BiblioShare Webform and some other ONIX-supporting software have simplified screens and are intended to be used by beginners. Using ONIX properly has a real learning curve and the full manual is always the best resource.
But here we give you some quick answers:
First off: What are you doing in general? Well, a quick look at the information displayed on Amazon or Indigo.ca will tell you most of what you need to know here. The best site to explore regarding what you can put into a file for Canadian titles is 49thshelf.com. What you see on this particular site comes to you from ONIX delivered through data they've downloaded from BiblioShare.
The second point to keep in mind is that you're creating a "Product" record – something someone will purchase by looking at the information you have supplied about your book, which is visible on another company's website.
So if it's a print book, just pick it up to see the information you need to enter; the Title can be found on the cover, the Subtitle is the secondary title found there, the Contributor is the author, the measures are found by using a ruler and a scale, you say where a retailer can find the barcode... and so on. If it's a digital book, go about it exactly the same way, except if you can't measure, weigh, or locate the barcode then DO NOT supply metadata on that—if it doesn't apply, don't use it. You will need to supply special codes that describe a digital book, just the same way there are special codes for describing physical ones.
In short: You're describing what the consumer gets. Every product gets its own ISBN and its own ONIX record.
When using a "simplified" form like the one provided by BiblioShare Webform, you should check out all available options but if they don't apply don't sweat it – just leave them blank. For example, Series are useful for marketing, if they apply, but not all books are part of a series.
This table assumes you are using ONIX 2.1:
|TagName||Short answer||Expected? ||Why|
|Record reference||Use the ISBN-13 here||YES|
Every ONIX record should carry a unique number – used to identify the metadata record.
Any unique code could work here, but because the ISBN already identifies the product
you're selling using the same number to identify the record about the product is a quick
solution to maintaining a unique number
|Notification type||default as "03"||YES|
|Notification type is about the record as well. It tells the recipient how much trust to put in|
the metadata (pre-publication information can change) or might be used to convey
advanced problems that a small publisher should email trading partners about.
DG=digital book (PDF or eBook)
|An ONIX record is a Product record as defined above. What form does it take in the |
broadest terms possible? That's what goes here.
DO NOT use code BA "book." It's there for situations like if a distributor doesn't know more.
Audio books are "A_" Ask for help if you need to describe a product with more than one
Product Form like "book and toy" or "book and DVD"
|Product form detail||B102 is Trade paperback|
Optional but expected
on most physical
|A place to add detail to what you've said for Product Form. If it's a paperback retailers|
need to know what type it is - and that's almost always a "Trade Paperback" . Look at the list
and you'll find things that might describe your book, and the full ONIX code list contains
good explanatory notes. Google terms you don't understand as you'll usually find definitions.
Don't kill yourself adding "Detail" but these are primary data points used by retailers – you'll
need to understand what's important to your trading partners.
002 is PDF
029 is EPUB
|In ONIX 2.1 digital books don't typically use Product Form Detail (there are some choices for fixed |
format or free flow choices), but this the digital equivalent to a Product Form Detail. In ONIX 3.0
these values are found in Product Form Detail.
|Barcode||Code: 10 is likely||Physical books|
Do you have a standard ISBN-13 based barcode? It's called an EAN13 Barcode.
Where doe it appear? Retailers want to know. Cover 4 is the back cover, so a basic EAN barcode
there is code "10" / Multiple barcodes including UPC? The simplified data entry forms don't usually
support repeating barcode information, so choose the expected one for book retailers: EAN13 Barcode
Use when you've published this
work in more than one format
|Digital book sellers in particular want this but each ONIX record describes a Product.|
If you sold the same "work" or title in multiple formats wouldn't it be nice if ALL the records
shared an identifier? So in all such records select "01 Proprietary" and fill in a shared value in
the box beside it – a unique code please – don't use the book title spaces and all as that's
no help to anyone.
Title without prefix
|Use only if your book title|
contains a prefix
If your title has a prefix, then it's useful to separate prefix text from the remaining text to help the retailer index the title properly. Simply put the Prefix in one box and the title without it (how it would be alphabetized) in the box for Title without prefix.
If your title does not have a prefix, simply ignore the prefix and title-without-prefix fields and leave them blank. Only enter the full title in the main title field.
|Distinct title||As it appears on the book||YES|
Name code type
Name code value
|Use only if you're supplying|
your ONIX metadata to
More than you want to know available here:
What’s an imprint code? How do I use it?
|Imprint name||As it appears on the book||YES|
|The Publisher is the company who published the book. The Imprint is the brand, how it appears|
on the book. Publisher are Imprint are often the same thing but retailers like to know for sure.
|Publisher name||As it appears on the book||YES|
|See Imprint Name above – but normally the Publisher Name is the name of the company that signs |
contracts and whose name appears on the Title and Copyright page
|Publication date||The date this ISBN was first sold||YES|
|Dates in ONIX are YYYYMMDD – no hyphens, slashes or marks. Dates are "text" fields|
|Publishing status||02 is forthcoming|
04 is Active
|A way for the supply chain to understand where your book is in it's lifecycle. Nothing is |
in print forever. "Forthcoming" is "before publication" and you should update your record to "Active"
when it becomes available. The value should make sense with the Publication Date and the
Supply Detail's Product availability code.
Print and digital products
can be different but it's
probably your company name
10 is Forthcoming
20 is Availably
For Print books the Supplier would normally be your distributor but whatever company that a
RETAILER contacts to order stock is the Supplier.
For Digital books, the Publisher's name appears as the Supplier because they are who a retailer
contact in order to sell the book. If this ISBN is uniquely available from only one source, a retailer,
then you can specify that source using Supplier Role code "08".
The Product availability information is mandatory.