Ingram Blog

Metadata for University Presses

Another University Press Twitter chat, another excellent learning experience for everyone involved. In case you were unable to attend this latest online discussion, or you’rea simply looking for a quick recap of what was covered, we’ve provided a full transcript of the Q&A with our local metadata pro, Margaret Harrison.


Hey everyone. Margaret Harrison here! Director of metadata at Ingram. Thx for joining our #BuildUP metadata Twitter hour! I would love to know what metadata challenges you face in the UP community. Tweet me your questions! #BuildUP

Q1: Hey Margaret @IngramContent, How can metadata help UPs digitize their backlist? #BuildUP

A1: Great Q - UPs should assign an ISBN for each digital format (epub, pdf). Leverage existing print metadata. Update BISAC subjects too! Using persistent identifiers such as ISNIs and ORCIDs will certainly help a lot. Yes, ORCID is for use in academic research - tied to funding. Info here: http://orcid.org. Work w/the authors themselves, for a start. They are the best source of info. Use numbers to collocate & disambiguate, rather than text strings. #BuildUP

Q2: So not just one ISBN for the "ebook" version of a book? 1 ISBN for epub, 1 ISBN for PDF, 1 ISBN for mobi, etc? #BuildUP

A2: Right! 1 ISBN per format (1 for epub, pdf. etc.). Check out BISG best practices for digital formats #BuildUP

Q3: Wouldn’t assigning one ISBN for the ebook be equivalent to assigning one ISBN for all print versions? #BuildUP

A3: Right! We metadata nerds frown upon "e-ISBN" ie 1 ISBN for all ebooks. Just as 1 ISBN per print format, 1 for "e" While we're talking about ISBNs, we also get Qs from pubs about ISBNs for POD. Same 1 ISBN per format applies, POD or not #BuildUP

Q4: What's new with ISTC? #BuildUP

A4: ISTC=industry standard work ID. Not many ISTCs coming thru our doors. We use a family ID to link related books. A5 pt 2: Pubs most often use <RelatedProduct> in ONIX to link books - most effective IMO. #BuildUP

Q5: What are currently the best #metadata management solutions/platforms in your opinion? #BuildUP

A5: I'm partial to CoreSource :) @firebrandtech has a metadata platform too. Whatever you use, awesome to have 1 system of record #BuildUP

Q6: A lot of partners allow up to 3 BISAC subject codes. What are benefits/risks of assigning more or fewer than that number? #BuildUP

A6: 2-3 BISACs is the way to go. More will be largely ignored by retailers. Use keywords to fill in gaps #BuildUP

Q7: What are your recommendations for editing descriptive copy metadata fields when copy changes between catalog and book cover? #BuildUP

A7: Try to keep core metadata consistent but if changes make sure to communicate to supply chain partners #BuildUP

Q8: Ideally, how far in advance of pub date should cover images be disseminated? #BuildUP

A8: Cover images should be sent out 3 months+ in advance ideally but we will be happy if we get them by pub date :) #BuildUP

Thanks for participating @UWiscPress @KentuckyPress and @UnivofALPress. Expect invitations for the next #BuildUP!

OK, that wraps up our #buildup Twitter hour on METADATA - this was a blast! For more Qs I am @metadatable. Join us June 3 for next UP chat!


Ingram Academic Service’s weekly Twitter chats are a great way to keep up with the most relevant best-practices impacting university presses and academic publishers today, plus get real-time feedback from our team of UP pros. Keep a lookout for our next round upcoming Twitter chats and have your questions ready.

For more information on Ingram Academic Services or other questions please contact Caitlin Churchill.