Thursday, January 10, 2008

BISG Wants Your Comment on Digital Content

Michael Healy, Executive Director of BISG has announced the publication of a discussion paper on the Identification of Digital Content. The paper was written by Michael Holdsworth who is working as a consultant in the UK and was with Cambridge University Press.

Here is the executive summary and I encourage you to contact BISG with comments. (Report)
The identification of digital book content A discussion paper commissioned by the Book Industry Study Group and Book Industry Communication and prepared by Michael Holdsworth.Executive summary Although there are strong similarities between the identification needs of physical books and of digital book content in the supply chain, new business models and new delivery channels challenge existing practice. There is a pressing need for clarity on the use of standards for the identification and description of digital products.The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is considered fit for purpose for trading,discovery and reporting of digital products within the supply chain.Every digital manifestation traded separately should be assigned an individual ISBN and publishers should adopt the principle that products should be separately identified to the extent that they need to be so identified.The Digital Object Identifier (DOI), though not in any way a substitute for an ISBN, is a valuable additional identifier which enables content to be “discovered” on the Web.Publishers and others should explore the possible opportunities for using the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) as a means of collocating different manifestations of the same textual work.Publishers should review their practices relating to the assignment of identifiers, particularly where a digital product is traded through an intermediary and accurate reporting of sales is required for royalty payments or management information.The practice of using a single ISBN for all digital manifestations of the same work is strongly discouraged.The use of “ISBN‐like” 13 digit identifiers other than those properly assigned by the ISBN agencies is strongly discouraged in all circumstances.

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