The Life of Metadata

Data isn't just sent once, it continually changes and evolves. No matter how it reaches the consumer, it needs to be rich and correct.

There are numerous options for managing this process, some that are easier than others. The choices available to publishers for managing the development and distribution of title data include:
  • Using in-house publishing systems and manually distributing the data (logging onto each individual retailer website and uploading data)
  • Using an in-house publishing system and then transferring the data into an ONIX transfer tool
  • Using a fully integrated publishing system that does everything
The Problem

Wayne State University Press There is a huge demand on publishers to repurpose title metadata. Bonnie Russell, Technical Project Manager at Wayne State University Press explains the challenges they faced,

“We need to send our data to 10+ different partners including Ingram, Amazon, Edelweiss, and Barnes and Noble. Before we could send ONIX we had to send spreadsheets that were in 10+ different formats. In addition to sending data to our vendors, we had to use a convoluted multi-step method to feed our bibliographic data to our website. While we had a publishing database and data went in relatively easy, it was not at all easy to get data out of it.”

Prior to using BiblioLIVE, Wayne State University Press used an internal FileMaker Pro bibliographic data system that had been implemented in 1992, and partially rewritten in 2002, before the rise in ebooks and digital publishing. The problem with the legacy system was it couldn’t effectively repurpose or distribute the data. This meant data was living in 10 different places as people would pull the data out of FileMaker, put it in Excel, edit it, and then merge it into the required format. Bonnie Russell explains,

“If the data changed, for example, price or marketing copy, it had to be updated in multiple places and then redistributed. The problem didn't just stop with having to manage data to distribute it to various partners, it was compounded when we then had to update our website, TIP sheets and catalogues. It seemed to be a never ending cycle and the data was never the same in each place.”

The Solution: BiblioLIVE

Increased Sales

Now Wayne State University Press is looking to expand their network for distributing data, and is able to deliver their metadata to additional ebook outlets, including Kobo and Sony Reader. Since they have been using Biblio to store and distribute their data they have seen double digit growth in ebook sales, and a lift in print book sales as their titles have become more searchable through better and more accurate metadata.

Centralised Data

“When we moved to Biblio we wanted our book and journal metadata centrally located. That allows all of our departments to feel confident that they have the most-current and correct data for any purpose. By using a central core database, our metadata can be automatically repurposed, distributed to 3rd parties, and updated in our TIP sheets, website and catalogues.” - Bonnie Russell, Wayne State University Press.

Increased Quality and Quantity of Data

Before Wayne State University Press moved to Biblio, their title management database held only the most basic data. It was not written with ebooks and their associated metadata in mind, and lacked a great deal of specificity. Before they migrated they could only send their distributors basic metadata, but now using BiblioLIVE's data management tools they are sending an average of five times more data per title. This means the consumers have more information available to attract them to purchase the title. Their authors are also happier as their titles are correctly and richly represented online.

“The biggest difference has been in the metadata available for our edited volumes. Before only the names of the editors were included in our metadata, but now using Biblio we are able to send the names of all contributors, which increases the searchability and accessiblity of those titles, and recognizes the individuals whose work is included.” - Bonnie Russell, Technical Project Manager, Wayne State University Press

Up to Date Data

With BiblioLIVE, Wayne State University Press now have their partners set up to receive ONIX 2.1 or ONIX 3 along with their print and ebooks automatically on a weekly basis for their distributors, and on a daily basis for their website.

Wayne State University Press’ data is not only up to date, it happens automatically. This has freed up their staff to work on issues that truly need human intervention.

“We have gained a week’s worth of staff time in the sending of metadata to our distributors alone, and has allowed us much more flexibility in updating prices, reviews and awards information to both our distributors and our website.” - Bonnie Russell, Technical Project Manager, Wayne State University Press

Employee Efficiency Gains

Before Wayne State University Press had Biblio, they would only update their partners twice a year due to the work involved. It would take their marketing team 2-3 weeks each time to update the data to all distributors. It would literally take weeks to find out which titles had data changed, and what those changes were. Bonnie explains, “We then had to organise the data into the required formats. Now it just happens!”

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