Thursday, January 24, 2008

ISBN Service

LibraryThing has a new API, one that corrects ISBNs and returns both a 10 and 13 digit ISBN. Very Restful. Just send an ISBN to and it will:
  • Give it any old ISBN and it does the math to return the ISBN10 and ISBN13 forms, if both exist.
  • It removes dashes and other junk.
  • It transparently fixes missing initial zeroes. This is a common problem with data from Excel files, which turn 0765344629 into 765344629.
  • If the ISBN isn't valid and can't be easily fixed, it returns an error.
They ask not to send more than 10 requests per minute second.


Tim said...

Wait—per second! Hit us 600 times/minute!

I'm not sure how much more than that it could take, but since it doesn't hit the database, I think you could hit it pretty hard without degrading performance elsewhere on the site.

Dave Pattern said...

There's also a slight variation here for fans of "Withnail & I" who want to convert ISBN10 to ISBN13: archives/113/