Friday, February 15, 2008

ThingISBN adds LCCNs, OCLC numbers

ThingISBN, our popular ISBN-based API, supports and returns data for two more identifiers: LCCN and OCLC.

At core, ThingISBN—blogged before here and here—takes an ISBN and returns a simple XML list of other ISBNs, corresponding to other "editions" of the work, eg.
Now, if you add &allids=1 to the ISBN, the XML will include relevant LCCN and OCLC numbers, eg.
You can also feed ThingISBN both numbers, eg.,
If you feed it an LCCN or an OCLC number you don't need to add "&allids=1" to get back these identifiers.

What's next?
  • I haven't added LCCNs and OCLC numbers to the ThingISBN feed, yet.
  • Although there are some details to be worked out, this advance looks forward to adding support for LCCNs and OCLC numbers to LibraryThing for Libraries.
Tell us what's going on. I know that ThingISBN gets a lot of use, some of it even in accordance with its Terms of Use. If you're using ThingISBN, I'd love to hear how on a new wiki page I've created, Projects Currently Using ThingISBN.

Caveat. ThingISBN is free for non-commercial use. Commercial use requires our say-so. Read more here.

In the news! Coincidentally, LCCNs are in the news this week. Yesterday, the Library of Congress announced a "LCCN Permalink," a smart bid to convert a vital but underused set of permanent, unique IDs, the LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number), into the regnant permanent, unqiue ID, the URL. See Catalogablog for the announcement.

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Blogger Andrew Timson said...

A useful tool on the LoC website? My universe is imploding!

I don't use ThingISBN myself, but more options are always good; glad you added it. :)

2/15/2008 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Ben Fulton said...

Any word on developing an API to return user data, like reviews, tags, and ratings?

2/17/2008 9:45 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Well, I mean, fundamentally, that's the part that we market out right now. We give away a lot—soon we'll be giving away all our covers too. But we don't give away the tags. Reviews, meh. Ratings I'm divided on too. I think I'd give away the raw ratings but the usernumber-to-rating data amounts to a slice of the social graph itself, which is the driving force behind recommendations, which we also don't give away.

That about covers what we don't give away, but it's a big chunk.

2/17/2008 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Ben Fulton said...

I can see why you wouldn't have an API to return everyone's ratings, but still, one that would just return information for one user, who would provide their username and password, would be nice. You could model it on the Flickr API, for example.

2/20/2008 11:15 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I've never played with their API. You got a quick link for me?

2/21/2008 1:01 AM  
Anonymous Ben Fulton said...

2/21/2008 6:42 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

How does this compare/differ with
xISBN from OCLC?

3/03/2008 8:47 PM  

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