Works with multiple volumes

Publishers frequently publish product compilations or collected products that are released on a sequential basis. Each product is available separately as part of the publisher’s compilation and has a GTIN-13. The compilation, on the other hand, does not have a GTIN-13, and is thus not available commercially as a single product. This type of publication is termed a work with multiple volumes in Metabooks.

Works with multiple volumes thus serve to make products thematically compiled by the publisher visible as related to the customer.

Please note: as soon as a superordinate work has its own GTIN-13, it is a multi-part product, for which a regular product data set is to be generated, and the sub-products included to be listed as a parts list.
The Metabooks definition of a “work with multiple volumes” corresponds to a “collection” in ONIX 3.0.

In order to categorise your product as part of a work with multiple volumes, you may include the following information in your product description.

In ONIX 3.0, a work with multiple volumes is specified by a collection composite including a CollectionType bzw. x329 with a value of 10 from code list 148 angegeben. At the bottom of the page, you will find examples on how to fully describe works with multiple volumes.

Titles and subtitles

Titles are entered into ONIX 3.0 in the TitleDetailComposite. TitleType or b202 needs to have the value 01 from code list 15. For works with multiple volumes, you can enter a title (TitleText or b203) and a subtitle (Subtitle bzw. b029). ONIX 3.0 has the peculiarity that title and subtitle are encapsulated in a title element composite. Because it is the title of a work with multiple volumes, the TitleElementLevel or x409 needs to have a value of 02 from code list 149.

Please note: if you do not provide an identification number, Metabooks uses the title to search for existing works with multiple volumes in its database and add your product to one of them, as needed.

If Metabooks cannot find any appropriate entry, a new line with the title of the collection will be created automatically for ONIX 3.0 products.

Identification number

Each work with multiple volumes in Metabooks has its own unique identification number This allows you and the data recipients (independently of the sent title of the work) to quickly and easily identify all parts belonging to a particular work.

Due to the distinction made between series and hierarchies in ONIX 2.1, there are two types of identification numbers for works with multiple volumes in Metabooks.
For works with multiple volumes in Metabooks following identification will be used:

  • Series acronym to identify a series

To facilitate error-free transfer of information on series in ONIX 3.0, the collection composite the series acronym. The identification number is to be listed in ONIX 3.0 in the collection identifier composite. Setting the CollectionIDType or x344_to a value of 04 expresses that this is a series acronym. The relevant values are listed in code list 13 appropriate identification number is to be entered in _IDValue or b244.

If an identification number has been listed, Metabooks will search its database for a work with multiple volumes with that number, and assign the product to it.

Format Composite Rule for linking to existing works with multiple volumes
ONIX 3.0 Collection with series acronym Search for series by your publisher with this series acronym

If no matching work with multiple volumes could be found, the search will continue based on the title, and if appropriate, a new work with multiple volumes generated.

Volume Count

With a volume count, you are providing information which particular part of a work with multiple volume the product described is. The volume count is independent from the title of the product. The volume count enables booksellers to sort as desired when listing all parts of a multi-volume work. It is thus recommended to provide a volume number for each volume.

Because the volume count is an item of information at the product level rather than the collection level, a second title element composite must be filed in ONIX 3.0. In this, the TitleElementLevel or x409 is to be set to a value of 01 to clarify the relationship to the product. The volume count is given in PartNumber or x410.



A pocketbook series for hikers regularly publishing new parts on hiking in Central Germany is to be listed as follows. The series already exists in Metabooks, hence the series acronym ABC12 can be filed as an identification number. Because providing a series acronym is optional, you may leave the relevant composite empty. The product described has a volume count of 12, and so is the twelfth part of the series.

ONIX 3.0 Short
      <b203>Taschenbuchreihe für Wanderfreunde</b203>
ONIX 3.0 Reference
      <TitleText>Taschenbuchreihe für Wanderfreunde</TitleText>