Big Idea: The Future of Ebooks Is on the Web
But until the Digital Publishing Interest Group was created (and chaired by members of IDPF), the two worlds of web development and book publishing had not intersected. Now that they have, what could potentially come out of the group?
My primary reason for participating is my job as an expert on metadata and identifiers in the book industry. We've used ISBNs since the 1970s, ONIX since the 1990s. These standards structure how readers find books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many other websites. EPUB files contain their own metadata. And certainly the web was built on identifiers (URLs/URIs) and metadata (webpage markup, among other things). As ebooks edge closer to websites in construction, the use of identifiers such as ISBN, ISSN, and ISNI-as well as the use of metadata, such as we have in ONIX-will be extremely useful embedded in the actual HTML of the book. We will be able to link from book to book much as Wikipedia does entry to entry.
We have a long way to go before we get to that point, but the fact that book publishers are now joining W3C is a sure indicator that this is the direction we're headed in.
Laura Dawson is a project manager for Bowker Identifier Services.
Laura Dawson is CEO of Numerical Gurus, LLC, consulting company providing services to the information, librarym and book industries. Dawson has consulted to numerous organizations in these verticals, primarily focusing on solving problems related to metadata, identifiers, Linked Data, semantic web applications, and structured content.