Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Some interesting work being based on the ISBN (soon to be EAN). The isbnsearch project is
A distributed search portal of common sources of ISBN numbers, with permanent caching of results. To provide a open-source free interface for ISBN retrieval using HTML, SQL or XML to be independent of any toolkits or software.
Over at OCLC, the xISBN has the promise of becoming an indispensable service.
xISBN is a library web service that supplies International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) associated with individual intellectual works represented in the OCLC WorldCat database. Give it an ISBN, and it returns a list of associated ISBNs.
This solves the problem of searching and getting no hits because LC has the hard cover and you have the paperback, which I find is all too common.

This work will lead to cleaner catalogs and pave the way for a smooth transition to a FRBR catalog. We will have to clean up the ISBNs in our catalog if they are going to be used for these services. isbnck is a UNIX program to validate the check digits of ISBNs. A perl script to do the same is used as an example in a training course. Another, more versatile, perl script is lintallchecks. ISBN Java Class is an option for those who prefer that language. A XSLT validation document is a slick method to check the validity. Those working in Visual Basic might find this tool useful.

They will also help our patrons. A tool like LibraryLookup would work much better if an xISBN service were queried before submitting the request to the local library. The Lookup Helper is also based on the ISBN.

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