Book Industry Study Group

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The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is a U.S. trade association for policy, technical standards and research related to books and similar products. The mission of BISG is to simplify logistics for publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media.


The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) began at the annual conference of the Book Manufacturers Institute in November 1975. Here, a few publishers and manufacturers met informally with representatives of several trade associations to discuss the urgent need to improve the industry's research capability. Once begun, this small group invited others to join in sponsoring a seminal study of book industry information needs on which a future program could be based. BISG was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in February 1976 and its Report on Book Industry Information Needs was completed and published in April 1976. The report confirmed the feasibility of a program of major research studies by and about the industry.

As an organization BISG is concerned with the publishing industry as a whole and its membership consists of companies from all sectors of the industry. Trade and professional associations such as the Association of American Publishers, the American Booksellers Association, the Independent Book Publishers Association and the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association have all been long standing active members of BISG.

Over the years BISG has published many research reports in response to the needs of its members. Among these are studies of paper availability, book distribution, elementary/high school adoptions, printing capacity cycles, book sales through non-traditional book markets, consumer book buying habits and an informational guide to the top 50 relevant corporate and community sponsored education programs. In conjunction with other organizations, BISG has produced reports on African-American book buyers, small and independent book publishers, and the state of used book sales in the U.S.

Through BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications), BISG has been involved with technological advances such as bar codes and electronic business communications formats. It developed BISAC (Book Industry Subject and Category) Subject Headings, which are a mainstay in the industry and required for participation in many databases. BISAC Subject Headings are also making inroads into library classification.[1]


A wide array of committees, interest groups, and taskforces provide an ongoing platform for the advancement of book industry issues and standards within BISG. These committees are actively managed by BISG members and meet regularly (usually on a bi-monthly basis).

BISG Committees: Digital Standards Committee, Distribution Executives Interest Group, EAN Transition Taskforce, Manufactures Executive Interest Group, Publications Committee, Research Committee

BISAC Committees: BISAC Subject Codes Committee, Identification Committee, Machine Readable Coding (MRC), Metadata Committee, Publisher/Manufacturer EDI Message, Rights Committee, Supply Chain EDI Committee


  1. ^ Tarulli, Laurel. "BISAC to replace Dewey in the future?". The Cataloguing Librarian. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 

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