Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

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Book Issues > Second opinion sought: would you merge these?

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message 1: by Antonomasia (last edited Dec 16, 2018 03:36AM) (new)

Antonomasia | 508 comments This is about a pre-ISBN edition from 1931 (USA).

I've already merged an edition with no adds that was also clearly marked US first edition and had a worse quality picture of the same cover, into this one:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

The question is whether to merge this one into it too:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...
This was added by a staff member and as there's nothing relevant in comment history from the time it was added, I would guess that it was done in response to a message from the one user who's added the edition, and that that's probably a scan of the cover of their copy. (There was an initial slip categorising it as paperback when there wasn't a paperback edition with that year/publisher/cover, only hardcover.)


message 2: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13673 comments If you are absolutely certain there was no paperback edition, I would merge them and keep the better image. The black on the other cover looks washed out due to light reflections, but the covers are the same.

(How I wish comments could be added when adding a book/edition...)


message 3: by Antonomasia (last edited Dec 16, 2018 04:18AM) (new)

Antonomasia | 508 comments lethe wrote: "(How I wish comments could be added when adding a book/edition...) "

Yeah, I hoped for this one there might have been comments about it in this group, but there weren't.

I wish it was possible to comment on merges too. I'd like to have added comments to a couple of merges I've done for stray editions of Berlin Alexanderplatz, as if anything did come up in the future I'd have forgotten things like info adders had put in non visible fields (a translator name in 'title sort by') or deductions made on the basis of things like, in one case a combination of blurb wording googled and matching a particular edition; adder location and usual reading language.

Paperbacks weren't printed anyway for serious literature like this in the US or UK in 1931. Never mind with a cover identical to that of the hardback and available in the same year.


message 4: by annob (last edited Dec 16, 2018 04:22AM) (new)

annob | 1521 comments A tricky decision. Given that the 'newer' record originally was entered as Paperback format by a Goodreads employee, and the other as Hardcover, I wouldn't merge the two records. At least not without some kind of proof the paperback format never was published. But I mostly edit newer books than this one, so not an expert on the issue of format in the 1930s.

lethe wrote: "How I wish comments could be added when adding a book/edition..."
Antonomasia wrote: "I wish it was possible to comment on merges too."

I use a workaround to make sure I can leave a comment when adding new books, or merge duplicates. See example here where I held back the page count data of a new edition until after I created the new edition record, and then directly after went back into edit mode to add the page count + my change comment. https://www.goodreads.com/book/edits/...


message 5: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 508 comments There was also an error in entering the title but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention that in here. It was the sort of thing you correct all the time without mentioning it - but as supporting argument it is relevant.

Leaving this as a separate post in case it has to go.


message 6: by annob (last edited Dec 16, 2018 05:17AM) (new)

annob | 1521 comments I hear your frustration. :) My comment wasn't a final decision on the thread as a whole, simply how I reason when it comes to mergers of duplicates. Hopefully others with different ways of reasoning can continue to chip in on the topic.


message 7: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13673 comments annob wrote: "I use a workaround to make sure I can leave a comment when adding new books, or merge duplicates. See example here where I held back the page count data of a new edition until after I created the new edition record, and then directly after went back into edit mode to add the page count + my change comment."

*high-fives* I also use that workaround, but I'm afraid we're in the minority (and non-librarians adding books can't use it anyway).

I think it is a great pity that there is nothing in the Manual about the importance of change comments. As a newbie librarian I didn't even understand what was meant by it. "Change comment? What comment and why would I want to change it??" ;)


message 8: by annob (last edited Dec 16, 2018 10:40AM) (new)

annob | 1521 comments lethe wrote: "*high-fives* I also use that workaround, but I'm afraid we're in the minority"

Haha! Love your energy! Perhaps not easy to find as the rules in the manual but there is a good description of why change comments should be used in the Help section: https://www.goodreads.com/help/show/4...

My newbie mistake was to put my change explaination in the 'Librarian Comments' area at the very bottom of the edit page, rather than the 'Change Comment' field. It took me a few edits to figure out why my comments didn't show in the logs. :)


message 9: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13673 comments annob wrote: "Perhaps not easy to find as the rules in the manual but there is a good description of why change comments should be used in the Help section: https://www.goodreads.com/help/show/4..."

Wow, where did you find that? I have never come across it. Is it in the general help section instead of in the manual?


message 10: by annob (last edited Dec 17, 2018 07:55AM) (new)

annob | 1521 comments Yup, if you search the general help section (https://www.goodreads.com/help) for 'change comment' it pops up first in the list of results.

Side note: Oddly, the link in your quoted section of my post leads to a completely different help topic than the one in my post above. :)


message 11: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (livka) | 7927 comments annob wrote: "Side note: Oddly, the link in your quoted section of my post leads to a completely different help topic than the one in my post above. :)"

The quote is truncated after the first digit (4), so the link goes to help topic number 4, when the one about 'change comment' is help topic 415 - the same rule as with Harry Potter links :)


message 12: by lethe (last edited Dec 17, 2018 08:52AM) (new)

lethe | 13673 comments annob wrote: "Yup, if you search the general help section (https://www.goodreads.com/help) for 'change comment' it pops up first in the list of results."

Aha, so it can only be found if you specifically search for it (the same as with 'spam', by the way). VERY wrong in my opinion. It should be a readily available topic in the Librarian Manual (since it mentions "other librarians", and can only be used when editing records).

No wonder it's being used so sparingly.
(It is in the manual, thanks annob and Arenda)


message 13: by annob (new)

annob | 1521 comments lethe wrote: "Aha, so it can only be found if you specifically search for it"

I did find it in the Librarian Manual as well, under the section 'Using the book edit page: work-specific data' >> change comment. It leads to the help section I listed earlier.


message 14: by Arenda (new)

Arenda | 20005 comments lethe wrote: "Aha, so it can only be found if you specifically search for it (the same as with 'spam', by the way). VERY wrong in my opinion. It should be a readily available topic in the Librarian Manual (since it mentions "other librarians", and can only be used when editing records)."

It is part of "Using the book edit page: work-specific data", which is a 'chapter' in the Librarian Manual.
https://www.goodreads.com/help/show/8...


message 15: by annob (new)

annob | 1521 comments Olivia wrote: "The quote is truncated after the first digit (4), so the link goes to help topic number 4, "

Thanks for solving the mystery, Olivia! :)


message 16: by lethe (last edited Dec 17, 2018 08:50AM) (new)

lethe | 13673 comments Arenda wrote: "It is part of "Using the book edit page: work-specific data", which is a 'chapter' in the Librarian Manual."

Thank you so much, Arenda and annob! Somehow, I always missed that. I take everything back :)


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