Documentation of the publishing date range of a BB edition

Since we are getting more and more editions which are not seperare editions according to BB rules, we have to think about how to display the range of these editions.
At the moment there is no other way than this:

adding the variants at the end of the annotation field and, if possible adding a picture (via link) of the first and the last edition of the group of variants.

This should not be confused with adding information as printed in many editions like this:

Of course it must be allowed to add this info to the notes without any further knowledge about the properties of the earlier editions.

It might look like this:

Vollbildaufzeichnung 17.04.2022 104451

Confusing, isn’t it? So I think we need a seperate field to display the edition variants (or just the range) that belong to a specific BB-edition.

PS. I’m not satisfied with my use of terms concerning this issue, but I hope it’s comprehensible.

Just a recap on the guidelines:

When should I create a new Edition of a Work?

  • When it is published in a different format (e.g. paperback and e-book)
  • When there are substantial content (textual or editorial) changes
  • Translations will both be a new Work and a new Edition for it.
  • Add a relationship between the original and the translated Works
  • New cover or changed credits/attribution on the cover
  • When there’s a new ISBN

When should I not create a new Edition of a Work?

  • Minimal changes as in proofreading errors
  • Minimal changes on the cover
  • Reprints of the same Edition. You can mention “Reprint – [date]” in the annotations.
  • When the edition uses the same ISBN (with rare exceptions)

I’m fairly certain I previously commented on the difficulty a submitter has making some of those judgements.

It is all very well when a book has had minimal reprints, but with a popular title there might be numerous reprints with slight or complete changes to the cover, new introductions, revised text, etc. I think it is unrealistic to expect users to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the publishing history of the book they are submitting.

On Bookogs the decision was made to allow users to submit the details for their exact edition with the reprint number or date as the unique factor. The downside of that is the database fills up with reprints.

One of the big problems with BB is the inability to add images. It is almost impossible to ascertain the actual Edition that has been submitted. Inclusion of ISBNs or linking to another site (wherever possible) mitigates the problem.

Unless there is a shift in policy then the only thing you can do is add as much detail to the Annotation section and hopefully that will be enough for identification purposes. This solution relies heavily on meticulous submitters.

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I’m not sure what I’m looking at in the scan taken from your book.

My guess is that 40,000 copies were printed on February 1961. A further 11,000 copies were printed on February 1962, and so on.

If I’m correct, then I’ve never seen that shown in an English language book. Normally, the only information stated is the date of the reprint, no mention is made of the number of copies.

For example:

Screen Shot 2022-04-17 at 9.11.29 pm

Sorry, if I have confused the issue but I really don’t know what the information e.g. “1.-40. Tausend: Februar 1961” means.

If you can explain it, then I might be able to offer you some ideas!

yes that’s it. It’s nearly the same as your scan but with information about the amount of printed copies.

Yes it’s typical for certain German publishers. But the problem is the same: You must be able to add this information to the notes.

Have a look again on my third scan. The first info behind “Printed in Holland” is “as printed in the edition”. The info after “Editions” are the confirmed identical editions that definitely belong to this specific BB-edition.

Maybe I should name them “Confirmed editions” for first, but I think we need a separate range field for these editions (earliest to latest).

PS. your deleted post is of course part of the problem. We’ll have to decide this for sure soon.

Concerning the pics: I add every edition to Openlibrary, too. So the cover of all of them can be viewed. But that’s of course just an interim solution.

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I keep coming back to that point. Do you know that for certain?

If I use the example of the Penguin book above, I know that the cover artwork did change between the first Penguin publication in 1967 and the reprint I have dated 1980. That knowledge comes through experience, however I can’t tell you the exact year those changes occurred.

Well, of course “confirmed” means checked by user (in this case me). Otherwise there would be no difference between the 2 sets of data.
First set: printed in the edition (can’t be confirmed).

2nd set: checked with copy in hand (user confirmed).

That’s why I want to seperate the user confirmed set . I couldn’t even explain the difference to you :cry:

O.K. I think we’re on the same wave length🤔

You’re trying to alert another user that you have checked and confirmed the reprints in the publishing history that exactly match your edition. Full marks for dedication.

The only place you can do it is in Notes. I can’t see any other alternative unless a programmer has a light bulb moment and figures out an automatic method. It is going to be an ongoing problem on this site. That’s why on Bookogs the decision was made to treat each reprint as a unique submission because no one could think of a better solution.

On Goodreads, each ISBN is treated as an edition and cover changes with the same ISBN are treated as an ACE (alternative cover edition). End of story.

The wording could be: “OS has checked and confirmed the following reprints match this edition exactly”.

I don’t feel there is a need to mention anything else.

Yes we’re getting closer but we’re still not there.
Another try:

In bookbrains an edition is a compilation of editions with (nearly) identical properties:

So we will have a range from the first known edition with these properties (the publlshing date of this edition) and a last known edition with these properties.
So actually we only need a second field next to the publishing field to show the range where this BB edition is valid.
If you find an edition with the same properties that was published earlier or later than these 2 dates, you can easily adjust the range.

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Almost on the same wave length!

In your model the submitter would enter a range of dates and information (hopefully verified) that could automatically block other users from adding the same edition (as per the rules) because it exists in the system. The idea has merit.

If that is what you’re suggesting then it is in the hands of a programmer.

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The reason I deleted my post was that I thought it went completely off topic. I’ve resurrected it as it does have some relevance to this subject.

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New edition:

This is the most obvious contradiction:
There are really many editions with the same ISBN-number but completely different covers.
So “When the edition uses the same ISBN Number” should be removed imo.


One of the reasons I loath adding Editions to BB is the uncertainty I have surrounding whether the book I own is a unique Edition or not according to the guidelines.

As an example I will use my copy of Gulliver’s Travels, from which I scanned the publishing history above.


My copy is a 1980 reprint published by Penguin. I have absolutely no idea if the 1979 (twice) reprint is in any way different to my copy. That goes ditto for the majority of the reprints stretching back to the original publication in 1967. I’m fairly certain the cover artwork changed at some point, although I could be wrong!

Goodreads which is one of the best sources for older editions does not have a submission of the 1967 copy or the majority of the reprints and a search for the ISBN reveals nothing.

I found this on Goodreads which is supposedly the 1967 edition and I know for a fact that it is a reprint circa 1986:


There is also this reprint circa 1983.


There are 5677 editions of Gulliver’s Travels listed on Goodreads and to find an alternative cover edition can only be done manually. There are filters but they only work on editions that have the correct information.

You don’t have to, just add your copy with all the info in it. I don’t understand why you think you have to add the complete publishing history at once.
Without physical copies in hand it’s nearly impossible to do it correctly.

So that might be the reason for our misunderstanding:
You thought the confirmed range meant to be the definite range. Earlier and later printings have to be different. That is not true at all: confirmed just means: this range is valid, but not necessarily definite.

When should I create a new Edition of a Work?

  1. New cover or changed credits/attribution on the cover

When should I not create a new Edition of a Work?

  1. Minimal changes on the cover
  2. Reprints of the same Edition. You can mention “Reprint – [date]” in the annotations.

But for all I know every reprint from 1967 to 1979 had a different cover to my 1980 reprint. So I could follow the first rule and add my edition.

But then again every reprint might have had the same cover (or minimal changes) as my 1980 copy, and it is a reprint afterall. So I could follow rules 3 and 4 and not bother.

Therein lies my quandary or am I misinterpreting the guidelines?

Since your edition will be the first in the db you don’t have to consider these guidelines :wink:
Just add what you have.
First published: 1980
And in the notes: Published in Penguin Library 1967, Reprint 1980
If you don’t want add a scan via link, short description of the pic in the disamb field.
That’s it.

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I suppose. At some stage hopefully another user will modify my submission if it is found that the reprints from say 1975 to 1979 are the same as my edition as per the guidelines.

The lack of images is the biggest problem at present. Your submissions might be able to identified because of the links you have provided but there are hundreds of Editions in the database that are indeterminate.

I sometimes think adding an Edition is just creating more work down the line.

What does that mean? Highly subjective.

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Indeed, there will be lots of discussions :wink:

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A good example is the David Pelham cover for the Penguin copy of A Clockwork Orange. Three variations that I know of: