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Adding New Books > Not a Book connundrum

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This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments A book I was looking for was not in the Goodreads DB (shocking!). When I went to add it and entered the ISBN, I got a message that that specific ISBN had been marked as "Not a Book". Now this is an interesting change from past behavior, but now leaves me with the problem of not knowing how to fix it (since it most certainly is a book). How can we search and correct something which has been erroneously marked as not a book if it's unsearchable?


message 2: by Emy (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5029 comments I'd say that if you can leave all the details here a super will look into it :)


message 3: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41973 comments Mod
Supply the ISBN, please.


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments Whoops, meant to leave the ISBN: 0486482340

It could be that this ISBN is doubled-up. Book details can be found on the publisher's website: http://store.doverpublications.com/04...

Emy, I actually am a super, but have no idea how to deal with this issue. I think you need an uber-super like rivka to deal with this.


message 5: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (last edited Mar 17, 2013 04:39PM) (new)

rivka | 41973 comments Mod
Unless there's more to it than the blurb indicates, that looks like it has origami models and not much more. Sounds like a valid NAB to me.


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments How is that not a book? It has detailed instructions on how to make specific models. How does that differ from any other craft book?


message 7: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl The same thing happened to me when I was searching for one of those Wikipedia-sourced books. It's quite annoying. This was not a Books LLC or a Hephaestus, it was something else I had found on Google Books and wanted to shelve, and couldn't.


message 8: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 568 comments A short while ago I was editing a few details on an early edition of Doctor Zhivago and I noticed it was coded as Not a Book. I changed it; this is definitely a book. Published by Pantheon, 500+ pages. I couldn't see any reason why it would be coded that way, but some librarian specifically changed it to NAB.

No ISBN. Too early. But here is the edit page:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/edit/36... if anyone wants to look at it.


message 9: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments rivka wrote: "Unless there's more to it than the blurb indicates, that looks like it has origami models and not much more. Sounds like a valid NAB to me."

Origami books are not like paper doll books; you don't cut out a "model" and play with it! They're more like cookbooks or coding references. I have certainly always considered them books!


message 10: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments I would agree that this seems like it would be more of an instructional guide than anything else.


message 11: by Tntexas (new)

Tntexas | 404 comments This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For wrote: "How is that not a book? It has detailed instructions on how to make specific models. How does that differ from any other craft book?"

I agree. If other instructional craft books are allowed to be a part of the database, I don't see why this one shouldn't be. (And as a matter of fact, there are several other origami books listed in the data base. --- starting with the fourth book down.)


message 12: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Betsy wrote: "A short while ago I was editing a few details on an early edition of Doctor Zhivago and I noticed it was coded as Not a Book. I changed it; this is definitely a book. Published by Pantheon, 500+ ..."

No indication from the edits who nabbed it, or that it was nabbed at all.


message 13: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Cait wrote: "Origami books are not like paper doll books; you don't cut out a "model" and play with it!"

And many paper doll books are not like paper doll books, either. There are tons and tons from the Dover imprint which people buy, collect, and use as references, usually fashion/costuming, or purely for historical interest. Trust me, I have un-Nabbed probably hundreds of these in the database. Most of them have explanatory text, too, which is an additional reason that (according to Goodreads' rules in which text matters more than images...) they should not be Nabbed.


message 14: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments I went through Dover's list of books by John Montroll and "Origami Under the Sea" with ISBN 0486477843 is also incorrectly NABbed.

I like the new method of NABbing but I wish there were a way for librarians to reverse it in cases like this!


message 15: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Is there any way for librarians to un-NAB in the new process? Or should we set up a sticky thread for employee un-NABbing?


message 16: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41973 comments Mod
I can't do it either.


message 17: by MissJessie (last edited Mar 18, 2013 01:06PM) (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments I have been working in Not a books correcting those which should not have been so marked. Many many of them.

Frequently enough, when checking for librarian edits, there either are none, or the book is marked as having been changed by an import source. Of course these can be easily reversed by making a correction; still, maybe that's a source of the problem too.


message 18: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments rivka wrote: "I can't do it either."

Wait, so when you NAB a book it is now gone forever?

I...I think I'm going to be a little too scared to use that feature now.


message 19: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41973 comments Mod
Developers can rescue them. I put in a request, but it may be a while before anyone gets to them.


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments It's an interesting change in behavior. It used to be that you could still find NAB'd books on the site, particularly if you searched by ISBN, but often just by searching for the right keyword. This new (and here "new" means new to me...the change may have occurred months and months ago) change where NAB's are more truly blocked from search results is a better fit to what we wanted the NAB to achieve in the first place, but they may need some middle ground to allow more easy rescuing.

I wonder how this is being done. Are they actually using the NAB "media type" (which as far as I know had always been ignored by the system since it was introduced) or is it based on the fake author/title we've been using to sort the NAB's away from the other texts? If they're using the media type and simply refusing to show a NAB in any sort of result (general search, author book list, etc.) it's actually way more convenient to NAB an item because we no longer have to change the author name to move all of those items out of their lists. The system just doesn't show them.

We just potentially need a special way to view/review NAB'd items for fixing errors (e.g., a list that only librarians (or super- can access) or a special flag in the search parameters that would override the NAB suppression. Obviously, we can send word to the developers when we find these, but its harder to discover the errors are there. I only found out when I tried to add the book...when I searched and it wasn't there I almost didn't bother because I was just trying to get info, not shelve it.


message 21: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl This is worrisome.


message 22: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl It's also a surprising decision to make it irreversible and virtually unfindable given how many librarian errors we see, in all areas of the database.


message 23: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41973 comments Mod
Many NAB'd items (especially if were ever shelved or reviewed) are still listed on the site as they always have been.

These are only the ones that have been NAB'd via the link on the book's edit page, which only exists for books with no shelvings.


message 24: by Vicky (last edited Mar 18, 2013 06:28PM) (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments I always wondered how the not a book button worked.

I was going to say that the irreversible NAB shouldn't be overly troublesome based on the fact that you can't use the button when a book has been shelved by anyone.

But then I've thought of all the NABs I've personally reverted. Many, many librarians have incorrectly NABbed music books by Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. Less than 20% of the books on that profile have been added by users - but they are still books and someone could add them at a later date. The same could be said for Books LLC where only 15% of books have been shelved.

The NAB author is definitely an inelegant way of handling the issue and I do like the idea of making books properly deemed NAB go away, but I feel like it needs some sort of check and balance system. Even if it was as primitive as dumping NABed books into a queue somewhere where supers could release them to NABland or cancel the change (which would, preferably, keep books from being able to be NABed again).


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) Vicky wrote: "Even if it was as primitive as dumping NABed books into a queue somewhere where supers could release them to NABland or cancel the change (which would, preferably, keep books from being able to be NABed again). ..."

Maybe once the supers released the NAB, the system could auto-append a note saying "cleared by GR as a book" or something more elegantly worded...


message 26: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41973 comments Mod
Mass-NABs like music books are highly unlikely to have been done using the link, as it would have to be done for each and every edition of each and every work.

Items from Books LLC and similar sources are no longer being imported to Goodreads, as was announced a while back. Existing one with no shelvings may have been moved to NAB, but no shelved ones were touched.


message 27: by Tntexas (new)

Tntexas | 404 comments So as it stands, a book that's been incorrectly NABed can only be "rescued" by re-adding the book to the database sans its ISBN? Am I understanding that correctly?


message 28: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Tntexas wrote: "So as it stands, a book that's been incorrectly NABed can only be "rescued" by re-adding the book to the database sans its ISBN? Am I understanding that correctly?"

It depends; if it was NABbed using the old system (typing NOT A BOOK in the author field) it can be recovered. If it was NABbed using the one-click system on the book edit page, it's gone forever unless a developer can retrieve it. Or it can be added without the ISBN in the latter case, but of course that's an incomplete record.


message 29: by Emy (last edited Mar 19, 2013 02:34AM) (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5029 comments Is it worth making so that only Supers / Staff can NAB using the link, in the same way we 'normals' can't do GR author merges or book deletes with more that 5 reviews? I'm thinking of this in the same way that I lock down global changes on the OPAC at work - it's not that I think the other staff are incapable, but that they don't do it enough to realise all the consequences...


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