How would you describe yourself?

Ronald Snijder

Mon 05 Dec 2022

Read this article at hypothè

Almost everyone has at one time or another been asked to describe themselves. For the books and chapters in OAPEN and DOAB this happens all the time: many libraries, publishers and content aggregators want to know exactly what is in our collection. In order to answer these questions, we provide daily updated metadata exports – see here (OAPEN) and here (DOAB).

Figure 1 "Self description" - Source:
Figure 1 “Self description” – Source:

Two of those metadata exports have recently been updated: the MARCXML and the ONIX feed.

MARCXML – Now complying with the NAG guidelines 

Figure 2 Metadata Profiles:MARC21 Records for Print & Electronic Books

The MARCXML feed – which is based on the MARC21 standard – is used primarily by libraries.

The MARC21 standard contains many options to describe publications, and thus it is quite helpful that the National Acquisitions Group (NAG) and the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) have created guidelines for standardised MARC21 records for print books, eBooks and eTextbooks.

By following this standard, content providers can better support academic libraries. We have now made sure that our MARCXML metadata feed adheres to this standard.

Improved ONIX feed

Figure 3 ONIX for Books

Apart from the MARCXML feed we have also updated our ONIX feed. ONIX for Books is an XML format for sharing bibliographic data describing both traditional books and eBooks.

Just like MARC21, this standard is very comprehensive. It is also quite rigorous: there are many checks on the content. In order to make sure our metadata better fits with this standard, we have made several small adjustments to how related ISBNs or funding data are displayed.

We hope these changes to the metadata allow the books and chapters in our collection to describe themselves a little better. If you have further questions, please contact Ronald Snijder: r.snijder[@]