Explanation of "Edition Group" in the editions add page

I have just added https://bookbrainz.org/edition/c0703f42-4d4c-4cd9-8cf0-c7de1fa10d50 and I’m confused as to what is meant by Edition Group. Is this is a repeat of the Work title or something different?

In short, the Edition Group contains all the similar Editions of that book.

From the help page:

When should two Editions be part of the same Edition Group?

Edition Groups exist to group together all the variations of an edition (an identifiable set of works) in a given language. Here are examples of Editions that should be part of the same Edition Group:

  • Different formats of the same edition (paperback, hardcover and e-book by the same publisher)
  • Revised and updated editions
  • Reprints
  • Editions with different forewords/intros
  • Co-editions (same book published in different countries by different publishers)

@mr_monkey I appreciate your reply but I did read that help page explanation and I can’t make sense of it.

In the example of the edition that I added: Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie, is the “Edition Group” simply Hallowe’en Party?

I am confused because I would have thought the “Work” serves the function of grouping all variations of an edition. Unless the “Edition Group” is used to group particular formats which can be entered as free text. I don’t get it!

Maybe you didn’t see the difference to Bookogs. A “work” here is not the same. e.g. every translation is a different work here. A revised text is a new work. See for example: https://bookbrainz.org/author/beee3df0-14e6-4820-a90d-daeeaf097724

There are 4 works (in bookogs it would have been two) the originals and the German translations.
The edition group comprises all physical differences of a work (hardcover, paperback, cover variants, ISBN variants etc.)

For all differences regarding the content, you have to create a new work, for all differences regarding a physical difference you submit a new edition in the group that represents the respective work.

I hope this makes it a bit more understandable for you, cheers :wink:


@indy133 five years on Bookogs has warped my perception. As an old dog it might take me awhile to learn some new tricks. Thanks for the explanation.:+1:

Just throwing in some cents, this doesn’t seem to 100% line up with the text on the help page?
Which mentions ‘…set of works’ (eg that editions are linked to more than one work), as well as that revised and updated editions (eg content has changed) go into the same edition group.

I thought I understood your explanation @indy133 but as a result of the comment by @aerozol I’m still confused.

As I understand it:
“Work” is the master record for all editions of the same work.
“Edition Group” is a sub-set of the “Work” that collects like variations of the original work such as translations, revised text, etc.

However, I am mystified by the help page which gives the example: “Paperback and E-book editions of the novel Ancillary Mercy by the publisher Orbit Books making them part of the same Edition Group.”

It seem Orbit Books is the defining characteristic for creating an “Edition Group”, which assumes the contributor knows that Orbit Books published various editions of the same book.

I apologise if I am overthinking it.

(Just for the record, on Bookogs a “Works” was generated only for the original language title, translations were attributed to this “Works” using the name variation facility. I hope you followed that rule @indy133😉)

So I’m confused now, too. But because of this confusion I tried to create a new edition group and there are just 5 “types” you can create : book, leaflet, newspaper, journal and magazine.

So that way I found out how to create a “folder” for magazines.with the same title :+1:

Seems to be more complicated than I thought…but I’m sure we’ll find out later…

Besides, what’s the difference between a magazine and a journal?

My apologies @indy133 I need to correct something in my previous comment as BB treats translations as a separate “Work” (IMO that is flawed decision but that is another debate).

I am even more confused now because in my submission of Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie, I listed “Hallowe’en Party” as the “Edition Group” (because it is a mandatory field and I couldn’t leave it blank) and I see it hasn’t been generated in the database.

Is there a set process where I have to generate all of the various components (i.e. “Author”, “Work”, and “Edition Group”, assuming they don’t already exist) in preparation for submitting an “Edition”?

On a similar theme, there is a “Work” for Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie: https://bookbrainz.org/work/2a9e129b-5255-44a0-b400-f637a9102bd5
and there is an “Edition” of this book: https://bookbrainz.org/edition/83df81dd-25f7-4309-b3ab-88f4b8699f4a

The two are not linked. I haven’t managed to find a way of retrospectively adding the “Edition” to the “Work”. Can it be done?

I don’t add edition groups for now by myself, since they are generated automatically when we add a new edition. (Exception: magazines). We can care about that, when we have diff. editions of similar works.

No not really, you can relate everything later via the “Relationship” button. I’ve just done that for your “Evil under the Sun” work and edition.
But its easier if you start with the author, then add work (author is already linked then), then edition (work is already contained in edition).
But we don’t have to add a work to create an edition (makes noe sense for unique items like magazines.

I’m not sure though how to deal with collections of poems or short stories. Do we need a work for the whole collection (like in bookogs) or is it enough to create “works” for the poems and “stories” and add them to an edition. ?

We are just here for a few days. We will learn all this eventually, I’m sure :wink:

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Thanks for adding that book to the work (neither of them were my subs by the way).

I see you go to the “How are other entities related to this Edition?” section, click on “+ Add relationship” and complete it that way.

I fought hard to get collections/anthologies accepted as unique “Works” on Bookogs. Frankly, I don’t have the energy to revisit that topic.

In my quest to understand the “Edition Group” I found this from 3 1/2 years ago:

It appears to be an equivalent role carried over from MB and I wonder if it has any relevance on BB given that it seems to duplicate the function of the Work. Maybe someone can provide me with some examples as to how this field is used correctly in different circumstances (i.e. as per the list of examples given on the help page).

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I still haven’t fully got my head around Edition Groups, but I assume they can’t be named for an author: https://bookbrainz.org/edition-group/7f2b1728-e5c5-4c84-8062-ed630e7b7029

Someone has created an EG for Dan Brown the American author.

Indeed, that makes no sense.


The help page states:

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

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

Here are examples of Editions that should be part of the same Edition Group:

  • Revised and updated editions

I have submitted a couple of reprints, but I have used the first publication date by the publisher as the release date. In the case of A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes this date was 1949. My copy is a reprint from 1971: https://bookbrainz.org/edition-group/21d7d096-477e-41ff-bd28-783b258f51b4

Between 1949 and 1971, the book was:
Reissued 1965
Reprinted 1966
Reprinted 1968

I have a fair idea that on each occasion the book received a totally new cover.

Some popular Penguin titles can be reprinted umpteen times and each time the cover might be changed. There is no way that the average contributor would know the history of every reprint and its accompanying cover.

For example, I own this Penguin copy of Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky which has a lengthy publication history: https://books.discogs.com/book/190252-crime-and-punishment

I couldn’t tell you what any of the covers looked like, let alone the reprint preceding my book.

I have been treating short story collections as Edition Groups. I have encountered a situation with a Stephen King novel that leaves me scratching my head.

The Green Mile was published as a six part serial novel (with each having an individual title), over a six month period in 1996.

In 1997, the six books were published as a single novel titled The Green Mile.

I am not sure if I should treat this book as an EG or create a unique Work for it?

I just saw a user create an Edition Group based on geographical location of publication, i.e.: US editions, and European Editions.

According to the help page a logical grouping of Edition Groups is by format, e.g. hardcover, paperback, eBook: https://bookbrainz.org/help

I’m wondering if someone can create an Edition Group based on any criterium. To give an extreme example, all the editions of Pride and Prejudice that have a black cover?

Addendum: the more I thought about this it only makes sense to create the Edition Group for the type of format. The Edition can only link to one Edition Group and if users are creating them for purposes other than the format then the system falls in a heap.

The word “logical” is very subjective!