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BIC’s Thema: Essentials Half-Day Training Course (online)

July 6, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm BST

Thema is the global subject classification scheme for the book trade. This course explains its origins, development, uptake, benefits & more

BIC Thema: Essentials half-day training course (online)



Purpose of the Course  

This course provides an introduction to Thema – the international subject classification scheme for the global book trade – explaining the need for such a scheme; its origins, development and uptake; its benefits across the trade; and the principles of implementing Thema in systems and product records.

After examining the key differences (and similarities) between Thema and the legacy schemes it is designed to replace, the course will provide delegates with the opportunity to experiment and have hands-on experience with applying correct Thema codes.


Benefits of Attending

As part of BIC’s suite of metadata training courses, this course will provide an introduction to the Thema subject classification scheme in the context of wider metadata best practice. Delegates will discover the benefits and rapid growth of Thema in both a global and UK context, and explore the key features of implementing Thema in systems and managing the migration from BIC (the current UK standard) to Thema, looking at the available tools and supporting documentation.

Delegates will gain an understanding of the structure and application of Thema codes, concluding with the opportunity for practical, hands-on experience of allocating Thema codes, with a view to demonstrating how accurate subject classification is essential for effective search and discovery in-store and online.


Course Level

This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in book product data quality in general, and book subject classification in particular. Whatever your background, whether from an editorial, marketing or systems perspective, this course is relevant to individuals from all professional disciplines within the trade. Some familiarity with bibliographic subject classification (e.g. use of schemes such as BIC, BISAC or Thema) is assumed, but not considered essential.


Course Outline  

Prior to the course, delegates will be contacted to enquire whether they have any specific areas of concern / interest. Although the course can be tailored to its attendees to a certain degree, the overall content is as follows:

  • An Introduction to Thema including its origins, benefits, development and adoption
  • Thema implementation
  • Context, i.e. how Thema codes are used globally
  • Hands-on, practical sessions in assigning Thema codes

To request a copy of the full course outline email info@bic.org.uk

The Trainers

Graham Bell

Executive Director



Graham is Executive Director of EDItEUR, and is responsible for the overall development of EDItEUR’s standards and the management services it provides on behalf of other standards organisations (ISNI International Agency and the International DOI Foundation). He joined EDItEUR as its Chief Data Architect in 2010, focusing on the continuing development and application of ONIX for Books, Thema, EDItX and on other EDItEUR standards for the global books and serials sectors.

Graham is an experienced trainer and speaker. He previously worked for HarperCollins Publishers in the UK, where most recently he was Head of Publishing Systems.

Chris Saynor

Standards Editor



Chris is responsible for EDItEUR’s book publishing standards including ONIX, Thema and EDItX. He joined the organisation in late 2016. For the previous eight years, Chris worked for GiantChair Inc. in Paris as a metadata specialist and project manager, and has been responsible for implementation of the Onixsuite application in many publishing organisations. He is widely known for his work with French industry liaison body CLIL and with BISG committees. Prior to that, Chris has a 20-year background in bookselling with Waterstones and WHSmith. 

Feedback for this Course   

What component of the training was most effective for you?

“Golden rules and practical experience in assigning codes. I feel much more confident in doing this now. ” – Anon.

“All of it. I needed to know more about Thema as I was starting from scratch. I needed a proper understanding of what it was, how it works, who uses it and how we could implement it. This course tackled all these points in a methodical, sensible and informative way.” – Anon.

“I would recommend this course and will communicate elements of it across my business.” – Anon.

“Come get your questions answered.” – Gopi Rajendran, Klopotek

Date of the Course

Thursday 6th July 2023.

Bespoke Course and In-House Training

BIC is committed to providing high quality, accessible training for the book industry. We are able to provide both bespoke courses and in-house training to suit your requirements. This course is suitable for in-house training so please do contact us to request further information or to make a booking: info@bic.org.uk

Course Location

Online / Virtual Training.

Course Length

This is a half-day course which will be delivered, 1.00pm-5.30pm (UK) on the date specified, above.


BIC & EDItEUR Members £160 + VAT

Friends of BIC £195 + VAT

Non Members £220 + VAT


Discounted rates apply to BIC and EDItEUR members only.

Check BIC membership and/or EDItEUR membership.

Alternative Payment Option: If you would prefer BIC to invoice your organisation directly, please contact us: info@bic.org.uk. Please note that this process will incur a £25.00 administration fee.


BIC Training Courses

Created by the book industry, for the book industry

For an empowered, informed supply chain

Established in 1991, BIC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation at the heart of the UK book industry’s supply chain. We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with key stakeholders in the UK book industry to produce quality training courses that are created and delivered by expert, highly respected trainers on a wide range of supply chain topics. Being a not-for-profit organisation, BIC is able to offer all of its training at highly competitive rates. If there is a topic that you would like us to provide training on, that we do not provide at present, get in touch; we also welcome enquires about the provision of bespoke in-house courses.

Course Cancellations

Please note: as we price our training courses so competitively, the running of them is dependent on there being a set minimum number of delegates registered by the time the booking period ceases. For this reason, please be aware that unfortunately some courses may be cancelled if this requirement is not met. Should this happen, BIC will arrange for full refunds for all training courses booked. We will liaise with registered delegates at least 2 weeks prior to each course date regarding this. BIC apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Refund Policy

Please take a few moments to familiarise yourself with our refund policy. 

Should you need to cancel your ticket, refunds may be given as follows:

  • Up to 6 calendar weeks (i.e. 42 calendar days) before the event: full refund
  • Less than 6 calendar weeks, but more than 2 calendar weeks (i.e. 14 days) before the event: 50% refund
  • Less than 2 calendar weeks before the event: no refund

If you (or a colleague in your place) do not attend the training course you have booked, no refund will be given.

Please note: Tickets are transferable within your organisation.


Book Industry Communication Ltd
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