BDS now offers data in the UNIMARC standard through all its major delivery systems. The move to include the Universal MARC standard comes with the increased international interest in BDS metadata.

Originally developed to avoid all the conversion permutations between the twenty different MARC formats, UNIMARC was, in fact, adopted by several bibliographic agencies as their in-house format.

“UNIMARC like other MARC formats shares a similar base but the first thing that is noticeable is the different range of tags used,” comments Richard Scott who headed-up the technical team that undertook the conversion. “A little under the surface the differences multiply. The main challenges related to the time-consuming nature of setting up the various transformations and mappings from existing data formats into the required codes and values to produce valid UNIMARC data. Finally, there was the crunch through the entire BDS catalogue to produce UNIMARC for all records, and of course to then include them in the range of BDS services.”

The UNIMARC standard has been adopted by a number countries including China, France, Greece, Iran, Italy, Japan, Portugal and Romania while the current membership of the IFLA Permanent UNIMARC Committee is from Italy, Portugal, Russia, France, Lithuania, China, Slovenia, Croatia. UNIMARC and MARC21 are today’s dominant MARC formats.

“We are delighted to be offering UNIMARC data to our existing and prospective international customers,” says Jenny Wright, Chief Metadata Officer at BDS. “The move reflects the growing international relevance and demand for BDS metadata, and we are pleased that customers such as those in France will now enjoy all the benefits that BDS data can offer.”