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Last modified: October 29, 2001
ONIX International XML DTD

[October 14, 2000] "ONIX International is the international standard for representing and communicating book industry product information in electronic form, incorporating the core content which has been specified in national initiatives such as BIC Basic and AAP's ONIX Version 1. Release 1.1 is the first full release of ONIX International, and incorporates the results of practical trials and extensive review in both the US and the UK during June 2000. The ONIX International XML DTD now supports the extended character sets which are generally available in HTML, as well as full UNICODE implementations. The EPICS/ONIX family of standards is maintained by EDItEUR under the direction of an international steering group. US implementation and input to the international steering group are co-ordinated through a committee of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG). UK implementation and input to the international steering group are co-ordinated through the BIC Product Metadata Committee. . . The ONIX specification is developed and maintained by EDItEUR jointly with the Association of American Publishers, Book Industry Communication and the Book Industry Study Group."

"ONIX International is a standard for representing and communicating book industry product information in electronic form. It aims to achieve the following objectives: (1) To cover not only books but also other media which are published and distributed through the book industry. (2) To meet the practical information needs of all sectors of the industry, including but not limited to online booksellers. (3) To reflect the realities of national and international rights, distribution, pricing and availability. (4) To be usable in a multilingual marketplace. (5) Very importantly, to incorporate the core content which has been specified in national initiatives such as BIC Basic and AAP's ONIX. (6) Finally, to build where possible on what EDItEUR's EPICS and the <indecs> Project have done to establish sound models for metadata in a future electronic environment."

"The definition of the ONIX International XML format consists of a number of linked .txt files. Together, they constitute a formal definition which allows standard XML software to parse, verify and operate on the content of any correctly-formulated ONIX International message, at Level 1 or Level 2. This means that anybody who is receiving ONIX messages from a variety of sources should need only one fundamental process to handle them. The files also carry sufficient notes to enable a user who is familiar with the principles of XML to understand how they are constructed and how they should be used. . . XML Reference Names in column 4 [of the listing] are the plain English names used in the XML DTD for readability, and which may also be used in messages. Tags in column 5 are the short names also defined in the XML DTD for use in messages where conciseness is considered more important than readability." Examples (data element, XML Reference Name, short name):
Notification or update type code <NotificationType> <a002>
Product form description <ProductFormDescription> <b014>
Additional subject scheme identifier <SubjectSchemeIdentifier> <b067>
Audience code <AudienceCode> <b073>


  • ONIX International - The new international EPICS subset

  • ONIX Product Information Standards Release 2.0. The files are available for download. Most users will require the Overview, XML Message Specification, Guidelines: Product Record, and XML DTD.

  • XML DTD and structure diagrams (ZIP file) This ZIP file contains the set of text files which together constitute a formal definition allowing standard XML software to parse, verify and operate on the content of correctly formulated ONIX Product Information messages. The DTD is accompanied by a set of HTML files which provide linked structure diagrams. Required for all applications. [cache]

  • ONIX Version 2 Overview and Summary List of Data Elements. An overview of the ONIX standards for representing and communicating product information from the book and related media industries. August 2001. 31 pages. Includes a summary list of all ONIX Product Information data elements. [cache]

  • " XML Message Specification Version 2.0," Specifies the overall layout of the ONIX XML Product Information message, including the content of the message header, and covers essential XML conventions. Required for all applications except Level 1. [cache]

  • [October 29, 2001] "Meta Data for E-Commerce: The ONIX International Standard." By Norm Medeiros (Coordinator for Bibliographic and Digital Services, Haverford College, USA). In OCLC Systems And Services Volume 17, Number 3 (2001), pages 114-116 (with 7 references). ISSN: 1065-075X. "The Online Information Exchange (ONIX) international standard is a collaborative project aimed at developing descriptive and administrative meta data for books. ONIX was first published in January 2000, and was a result of funding from the Association of American Publishers. It was conceived in order to provide Internet booksellers with rich, standardized data that could promote e-commerce. The metadata initiative is currently in release 1.2, dated November 24, 2000, and is maintained cooperatively by three bodies: EDItEUR, an international group, which coordinates standards for electronic commerce; the Book Industry Communication, a London-based organization charged with exploring electronic data interchange; and the Book Industry Study Group, a non-profit association stationed in New York, which develops technical standards for the book world."

  • [April 19, 2001] ONIX International Release 1.2.1, including XML DTD and structure diagrams. [cache]

  • ONIX XML DTD. 2000-07-27. See the complete set of source files [cache]

  • ONIX International Guidelines and XML DTD

  • ONIX Samples, [cache sample, La resistencia: Ernesto Sabato]

  • EPICS Data Dictionary. "The comprehensive data dictionary from which ONIX International standards are derived. The primary purpose of the EPICS data dictionary is to define the content of a set of data elements which can be used potentially in a variety of carrier formats for the communication of book trade product information between computer systems."

  • "Overview and Summary List of Data Elements." "Release 1.1 is the first 'live' release of ONIX International, dated 27 July 2000. Francis Cave, of Francis Cave Digital Publishing, developed the XML DTD which defines the communication format for ONIX International. Concord Software Inc., consultants specializing in publishing, imaging and client/server software solutions, coordinated the piloting of XML formats with a group of US publishers and vendors." [cache]

  • Guidelines for Publishers, Level 1, [cache]

  • Guidelines for Publishers, Level 2, [cache]

  • "AAP Unveils E-retail Guidelines." "The Association of American Publishers last Wednesday introduced Guidelines for Online Information Exchange (ONIX), a set of 148 standardized elements that describe every aspect of a book, from title and author's name to availability and cover pictures, to help make selling books online easier..."

  • "AAP Introduces Industry Standard To Speed Sale of Published Content." - "The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today introduced the Guidelines for ONline Information eXchange (ONIX) intended to establish a standard vocabulary for describing and sharing bibliographic and promotional information among publishers, wholesalers, retailers, online catalog providers, and all others involved in the sale of published content. The ONIX Guidelines explain the full set of data elements, format and recommended sets of codes for electronic delivery of data ensuring that all parties use and understand a common descriptive language. This will provide reliability and consistency in the exchange of important descriptive data. ONIX was developed under the auspices of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), working closely with US and European standards bodies (including BIC, EDItEUR and BASIC), publishers, booksellers, and distributors. A number of wholesalers, catalogue companies, online booksellers, and publishers have enthusiastically welcomed the ONIX Guidelines which were created specifically to meet their needs as well as the needs of publishers."

  • "OverDrive, Microsoft Announce Comprehensive Authoring Tools And Services for Microsoft Reader ReaderWorks Offers ePublishers New Power, Flexibility and Support for eBook Standards." - "OverDrive Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced a comprehensive set of authoring tools and services to enable publishers to easily create eBook titles based on Microsoft Reader with ClearType display technology. A beta version of the initial product, ReaderWorks Standard -- which enables individuals to convert content from Microsoft Word, HTML, ASCII, OEB or image files into Microsoft Reader format. . . ReaderWorks Publisher is an upgrade to Standard that prepares Microsoft Reader-compatible titles for sale and distribution by eBookstores. With ReaderWorks Publisher, eBook authors can answer a few questions about their title and create XML files that contain marketing and copyright protection data in ONIX, XrML and Microsoft Digital Rights Management architecture."

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