The book industry’s metadata accreditation scheme (UK & Ireland)
The scheme is designed to encourage publishers to appreciate the contribution made by accurate and timely product data to their sales; to enable them to demonstrate their commitment to making that data available in the supply chain; and to enable them to benchmark their performance against their competitors.
Now more than ever, data recipients (including retailers, libraries and consumers) expect increasingly sophisticated data and the current, refreshed scheme seeks to acknowledge and address those requirements. It is very different scheme to the previous one. Offering three levels of award (Bronze, Silver and Gold), the scheme is designed to encourage publishers to appreciate the contribution made by complete, accurate and timely product data to their sales; to reward publishers for their commitment to making that data available in the supply chain; to encourage the practice of regular, good housekeeping of metadata records; and to enable them to benchmark their performance against their competitors.
Currently accredited organisations
Who can apply?
Application to the revised scheme is free of charge for publishers, and open to BIC members and non-members alike. To qualify for consideration for accreditation, established publishers must publish a minimum of 10 new products per year and each year for the last 5 years.
Newly formed organisations will be treated by exception but must have already published at least 10 new products.
All publishers must be UK or Ireland based, and/or actively selling to the UK / Ireland markets.
Documentation and guidelines for the scheme
- Publisher requirements and guidelines to the scheme.
- Details of the requirements for each of the 3 metadata sets.
- A checklist of items to consider before applying for accreditation.
- Details of the requirements for quality control checks (applicable to all levels of the scheme as appropriate).
- The MEA Scheme’s online application form. Please note this application form needs to be completed by all publishers applying to the scheme (including those currently accredited under the previous scheme when they are up for renewal) and submitted to BIC on or before the accreditation deadlines listed below. Prior to filling out and submitting the online form, you may wish to view a PDF copy of the questionnaire; this PDF is for reference purposes only and should not be submitted to BIC.
How is MEA different to the previous Product Data Excellence Award (PDEA)?
It is very different, with the major changes being as follows:
- It employs 3 data sets (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) as opposed to 2 currently.
- It builds on the requirements of the current scheme and now also includes several brand-new qualifying criteria including a series of quality control checks, the compulsory use of both ONIX 3.0 (to attain Gold Level), and Thema (at all levels).
- It will be assessed across the full range of products sold by the publisher
- No separate digital tick is awarded under the current, revised scheme as product data for all formats will be assessed together. Equally, as ONIX 3.0 is compulsory for the Gold level (with its use being encouraged for both Bronze and Silver levels) there will be no ONIX 3.0 badge awarded under the refreshed scheme.
When did the current, revised scheme take effect?
The first accreditations took place in July 2022.
Nielsen BookData is an approved BIC assessor for the scheme and has collected, measured and recorded the data against the requirements of the MEA scheme from March 2020 with the first set of results being announced in July 2022 based on the prior year’s performance.
With regards to the new quality control checks (QCC), BIC will announce the minimum percentage criteria in late 2023. Publishers are advised to address the QCC requirements ASAP i.e., not wait for this announcement. This is due to the collection of data being on a cumulative basis.
BIC approved assessors
The 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 BookData are invited to apply to BIC for more information, please contact us.
Any questions about this scheme please contact us.
UK Data Aggregators
The documentation, above, refers to 3 UK data aggregators. These are as follows:
- Bibliographic Data Services Ltd
- Bowker / ProQuest
- Nielsen BookData
The MEA Accreditation Scheme application deadlines
- Friday 29th December 2023
- Friday 28th March 2024
- Friday 28th June 2024
- Friday 27th September 2024
- Friday 27th December 2024