Transition to ONIX 3.0: Essential Resources for Data Providers

Resource #1: Context: Amazon’s Announcement

While ONIX 2.1 was sunset by global ONIX standards organization EDItEUR on December 31, 2014 in favour of ONIX 3.0, Amazon continued to accept 2.1 files. In November 2019, Amazon confirmed it will not accept ONIX 2.1, for all Amazon domains, globally, and expects to receive only ONIX 3.0 for print book products by December 2020. This concerns print products only at present, though digital products (ebooks and audiobooks) will follow, shortly thereafter. The impetus is then on data providers to ensure they have a 3.0 field live by December 2020.

To read more about Amazon’s announcement, refer to publishing solutions provider Virtusales' post at

To read BookNet Canada’s 2014 blog post with an FAQ about the sunset of ONIX 2.1, visit

Resource #2: BookNet Canada’s Readiness Checklist for Data Providers

Whether you are creating an ONIX 3.0 file for the first time, or using one you already have, the checklist provides a basic outline/process to work your bibliographic data into an ONIX 3.0 feed worthy of your most demanding trading partners.

Review the checklist at

Resource #3: ONIX 3.0 Specifications from EDItEUR

EDItEUR’s documentation is superb, well organized and comprehensive. We’ve linked to the full package HTML 5 version as listed below but they support many alternatives, including support for databases and programming languages.

EDItEUR resources may be found at

At the link, the Implementation and Best Practice Guide has been created to accompany the main Specification. These guidelines are intended to set a global benchmark for data providers and get to the brass tacks of implementing ONIX 3.0. There are two versions available: a PDF version and an HTML 5 version. Both are available as downloadable .zip files at the link. After you download, we suggest you go through the documentation in the following order:

  • ONIX_for_Books_Format_Specification: Start here. Quick tips: It’s in the same order as an ONIX file.

  • ONIX_for_Books_Global_Best_Practice: Need more info? Refer to the Best Practices. Quick tips: Blue boxes are the most important points and White boxes have common mistakes. Recommended reading: the comprehensive glossary at the end.

  • Codelists include notes that define each and are updated three or four times are year. Ensure you update your codelists at least once a year. Additionally, the current, updated codelist is available at If you’re looking up ONIX 2.1 codes, use the link to Issue 36.

  • ONIX_for_Books_Acknowledgement_Format_Specification_3.0: Amazon also announced their intent to use EDItEUR’s Acknowledgment Standard. It's intended to support communication between trading partners about the files being sent.

Resource #4: BookNet Canada Webinar on Transitioning from ONIX 2.1 to 3.0

Join Graham Bell, Executive Director of EDItEUR, to learn what you need to know about transitioning from ONIX 2.1 to ONIX 3.0 in this essential webinar, available at What are the differences between the two versions? Which changes are easy to make, and which will take more planning? How can you get started?

Resource #5: North American Best Practices for Product Metadata

The BookNet Canada & Book Industry Study Group’s Best Practices for Product Metadata is available at . A comprehensive and useful resource for ONIX beginners or those fresh to ONIX 3.0, it contains:

  • A breakdown of ONIX blocks, highlighting what pieces of metadata are included within each

  • Use cases for each composite

  • Identification of mandatory tags/pieces of information

Resource #6: BookNet Canada Webinar on Territories and Markets

Join Tom Richardson, BookNet Canada Bibliographic Manager, as he unpacks your feedback and discusses ways to help companies achieve more clarity and efficacy in their sales rights and territory statements through ONIX in this essential webinar, available at

Resource #7: Supplementary ONIX Resources

Need to brush up on your ONIX knowledge before tackling 3.0 files? In addition to the preferred documentation found on the EDItEUR website, both BookNet Canada and the Book Industry Study Group have compiled ONIX documentation on their respective websites:

Resource #8: BookNet Canada Customer Service

Looking for one-on-one assistance? Contact with your questions, comments, and concerns.