It is essential to be able to encode and present information in the script required by the user. In an increasingly global environment it is not unusual to find multiple scripts present in a single bibliographic record even when transliteration is required for indexing in a homogenous script. Accurate character encoding is therefore essential when data is increasingly exchanged internationally.

Unicode (ISO 10646) has the advantage of embedding almost every script and avoiding ambiguity generated by the escape sequence solutions of earlier character sets. It can be used in a 16 bits set (UTF-16) or in an 8 bits set (UTF-8). The latter is recommended for bibliographic data exchanges. Unicode is used increasingly in the web environment and is the best choice for bibliographic records and library data processing.