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
C Language
Do not use “C” on individual books; select appropriate code(s) from Section C below
CB Language: reference and general
Note: with CB* codes, assign also the appropriate Language qualifier, where possible
CF Linguistics
Note: with CF* codes, assign also the appropriate Language qualifier, where possible. Reserve CF* codes for use with academic and specialist works only. Note: for semiotics / semiology, use GTE “Semiotics / semiology”
CJ Language teaching and learning (other than ELT)
Note: use CJ* codes for teaching / learning material for all languages and for English as a first language. Always assign Language qualifier. Do not use for English as a second language, ELT, TEFL etc – see Section E

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