About the ISTC ISTC Metadata
In order to register a textual work with an ISTC, it must be possible to uniquely describe the work so that it can be distinguished from any similar works already allocated their own ISTC. The ISTC registration system accepts “metadata” about each work using the “ONIX For ISTC Registration Messages” metadata schema. This is based on the book industry standard for communicating product information, ONIX for Books, but requires less data elements and has some data elements which are unique to ISTC. These include information about the origin of the work, i.e. is the work entirely original, or derived (perhaps as a translation or an annotated version) from another work? These data elements are necessary because ISTC metadata is used to make it possible to easily distinguish one work from another, even if two works have the same name and author (at least one author has written a stage play with the same name as a novel they wrote). Your local ISTC registration agency will help you devise the most suitable method for assembling and submitting the necessary work metadata in order to allocate each unique work with its own ISTC.