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OCLC Offers ISBN "Concordance"

By pbinkley, Section News
Posted on Wed Feb 4th, 2004 at 03:58:12 PM EST
OCLC's Office of Research is offering, experimentally, a service that looks up submitted ISBNs in their FRBRized WorldCat, and returns other ISBNs associated with the same work. E.g.: http://labs.oclc.org/xisbn/0441172717 (the ISBN of Dune). This is something we've needed for a long time to improve automated searching in virtual union catalogues and ILL systems. I hope the service takes off.


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OCLC Offers ISBN "Concordance" | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 editorial, 0 pending) | Post A Comment
Definitely! (none / 0) (#1)
by art on Wed Feb 4th, 2004 at 05:32:28 PM EST
(User Info) http://www.uwindsor.ca/library/leddy/people/art

This is soooo handy, it makes all the difference in the world when doing collections work with a bookmarklet.

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Trying to think of something useful... (none / 0) (#2)
by kcoyle on Thu Feb 5th, 2004 at 09:42:09 AM EST
(User Info) http://www.kcoyle.net

Assuming your catalog software could handle it, I can imagine having a "more like this" button by a title that brings up all of the variants on that title. For very popular items I would imagine that the number of isbns returned would exceed some search function limit (too many or's). This would be more useful if it were used in a broadcast search, say all the libraries of a consortium. But it's not clear to me that this would get more relevant results than an author/title search.

The other thing I can think of is to use it (sort of like the previous comment) to automatically expand an isbn search out to isbn "synonyms."

Having worked on a very large catalog (10 million titles) the best use I can think of would be to narrow a search -- again if the system can handle it. If you do a search on title "Hamlet" you get a lot of retrievals that are not copies of the Shakespeare play. You only need to find one copy of the play in the retrieved list and then go for the "more like this" button to limit your set to versions of that play (rather than commentaries on it, operas of it, etc.)

I guess we'll just have to play with it and see what comes up ;-)

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FRBR Bookmarklets (none / 0) (#5)
by jyoung on Fri Feb 6th, 2004 at 11:11:28 AM EST
(User Info) http://www.oclc.org/research/staff/young.htm

Some of the commenters here indicate a desire to have this ISBN expansion service integrated into their local library's system. Note that we (OCLC's Office of Research) also provide a FRBR Bookmarklet service to do exactly that, with no effort needed on the part of your local library. See the FRBR Bookmarks page for details. Click the "Add Library" link to request the addition of a new library.

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xISBN Order (none / 0) (#6)
by ThomasBHickey on Mon Feb 16th, 2004 at 02:52:45 PM EST
(User Info)

Except for the first ISBN returned (which is always the supplied ISBN), the list is in order by number of holdings in WorldCat.

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OCLC Offers ISBN "Concordance" | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 editorial, 0 pending) | Post A Comment
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