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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
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