Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

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Policies & Practices > Practices about moving ISBN

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Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments To me, this type of librarian note is not helpful. First of all, moving the ISBN created an ACE. Why don't we have a policy about saying an ACE is an ACE?



And further, it isn't helpful that the note is visible only to librarians, and not to the membership. On neither record for this book is there any indication of an ACE that can be seen by users.


message 2: by Emy (last edited May 27, 2018 05:49PM) (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5038 comments Personally I add two notes - one as a Librarian Note, and one in the Description.

Having the ACE Librarian Note is helpful on combining - it saves me having to go into the record to see why there's an edition without ISBN.

The Description note is basically along the lines of < i >There is a New Cover edition for this work [ book:here|#### ] < / i>, or similar phrasing. The [ book:here |#### ] bit is because you can replace the text in Goodreads book/author links to whatever you like, and I find that "here" is better than a longer title text when the reader implicitly knows what the book is entitled! Hmm, I also stick the "Here" in bold because it's easier to see on some screens.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments Emy wrote: "Personally I add two notes - one as a Librarian Note, and one in the Description. "

Yes. I have gotten pushback on this before. Creating an ACE isn't for the benefit of librarians, but for the benefit of users, who (I have learned) cannot see the combine page. If we're not going to identify an ACE as an ACE, we might just as well delete alternate covers, because for other than titles with a small number of editions, they are worthless. (And no, I'm not going to do this, just making certain the point is understood.)


message 4: by annob (last edited May 27, 2018 11:17PM) (new)

annob | 1726 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "... it isn't helpful that the note is visible only to librarians, and not to the membership."

Elizabeth, thank you for addressing this topic. I too think it is very important, especially since the Librarian Manual ACE process clearly states information about moved ISBN/ASINs should be added to the description field, but it is seldom done.

I see this thread not as criticism of individual librarians, but a vital discussion to highlight current practises of a process we need to improve, or risk diminishing the quality of the GR book records over time.


message 5: by Philip (last edited May 29, 2018 12:07PM) (new)

Philip (burnnerman) | 5913 comments I always add it to librarian note and description, have not had anyone complain to me directly, but I suppose people may remove them once in awhile, but as stated above I think it is necessary.

On a side note, it appears that librarians are not doing ACE creations as much/consistently as they used to before the new move the ISBN/ASIN requirement. They used to get done within a few hours, now sometimes they just sit out there for days or weeks.


message 6: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14867 comments Philip wrote: "On a side note, it appears that librarians are not doing ACE creations as much/consistently as they used to before the new move the ISBN/ASIN requirement. They used to get done within a few hours, now sometimes they just sit out there for days or weeks."

A lot of librarians don't agree with the new policy, that's why they stopped doing ACEs.

Moving ISBNs used to be considered vandalism by GR. I still consider it so.


message 7: by Philip (new)

Philip (burnnerman) | 5913 comments lethe wrote: "Philip wrote: "On a side note, it appears that librarians are not doing ACE creations as much/consistently as they used to before the new move the ISBN/ASIN requirement. They used to get done withi..."

Yeah, I can sure understand that, and it actually takes a little more time to do them than it did before. Moving an ASIN does not bother me as much, but it still takes more time than the old way.


message 8: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited May 29, 2018 01:14PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments lethe wrote: "A lot of librarians don't agree with the new policy, that's why they stopped doing ACEs.

Moving ISBNs used to be considered vandalism by GR. I still consider it so."


I am not doing them, and have posted requests to have them done. I think one of them is over a week old. I suppose I could email support.


message 9: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited May 29, 2018 01:31PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments Corinne wrote: "The manual says to add this "“This a previously-published edition of ISBN XXXXXXXXXXXXX”)""

I agree, this is confusing language and doesn't say what it needs to say. The manual should be revised. (And if, for no other reason than that isn't good English, but mostly because this is under the section for alternate cover editions, and the language should say it is an alternate cover edition.)


message 10: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited May 29, 2018 01:54PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments Corinne wrote: "We need to know why our book was vandalized."

I disagree. As a user I just want to find my edition. The edition with the ISBN isn't the ACE, it is the edition *without* the ISBN that is the ACE. It doesn't matter that the ISBN/ASIN was moved. And it is the edition with the ISBN that most especially needs the information about where to find the edition *without* the ISBN. Yes, for librarians, the non-ISBN edition needs to be identified so that it doesn't accidentally get deleted, but also for the user to be able to verify that is, in fact, the edition they were looking to find. Both editions need to have that information in the description, and it needs to be where the user can easily see it - at the top, not the bottom of the description.

EDIT: And I obviously misread your previous post about which language was confusing. ;-)


message 11: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (livka) | 7927 comments If there is a new cover we are creating ACE, so for me ACE is always a new edition. I call the original 'previous cover edition' PCE? ;)


message 12: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited May 29, 2018 02:03PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments Corinne wrote: "okay. It's a little mind boggling for me because we don't have the ideal scenario where the edition with the isbn would tell you where to find the edition/s without. They haven't given that to us s..."

This is what I've been requesting the manual say, and require librarians to do. It makes absolutely no sense that we go through all of these hoops and still don't provide the necessary information for the user to find their edition, when that is what the policy is designed to do.

And the only reason I have a dog in this fight is as a user. I usually search by ISBN. If I have the edition without the ISBN on GR, I need a road map to get to it.


message 13: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited May 29, 2018 02:05PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments Olivia wrote: "If there is a new cover we are creating ACE, so for me ACE is always a new edition. I call the original 'previous cover edition' PCE? ;)"

The edition without the ISBN is still an alternate cover. And there may be several for the same ISBN.


message 14: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 26906 comments I always leave notes on both, one in the description & one in a librarian note.

"ASIN********* moved to latest edition as per guidelines."

I've only done them on books with editions of 4 or 5 books so I haven't said where HERE is, as Emy said above. Also it could be moved again by the time someone actually wants to look it up.

I certainly don't do as many as I used to, following this change.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments Sandra wrote: "I always leave notes on both, one in the description & one in a librarian note.

"ASIN********* moved to latest edition as per guidelines.""


I don't see how this is helpful. What does this mean? That the edition on which you left a note is an ACE? Why not say so? Remember, these notes get left and will be there in 5 years (probably). Let's leave notes that mean something.


message 16: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14867 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Sandra wrote: "I always leave notes on both, one in the description & one in a librarian note.

"ASIN********* moved to latest edition as per guidelines.""

I don't see how this is helpful. What do..."


I think the note is correct according to the new guidelines. The edition that was robbed of its ISBN / ASIN is NOT an alternative edition.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments lethe wrote: "The edition that was robbed of its ISBN / ASIN is NOT an alternative edition. "

Then the manual needs fixing, because it most certainly is an alternate cover of the edition that has the ASIN/ISBN.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments This is what the manual says:

Please confirm that the edition is the most recently published on Amazon or the publisher's site. In the Description field of the older edition, list the ISBN and state that it is a previously published edition (e.g., “This a previously-published edition of ISBN XXXXXXXXXXXXX”). You can also use the Librarian Note feature found near the top of the book edit page to add a note to the old edition explaining that you've moved the ISBN to the latest edition. Including a link to the related edition(s) is also preferable, although this is not required. Adding this information will help prevent the book from being accidentally deleted by a librarian who thinks it is an invalid entry. Please do not use the edition field for information about alternate cover editions.
Why aren't we including a note as above (emphasis added).


message 19: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14867 comments 'Previously-published edition' is clearer, I agree.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments lethe wrote: "'Previously-published edition' is clearer, I agree."

We have an edition with the ISBN/ASIN with one cover, and another (or several) editions with a different cover. I don't see why calling the edition with different cover(s) can't be called an alternate cover. It appears to be a chicken/egg situation, and I don't see why it matters which came first, just that they are related.


message 21: by lethe (last edited Jun 04, 2018 09:36AM) (new)

lethe | 14867 comments Because the earlier edition had first rights. The editions that came after are ACEs.

ETA I still find it vandalism to remove a valid ISBN from an existing edition.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments lethe wrote: "Because the earlier edition had first rights. The editions that came after are ACEs."

It wasn't always an "earlier" edition, just the edition that got added first. GR has decided, and within their rights as the business owner, to decide that they would prefer consistency. Which is beside the point.


message 23: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14867 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "lethe wrote: "Because the earlier edition had first rights. The editions that came after are ACEs."

It wasn't always an "earlier" edition, just the edition that got added first."


In those cases nothing needs to be moved.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7163 comments lethe wrote: "In those cases nothing needs to be moved. "

But call an ACE an ACE.


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