Thema is a global broad subject category scheme, based on hierarchical code structures, for use in the book trade, whether physical or digital, online or in stores. It is a general purpose scheme and is not intended to replace specialist or library schemes but is designed to replace national general purpose book trade schemes over time. In the medium term, the benefit is that users need only map between their own scheme and Thema, rather than to and from numerous other schemes (e.g. BIC and BISAC) used by trading partners.
Like all EDItEUR standards, Thema is free to use; Book Industry Communication (BIC) and Nielsen have donated intellectual property to make this possible. Thema classifications can be embedded within industry standard ONIX for Books metadata messages.
Thema builds upon earlier work to develop an internationalised version of the BIC subject scheme, but goes further by combining a robust selection of shared subject categories with an expansive list of subject qualifiers which can contain national variants and extensions. In this way, Thema provides a structure that has global application and relevance, while meeting local needs.
Thema is managed by EDItEUR through a number of national interest groups and an International Steering Committee, in a similar manner to ONIX for Books.
For more information about Thema and to access the latest version, 1.1 released 30 November 2014, click here.