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Book Issues > Galactic Derelict of Goodreads

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message 1: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments I'm soliciting suggestions on how to best handle this tangled ball of the Ace Books editions of Galactic Derelict by Andre Norton.

Goodreads has:

2728803 reported as published October 1st 1984 by Ace with ISBN 0-441-27233-9. GR is showing a cover for the Ace D-498 edition published in 1961. (the book only shows a 1959 copyright. The source for the 1961 date is " The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy through 1968" by Donald H. Tuck._

7690395 reported as published 1959 by Ace with no ISBN. GR is showing a cover for the Ace F-310 edition published in 1964. It has the same Ed Emshwiller cover art as Ace D-498 but I don't know if GR considers these to be the "same cover". I know GR does not want a separate book record for each printing.

3822971 reported as published 1959 by Ace with ISBN 0-441-27226-6. GR is showing a cover for the Ace 27226 edition published in April 1972. In this case the only issue is the date is wrong. The book does not state a printing or edition meaning someone just looking at the book only has the 1959 copyright available. However, the 1984 Ace printing lists the dates of the earlier editions and shows this book as April 1972.

19425763 reported as published by Ace Books with ISBN 0-441-27229-0. GR is showing a cover for Ace #27229 / 0-441-27229-0 published in July 1978. In this case the date was not given by GR and so there's no data loss if we just plug it in.

6428480 reported as published 1960 by Ace Books with ISBN 0-441-04498-0. The cover is for Ace 0-441-27229-0 which I covered in the previous paragraph. I believe this record should be NABbed. Amazon for ISBN 0-441-04498-0 shows the D-498 cover. I believe what happened is that a bookseller made up an ISBN. The 0-441- prefix is Ace Books. The "D" was translated into 04, the 498 part is from D-498, and they calculated an ISBN. Abebooks shows zero listings for ISBN 0-441-04498-0.

I know GR does not like covers to be deleted or changed. However, how do you handle it when the cover shown is completely out of sync with the publication details?


message 2: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13568 comments Marc wrote: "However, how do you handle it when the cover shown is completely out of sync with the publication details? "

We don't do anything. If a cover is not obviously wrong (i.e. wrong title, wrong publisher, or image not being a cover), it may not be replaced. Alas.


message 3: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments lethe wrote: "Marc wrote: "However, how do you handle it when the cover shown is completely out of sync with the publication details? "

We don't do anything. If a cover is not obviously wrong (i.e. wrong title,..."


Am I allowed to add a librarian note explaining what's wrong with a GR record, delete the ISBN from it, and to add a new record with the correct ISBN and the correct cover for that ISBN? If that's not allowed then can I add a explaining what's wrong with a GR record and add a new record with the cover with a note that it's an "alternate cover edition" for the ISBN and explaining what's wrong with the original record?

Can I change the publication date? I'd add a note explaining what a book states and giving the source for the publication date.

I understand the issue is people have already shelved and/or reviewed specific editions and so the question is, what are we allowed to do when there's evidence a record is wrong.


message 4: by Scott (new)

Scott | 16340 comments I feel like if a cover is completely incorrect for an edition, it should be allowed to be changed as long as the "original" cover still exists under its proper edition. Surely GR wants their database to be accurate in all respects.


message 5: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13568 comments Scott wrote: "Surely GR wants their database to be accurate in all respects."

Unfortunately, no. Someone slapped a cover on an edition of a Dutch children's book that belonged to an edition published 20 years later. I found proof for it, but I wasn't allowed to change it.


message 6: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13568 comments Marc wrote: "Am I allowed to add a librarian note explaining what's wrong with a GR record, delete the ISBN from it, and to add a new record with the correct ISBN and the correct cover for that ISBN? If that's not allowed then can I add a explaining what's wrong with a GR record and add a new record with the cover with a note that it's an "alternate cover edition" for the ISBN and explaining what's wrong with the original record?

Can I change the publication date? I'd add a note explaining what a book states and giving the source for the publication date. "


1) Absolutely not.
2) Yes.
3) Not sure. If the cover is wrong but the rest of the info is correct, I'd say no.


message 7: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments Thank you. I'll go with option #2 then and create new book records. I'll link to those via notes in the book records that are a mix of unrelated data.

Does GR consider 2728803 and 7690395 to be the same or different covers? From the 1950s to 1970s paperback publishers put the catalog number and price on the front cover. Related to this is when the price changed they generated a new catalog number for the book. Up until the mid 1960s these were printed large enough that we can read them on the 600px scans typically seen on Amazon and GR. Starting in the mid-1960s they started using SBNs and later ISBNs and adopted a practice of printing this plus the price(s) vertically, usually on the left edge. Usually it's hard to make out the ISBN and price in a 600px scan. Publishers treated the SBN/ISBN as a catalog number and would generate a new one each time they changed the price. Order forms for books usually only listed publication element part of an ISBN.

In 1980 Bowker, Nielsen Book Services, etc. greatly increased the prices for ISBN blocks. Publishers adapted to this by stopping the practice of generating a new catalog number, and thus a new ISBN, each time they changed the price. Barcodes were introduced in 1980 though from 1975 to 1980 publishers were aware of the upcoming introduction of barcodes and were leaving a blank area at the bottom of the back of the books. Once barcodes were added most publishers stopped putting the price and related data on the front cover.

In summary, prior to 1980 the catalog numbers, ISBNs, and front covers details changed every time the price changed. From 1980 on out the catalog number/ISBN never changes. Publishers still changed the cover art or layout at times but use the same ISBN as earlier printings.


message 8: by Arenda (new)

Arenda | 19918 comments Marc wrote: "Does GR consider 2728803 and 7690395 to be the same or different covers? From the 1950s to 1970s paperback publishers put the catalog number and price on the front cover. Related to this is when the price changed they generated a new catalog number for the book."

Those (and similar changes on the cover) are considered different covers.


message 9: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments I believe what happens is that GR will show the most popular record (based on # of shelvings and reviews) if you search for a title. If that record does not have a cover image then eventually someone adds one. GR used to allow anyone to add covers plus it's possible for a librarian to not notice they are on the wrong record or simply did not feel like doing the extra work to create an edition record from scratch.

For example, this record was created in November 2007 by an isbndb import with ISBN 0200715100, no publisher name, and no cover image. In Sep 2008 someone added the binding and language. In Nov 2008 a GR editor added the cover image for a trade-paperback edition from Scholastic Books edition. In Feb 2012 an import from ingram filled in the publisher name as HarperCollins meaning we now had both the wrong cover and wrong publisher name.

Recently I corrected the publisher name to Abelard-Schuman, added a new record with a cover scan for the Scholastic Books edition, and added a note to the original record with a link to the new one. I also added a record about the Abelard-Schuman edition with the correct cover. Initially I had also linked to this from the notes of the original record but removed that and instead flagged the edit that added the incorrect cover in 2008. I'll give it a couple of weeks to see if GR will delete the bad cover. If so, I'll upload the correct cover. If not, I'll add a link/note to the original record to the one with the correct cover and it will be handled as an alternate cover edition.


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