ISNI for the publishing supply chain

For the past couple of years, the British Library, in its role as an ISNI Registration Agency, has been working with a small Working Group of publishers and other organisations involved in the metadata supply chain for the UK book industry to explore options for matching ISNIs into publisher product metadata. 

Members of the group who have taken part in this matching trial with the British Library are Bibliographic Data Services; Bloomsbury; Cambridge University Press; Hachette UK: Harper Collins; Pan Macmillan; Penguin/Random House with some coordination by EDItEUR and the ISNI IA. Further members of the group including Book Industry Communication (BIC); International ISBN Agency: Nielsen; Publisher Licensing Services will likely be involved in a later phase of the project which aims to match publishing company names to ISNIs.

The exploration has evolved into a small project matching ISBN data between the British National Bibliography and publisher metadata backfiles, and triangulating this with author name strings and the links from these to library name authority files. The authority files can then pull ISNIs harvested in the Virtual International Authority File and match them against the correct name strings in publishers’ product metadata.

The results so far have linked ISNIs into c. 70% of names contained in publishers’ current databases. 

Having proved the principle of linking library and trade  metadata to share the benefits of the ISNI as an author identifier in the book supply chain the group is continuing to meet to work on closing the gap to get 100% ISNI coverage in publisher metadata.  The next steps will also include exploring options for establishing sustainable workflows for ongoing assignment of ISNIs to new authors. 

The British Library