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Posts tagged metadata

Goodreads moves away from Amazon API for book data over restrictive terms of use
January 27, 2012 | 12:56 pm

s-GOODREADS-largeSocial reading site Goodreads is changing the API it uses for pulling book metadata to the site, PaidContent reports. It had been using Amazon’s public Product Advertising API which allowed it to import title, author, page count, and so on. However, Goodreads finds the terms of use for the API have become too restrictive for the site to continue to use it. In particular, Amazon will not allow sites using the API to link to the book on any other on-line retailer except Amazon, but Goodreader provides links to titles on multiple retailers. Also, Amazon will not allow content...

Metadata: “Google Books is at Heart a Catalogue of Errors”
December 8, 2011 | 9:34 am

Images The article looks at Professor Geoffery Nunberg’s 2009 comments about the poor quality of Google Books metadata and includes new comments by Nunberg about what he sees today. From Times Higher Education: In response to Professor Nunberg’s critique, Google offered to correct any errors that were brought to its attention. But while this process has ironed out specific glitches in the intervening years, Professor Nunberg does not believe it has made a fundamental difference. “The changes are a drop in a greatly enlarged ocean,” he said, adding that the flaws in Google’s metadata remain “a big systematic structural problem”. In the course of his research alone,...

Book-fire: the book will find its reader, by John Miedema
October 3, 2011 | 11:42 am

Slowreading cover s The book is on fire, so we are told. In 2007 Amazon released its e-reader, the Kindle, its brand suggesting a gentle flame by which to read. In 2010 we reached a tipping point with e-readers as sales of e-books soared. Last week Amazon announced the Kindle Fire, a tablet. With its low price, enthusiasts are predicting a hit. Is the book really on fire? The metaphor is too easy, a cliché, but is it accurate? Things are changing fast. Digital technology has revolutionized publishing. The big book stores are closing. Libraries are now popular data access centres. Is...

Why every publisher needs to focus on metadata
July 29, 2011 | 11:30 am

Edward Nawotka has a new article at Publishing Perspectives that answers some common questions about metadata in digital books, and I thought he made a particularly good point regarding where it belongs in a publishing workflow: Q: Isn't metadata just something the digital departments of publishers need to worry about? A: Simply put, it needs to be a part of everyone's job description. The problem comes when a house instills a "digital director" and everyone else starts to think "well, that's not my job anymore." Metadata is a tool that everyone can use to help make a book a success and keep...

Epub 3 beefs up metadata but omits semantic enrichment, by Eric Hellman
June 23, 2011 | 9:39 am

Glasshalf Ironic amusement fills me when I hear book industry people say things like "metadata has become cool", or "context is everything". Welcome to the 20th century and all that. Meanwhile, in the library industry, metadata has been cool long enough to coat everything with a thick rind of freezer burn.There's good news and notsogood news for ebook metadata. The revision to the EPUB standard, published just a month ago, includes metadata tools that could eventually lead to a new era of metadata cooperation between publishers and the entire book supply chain, including libraries. At the same time, the revision fails to...

Publishers should check Google Books data for errors – could result in lost sales
February 4, 2011 | 9:31 am

ImagesThe Bookseller is reporting that a mistake by Bowker could cause thousands of titles listed in Google Books to be attributed to the publisher BGR. Evidently Google Books was alerted to this problem a year ago, but it persists. Book data is provided to Google Books by Bowker. Sharon Lubrano, Bowker general manager, explained that the BPR abel is an internal code used by Bowker to indicate that the publisher information is unknown. She said: "The code was not meant to be used externally; rather it is an internal cue that prompts us to explore further to get information on...

BookNet Canada looks at ISBN practices
January 20, 2011 | 9:25 am

Screen shot 2011-01-20 at 9.24.00 AM.pngBookNet Canada has looked at the results of the Book Industry Study Group study on ISBN practices and doesn't like what it sees in terms of industry practice. The results of this research are pretty distressing for someone who works with standards every day, but also (sadly) not at all surprising. ... It’s not our job to tell the industry what to do, but it is our job to provide recommendations , collect feedback, maintain standards, and disseminate this information to all players in the Canadian book industry. So, what can we do better? We can’t provide recommendations until there is an agreed...

Ebook identifier confusion shakes book industry, by Eric Hellman
January 19, 2011 | 2:02 pm

Taipei 101 I've only felt a strong earthquake once. I was on the second floor of an engineering building at Stanford, and as soon as the initial jolt shook the building I thought "cool, it's an earthquake!". Then the rolling started. It was only after the shaking was over that I started shaking myself. The feeling of solid ground beneath my feet had been wrenched out of my psyche, leaving me standing on a big bowl of jelly that could start jiggling again any moment. Big earthquakes can cause building damage and collapse....

Google Ngrams: OCR and metadata
December 19, 2010 | 5:04 pm

Screen shot 2010-12-19 at 5.03.37 PM.png Most of the the press and commentary we've seen about Google's new Ngram Viewer has been extremely positive (here’s our post from last week with links to several articles). However, today we came across a very interesting and very well written/documented blog post by Natalie Binder, a librarian and information science student at Florida St. University. "Google’s word engine isn’t ready for prime time" (by Natalie Binder, The Binder Blog) Here are two brief paragraphs from the blog post: The whole idea of Ngrams is built on a shaky foundation: the accuracy of Google’s optical character recognition (OCR) software. OCR is how a...

New Google Books tool traces use of words over time
December 19, 2010 | 2:51 pm

screenGoogle Books isn’t just an e-book store. It’s a pile of data, waiting to be mined. And while the metadata on many of the books in Google’s database may not be in the best of shape, enough books have good metadata that they can be used for some fairly interesting projects. Ars Technica has the story on one of these. A group of Harvard researchers created a tool that could be used to trace the usage of words or phrases in books over the last few centuries. And what’s more, Google has made the tool publicly available via a...

Metadata, not ebooks, can save publishing
August 5, 2010 | 7:40 am

images.jpgHere's another one from Tools of Change. It's an important subject and I hear over and over at seminars, and read over and over in articles, that publishers are not paying enough attention to the interrelationship between metadata and digital publishing. This is from an article by Nick Ruffilo: Why won't ebooks save publishing? E-books represent a format, just like hardcovers and paperbacks. Because they are a different format, they require different pricing. Things that are consumed and priced differently do open themselves up to a new market but unless that new consumption method is revolutionary, the growth (new readers) to...

How publishing business arcana affect e-books
August 3, 2010 | 9:15 am

Arcana Wired’s “Gadget Lab” blog has an article (or had an article, anyway; though it’s still in my Google Reader feed, it has vanished entirely from the Wired website—the link to the original article returns a 404) looking at how much publishing business arcana are unexpectedly turning out to matter in the new world of e-book publishing. After touching upon the Wylie/Amazon and Amazon 1984 imbroglios, the Gadget Lab staff mention talking to former book distributor and digital publisher Don Linn about it. Publishing metadata, for instance — things like ISBNs, trim size, etc. —...

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