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
W Lifestyle, sport and leisure
Note: many headings in Section W relate closely to headings in other sections. Use Section W for popular accounts for general readership; prefer Sections A, K, P, R, T, etc, as appropriate, for serious, specialist and academic works. Do not use “W” on individual books; select appropriate code(s) from Section W below
WN Natural history
Use WN* codes for popular works only; prefer sub-sections PS “Biology, Life Sciences”, RG “Earth Sciences”, RN “The Environment”, TV “Agriculture and Farming” for specialist and academic works. For popular science, us PDZ “Popular science”
WNA Dinosaurs and the prehistoric world
WNC Wildlife: general interest
WND The countryside, country life
WNF Farm and working animals
WNG Domestic animals and pets
WNH Zoos and wildlife parks
WNP Trees, wildflowers and plants
See also: WMP “Gardening: plants” and following
WNR Rocks, minerals and fossils
WNW The Earth: natural history general
Class here: popular works on natural history of the Earth, earthquakes and volcanoes, etc; prefer also: sub-sections RB “Earth Sciences” and RG “Geography” for specialist and academic works
WNX Popular astronomy and space
Class here: Constellation and star guides, sky at night; prefer PG “Astronomy, Space and Time” and following for specialist and academic works

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