Separate field for publisher

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Separate field for publisher

tammikuu 20, 2021, 7:07 am

The Publication field has an unknown number of data fields in it, making it difficult for me to write an Excel formula to extract just the Publisher.

Any chance of getting the Publisher field by itself?

I have a number of older books, and the publisher makes a difference.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 24, 2021, 4:41 pm

Just took a look at one of my books:
B. R. Mitchell: European historical statistics
Alphen aan den Rijn : Sijthoff & Noordhoff, 1981.

Then I tried to look it up by ISBN in a Danish source and found:
260 00 $a London $b Macmillan $c 1981

So the same ISBN can have different publishing details depending on where it's bought.

(My idea was that you might be able to find the book in a library database and get the MARC 260b details, but the world is not so simple.)

Based on my own books the best guess seems to go for the text after " : " and before the first ", ".
This will still lose out on a great many books in my catalogue, but maybe you are luckier than me?
(I seem to have 3500 books with " : " and 4500 without.)

And then there is a question on what you actually want to use the data for. I took a look at one of the publishers of some of my books:

102 Politiken
1 Politiken
2 Politiken Bøger
1 Politikens forl.
22 Politikens Forlag
8 Politikens forlag
1 Politikens forlag. 1966

I think this is probably the same publisher in seven versions. But maybe they actually changed their name?

My conclusion: Ratty data, so I'm not sure that LT could give you a pure "Publisher" even if they wanted.

So: Fun idea, but not really doable with current data and Excel, methinks.

ETA: Example of ratty data from one of the Danish sources:
260 00 $a Kbh. $b Steen Hasselblach $c (1968)

The publisher is misspelled as Hasselblach rather than Hasselbalch. You will probably see similar errors in your data.

ETA^2: I took a closer look at my own books and decided on a glorified version of
if (Publisher eq "" and Publication match /Politikens forlag/) Publisher = "Politikens forlag"
if (Publisher eq "" and Publication match /Politiken Bøger/) Publisher = "Politiken Bøger"
I'm still not sure if it is useful, but it's fun to take a look at the data.

ETA^3: Very fun. I'm down to about 435 books with no publisher information. That's fixable.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 28, 2021, 6:02 pm

Still great fun. I'm down to 126 books with no publisher information. Google Books sometimes has better information than our national library :-) I'm also finding stuff like this in the same library source:

245 00 $a Videnskab er sjov $f (Overs. af Nils Erlandsen) $c Odense: Skandinavisk Bogforlag (tr.
260 00 $a Haderslev). $c 1964

i.e. 245 spills over in 260. (It is the "(tr. Haderslev)" that is split in the middle.) Only 260 a and c was put into LT's Publication field, so the publisher (Skandinavisk Bogforlag) just vanished (or maybe it was imported as a subtitle and then deleted by me. I no longer remember.)

maaliskuu 21, 12:28 am

Two years later, I stsill don't have an answer to my question about putting the Publisher in it's own field, rather than including it with publication date, publication city, etc.

It seems like a simple request.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 21, 3:49 am

Creating a new field is not a simple request. Changing the way data is processed on entry is not a simple request. As >2 bnielsen: points out, the data from the sources does not consistently allow the publisher to be separated from the other information.

maaliskuu 21, 4:52 am

Absolutely nothing is stopping you from using the Publication field for just publisher data, so I'm assuming you expect the publisher alone to be automatically populated that way, which is closer to impossible than simple request.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 21, 5:18 am

I just looked up The Nest in Library of Congress. They have the publisher information listed as
New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2016

I'm not sure I as a human being can sort out a simple 'publisher' from that. Ecco? HarperCollins? and I certainly don't expect a computer to do it.

I happen to have the Canadian edition in front of me which says
Published by Harper Avenue, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. LoC has my ISBN listed as 'invalid ISBN' so I assume searching on that in Add books would actually find this record. Ah, no it doesn't.

maaliskuu 21, 6:05 am

>4 margaretbartley: Oh, so you waited the usual "two weeks." (Long time users know this for a joke.)

Honestly, even working on simple Micro$oft Access databases, I can tell you that once a structure is in place, Adding or Changing a field is a major undertaking. It's not just slap the puppy in and keep on moving. Now you have to check on all the other forms, tables, queries, and UI to see what that one field would change. How do you have to adjust the screen presentation on that report now? Did that form just break entirely? Oh, now the fields all overlap in that UI and it needs to be completely overhauled.

And as >2 bnielsen: pointed out, Publisher information is not that simple. Each data source could enter it differently.
But nothing keeps you from looking at your physical book and just entering that data yourself.

maaliskuu 21, 6:45 am

While it would be hard indeed to automate (long time database developer here), I generally find it quite easy to manually tidy my publication data. Either as I enter the data, when i usually have the physical book in front of me, or doing an author at a time (they tend to stay with the same publisher).

Mind you, it would be nice if we could agree a standard format to use here on LT.

(Don't shout at me about the quality of my data - every so often I have a go at more tidying...)

maaliskuu 21, 7:45 am

>9 sarahemmm: It would also be nice if the publishers didn't keep taking each other over and changing their names in the process.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 21, 8:02 am

>10 MarthaJeanne: And they should all have easy to spell names, like "Sijthoff & Noordhoff" :-)

maaliskuu 21, 8:03 am

>10 MarthaJeanne: I dunno, in the long run that might make it easier. Just autopopulate every publisher field with OmniPenguin and we're set.

maaliskuu 21, 10:41 am

This is definitely something we are looking at doing in the medium term.

maaliskuu 21, 11:40 am

It sure would be nice, and I see how it is technically challenging.