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Wednesday, 19th January 2011

Information Standards: "BISG eBook ISBN Study Findings Released"

From a Post By Michael Cairns/Information Media Partners on the Personanondata Blog:

BISG [Book Insdustry Study Group] held a meeting last Thursday to review the findings from the eBook ISBN study which I conducted for the group. BISG intends to use this study as a first step in defining what the industry should do to identify eBooks and eContent for the future.

Here is a link to the summary presentation
. BISG plans to distribute the full report in some form within the next few weeks.

Here are Three Paragraphs From The Executive Summary:

Arguments regarding metadata control, data analysis or ‘discovery’ have failed to make any impact in convincing participants that the ISBN policy is one they should adopt. To publishers, these arguments sound ‘theoretical’ without any practical relevance.


The quality of meta data provided by publishers was universally derided by all downstream supply partners. In particular, very few publishers are making an effort to combine print and electronic metadata in the first instance and secondly to ensure over time that the metadata attributable to print and electronic versions of the same titles remains in sync. Repeatedly, supply chain partners referred to incomplete and inconsistent eBook metadata files and data rot in electronic metadata files over time.

Metadata quality remains an important issue and, setting aside a revision of the ISBN policies and procedures, improving metadata would be the single most important and beneficial activity publishers could undertake to improve the effectiveness of the print and electronic book supply chain.

Read the Complete Executive Summary

UPDATE: Eric Hellman from the Go To Hellman blog has posted a detailed summary of the BISG (Book Industry Study Group) meeting mentioned in the Personanondata Blog.

Last Thursday, I was fortunate to be at a presentation of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) about identification of eBooks. BISG hired Michael Cairns, the principal of Information Media Partners, to do a study of the use, issues and practice surrounding assignment of ISBNs in the US book industry. Think of him as a structural engineer hired to inspect the damage to the supply chain’s supporting infrastructure after an earthquake. Cairns conducted 55 separate interviews with a total of 75 industry experts from all facets of the industry. (I was interviewed for my expertise in the use of ISBN in library linking systems).

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