What is the policy around duplicates?

I found duplicates of both the Work and Edition Group for Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell: https://bookbrainz.org/search?q=Nineteen+Eighty-Four&size=20&from=0

I tried using the Merge feature but it doesn’t seem to function correctly. Maybe I am doing something wrong.


We merge them, like in discogs, but it’s a bit more complicated for now (I hope).
Fisrt you chose the entry that should stay and press the merge button. Then you chose in a diff tab (at least I do that) the one that should disappear and press “Merge”. The correct one should now be marked with a blue point at the button. (You can still change your choice at this point) . If you are sure to have made the correct choice press “Submit” Then merge is completed.

I’ve done this already for your examples. Before answering anything…yes, you’re right…it could be more comfortable :wink:


Thanks, I don’t know how you arrived at that solution but it just worked for me. My training was as a librarian, maybe I should have been a computer programmer!

i didn’t. Monkey showed me a help page which explained the process (please don’t ask me, where to find it :worried:)

A magician never reveals his tricks.

@AgathaCrustie Here it is: Merging entities tutorial

@mr_monkey The link from https://bookbrainz.org/help currently leads to https://bookbrainz-user-guide.readthedocs.io/style/introduction/, which is a broken version of https://bookbrainz-user-guide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/style/introduction/

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I think on the contrary that the website was (and is) made by programmers rather than librarians, and it shows in many ways.

I’m always open to suggestions for improvements. The merge tool is very new and I’m sure there are many things to improve.
A lot of the paradigms are also ported over from MusicBrainz, and might feel unfamiliar for the Bookogs community.
However, it should never be confusing whatever the reason. I’ll have a look at the Bookogs tool and see where you’re coming from, what could be missing or improved.

@indy133 and @AgathaCrustie, I’m interested in your feedback, if you’ve got the time to put it in written form :slight_smile:

@kellnerd Thanks ! I’ll fix that right now, to be published with the next website update.


I am more than happy to do that, but I will give it a couple of weeks before I respond as that should give me a good handle on how BB operates.

I have just spent five years of my life trying to get Bookogs up and running (along with many other people), so it is a bit of a mind flip adjusting to a totally different system. On the positive side I have seen some features on BB that I wish Bookogs could have implemented.


Bookogs doesn’t have a merge facility for duplicates. If a Credit, Book, or Works was deemed a duplicate then it was just repurposed by the community into something else. That was done by stripping the data and retitling it.

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Thanks for [quote=“AgathaCrustie, post:8, topic:488232”]
I am more than happy to do that, but I will give it a couple of weeks before I respond as that should give me a good handle on how BB operates.

Thanks :slight_smile: There’s no rush at all.

I bet! And to be fair, some aspects of BookBrainz are confusing or are still in flux. It took me some time to get used to it too, even without coming from a previous system.

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Yes that was still on the list when they stopped working on bookogs about a year ago.

Merging in discogs works quite similar to how it’s done here. You copy the Discogs ID of one of
the merging partners, then push merge button at the page of the other partner and paste the number of the first one into a field. The data of both partners is displayed and can be compared to each other. Then you chose the one set that has the most complete data.

Maybe there’s even an easier solution. When you press the merge button a list with similar names of the same category (work, edition, author…) appears and you chose the merge partner. Both sets are displayed and you chose the one with the “better” data. Then merge both into that one.
I’ve no idea, if the “chose the merge partner” part will always be easy, but maybe there’s a way…

I’ve tried to merge two Stephen William Hawking credits and the system won’t let me (and it doesn’t provide me with a reason).

Stephen Hawking (Author) – BookBrainz (to be kept)
Stephen Hawking (Author) – BookBrainz

I go through all the steps but on the last step the submit button is inoperable and there are no crosses to indicate that something is incompatible.

Maybe I am making a mistake.

Just to get this process correct:

I search for Stephen Hawking:

Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 4.57.39 pm

I want to merge these three author credits as two are duplicates.

I do this by first opening the credit I want to keep which is Stephen Hawking (Author) – BookBrainz

On that page I click on ‘Merge’ (the url is then displayed as ‘Selected 1 entity for merging section’).

I then open one of the duplicates Stephen Hawking (Author) – BookBrainz in a new tab and click on ‘Merge’ (both urls are displayed as ‘Selected 2 entities for merging’)

I repeat this with the next duplicate Stephen Hawking (Author) – BookBrainz (‘Selected 3 entities for merging’)

The first url has a blue button that indicates that it is to be kept. I then click on ‘Merge into selected entity’. I then get a submit screen but the ‘Submit’ button is greyed out and inoperable. All of the data has ticks alongside it, so there is nothing to indicate a problem.

I’m experiencing the same issue. Let me investigate and see why this is happening.


Well, at least I wasn’t hallucinating! Thanks.

OK, I’ve seen this issue before: somehow one of the entities has some sort of malformed data (from early BB days) which prevents submission.
If you edit this entity, you’ll see one of the identifiers is marked as incorrect: Log In - MusicBrainz which would prevent you from submitting it too (and not just on merge).
Once you’ve corrected and submitted that problematic entity, you should be able to proceed with the merge.
Capture d’écran 2020-08-03 à 14.34.00

The ability to modify data during a merge is something that might come next, once I confirm it wouldn’t prevent us from reverting merges cleanly.
But at the very least, it would be good to have some indication of why you can’t submit…

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That did the trick. I will remember that in the future. Maybe if I had the intelligence of Stephen Hawking I could have figured it out. Thanks.

It took me a good awhile to find out the first time this occurred.
Not helping was the fact that said malformed identifier was not showing at all in the merge page that didn’t allow submission…

I’ve since started a —mostly manual— cleanup of the database wherever an identifier is invalid, but it is a long haul project.

Just out of curiosity, I came across a Work yesterday (I can’t think of the title offhand, but I could locate it) that had an ISBN descriptor in the ID section which is abnormal. Could this be a feature that has since been modified?

I found it and the ISBN descriptor was removed overnight: https://bookbrainz.org/work/7629881f-c76c-411b-b6f6-8e11fffb3441

Yes, another leftover from back when BB was more permissive in its data entry.

Ahaa, looks like you did remove it when you encountered it: