ONIX for Books is the international standard for the transmission of product information in the supply chain and has been adopted in some sixteen countries in Europe, North America and elsewhere. BIC promotes ONIX in the UK trade and provides UK input to the development of ONIX internationally.

Read an Introduction to ONIX for books.

View EDItEUR’s 15-minute briefing on ONIX

Online, interactive, multilingual browser for ONIX Code-lists

Browse the ONIX code lists, or search for a specific term within the vocabularies.  

A previous version of the codelists is still available for remaining users of ONIX version 2.1, which is now obsolete.

ONIX Code Lists

Current and previous Code Lists are available here.

ONIX for Books Release 3.1 (latest revision 1, March 2024)

Download the latest ONIX 3.1.1 Specification . This link contains other documentation including summaries of the changes between each version. Note that ONIX 3.1 is backwards-compatible with the previous 3.0 release, apart from removal of a handful of fields that were very rarely used.

Download an Introduction to ONIX for Books 3.1

ONIX for Books release 3.0 (latest revision 8, June 2021)

The ONIX 3.0.8 Specification, the last revision of the older release 3.0, is also available from the same source.

ONIX for Books Implementation and Best Practice Guides

Guides for both ONIX 3.0.8 and 3.1.1 are available here.  

BIC’s ONIX Survey Report, 24th September 2018

As detailed, below, a survey was carried out in early 2018 for all stakeholder organisations in the UK book industry that either send or receive (or both) data via ONIX to complete. The survey was open to ONIX 2.1 and ONIX 3.0 users alike. The responses received have helped BIC to gain an informed understanding of how and where the ONIX 3.0 standard is being a dopted, what (as applicable) the obstacles to implementation are, what benefits organisations have derived from implementing ONIX 3.0 and so on.

In line with the BIC Privacy Policy, to obtain a copy of the BIC ONIX Survey Report 2018 (free of charge), please register here.

ONIX Survey 2018

What was the Purpose of the Survey?
This survey was for all stakeholder organisations in the UK book industry that either send or receive (or both) data via ONIX to complete – whether using ONIX 3.0 or not. Your participation helped BIC gain an informed understanding of how and where the ONIX 3.0 standard is being adopted, what (as applicable) the obstacles ONIX for books to implementation might be, what benefits organisations have derived from implementing ONIX 3.0 and so on.

What about organisations using ONIX 2.1?
Organisation using ONIX 2.1 (but not ONIX 3.0) were also eligible to participate on the survey. 

What will we do with the survey results?
We may use the information provided by participants of this survey to create an industry report with regards the current UK ONIX 3.0 landscape that will be published on our website – particpants were asked for their consent (on behalf of their organisation) regarding this towards the end of the survey.

The Survey Questions
There were 2 survey question sets as follows: 

ONIX 3.0 survey for data providers 

ONIX 3.0 survey for data recipients 

Participants that both send and receive data were encouraged to complete both surveys, which each contained 32 – 35 questions, consisting mainly of multiple – choice tick boxes, and should each have taken approximately 5 – 10 minutes to fill in. 

If you would like to view the questions contained in each survey, you can download and/or print a PDF version of them here:

ONIX 3.0 survey for data providers (PDF for reference only)

ONI X 3.0 survey for data recipients (PDF for reference only)

Responses to these survey(s) were only accepted via SurveyMonkey. 

Thank you very much to those who responded and/or contributed to the surveys. 

Application Notes for Guidance:

ONIX 3.0 users with regards to sales rights

Sales Rights in ONIX 3.0 (Last updated: December 2017)

ONIX 3.0 users with regards to describing Open Access monographs

Describing Open Access Monographs in ONIX 3.0 (Latest up date: November 2017)

ONIX 3.0 users with regards to HTML mark – up

Embedding HTML Mark – Up in ONIX 3.0 Data Elements ;(February 2017)

ONIX 3.0 users with regards to weights & dimensions

Weights & Dimensions in ONIX 3.0 (October 2016)

Audiobooks in ONIX

Audiobooks in ONIX (May 2020)

Aspects of AI in ONIX

Aspects of AI in ONIX (April 2024)

ONIX products in multiple markets

Document: ONIX products in multiple markets

Visual: ONIX products in multiple markets

Collections in ONIX 3.0 and 3.1

Webinar recording: Collections in ONIX 3.0 and 3.1

Webinar recording: Collections in ONIX 3.0 and 3.1 Advanced

Other Application Notes

Further application notes on specific details of ONIX are available from the EDItEUR website here

ONIX for Books Acknowledgement Format Specification Release 3.0

This new message is intended to be used as a response to being in receipt of a conventional ONIX for Books message. The recipient can send an acknowledgement message back to the original sender simply to confirm receipt, to report successful processing, or to report any errors encountered. The use of this message is entirely optional but its use could end that ‘falling into a black hole’ feeling that senders sometimes get after they’ve sent out their data file.

Download a copy of the Acknowledgement Format Specification, here (January 2015)

For detailed core documentation, please see EDItEUR’s website here.

Using ONIX 3.0 to describe e-books and digital content

Published June 2011; revised November 2017

This set of FAQs has been compiled by Graham Bell of EDItEUR to explain how ONIX (and in particular ONIX 3.0) can be used to describe digital products. ONIX 3.0 has been developed specifically to facilitate the description of data about digital content wh ich has not been fully possible in earlier versions. This document, although it will also be helpful to those needing to describe digital metadata using ONIX 2.1, is designed to encourage the early adoption of the new version and promote the benefits which will flow to the whole supply chain by doing so.

Read the latest version (Last updated: November 2017)

Older Documents

Sunset Date of ONIX 2.1

For any organisation using ONIX 2.1 after sunset and relying on the online DTD and XSD files provided by EDItEUR, some active steps to avoid failures in production systems will be necessary.

EDItEUR has now published a note describing the workaround you need to put in place to avoid failures in processing ONIX 2.1 files after sunset. 

Click here to see a PDF of the suggested workaround (November 2014)

New Release: ONIX 3.0

Published April 2009; revised October 2010

ONIX version 3.0 has now been published, representing a major step forward for the ONIX standard. The new release has been developed to address perceived shortcomings of the previous versions, especially for the description of digital products and publishers’ marketing collateral, but also for the handling of multi – volume sets and series and to enable the blocking of records to permit more efficient updating. The new version is not backwards compatible with previous versions and the opportunity has been taken to remove elements which had become deprecated as a result of previous updates and revisions.

For full background, an overview of the message structure, and a summary of key differences between ONIX Release 2.1 and Release 3.0, read:

Introduction to ONIX for Books 3.0.

To see the full documentation for ONIX 3.0, click here

A summary of changes for all the releases that have followed ONIX for Books 3.0 can be found using this link.

BIC Product Metadata Guidelines for ONIX 3.0

Published November 2010; revised November 2011

The BIC Product Metadata Guidelines are intended primarily to help UK publishers in the preparation of ONIX data feeds, by setting out notes on data element inclusion and usage which have been reviewed and agreed by the BIC Product Metadata Group and in particular by the principal aggregators of UK book trade product information: BDS, Bowker and Nielsen.

The guidelines have been updated in 2011 to bring them more closely into line with international guidelines published by EDItEUR.

ONIX for Serials

ONIX for Publications Licenses