BISG releases report on book and ebook metadata
What do you call a study about metadata? Metametadata? Metadatadata?
The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) calls it “Development, Use and Modification of Book Product Metadata,” its brand new publication prepared by Brian O’Leary of Magellan Media Consulting and done in conjunction with BookNet Canada.
As O’Leary hinted during BISG’s Making Information Pay event in the spring, metadata in publishing is a mess, with some 95% of publishers reporting that the metadata they send out into the supply chain has been changed at some point by the time it reaches a retail outlet. (There are handy charts detailing the many steps in the process where such changes can advertently and inadvertently take place.)
The 37-page report assesses why this is so (essentially an ever-complicated web of middlemen like distributors, aggregators and content converters, as well as vast differences in the practices of large, medium and small publishers) and provides 10 recommendations publishers, retailers and other players (like metadata management vendors and services) can use to improve their processes and “future proof” metadata in the supply chain.
A five-page executive summary is available in PDF form (free for BISG members, $49 for non-members) as well as the full, 37-page report in PDF and EPUB formats ($199 for members, $499 for non-members).
If you download them, let us know if the metadata matches up.
Full press release below
BISG Report on Use and Modification of Book Product Metadata Now Available
In-depth research study tracks and identifies metadata pain points and makes recommendations for data senders and recipients
New York, NY (June 25, 2012) — The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) announced today the publication of Development, Use, and Modification of Book Product Metadata, a 37-page report detailing how publishers, retailers, and other industry stakeholders create and use metadata. The report, prepared for BISG by Brian O’Leary of Magellan Media Consulting, also presents both process and future proofing recommendations to improve product metadata in the supply chain.
“This is a very important report for BISG and the industry,” said Ken Michaels, Chief Operating Officer of Hachette Book Group and Co-Chair of BISG. “There is a direct correlation between good metadata and increased sales, so we need to make every effort to ensure our customers are seeing the best possible information about the books and content they want to purchase.”
A five-page executive summary of the report is available free to all BISG members, and for a nominal fee to non-members. The full report is available for purchase at member and non-member prices. Both documents can be ordered from the BISG website: http://www.bisg.org/publications/product.php?p=27&c=437
The report, which was compiled from interviews with more than 30 industry stakeholders and a survey of the entire BISG membership, will serve as an important document for BISG’s Metadata Committee. Chaired by Richard Stark, Director of Product Data for Barnes & Noble, the Metadata Committee is working to update BISG’s Best Practices for Book Product Metadata, a roadmap for the provision of timely, accurate metadata.
A key component of the Best Practices document is the identification of 31 core metadata elements – price, publication date, ISBN, etc. – that should be included or acknowledged in every metadata feed. The new report identifies an additional 39 data elements, largely in the area of marketing, that have become increasingly important to both data senders and receivers. Included in that list are Related Editions (Work ID); Worldwide Subject Categories; Keywords; and Awards and Prizes.
“Brian’s report will be enormously valuable to our Committee,” said Len Vlahos, BISG’s Executive Director. “Reliable metadata is an important commodity for every member of the book industry supply chain.”