No subject

Sun Jul 1 19:24:19 UTC 2007

printings of the same edition need to be linked, since except for rare
books libraries do not catalog separate printings individually. OCLC
does a fairly good job at this, though it does not get them all.
Libraries consider such matter as paperback/hardcover, and thumb
indexed, and so forth as printings, no matter whether publishers call
them editions.  Typically publication in different countries amounts
to different editions, though--they are not always they same. The
actual rules for this are complicated, legalistic, and change from
time to time, as they need to deal with all the different situations
publishers have deliberately devised or accidentally perpetrated.

The linking of different true editions is a little more complicated.
Libraries do list them separately.. Library cataloging has various
devices for bringing them together, and  OCLC and other library
catalogs generally do a fairly sophisticated job of this. Related
works are also brought together; the details are again quite
technical, but the bases are what we call a "uniform title" and the
concept of a "work". The intention is to provide for any useful level
of aggregation.

You'll see it in action if you look for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
in any library catalog.  And in a large library you'll see it for
Great Expectations too, for there are translations into other

There is no need for WP to figure this all out internally.

On 9/19/07, Andrew Gray <shimgray at> wrote:
> On 12/09/2007, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at> wrote:
> > Typically, sellers of new books will only show the ISBNs of current
> > editions.  Books that have a new edition each year will have a long
> > range of ISBNs and will distinguish hard and soft cover, or even whether
> > there are thumb tabs in the fore edge.  I very much agree with the
> > usefulness of a reference work that would sort out the different editions.
> Of course, for the average English-language work, you have the US
> edition, and the UK edition, and possibly an Australian or Canadian
> edition... and hard and softcover in both... and people have started
> giving ISBNs to some reprintings, or work on a "new cover art, new
> ISBN" model... or have the "anniversary edition" with identical text
> but new blurb be a new edition...
>'s insane.
> There do exist such reference services for crosslinking. They're
> patchy, they're sometimes available and sometimes not, and they're
> going to be subjective* and incomplete for the forseeable future. I
> would *love* to see what Open Library can do with this, or suggestions
> for how we can help**.
> --
> - Andrew Gray
>   andrew.gray at
> * Yes, subjective. Boundaries are fuzzy. Great Expectations with two
> different editors is the same work. Is 20,000 Leagues with two
> different editor-cum-translators the same work?
> ** One of the best ways we can help is to do the spadework. Writing an
> article about a book? Do the research and give us a comprehensive
> history of its editions, with publications dates and annotations and
> ISBNs where they exist. Our article is better, and we have the raw
> material to feed an ISBN resolver in the future.
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> WikiEN-l at
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:

David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list