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Book Issues > ISBNs somehow being assigned to older editions

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message 1: by Lisa (last edited Apr 28, 2008 01:16PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 2413 comments I know I've seen something about this somewhere but:

I checked a lot of my old books (early 60s and earlier) that I manually entered without ISBNs, although usually with other identifying data. And now they all have ISBNs assigned.

I"m not complaining because it means they're not going to be accidentally deleted.

But it's got me wondering whether eventually all editions of all books in the GR database eventually "get" ISBNs?

Obviously, a lot of the newer books/editions that people enter manually do go without ISBNs, at least for a time.

I haven't checked all the ISBNs to see what editions they are matched with.

But, does anybody know why this has happened?

Thanks for any information. (And I'll do some research too.)

Edit: Not all my books have received ISBNs. The ones that have are paired with incorrect editions from what I can see. But I'm reluctant to remove the ISBNs as I don't want my editions deleted.

This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments Lisa, I can't speak to any of your specific books, but the fact that a book was published prior to the invention of ISBN does not guarantee that there is not a legitimate ISBN associated with it since a reprinting of the same edition could have an ISBN and this would generally be used to refer to all printings of an edition (this is actually speculation...I do not know for a fact that it is true). The following is an example I posted about a month ago in another thread:

“For example, I have a copy of Eight Stories from the Rest of the Robots by Isaac Asimov. This book was originally published in 1964. The edition which I have (Pyramid Books) was first published in January 1966 (according to its title page), thus predating the use of ISBN (which was developed in '66 and implemented in '67). However, the specific book which I have is from the 7th printing (May 1974) and it does have an ISBN. Thus, that same ISBN would be used to refer to all of the printings of this book, even though some of them were done before the ISBN is considered the same book. A new edition is a different type of thing than a new printing.”

That being said, it is quite possible that many of the ISBN's which have been added to your books are errors. It is not usually simple to match pre-ISBN books to post-ISBN printings since there appear to be many cases where the ISBN does change for no obvious reason (to an outsider).

message 3: by Lisa (last edited Apr 28, 2008 01:58PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 2413 comments Michael, Thanks. I remember reading that post of yours but didn't do an adequate enough search to find it.

When I go to my editions and click on the Amazon link, it appears to belong to what I consider a completely different version of the book. But, I'm not clear what constitutes a different/the same edition.


Here are 2 examples where I don't think the ISBN is correct???:

And one where it looks as though an ISBN has been assigned to a 1961 book:

And one example where an ISBN has not been added:

This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments Given the paucity of reliable ISBN information for most books, short of having both the pre- and post-ISBN editions in hand to compare, I'm not sure what you can do other than use your best judgment.

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