BIC's ONIX: Essentials Training Course (online)

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This intensive, online training course introduces the ONIX standard and the essentials of producing, managing & disseminating book metadata.

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BIC ONIX: Essentials training course (online)




This intensive training course (provided as an online course in two, half-day training sessions) introduces the ONIX standard and the essentials of producing, managing, and disseminating book metadata. It mixes the background and theory of metadata with real-world practice and guidance in an approachable but authoritative way.



Delegates will be provided with all the vital information to understand the basics of ONIX and how it is used in the book industry. 



This course is suitable for beginners with no knowledge of ONIX, although it will also be of value to those familiar with ONIX. It is aimed at staff with management responsibility for metadata, either in editorial, IT, marketing, or production within a publisher, or in similar roles within distribution and retailing. It is not highly technical, but software developers seeking to understand ONIX would benefit from this course.



Prior to the course, we will contact delegates to enquire if they have specific areas of concern / interest. So although each course can be tailored to a certain degree, the overall content is as follows:  


1) Introduction:

  • Explanation of what ONIX is, with typical use cases
  • Brief history of ONIX and its governance
  • Brief overview of the other ONIX standards, e.g. for ONIX serials, ONIX for transactional messages, etc.


2) More Detail:

  • Overview discussion of the different versions of ONIX, i.e. 2.1 vs 3.0 
  • More detail on ONIX for Books 2.1
  • More detail on ONIX for Books 3.0 
  • Business benefits of: using ONIX; the BIC Product Data Excellence Award (PDEA) Accreditation Scheme 
  • Introduction to XML syntax
  • Semantics and code lists 
  • ONIX for Books data feeds and best practice


3) Key Data Elements:

  • Record reference 
  • Product identifier
  • Contributor 
  • Titles 
  • Sets, series, collections 
  • Subject codes (BIC, BISAC, Thema, CBMC, etc.)
  • Keywords 
  • Descriptive text and reviews 
  • Imprint and publisher 
  • Territorial rights 
  • Related works and products 
  • Supply details and pricing


4) Best Practice Guidelines


Read the full course outline here.



Graham Bell

Executive Director



Graham is Executive Director of EDItEUR, and is responsible for the overall development of EDItEUR’s standards and the management services it provides on behalf of other standards organisations (ISNI International Agency and the International DOI Foundation). He joined EDItEUR as its Chief Data Architect in 2010, focusing on the continuing development and application of ONIX for Books, Thema, EDItX and on other EDItEUR standards for the global books and serials sectors.

Graham is an experienced trainer and speaker. He previously worked for HarperCollins Publishers in the UK, where most recently he was Head of Publishing Systems.

Chris Saynor

Standards Editor



Chris is responsible for EDItEUR's book publishing standards including ONIX, Thema and EDItX. He joined the organisation in late 2016. For the previous eight years, Chris worked for GiantChair Inc. in Paris as a metadata specialist and project manager, and has been responsible for implementation of the Onixsuite application in many publishing organisations. He is widely known for his work with French industry liaison body CLIL and with BISG committees. Prior to that, Chris has a 20-year background in bookselling with Waterstones and WHSmith. 


"The course was excellent – no improvement required for the content of the course at all." - Huw Alexander, SAGE Publications


"The course was very well structured and thorough. The trainer explained everything in detail and with clear examples. Plenty of opportunities for discussion and questions." - Nia Beynon, Faber & Faber

Read more feedback from our past attendees, here.


Tuesday 3rd - Wednesday 4th November 2020.

This course will run thrice in 2020.



BIC is committed to providing high quality, accessible training for the book industry. We are able to provide both bespoke courses and in-house training to suit your requirements. This courses is suitable for in-house training so please do contact us to request further information or to make a booking:



Online / Virtual Training.



This is a full day course which will be delivered in two, half-day training sessions, 1pm-5pm (GMT) on the dates specified, above.



BIC & EDItEUR Members £240 + VAT

Friends of BIC £285 + VAT

Non Members £325 + VAT


Additional discount available: Please note that any individual who registers to attend both the BIC ONIX: Essentials and ONIX: Advanced Topics training courses on consecutive days will be eligible to receive a £100 discount on the combined cost of their tickets. This offer is open to BIC & EDItEUR Members, Friends of BIC and Non-Members. Contact BIC ( for further information and to receive your discount code (prior to booking your place); tickets purchased using this discount code will not be transferrable within your organisation. This offer can not be used in conjunction with any other or discount code.


Discounted rates apply to BIC and EDItEUR members only.

Not sure if your organisation is a BIC or EDItEUR member? Check the BIC Members list here and the EDItEUR Members list here.


Alternative Payment Option: If you would prefer BIC to invoice your organisation directly, please contact us: Please note that this process will incur a £20.00 administration fee.



Created by the book industry, for the book industry

For an empowered, informed supply chain

Established in 1991, BIC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation without commercial objective or emphasis. We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with key stakeholders in the UK book industry to produce quality training courses that are created and delivered by expert, highly respected trainers on a wide range of supply chain topics. Being a not-for-profit organisation, BIC is able to offer all of its training at highly competitive rates. If there is a topic that you would like us to provide training on, that we do not provide at present, get in touch; we also welcome enquires about the provision of bespoke in-house courses.


Please note: as we price our training courses so competitively, the running of them is dependent on there being a set minimum number of delegates registered by the time the booking period ceases. For this reason, please be aware that unfortunately some courses may be cancelled if this requirement is not met. Should this happen, BIC will arrange for full refunds for all training courses booked. We will liaise with registered delegates at least 2 weeks prior to each course date regarding this. BIC apologies for any inconvenience caused.


Please take a few moments to familiarise yourself with our refund policy. 

Should you need to cancel your ticket, refunds may be given as follows:

  • Up to 6 calendar weeks (i.e. 42 calendar days) before the event: full refund
  • Less than 6 calendar weeks, but more than 2 calendar weeks (i.e. 14 days) before the event: 50% refund
  • Less than 2 calendar weeks before the event: no refund

If you (or a colleague in your place) do not attend the training course you have booked, no refund will be given.

Please note: Tickets are transferable within your organisation.

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