BIC Subject Categories and Qualifiers

This is BIC’s Subject Categories and Qualifiers Scheme, version 2.1 released November 2010, the standard classification scheme for the UK book trade and some other English language markets, available from

Note that BIC has announced that there will be no further development of the BIC scheme, and that Thema is its preferred subject scheme for current and future use. Browse the latest version of the Thema international, multilingual subject category scheme here.

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Code Description
R Earth sciences, geography, environment, planning
Do not use “R” on individual books; select appropriate code(s) from Section R below
RB Earth sciences
See also: RGB “Physical geography and topography”
RG Geography
Note: with RG* codes, assign also Geographical qualifiers as appropriate. For World atlases, Globes and World maps, use GBGM “World atlases / world maps”; for Place names and gazetteers, use GBGP “Place names and gazetteers”; for Road atlases and maps, use WTRD “Road atlases and maps”; for Travel maps, use WTRM “Travel maps”; for Street maps and city plans, use WTRS “Street maps and city plans”; for Historical maps and atlases, use HBTP1 “Historical maps and atlases”
RN The environment
See also: TQ “Environmental science, engineering and technology”; KCN “Environmental economics”
RP Regional and area planning

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