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.

See the Search hints below

Code Description
Y Children’s, teenage and educational
Do not use “Y” on individual books. Select appropriate code(s) from Section Y below
YB Picture books, activity books and early learning material
Do not use “YB” on individual books, but select from YB* codes below. With YB* codes, also assign appropriate 5A* Reading Age/Level Qualifier where possible
YBC Picture books
Prefer more precise sub-category below where possible
YBCB Baby books
Class here: small format, board book or rag book picture books with little or no text, and no early learning content
YBCH Picture books: character books
Use for all books based on TV or film characters, and all books featuring established pictorially-represented characters used in several books and or other products, eg Miffy, Maisy, Spot, Bob the Builder, Beatrix Potter books, Disney books, Rupert Bear, Tintin etc
YBCS Picture storybooks
Class here: picture books with a strong narrative text

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