I've seen this frequently in publisher data -- especially from small
publishers. Their metadata goes out with the same ISBN for every book
they publish. I don't know if this gets corrected later (I assume it
does to make the ordering process work). My guess is that they send out
the first metadata before they've gotten an ISBN assigned to the book,
so they just re-use one because the ISBN is required.
In the few examples I saw, the Amazon records had the correct ISBN, but
the Library of Congress records had the wrong ISBN that was originally
(presumably) transmitted. The publishers have an incentive to keep
Amazon up to date and correct (and perhaps also the bookstore databases
and Books in Print).
The real question is: where is Google getting its metadata, and what is
it doing with metadata from different sources for the same item?
Boheemen, Peter van wrote:
> Hmm, just found an example where Google clearly does something wrong:
> Look at: http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/catalog/lang/948125
> It shows a cover and links to the wrong book !!!
> The look up is based on isbn 0851992544, but this book has got isbn 0851993575 and this is also clearly stated in the Google book info !!
> If you just go to Google book search and type isbn:0851992544 in the search box. You will find 4 titles !! of which the first one is the one I get from the service I use. The second one is the correct one. If you type isbn:0851993575 you even get 6 hits and they all seem to share this ISBN !!!
> I don't know if it does a lot of these mistakes. I just ran into them and I only request covers if Amazon can not provide them, so occasionally, so I suspect this must happen pretty often or I am just lucky this time (as opposed to any lottery I have ever been in.)
> Drs. P.J.C. van Boheemen
> Hoofd Applicatieontwikkeling en beheer - Bibliotheek Wageningen UR
> Head of Application Development and Management - Wageningen University and Research Library
> tel. +31 317 48 25 17 http://library.wur.nl <http://library.wur.nl/>
> P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail
Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
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ph.: 510-540-7596 skype: kcoylenet