Canadian Creators & Metadata in the Publishing Supply Chain: A Dialogue

The Canadian publishing industry is looking to hear from Canadian creators about how creators want their identity shared in the supply chain. Register today!

The demand for diverse books and authors has never been more important and the Canadian publishing industry has gathered a working group of professionals to examine how information about equity, diversity & inclusion is shared. While numerous opportunities and efficiencies exist to share information about a book’s content to improve their discoverability in the marketplace, the industry is considering how best to communicate information about the creators behind those products, particularly when the creator’s identity is concerned. So-called “identity marketing” is an emerging opportunity for creators’ books to be discovered in an increasingly congested market and for readers to read books crafted from a lived experience.

As the Canadian industry considers best practices for the collection, storage and dissemination of creator identity information as a part of supply chain practices, the Canadian Bibliographic Committee (a national committee of the non-profit organization BookNet Canada) struck the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in Metadata Working Group in September 2020 with the ultimate objective of advising the Canadian publishing industry in selecting the wisest course of action to communicate equity, diversity & inclusion information about books and creators. In the interest of involving creators in that discussion, as primary stakeholders to the question of how creator identity information should be shared, the Working Group is hosting a webinar to share its work to-date and to start a process where creators can join the conversation.

At this webinar, attendees will:

  • Learn about what the Working Group is trying to accomplish and why;
  • Discover why the Working Group has convened creators & contributors to solicit their feedback;
  • Be briefed on the Working Group’s discussion to-date;
  • Understand why different stakeholders want to collect & share creator identity attributes;
  • Be introduced to metadata and other supply chain processes of the professional publishing industry;
  • Unwrap existing successful case studies;
  • Appreciate how information about creators and books is collected & shared currently; and
  • Be welcomed to share their feedback post-event
  • Following the event, a survey will be circulated for attendees to share their feedback on the issues under discussion. Anonymous responses will be accepted, or survey respondents may provide their contact information if they’d like to receive a follow-up.

BookNet Canada is a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards, and education to serve the Canadian book industry. Founded in 2002 to address systemic challenges in the industry, BookNet Canada supports publishing companies, booksellers, wholesalers, distributors, sales agents, industry associations, literary agents, media, and libraries across the country.

BookNet Canada’s services and research help companies promote and sell books, streamline workflows, and analyze and adapt to a rapidly changing market. BookNet Canada sets technology standards and educates organizations about how to apply them, performs market research, and tracks 85% of all English-language Canadian print book sales through BNC SalesData.

Industry-led and partially funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, BookNet Canada has become, as The Globe and Mail puts it, “the book industry’s supply-chain nerve centre.”

The Canadian Bibliographic Committee is closely aligned with the BookNet’s mandate to improve the state of bibliographic data in Canada. The Committee was formed to research and institute bibliographic standards that can provide clean, timely, accurate bibliographic data from the source and to provide a forum to filter Canadian issues to the international group and vice-versa. The Committee identifies industry objectives for bibliographic data quality (including data that is more accurate, timely and complete, provided by more publishers, represented more accurately in databases, and transmitted in a consistent, efficient manner). To achieve these objectives, the Committee:

  • Evaluates existing sources of, and methods of production for, bibliographic data for the Canadian industry;
  • Defines and communicates standards and certification criteria for bibliographic data management and transmission;
  • Works with aggregators to ensure efficient and accurate processing of publisher data;
  • Establishes data quality monitoring processes to identify areas for improvement;
  • Evaluates and recommends tools and services to assist publishers in managing and distributing bibliographic data;
  • Ensures that Canadian perspectives are represented in international standards relating to bibliographic document formats, BISAC subject codes, and other data-focused areas.

The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in Metadata Working Group was formed by the Canadian Bibliographic Committee in September 2020 with the goal of making recommendations to the Canadian Bibliographic Committee on how to represent and distribute information about equity, diversity & inclusion in metadata.

The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in Metadata Working Group is tasked with:

  • Conducting a thorough landscape review of current standards available to communicate information relating to equity, diversity & inclusion;
  • Establish the distinction between current opportunities to communicate equity, diversity & inclusion information about the product and about the contributor; and
  • Identify equity, diversity & inclusion attributes that could be applied to contributors
  • Ultimately, the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in Metadata Working Group will advise the Canadian Bibliographic Committee in selecting the wisest course of action to communicate equity, diversity & inclusion information about products and contributors. This advice may take the form of a proposal, guidelines, or best practices. The advice will reflect consideration of various stakeholder goals, issues, environmental factors and concerns, and find the appropriate balance among competing interests.

BookNet Canada is committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and accessible conference experience for all attendees. This is accomplished only when all participants uphold the following guidelines and rules of etiquette.

Accordingly, we expect attendees, staff, and speakers to follow our Code of Conduct at all BookNet Canada events by following these guidelines and rules of etiquette:

  • Inclusivity: BookNet Canada events function with a spirit of inclusiveness and we celebrate all participants, including all races, ethnicities, a full spectrum of genders, a full spectrum of sexual identities, and persons with a range of abilities and ability challenges. We believe that a diverse range of experiences and perspectives is absolutely necessary in building a thriving and healthy industry.
  • Awareness: All attendees must be aware of how actions and words affect others. Do act accordingly.
  • Harassment: Harassment will not be tolerated. No attendee shall harass an event guest, staff member, volunteer, attendee, or any other individual in attendance. Harassment can be a series of events or a single event with a lasting impact on the other individual. Any such behaviour may lead to expulsion from the event. BookNet Canada or its event representatives reserve the right to remove any materials it considers offensive or any individuals acting in disagreement with its policies and philosophy, including any promotion of hate, religious/anti-religious proselytization, unauthorized solicitation, anti-feminism, or similar.
  • Anonymity & right to privacy: Respect other individual when sharing photos, videos, or quotes online by asking permission first and removing any content if you’re asked to do so. Downloading, taking screen shots, photographing, or recording video and/or audio of presentations and slides is prohibited. Registration constitutes consent to audio and visual recording (and use and alteration of the recording) by BookNet Canada for non-commercial purposes aligned with their mission.
  • Pronouns & gender neutrality: When possible, attendees are encouraged to self-identify their pronouns by adding them to their display names on the event hosting platform. If you are aware of someone’s pronouns or gender identity, make sure to always address them appropriately by using correct pronouns. If you are unaware of someone’s pronouns or gender identity, and are unable to ask, use the gender neutral terms “they/them” (rather than “he/him” or “she/her”).

Violations of this Code of Conduct may result in BookNet Canada representatives, at their full discretion, monitoring the incident, administering a warning, or expelling the offender (without issuing a full or partial refund), and/or restricting the offender’s attendance at future BookNet Canada events, including at in-person events.

Questions or suggestions?

If you have any questions or suggestions about BookNet Canada’s Code of Conduct, please get in touch by emailing

Reporting a violation

If you witness or experience inappropriate conduct, you should report such conduct immediately to a BookNet Canada staff member at the event or by emailing