Category: For Publishers

Import Formats for the BookMetaHub

Import Formats for the BookMetaHub

What Types of Data Formats are Supported on the Hub?

The import of available metadata records is easy! In just a few steps you will be able to import and find all requested records to your workspace and ready for enhancement or download.

Open the dropdown menu of your →My BookMetaHub and go to your →Dashboard.

On the →Dashboard are currently two import formats supported which you can choose:

  •  Add metadata by DOI

You can easily add basic metadata for your books and chapters by submitting a list of DOIs (Crossref and Datacite accepted). Simply paste a list of DOIs into the request box or upload an excel sheet to query all metadata for your DOIs.

After your request is processed, we will send you a notification by e-mail.

  • Upload ONIX XML metadata

Alternatively, you can upload ONIX XMLs via the Dashboard. Supported are ONIX formats 3.0 and 2.1. Please note that the readout for ONIX 3.0 might lead to better results for your metadata. This is due to the fact that the latter format is more standardized, which in return leads to a higher chance for a richer set of imported data.

After your request is processed, we will send you a notification by e-mail.

As the last step for both please select your →Publisher Workspace for all requested records to be imported to.


Create your own Publisher Workspace and see what’s (missing) in your metadata!
About BookMetaHub Data Formats

About BookMetaHub Data Formats

How-To Upload, Enhance, and Export your Book Metadata:

BookMetaHub’s new interface allows publishers to enhance their metadata to make it compliant to digital environment requirements and to enrich and standardize it, to increase interoperability for easy sharing and re-use for other platforms.

Step-by-step guide

Step 1: Import Formats

The new BookMetaHub is able to ingest a variety of formats, which you can upload via the My BookMetaHub →Dashboard.

Step 2: Manual Record Creation or Enhancement via the User Interface

Publishers can then enhance and enrich the metadata via a →User Interface to make the records fit for indexing in a digital research environment. The publishers who have no metadata ready can input information directly via the User Interface.

Step 3: Export Formats

Designated output is primarily PubMed compatible BITS XMLs and Crossref XMLs. Via our open API publishers can also easily download content in batches.

For further output formats such as ONIX, MARC, JSON, or KBART you can send data from the BookMetaHub directly to Thoth via our new integration (or import the ONIX files from Thoth to BMH). Get in touch to learn more!


The overall objective is to make use of a variety of formats and enhance them so that they can be reused for digital indexing, to help solidify and standardize relevant metadata elements–in short, to upgrade records for usage in an e-environment.


Export Formats for the BookMetaHub

Export Formats for the BookMetaHub

Export Content via XML Files


After successful import, creation, or enhancement of your book and chapter metadata, you can freely download all content to share with other third-party content aggregators.


HowTo export content via BITS or Crossref-compatible XML on the record-level:


On all record pages (books and chapters) on the BookMetaHub you will find a →Download button. Just click the button, and select your preferred →export format. Supported in the system are BITS XMLs and Crossref XML.


BookMetaHub: Export data via our open API


We are happy to announce that the BookMetaHub now operates an OAI-PMH service for the distribution of metadata in XML.


This system is based on the OAI-PMH version 2 repository framework and implements the interface as documented here:


We support selective harvesting according to sets defined by the Publisher’s Workspaces available on BookMetaHub. To list all available sets, go to:


Please note that the from and until dates in a request capture when a record was imported to OAI database and are not referring to the publishing dates of the item.

This means a request of records with dates defined e.g. 2022-01-01 to 2022-12-31 will return all records that were created or updated within the hub throughout the year of 2022, regardless of the publication dates included in the records.


With the ListIdentifiers (ListRecords) request the set, from, and until parameters are optional.


Examples of requests:


Request a list of records from Masaryk University Press set (Workspace):


Request a list of all records imported since 2022-12-01:


Many OAI requests are too big to be retrieved in a single transaction.

If a given response contains a resumption token like this:

<resumptionToken expirationDate=”2022-12-12T12:19:04Z” completeListSize=”705″ cursor=”10″>a8f7db4c-31cf-413c-8710-e13c8d845c6f</resumptionToken>

you must make an additional request to retrieve the rest of the data.

The token should be appended to the end of the next request:



How to Create or Enhance Metadata via the BookMetaHub User Interface

How to Create or Enhance Metadata via the BookMetaHub User Interface

Easily Create, Enhance, or Update your metadata via the BookMetaHub (now with Thoth integration)


The new BookMetaHub offers an intuitive User Interface for publishers to either create metadata from scratch or enhance and update available content whenever there are changes required!


HowTo work on your metadata via the User Interface:

Once publishers successfully register on the BookMetaHub and create their own workspace, all available metadata can be easily imported via the current import features. All records will be added to the publisher workspace. If there are no data files or records available, publishers can use the interface to create book and chapter records from scratch.


HowTo create metadata for your books and chapter:
  • On all publisher workspaces there is a →Add new book button availble on the workspace banner. Just click the button and the User Interface will open for manual input of available metadata. Just follow the descriptions on the page.
  • Once a book record is finished, it will show up in the publisher workspace page listing all new records.
  • To add additional chapters, open the respective book record and click on the →Create chapter button. Again the User Interface will open for manually inserting respective chapter details.
  • Book-level metadata will be inherited from the book, so only specific chapter details need to be added.
  • Once all required details are added, click the →Save button. That’s it!


HowTo update or enhance your metadata for your books and chapter:
  • After succesful import of content to your publisher workspace via the supported import features, publishers can access any record pages via the their workspace.
  • You can easily access any record pages of your imported books and chapters via the workspace.
  • On all book and chapter record pages, publishers will find an →Enhance metadata button. Just click the button and the User Interface will open showing all imported details.
  • Simply scan through the data to quickly find missing elements or change incorrect details.
  • Once respective changes are done via the Interface, click the →Save button. That’s it!


After a few minutes, your newly created or updated records will be ready for download on all record pages!


For further format-specific enrichment and gaining access to more output formats such as ONIX, MARC, KBART, or JSON, we set up an easy data transfer between the BookMetaHub and the Thoth system.


Here is How to Set up an interface between the BMH and Thoth:


  1. Create account on Thoth
    1. get in touch with us with your imprint ID: we will connect your workspace with Thoth account in background
  2. After setup, there is a new àExport to Thoth button
  3. After successful export you will find àEdit in Thoth button
    1. Land on new record page populated with essential data
    2. Currently creating new contributor record and adding basic publication details
    3. More elements will be added along the line, to reduce the need for repeated manual data input
  4. Continue the format-specific enhancement on the Thoth platform to make valid records for output in ONIX, JSON, KBART, and more!
    1. Via a variety of different interfaces you can add missing publication details about the book and chapters, enrich the publisher/imprint or update the contributor records.

We will continue to work on this development to make sure the joint workflow will significantly reduce redundancies in Publishers’ metadata workflows. We value your feedback, so please feel free to reach out to us!


About BookMetaHub

About BookMetaHub


We have built a new environment with a free interface to create, maintain and enrich, or export available open book metadata.

Open metadata for books is essential for the transformation of the whole scholarly landscape, and one of its greatest advantages is full immediate accessibility.

The new BookMetaHub was created to enable institutional and academic publishers, libraries, or university presses to easily maintain and enrich their metadata. These stakeholders can have free access to a state-of-the-art system to create from scratch or enrich available input via an easy-to-use user interface storing data in versatile BITS XML format. Vice versa, an open API allows for data export to facilitate distribution across various databases and repositories and will guarantee compliance with common standards and best practices.



Back in 2019 we started working with books content and have now over 6 million book and chapter records. However, coming initially from journal indexing, we rather quickly had to learn that data and corresponding data formats in use for sharing book content that is out there in the book publishing industry have a qualitative and quantitative downside in comparison to available article content—which is that they were not primarily created for the usage of indexing in a digital research environment and speaking of ONIX, not created only for books but covering a great variety of other media formats as well.

So arguably, even though MARC and ONIX records are still the most common data resource for book indexing, they are not necessarily or inherently well-suited for this purpose. Originally intended for library catalogs or distribution channels, the main objective is to have all available formats listed with respect to the individual physical manifestation in actual print. Of course, also these formats are being updated constantly to adjust to recent developments and to be able to answer to shifting needs in indexing. However records oftentimes do not even reference themselves. This can lead to a number of problematic consequences, such as missing digitalized and persistent bibliographic data and/or fragmentary portability or interoperability.

So, book publications overall not only still lack visibility within an electronic environment but the whole publishing landscape around books seems to suffer more from a tendency towards a non-standardized, and as such potentially more error-prone, communication between various indexing systems and respective data formats. As an indexer and research database our aim is always to consolidate datasets—that is bringing together formats under one header—and most importantly, we want to emphasize the version of record side-by-side with further, and potentially freely accessible, versions.

Therefore, our focus is greatly different: Instead of accentuating the variety we aim to unify the records. As a fundamental prerequisite we require persistent identifiers for creating constant linkages in a digital world. Most importantly, we need stable link-outs to the actual content pages (this is a huge qualitative difference!), ideally DOIs; and obviously we need license information to show open access content as freely accessible. Many times, licenses are not provided, or if they are, they are not clearly tagged in a machine-readable format—which makes it basically lost OA content. Persistent IDs are not necessarily inputted in MARC or ONIX (even if the data structure is there); however, and this is important to stress, those perceived gaps in data are oftentimes due to a different intended purpose for creating the content or simply due to an unawareness regarding the importance of adding those essential elements.

Our idea was to change the status quo and help publishers upgrade their (“analog”) metadata coming from print to e-metadata 2.0 for the digital world.

How does BookMetaHub work?

Put plainly, we have created a free interface for publishers to enhance their metadata to make it compliant to digital environment requirements, and to enrich and standardize it to increase interoperability for easy sharing and re-use for other platforms.

The new BookMetaHub is able to ingest a variety of formats, esp. here of course ONIX 2.1 and 3.0, Crossref metadata, or BITS XMLs. Publishers can then enhance and enrich the metadata according to a selected output and its format-specific requirements. For those who have neither at hand, they can input information directly via the User Interface.

Designated output is primarily PubMed compatible BITS XMLs, and Crossref-compatible XMLs for easy content destribution and DOI + metadata registration. For further output formats such as ONIX, MARC, KBART, or JSON, we set up an easy data transfer between the BookMetaHub and the Thoth system.

The overall objective is to make use of the variety of formats and enhance them so that they can be reused for digital indexing, to help solidify and standardize relevant metadata elements, to upgrade records for usage in an e-environment.


Our approach to bridge those data gaps is therefore threefold:
  • First, data is uploaded via Crossref or DataCite DOI or ONIX and relevant elements for the purpose of indexing are stored in the database. For best results and a richer start set of metadata, Crossref queried records can be updated with ONIX (e.g. for cover images). Alternatively, records can be created by direct/manual input via the interface.
  • The next step is format-specific enhancement to make the records a suitable data source for indexing in digital environments. Via the interface book and chapter metadata can also be created from scratch for those who have no book records at hand.
    • For example, a source ONIX record could be uploaded, enriched with detailed affiliation data, incl. also ORCID IDs, FundRef IDs, DOIs, translated titles or abstract information, keywords, etc.
  • Lastly, enhanced records can be outputted as BITS XML to be sent to other databases or to Crossref to make the freely available metadata set richer.


An Overview of Essential Elements as Part of the Metadata to Boost Book and Chapter Discoverability:
  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
    • Track publications throughout their lifecycle of various formats, editions, platforms, or versions
  • Chapter-DOIs – connected to a book title
    • Browse chapter pages with rich metadata connected via a TOC menu
    • Chapter-DOIs as additional links back to your content
  • OA licenses
    • Machine-readability to guarantee OA publications will be detected across the landscape
  • Copyright details
  • Book-level abstracts (in English and original language of publication)
    • Help to reach wider audiences and researchers to evaluate best fits
    • Abstracts as essential data for many machine-learning and AI systems
  • Chapter-level abstracts (in English and original language of publication)
    • Easy enrichment on all book-levels
  • Funding details (Funder, Funder-IDs, Grant no.)
  • Institution/Affiliation
    • Add more insight to the context around a publication
  • ORCID ID (authors/editors)
    • Add persistent IDs
  • Open references
    • Why keep them under wraps—increase your citation metrics instead
  • Open Reviews
    • Add transparency to the workflow
    • Credit the review community
  • Open Data Linking
    • Better reproducibility
    • Better transparency
    • Less redundancy


Metadata services

Metadata Services at ScienceOpen

Image by Manfred Steger from Pixabay

As a publisher you may want to host the version of record of your articles and books on your own website or repository, but take advantage of the rich metadata creation and distribution capacities of a professional hosting platform. With ScienceOpen we can make that happen! Our Metadata Technical Hub will help you create and maintain high quality XML metadata, deposit rich data to Crossref, DOAJ and other services. Metadata services are are available for book, journal and conference content.

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Open Access hosting

Looking for professional hosting of your scholarly content that maximizes the digital presence of your journals and books in the internet and reduces the time you spend on distribution? ScienceOpen can host your open access journal, conference or books in an interactive environment with state-of-the-art SEO, long-term archiving with CLOCKSS and integration with ORCID, Crossref and more.

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