So what is the purpose of CIP data? CIP data is issued by the Library of Congress. There are really two meanings for the term CIP data. It can mean either the printed data found on the copyright page of a book or the bibliographic record created by the Library of Congress. The former is an abbreviated version of the latter. The purpose of CIP data is to help libraries throughout the United States catalog books. The bibliographic record includes the author name and dates of birth and death; primary, secondary, and sometimes tertiary subject areas covered by the book, and a cataloging number issued by the LOC.
CIP data is not an indication of copyright. There is no connection between copyright and CIP data. A book containing lacking CIP data does not necessarily lack a copyright; almost all published material is copyrighted. A copyright is automatically assigned when a creative work is in tangible form, even if the copyright is not registered with the US Copyright Office.
CIP data can only be issued to books prior to publication. Once a book is published, it is ineligible for submission for CIP data. Additionally, some categories of books are not eligible for CIP data, including high school textbooks, print-on-demand (POD) books, books from publishers with fewer than three titles published, and self-published books. There are several other restrictions. Even though there is no cost associated with obtaining CIP data, a publisher may choose to forego obtaining it even if the book qualifies. The intent of CIP data is to assist libraries, so if the book is not something most libraries would acquire, there is little benefit to obtaining CIP data for it.
Tin Whiskers Publisher is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). IBPA’s mission is “to lead and serve the independent publishing community by providing advocacy, education, and tools for success.” IBPA is a not-for-profit membership organization serving and leading the independent publishing community. Founded in 1983, it is the largest publishing trade organization in the United States. IBPA members pledge to uphold the organization’s code of ethics.