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Book Issues > Major combine issue

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This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments I don't know if there are just some really sloppy and stupid librarians out there or the system is starting to go on some rogue and weird autocombine, but I've just discovered that 685 of Edgar Allen Poe's books have been combined into a single work. These were definitely separated not that long ago and they consist of many different works, so it's not a matter of accidentally combining two things but combining at least 10-20 (probably a lot more) works that were previously independent. At a quick glance these include:

*The Fall of the House of Usher (single story)
*The Fall of the House of Usher and other tales (collections)
*The Black Cat
*The Gold Bug
*The Mask of the Red Death
*Tales of the Groteseque and Arabesque
*The Murders in the Rue Morgue and other Stories
* and many more.

I can't figure out from the logs who may have done this, but if they continue in this vein with other authors (assuming they haven't already) they're going to undo a huge amount of fairly difficult librarian work.

This is the second such case I've seen today (Scalzi was the other, but at least not too hard to fix), so I'm a bit worried about the pattern


message 2: by James (new)

James (james_k_bowers) | 152 comments Precisely why I tend to shy away from the combine button when there are hundreds of titles for a particular author... I certainly don't want to have to go in and undo something like this, and I can't imagine that there are any librarians out there who simply can't wait for an opportunity to sort out this kind of mess... It occurs to me, however, that things like this may not be the result of a single effort to combine everything E.A.Poe into a single book - It might be numerous combines each individually made in error, and then too frustrating or confusing for the one making the error to correct (coupled with no accompanying cry for help).


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments When you consider the safeguards put in place to prevent just such an occurrence, a series of individual mistakes is even more unlikely than one single giant error and shows a complete disregard for the "Are you sure you want to do this?" questions that were put in place to avoid just such a contingency.

I don't know if there is a way to roll back this error, but if a single librarian is responsible for this, they may need their rights revoked.


message 4: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments If there's nothing in the change log, could it be a script gone awry? Something buggy in the autocombine, maybe?


message 5: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42415 comments Mod
Rolling back is not really an option.

And tracking down responsibility in the logs in often difficult after multiple combines.

The autocombine shows up in the logs as "Goodreads".


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments Even the idea of fixing this has me really depressed. I spent days and days just trying to get a good start on getting the EAP works somewhat properly sorted and combined and now half the work is not only gone but actually harder to fix because it's a lot easier to identify and combine a bunch of independent entries than it is to separate out the correct editions from a huge single entry.

And this when the Goodreads server seems to be choking quite a bit lately.


message 7: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42415 comments Mod
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For wrote: "Even the idea of fixing this has me really depressed."

Yeah. It is very depressing when a cleaned-up author page gets all mixed up, however accidental and well-meaning the culprit(s) were.


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael | 262 comments Why is there an auto-combine feature? It's always seemed like a recipe for disaster to me.


message 9: by Cait (last edited Mar 03, 2011 12:33PM) (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments I'm having a first go at splitting this out -- right now I'm just grabbing everything that [X] or [X and other stories] and getting it out of the big combined lump so that it's easier to look at.


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