Welcome to the Metadata Millennium: A Complete Overview of What Metadata Can Do for Publishers
ONIX -- which stands for ONline Information eXchange -- is a standard originally released in 2000 and maintained by EDItEUR, an international organization based in London. ONIX for Books is an extremely rich collection of terms and codes (and their definitions) that enables publishers to describe, in a consistent manner that is widely understood, literally hundreds of possible pieces of information needed in the supply chain. It is a messaging format: it's not intended to make publishers throw out their databases and start over, it's just how information in those databases should be communicated to the outside world. It has become widely -- nearly universally -- adopted throughout the world. ONIX "code lists" are updated quarterly, based on input from publishing organizations around the world (BISG, the Book Industry Study Group, provides the input from the U.S.).