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Book Issues > Well, that's special

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message 1: by Cynthia (last edited Jul 16, 2009 11:35AM) (new)

Cynthia Armistead (technomom) | 159 comments Anybody have a clue as to how this happened?
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I wouldn't have thought it possible to enter a book with no title at all. FWIW, the author was entered last name, first, and there is absolutely NO other information. All done manually by one of our GR authors, who gave the mystery book 4 stars!



Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Cyn wrote: "Anybody have a clue as to how this happened?"

It looks to me like there's a blank space in the title field. Perhaps someone thought they were being clever getting around that required field....


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

At least they liked it!


Jessica | 959 comments Well that is special :)


message 5: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 22291 comments Mod
Or they copy-pasted something that didn't take. It might be a good idea to message the adder and ask what book it was meant to be?


Cynthia Armistead (technomom) | 159 comments I think she probably read Drown by Junot Díaz. I don't have any evidence about that other than the fact that there's only one book by that author in our system (although he (she? not familiar with that personal name) may well have others. It's terribly popular with people who enter it improperly - I combined/deleted some today, and had to ask for a super-librarian to do another. There seems to be one truly legitimate copy in the system, but it has a title of Negocios: Cuentos / Drown. Google says that the first bit means "Business : Stories" and I don't know if the novel was given a really different name when it was translated, or if there are two books in one volume, or what. Worldcat doesn't have that ISBN.

ETA: Aha! Díaz does have another volume by the other name, so I figure that one is a combined edition.


message 7: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 22291 comments Mod
If there's really only one book by that author, then yeah, probably safe to just merge this with that.

But seaching turned up more, and a better profile (http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/...), which I merged with the other.


Cynthia Armistead (technomom) | 159 comments Any suggestions as to what title to use? I have no way of knowing, and I don't think I can delete it without combining.


Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments You should send a message to the person who has it shelved; I'd recommend just leaving it until they reply.


message 10: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 22291 comments Mod
Yes, that's my suggestion as well.


Eva Leger (EvaMarie22) | 756 comments I've had a lot of success with messaging people. I've gotten a lot of info sometimes like that- they'll probably get back to you quick and allow you to fix it correctly then.


Ana (anacnunes) | 7 comments As said above, I think you should message the person who added the book.
I made a research and that author has at least 5 books published (and a few short stories), so merging might be a mistake.

But it's kind'a funny how omeone actually managed to add a book with only "___" as title


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Junot Diaz wrote The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which was very popular in the last year or so.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

--and, yo know what? If I type "Junot Diaz" into search, Oscar Wao doesn't come up, though it's listed on Goodreads. Has it been indexed with the accent in "Diaz" and not cross-referenced to the spelling without?

This to say that a person searching for Oscar Wao via Diaz wouldn't find it and might try to add it. I would doubt it's an attempt to work around a protective obstacle.


message 15: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 22291 comments Mod
Shoshanapnw wrote: "Has it been indexed with the accent in 'Diaz'"

Yes.


Shoshanapnw wrote: "and not cross-referenced to the spelling without?"

Not currently possible. We live in hope that the aka feature will save us. ;)


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

So searching for "Diaz" without an accent, which is how most of us search, brings up only one book by this author (plus the entry under discussion) and brings up neither of his bestsellers. That's a problem.


Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Making searches handle accented characters is actually a pretty tricky technical question. It would probably be worth raising again in the Feedback group to see if there's any official word on it, though....


message 18: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 22291 comments Mod
Shoshanapnw wrote: "That's a problem."

Indeed. But without an easy solution.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

What about a FAQ for "Authors with Accents in Their Names"?


message 20: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 22291 comments Mod
That's a thought. Any volunteers to write it up? I can post it to the help section once it's polished.


Cynthia Armistead (technomom) | 159 comments I'd be happy to do so, although I think it would be better if we have some kind of word from higher up first.

I did message the person who added the book, and hope to hear back from her at some point.


message 22: by Reid (last edited Jul 19, 2009 02:47PM) (new)

Reid (Reido) | 14 comments Perhaps such a help page could include all diacritic marks in authors' names, eg, Pema Chodron, who properly speaking should have umlats over both "O"s in her last name.


Cynthia Armistead (technomom) | 159 comments I don't think we could possibly mention all the authors whose names have special characters, but maybe some of the most popular ones?


Reid (Reido) | 14 comments Cyn wrote: "I don't think we could possibly mention all the authors whose names have special characters, but maybe some of the most popular ones? "

Oops, I was unclear. What I meant was a help page to assist me in putting the special characters in. I am still new at this thing, and I don't know how to do that (e.g., an umlat "O", etc).



Cynthia Armistead (technomom) | 159 comments Ah, ok. I think I just replied to a message from you in another thread with some hints :-)


Reid (Reido) | 14 comments Cyn wrote: "Ah, ok. I think I just replied to a message from you in another thread with some hints :-)"

Yep, thanks.


message 27: by Jessica, Features Editor (new)

Jessica Donaghy | 63 comments Mod
Shoshanapnw wrote: "What about a FAQ for "Authors with Accents in Their Names"?"

Sorry for the sloooow response on this one! A FAQ does sound like a good idea. There is not currently an easy fix in the works for solving the search problem (and I periodically agitate for the aka feature - someday it will come!!!). What are the key points librarians need to know? A volunteer for writing something up?




Cynthia Armistead (technomom) | 159 comments To whom do I send a draft? Or should I just post it here?


Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 2365 comments Yay Jessica re lobbying for the AKA feature. If Goodreads can ever offer that, it will be a huge plus.


message 30: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 22291 comments Mod
Here works.

Otherwise, support AT goodreads DOT com.


message 31: by Cynthia (last edited Jul 29, 2009 05:12PM) (new)

Cynthia Armistead (technomom) | 159 comments International Characters in Author Names and Titles

GoodReads policy is to enter the names of authors as they themselves would spell them, including any special characters. Because the majority of our users and librarians speak English, they don't always know how to enter those characters when searching.



Sometimes, just entering the nearest English equivalent will allow you to find an author or title. For instance, typing "China Mieville" will sometimes bring up books by "China Miéville."



If that doesn't work, there are many ways to enter characters that don't appear on English keyboards.



First, Windows and some Macintosh operating systems include utilities to allow you to chose a character with your mouse and copy it to your browser. In Windows, that's the Character Map, which you'll normally find under Program Files > Accessories. Mac OS X has the Character Palette. Some versions of Linux have a similar utility.



Next, every Unicode character has been assigned a hexadecimal code that can be entered to call up that character. The method for doing so depends on your operating system and the software you're using, but this article offers a fairly good explanation for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux users.



Finally, if you use Mozilla's Firefox browser, you can use one of these extensions to easily access special characters.



abcTajpu :: Add-ons for Firefox - officially works for versions up to 3.5, but I'm using it without a problem on version 3.5.1.
International Sideboard :: Add-ons for Firefox

If you know of other useful utilities, please let us know.




message 32: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 22291 comments Mod
Looks great! I'll give y'all until Sunday to tweak, and then add it to the Manual.

FYI, Goodreads' HTML does not currently support the list function, although MICHAEL promised me it will one of these days.


Cynthia Armistead (technomom) | 159 comments Ok, list code removed :-)


Dori (adorible) | 198 comments I perused this thread and ended up looking at the editions of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao". There are some issues I would clean up, but I'm pretty new at doing this and I don't want to inadvertently mess it up, so if somebody could tell me if I'm on the right track I'd appreciate it.

I combined one wayward copy that had the title misspelled and the author's name without the accent. There is no other information in the record, so I believe it should be deleted (since I've combined it, this means the reviews would be moved to the most popular edition, correct?). Once looking at all the editions together, there are actually 3 editions that I think should be removed: one, two, and three. Two of the editions have 5+ reviews, so someone else will have to remove them.

There are two kindle editions and I'm not sure why (well one is from Amazon and one was added manually, so I know why...but I don't think there should be). I'm guessing they should be combined. My intent was to separate them out into their own set, delete the one with only 3 reviews and then merge the one kindle edition back into the others. That would keep all the kindle reviews together, right?

Also, should I have started a new thread to ask these questions?


message 35: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 22291 comments Mod
I got the three you linked; you were correct on all.

And yes, please do merge the Kindle editions as you described.

A new thread might have gotten a faster response, but it's not a big deal. Although if you wanted a current thread, the "please delete" one is better for this sort of thing.


Dori (adorible) | 198 comments Done, thanks.


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