Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

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Policies & Practices > Topics on Great Courses being Not-a-Booked have been frozen by forum moderator, but Goodreads Support has sent me to this Librarians Group to discuss the policy?

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message 1: by Ket (new)

Ket | 1 comments Goodreads Support instructed me in an email to come to this group to discuss the decision made last month, April 2018, to no longer identify the Great Courses series as audio productions, and to blanket-apply the designation Not a Book to these audiobooks.

Quote from the email Goodreads Support sent me: "There's quite a large debate continuing in our Librarian Group here and you're welcome to continue voicing your concerns on this platform." The "here" was a hyperlink to Not a Book - but it is!, which has since been locked by the moderators of this forum with instructions to email Goodreads Support to request that they change this policy. Bit of circular communication occurring here. Goodreads Support believes this conversation should happen in this group's forum, and this group's moderators believe this conversation should happen in individual emails to Goodreads Support. I'm not sure if the moderators locking these topics are aware that Goodreads Support is sending users here to voice their concerns on the change in policy.

As was pointed out in this thread, which was also locked, the decision that lectures on audiobook no longer count as audiobooks means that the Feynman Lectures should now also be Not-a-Booked, along with a long list of lectures on audiobook which are considered classics in their own right.

I came today to point out that the Modern Scholar series (some 800 titles?) should also be Not-a-Booked.

And that this transcript of the famous Foucault-Chomsky debate certainly does not qualify for book status if the materials which accompany the Great Courses do not - this should also be Not-a-Booked by the Goodreads librarians: The Chomsky - Foucault Debate On Human Nature by Noam Chomsky . I own this material, and it is a transcript of the audio, like the perfectbound book which accompanies some Great Courses.

I am a longtime member of Goodreads and enjoy logging my yearly print reading and audiobook listening through the Goodreads website. I have bought eBooks and audiobooks by following Goodreads' embedded Amazon link button to items I might enjoy, and have used Goodreads to discover other books by my favorite authors. These functions on Goodreads are negatively impacted by the recent staff decision to Not-a-Book all of the Great Courses.

Previously, the author listed had either been the writer-lecturer recorded for the course (best) or simply 'The Great Courses' (less good, but still at least searchable). Goodreads must recognize that, functionally for audiobook listeners, the The Great Courses series are audiobooks, and at times are the best resource available for an audiobook listener on a topic, and are often included in Listopia lists on a given historical subject. The Great Courses series (at least when checked out from the library) often come with a perfectbound or saddle-stitch book which covers the material in the course; this material is more book than other items included on the "Is a book" list, such as "calendars or something-a-day books with additional content." And the bound nature of these books would, by the current wording of the "Is a book" list, correctly be identified under "periodicals without ISBNs but substantially similar to books (e.g., perfectbound literary magazines)." Or even, given their nature, "reference books." Here are pictures to display the bookish nature of the book that can come with a Great Course. Of course, listing these periodicals with their audiobook under the name of the author of the material, the lecturer, was the most functional way for Goodreads to let its users track their audiobook listening of the Great Courses.

There's also the issue of how The Great Courses are sold on Amazon: as an audiobook, not in a category on Amazon called audiolecture. Goodreads' new decision will negatively impact my ability to search for related courses and courses by the same lecturer to purchase from Amazon or to see if a course is on Audible if the "Not A Book" designation is maintained for these audiobooks.

The functions for which I use Goodreads:
*to follow authors whose work I enjoy and want to discover more of
*to discover new books in a series or in related topics through a Listopia list (people cannot add them to lists if they cannot be found in the database)
*to log my annual audiobook listening
*to track which authors I consume the most material from

are all negatively impacted by the Goodreads' staff decision to "Not a Book" the Great Courses series, which seems to indicate very little familiarity on the part of the staff with the Great Courses.

Before removing the hundreds and hundreds of metadata author information for lectures on Goodreads, I'd like to contribute one final point to this debate, which is "These items are books: audio productions, not recordings of theatrical productions (the format should be "audiobook")." Whether or not they are produced with a perfectbound print material, the Great Courses are audiobooks and they are audio productions. The material that they present was written by an author who then delivers the material in the form of a lecture for the audiobook format.

Changes to Goodreads should not remove functionality for users. I copy-paste this contribution to the debate on the Not-a-Book status for Great Courses from my email to Goodreads Support to this Librarians Group since Support's email explained this is what I should do, but if this is not the correct way to move forward please let me know! Where is the correct place for users to contribute to this conversation?

message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 45482 comments Mod
As mentioned here, we are currently reviewing this policy.

If you sent in an email, we already have your feedback. No need to post in again in this group.

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