What are BISAC Subject Headings, and how can they help people find your (Sept ) (Sept ) (Sept ) (est. The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is a U.S. trade association for policy, technical It developed BISAC (Book Industry Subject and Category) Subject Headings, which are a mainstay in the industry and required for participation in. There are over BISAC subject headings available, and they are arranged under fifty-one major headings. Only the major headings have.

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As part of a marketing campaign for my proposed classification textbook, I prepared this introduction to BISAC for cataloging students. Sadly, neither Las Vegas nor the book happened. Now I have a healthy respect for it.

Headdings the end of headimgs section you will be asked to answer the key question: Heaidngs conferences anti-Dewey advocates will sometimes pitch their alternate systems. Because BISAC has become more mainstream in the past decade, you might someday work at a library that will debate whether to use it or not. BISAC is a list of subject headings that are used to express the topical content of books. Only the major headings have scope notes and usage information.

Here is an example: PETS is the major heading, and it is the hierarchical relationship in the string that classifies the concept. The hierarchy is limited to two or three subdivisions below the major heading. There are no subject headings for particular dog breeds. Here are some things to notice: However, they do express the hierarchical level of the descriptor. One kind leads you to another subject heading under the same major heading.

Another kind sends you to a different major heading. American and Canadian publishers assign the subject headings as part of a complete metadata record that is used to market the book.


As happens any living classification scheme, the annual update of the descriptors indicates that the scheme is getting more detailed and expanding. BISG guidelines ask publishers to go through the change list every year and update the categories to the most current.

Some of these extensions will have relevance for libraries, but currently only the regular subject headings are included in library catalog records.

Metadata Mindset: Optimize Your BISAC Codes in 8 Easy Steps

submect These are A mazon-specific descriptors. This gives you additional power for genre fiction searches. To test it, I did an Amazon search and came up with over one hundred golf romances! In the future you may see publishers using multiple subject bsiac in their metadata records, because BISAC is only one of many available to them.

There are also other national book industry schemes, and there is a new, multilingual, international subject classification called Thema that was released at the Frankfurt book fair in September Editors are warned not to add general headings as well as specific, and not to assign conflicting exclusive classifications. You should remember that there is an absolutely unbridgeable divide between juvenile and ssubject subject headings in BISAC.

As a classifier you must choose between one or the other, if comparable headings exist.

You cannot add both of them. The strings and the codes are completely different.

Metadata Mindset: Optimize Your BISAC Codes in 8 Easy Steps – INscribe Digital

Publishers assign BISAC codes to their products according to to their own internal standards, and BISG encourages them to put the headings near the bar code in an easy-to- spot location for bookstore owners as they arrange their stock.

Publishers do not use MARC to encode their metadata. Headdings growing percentage of the total records in Worldcat have fields.


The field is a small but mighty field that is easy to overlook because it is not easy to decode by reading. How does it rate on the evaluation? Are they correctly or incorrectly chosen by the publisher? If incorrect, what would be better choices? Here are the Library of Congress Subject Headings found in its catalog record: The last two are wrong.

SCIENCE is used for works aimed at professionals, and you would never use the general heading if you wubject a more specific one because the more general is implicit.

BISAC Basics | The Feral Cataloger

LCSH does not include higher levels of a hierarchy in its headings. These are issues you want to consider when you include both vocabularies as subject headings in your catalog records. I end with the same advice that I started with: You are commenting using your WordPress.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Take a look at all the subject headings under the major heading PETS.

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