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Policies & Practices > Textbooks and Annual Pubs: Combine or Series?

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This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments In the past, the consensus for textbooks has been to combine editions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 22nd) as a single book. Similarly, the decision was made to combine annual "updates" of things like collector's guides, travel guides, etc., into single books.

Now that we have series support, I wanted to reopen the idea that we treat at least some of these as series rather than combined works. I've always been against the idea of combining different editions of textbooks (but was outvoted): while many textbooks change little from edition to edition (publishers love putting out virtually identical text with a new "edition" as an easy money opportunity since it voids the used textbook market), others change dramatically, can be completely rewritten with different authors (including the first author), and have virtually nothing in common with earlier editions but the title. My suggestion is that textbooks become numbered series, with 1st editions combined (as #1), 2nd editions combined (as #2), etc. This still connects all of the books in a logical way, while more easily allowing for things like changing authorship, content, etc.

Whether a policy such as this (if accepted) should be applied to all "xth edition"/"year edition" types of works is a more complicated prospect (there are cases where I think its useful and others where it probably is not), but I wanted to at least make the suggestion and see where people now stand on the idea.


message 2: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Seems like it would be fraught with errors to say the least. A neat idea but I can't imagine trying to undo all the editions that have been combined and then series mark them.

I have seen several or many textbooks where all of the editions haven't made it to GR yet, so far as I can tell. So would it be, for example, #1, 4, 5,6, 9?

That's a librarian thing I would leave to someone else; the potential for error and complaints boggles the mind.

As for travel books, how far back do you go for issue #1 in the series?

I also think that people searching for textbooks already know which year/edition they want, so the potential for confusion over massive updates is minimal. (IMO) Maybe I'm being idealistic.

Regards NTM.


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