Metadata is the often-overlooked but essential component of the conversion process. Files delivered to distributors need to be accompanied by accurate descriptive data. In fact, with the introduction of the ePUB standard in 2007, several metadata elements actually form part of the file delivered. So metadata needs to be organized and available when the converted files are created. It also needs to be comprehensive.

"If you’re a publisher, what other information could you include in your data file that would help readers - or librarians, or educators - find your books?

How about expanded author information such as a detailed bio, a photo, and the author’s nationality? Or rich descriptive content like review quotes, extended book descriptions, or excerpts? Did the book get nominated for or win any awards? Every publisher has this information. Relatively few include this rich content in their data feeds, but it’s time to do so."

...More at Turner-Riggs Blogspace.

desLibris assists publishers with the enrichment and provision of metadata to distributors.

Basic Metadata

Publishers' ONIX files are the best source of basic metadata. All metadata supplied to distributors should originate with ONIX. While Excel is the most common format for the transfer of metadata to distributors, these files should be generated from ONIX. We recommend that Collection Point users populate their systems with ONIX-originated metadata at least semi-annually to make sure that data sent to distributors is synchronized with internal data.

The components of basic metadata used by digital distributors include bibliographic fields, supply-chain fields and rights fields.

For a sample of a typical metadata set, look at the desLibris metadata template.

But as stated in the quote above, publisher data needs to be expanded and normalized in order to support the most effective digital distribution programs. desLibris assists Canadian publishers in building this base.

MARC Records

MARC is the communication standard for library use of publisher metadata. All titles included in the Canadian Electronic Library are furnished with MARC records. These are created by Special Libraries Cataloguing, located in Victoria, BC. 

desLibris Publisher members may view and download MARC records for their titles from their Publisher Dashboard.


All titles in deslibris are relayed to OCLC as a standard practice. OCLC will add publisher metadata to WorldCat, making it available to libraries and end users on the web.


As the standard for publisher supply-chain metadata, Onix is a universal format which may be used for transfer of data to CollectionPoint or any other distribution partner. We will accept your Onix and store it in the system for redistribution with your digital files. If you do not currently use Onix, we can assist you in building an Onix database. As an Onix development tool, we highly recommend OnixEdit, a Canadian application which has received wide support among publishers worldwide. 

More information on OnixEdit.

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