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
WS Sports and outdoor recreation
WSB Sporting events and management
WSC Disability sports
Use in conjunction with specific WS* codes where applicable. See also: WSBB “Olympic and Paralympic games”
WSD Sports training and coaching
WSE Extreme sports
WSF Air sports and recreations
Class here: ballooning, paragliding, skydiving, gliding, etc
WSJ Ball games
WSK Track and field sports, athletics
WSL Gymnastics
WSM Weightlifting
WSN Equestrian and animal sports
WSP Motor sports
WSQ Cycling
WSR Rollerblading, skateboarding, etc
WSS Water sports and recreations
WST Combat sports and self-defence
WSU Bodybuilding
WSW Winter sports
WSX Field sports: fishing, hunting, shooting
WSZ Active outdoor pursuits

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