BIC Launches Refreshed Product Data Excellence Award Accreditation Scheme

Press Release 
BIC Launches Refreshed Product Data Excellence Accreditation Scheme 
LONDON Wednesday 31st July 2019

 BIC is delighted to announce the launch of its refreshed Product Data Excellence Accreditation (PDEA) scheme. 

Metadata underpins our digital age. It drives discoverability and sales, and therefore demands careful attention in terms of its initial creation and ongoing maintenance. BIC’s PDEA scheme currently awards accreditation to more than 50 publishers for the quality of their metadata. The updated and refreshed accreditation scheme is the result of an extensive, in-depth review of BIC’s current scheme, which was last updated in 2010, and encourages further improvements in metadata supply across the industry. 

The benefits of applying for accreditation 

The new scheme benefits publishers in multiple ways: it encourages the provision of complete, accurate and timely product data that ultimately drives their sales; it rewards them for their commitment to making that data available in the supply chain; it promotes the adoption of robust and consistent metadata processes, and benchmarks their performance against their competitors; in terms of metadata accuracy and efficiency, it promotes industry adoption of Thema and ONIX 3.0, and publishers applying for accreditation will receive monthly progress reports from the BIC assessor to assist with regular metadata health checks. 

Applications to the refreshed scheme will remain free of charge for all publishers and will continue to be open to BIC members and non-members alike. Details of the refreshed scheme can be found on the BIC website here: 

How is the refreshed scheme different? 

In response to retailer and consumer demands for increasingly sophisticated data the refreshed scheme is very different to the current scheme. Key differences include: 

  • The employment of 3 metadata sets (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) as opposed to 2 (BIC Basic, BIC ONIX) currently 
  • Several brand-new qualifying criteria building on the requirements of the current scheme 
  • Introduction of a series of quality control checks 
  • Required use of ONIX 3.0 to attain Gold Level 
  • Required use of the Thema subject category scheme (at all levels) 
  • Required use of some ONIX codelists (when delivering data in tabular formats such as CSV or Excel at Bronze level) 
  • Product data for all formats across the applicant’s entire range of book products will be assessed together. No separate digital tick will be awarded under the refreshed scheme. 
  • No separate ONIX 3.0 badge: ONIX 3.0 is required for the Gold level (and its use is encouraged for both Bronze and Silver levels). 

When will the refreshed scheme take effect? 

Nielsen Book will be the initial approved BIC assessor for the scheme and will start collecting, measuring and recording the data against the requirements of the refreshed scheme in March 2020 with the first set of results being announced in March 2021 based on the prior year’s performance. During these 12 months, the current scheme will continue to run but will be gradually retired, with full transition to the refreshed scheme completed by the beginning of 2022. With regards to the new quality control checks (QCC), BIC will announce the minimum percentage criteria in September 2020, then start measuring in earnest 6 months later. Publishers are advised to address the QCC requirements ASAP and not wait for this announcement. 2 The UK book industry’s supply chain organisation 

The refreshed scheme allows for additional BIC approved assessors to measure and report on publishers’ metadata performance. BIC member organisations that wish to become assessors in addition to Nielsen Book are invited to apply to BIC for more information at 

Thank You to the BIC PDEA Project Group 

BIC would like to thank the following BIC member organisations for their dedicated support and contribution to the creation of the refreshed scheme; Amazon, Bertram Books, Bibliographic Data Services Ltd, BooksoniX, Bowker, Cambridge University Press, EDItEUR, Gardners, Hachette UK, Nielsen Book, Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Virtusales Publishing Solutions, Waterstones. 

Karina Urquhart 

Executive Director, BIC 

About BIC: 

BIC is the UK book industry’s independent supply chain organisation and is charged with making the print and digital book supply chain more efficient which we do by: 

• Developing standards and promoting their adoption, 

• Connecting experts across industry 

• Enabling innovation in the supply chain 

Established in 1991, BIC is an independent, not for profit members’ organisation working at the heart of the UK book industry. It is sponsored by The Booksellers Association, The British Library, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and The Publishers Association to promote supply chain efficiency in all sectors of the book world through e-commerce, best practice, training, events, and the application of standard processes and procedures. BIC is governed by an Executive and an Operational Board, both of which are comprised of members across the entire book industry. Visit BIC at and follow at @BIC1UK