RE: [Videolib] ISBN #s

Bryan Baldus (
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 10:03:33 -0600

On Thursday, March 23, 2006 7:55 AM, Carol Dunn wrote:
>They are using two numbers to combine the database--the OCLC number (Marc
number 001) and/or the ISBN number (Marc 20). So, if you drop the ISBN
because of cost, consider at least an 001.<

Since the OCLC number is generated by OCLC when the item is cataloged, it
seems unlikely that a publisher would be able to obtain one directly. Also,
the 001 is for any control number, not just OCLC (since only OCLC members
can obtain OCLC numbers). For example, our records will usually have an
LCCN-based 001 or our own control number, with prefix 'qbi'.

Unique ISBNs (1 per edition, never reused) are very useful for
searching--they provide the easiest way to search for an item in hand and
find a record in the catalog (library, vendor, Amazon, etc.). Even though
'ISBN' implies 'book', their use on DVDs and VHS makes it much easier to
find these materials in a database/OPAC. Unfortunately some publishers have
seen fit to reuse ISBNs, not just for new editions, but for completely
different titles. As a result, using the ISBN as the sole matching point can
be problematic. In general, it would be better to combine at least ISBN,
title, date of publication (plus OCLC number and LCCN if available) when
machine matching.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Thank you,

Bryan Baldus
Quality Books Inc.
The Best of America's Independent Presses
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