerce, bibliographic data, and analysis of point-of-sales and other supply chain data.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for this project. / Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du Fonds du livre du Canada (FLC) pour ce projet.

Noah Genner
BookNet Canada