Browse the BIC Subject Categories and Qualifiers

This is BIC’s Subject Categories and Qualifiers Scheme, version 2 revision 01, the standard classification scheme for the UK book trade and other English language markets, available from You can also browse version 1.2 of the new Thema international, multilingual subject category scheme.

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Code Description
5 Interest age / Special interest qualifiers
Do not use “5” on individual books, as it is not a valid qualifier code; select appropriate qualifier code(s) from Section 5 below
5A Interest age / level
5H Holidays and seasonal interest
5S Of specific Gay and Lesbian interest
5X Contains explicit material
Use for all material (often called ‘young adult’) for mid-teens and upwards featuring topics regarded as unsuitable for some readers, including sex, drug use, violence, swearing. Assign both a Y* and a non-Y* subject code to all such items, in addition to the 5X qualifier. May optionally also be used for any adult material of a sexually explicit nature (which would not have a Y* subject code)

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