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BIBFRAME  May 2013

BIBFRAME May 2013

Subject:

Re: What's an instance?

From:

"Meehan, Thomas" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 17 May 2013 15:47:04 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (1 lines)

The ISBN is so unreliable in many ways as an identifier that it really needs to be treated merely as a number assigned to a Manifestation or an Instance and not in any meaningful way as an identifier, especially in library data. For publisher data (and I appreciate there isn't, and probably shouldn't, be a hard dividing line between library and publishing data) and some ordering purposes (where the binding or print/electronic) matters, it may indeed be more meaningful and in that case I can see the benefits of " making the assumption that each represents a distinct Instance of the Work being described ". Some examples from RDA (2.15.1.7) below, both  of which groups are indicative of very common scenarios where more than one ISBN mean the same manifestation/instance but are not multivolume works:

ISBN 0-435-91660-2 (cased)
ISBN 0-435-91661-0 (pbk.)

ISBN 0-387-08266-2 (U.S.)
ISBN 3-540-08266-2 (Germany)

My own additional made-up example based on art catalogues:

ISBN 0-684-14258-9 (Heinemann)
ISBN 0-884-14257-0 (National Gallery)

The following two are arguably trickier, but I would generally expect to see them described in the one Instance/Manifestation. RDA (2.15.1.5) certainly does, although in many similar cases they could/should be described separately:

ISBN 0-379-00550-6 (set)
ISBN 0-379-00551-4 (v. 1)

ISBN 1-887744-11-8 (video)
ISBN 1-887744-12-6 (student text)
ISBN 1-887744-46-0 (teacher guide)

I recall being surprised in a similar way when I first read a draft of RDA to see ISBN as an identifier for a Manifestation when it manifestly doesn't identify the manifestation, although I made the mistake then of thinking it would be used as a concrete way to link separate manifestation and expression records up as a kind of universal system number.

Thanks,

Tom

---

Thomas Meehan
Head of Current Cataloguing
Library Services
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

[log in to unmask]


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karen Coyle
> Sent: 17 May 2013 16:19
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] What's an instance?
> 
> Another area of ISBN issues is with electronic materials. In theory, a
> publisher of ebooks should use a different ISBN for each different ebook
> format (PDF, ePub, Mobi). Publishers complained that they would soon run
> out of available ISBNs. Yet some publishers follow this rule, while others do
> not, so use of ISBNs for ebooks is inconsistent.
> 
> kc
> 
> 
> On 5/17/13 6:18 AM, Jörg Prante wrote:
> > Kevin,
> >
> > yes, I can run an analysis over a snapshot of our union catalog
> > comprising of around 4.847.212 ISBNs. It will take some time to write
> > the code.
> >
> > Due to the official policy of the ISBN agencies, the reuse was
> > strictly forbidden - but the ISBN number pool is segmented into
> > countries and their publishers, which take charge over the number use.
> > There is no technical mechanism to enforce correct use or to grant or
> > revoke ISBNs by a third party. Beside applying the same ISBN to
> > different editions, there are other cases. Some publishers wanted to
> > save resources and simply broke the ISBN rules when they ran out of
> > money (or they were rejected from receiving more ISBN numbers). They
> > started to recycle ISBNs of books they had out of print for many
> > years, hoping no one will ever notice. Or, publishers did not properly
> > file their ISBN pool usage. For example, when publishers took over
> > other publisher's business and their ISBN pools, there was no safe way
> > of verifying what ISBNs were already taken or not. ISBN was in active
> > use as primary identifiers in ISBN registers for no longer than 5 or
> > 10 years. It's giving us headaches for a very long time. Do not rely
> > on ISBN as a unique identifier.
> >
> > Jörg
> >
> > Am 16.05.13 23:54, schrieb Ford, Kevin:
> >>   Is there any way to quantify, for example, how often publishers
> >> actually reuse ISBNs in different editions (is that even tecnically
> >> permitted?)?
> 
> --
> Karen Coyle
> [log in to unmask] http://kcoyle.net
> ph: 1-510-540-7596
> m: 1-510-435-8234
> skype: kcoylenet

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