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Topic: Linking Related Editions

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Subject: Linking Related Editions
Date Posted: 12/14/2009 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/28/2008
Posts: 65
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I love the new ability to wish for multiple editions of a book but I've found instances where not all the editions are listed. Is there a way (like Update Book Data) to indicate a related edition so that they can be linked? The example I found today is for Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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One way to help link them is to submit data edits for any miss spellings.  Or if I see books from a series and some have the series #1 in the title listing and others don't I will submit an edit for the title to show the series number like the others.

But if a book has a 5 digit PBS assigned ISBN it will not be linked. Those ISBN are only supposed to be used 1 time for that one copy when the listing was created by someone postng the book.  Having those 5 digit ISBNs on your WL just wastes WL space.  It's very unlikely that they'll be posted.

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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There are TONS and TONS of books without any misspellings or other differences in title/authot fields that are NOT linked.

I have been told that the Book Data team is not able to link them together, either.

I really wish that PBS could offer a field in the Book Data editing page where you could put in other ISBNs that the book should link to (subject to approval, of course) ... doing this would make other features of the site work better (like the Book Wiki and the new Wish List expansion features). I am sure that lots of people would add that info as well, when they are fixing up the Book Data.

Part of the issue, I believe, is the way that author names get stored in their database ... I don't know how many of you have noticed oddities like, if an author has a middle initial, and you sort your bookshelf or Wish List ot TBR by author,  some of the books will sort properly under the authors last name and some will sort under the authors middle initial. So, if you take an author like "Simon R. Green" .... some of the books are obviously stored in their database with "Green" as the last name ... and some of them are stored with "R. Green" as the last name. This type of error will obviously prevent books from being linked in the database, regardless of the fact that when you examine the information that WE can see ... there appears to be no difference in the authors names on the 2 book listings. And, when they present the form that allows us to edit book data, there is only one field for author's name, and not individual fields for first, middle, last, etc.

There is no way for us as regular PBS users to fix this. Also, I have been told that the Book Data team cannot fix it either.

Last Edited on: 12/14/09 6:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/14/2009 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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But we can edit the spelling of the name so it is the same.  This sometimes triggers them to link.  Or at least to index together on the author's page.  Things to look for are the middle name vs the middle initial.  And the space between the initials.  Such as J. J. Smith, John Jacob Smith and J.J. Smith.  These all index differently.

Remember, the book edit team are all volunteers.  Make sure you put a reason for the edits, maybe even a link to the author's page.  And be patient.

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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Yes, all the books in my example, that are by "Simon R. Green" are listed correctly on the same author's page. But I can tell that they are not stored in PBS's database identically or all correctly  because some of them sort on my bookshelf under "R." and some sort under "Green".

Just from my Wish List of slightly under 200 books, I probably have 5 or 6 examples of this. And, the authors name in all of these listings is exactly the same, down to the number of spaces, periods after the initials, etc.

I do edit Book Data pages all the time to make these things consistent, and it does help to get them all listed under the same authors page ... but it does not improve the alphabetical sorting OR the linking (in my experience).

The book edit team does a great job, but they have no access to linking books together, unfortunately.