About BIC


BIC is the book industry's independent supply chain organisation, committed to improving the efficiency of the trade and library supply chains, reducing cost and automating processes. We're all about "book economics" (for both print and digital).

Supply chain

BIC is committed to creating an efficient supply chain for both physical and digital products in the trade and library sectors, working with all the relevant stakeholders to eliminate wasteful and time-consuming practices and implement solutions acceptable to all. BIC's unique position of trust with all parties in the supply chain makes it possible to reach agreement on dependable standards.

Digital content

BIC works to create and promote standards for the trading and discovery of digital content; and has taken a leadership role in bringing together all sides of the industry to discuss and resolve issues in the digital supply chain in tha areas of metadata, identifiers and sales reporting.


The efficient use of e-commerce is at the heart of all BIC's activity. BIC is the organisation behind the successful e4books and e4libraries projects which have promoted the objective of a fully electronic supply chain in the book industry.

Product information

BIC created and maintains the BIC Basic standards for the supply of product information, the BIC Standard Subject Categories and BIC discount codes; and promotes the adoption of ONIX as the book trade's standard for the transmission of rich product data. It is responsible for UK input to the governance of ONIX internationally.

Technical standards

BIC develops, maintains and promotes technical standards for the electronic communication of bibliographic information and supply chain transactions. It provides its members with specially-tailored standard implementation guidelines for the use of Tradacoms and EDIFACT messages as well as for XML messages and web services. Its regular implementation clinics are the indispensable forum where members meet to support the maintenance of BIC's standards.

Industry Returns Initiative

BIC has been responsible for managing the industry returns initiative and retains responsibility for policy issues. This ambitious scheme to automate and standardise returns authorisation and processing within industry-agreed guidelines is now accepted as the standard basis for returns handling in the UK industry.

Product identification

BIC maintains bar coding standards for the industry and is working on standards for the structure and content of radio frequency ID tags in library and trade applications. It manages the BSI Identifiers and Metadata Committee, giving it a voice in the maintenance and development of an array of identifiers on which the supply chain runs.

Accreditation schemes

BIC manages industry accreditation schemes which recognise excellence in the supply of product information and in the use of e-commerce to automate routine business transactions.


Membership of BIC is open to all organisations involved in the trade and library supply chains with an interest in standards and good practice. BIC depends on the fullest possible support from all parts of the industry to ensure that it represents the views of the whole industry.

Subscription information can be found here.

Download our brochure here.

Whether you work for a BIC member organisation or not, you can stay abreast of all BIC's activities (including Committee and project work), events, training courses and announcements by joining a BIC mailing list. Find out more, here.