December 29, 2006

ISBN 13s are here

The end of 2006 marks the end of the ten digit ISBN. "On January 1, 2007 the book industry

will begin using 13 digit ISBNs to identify all books in the supply chain." according to the US ISBN Agency which has created a toolkit to help the book industry with this transition -- lots of stuff for publishers and booksellers and a little info for librarians. OCLC has provided information about this transition for catalogers in Technical Bulletin 253. Additional gory details may be found on the ISO ISBN FAQ.
The information in OCLC's Tech Bulletin about what new records will look like applies to newly-added NHU-PAC records. The transition OCLC promises in their documentation had not been completed when last we checked (a few days ago. When OCLC has updated all they records added to the database during the transition period NHAIS Services will be able to make a decision about how best to deal with transitional NHU-PAC records. As reported in NHU-PAC News #29 (January 13, 2006) : "NHU-PAC records follow the approach OCLC is using: 10-digit ISBNs appear in the 020 field while 13-digits ISBNs, if available, are in the 024 field with a first indicator of 3. ISBN-13's can be searched through the Numbers Appearing on Materials search on the Browse Indexes subtabs found on the Welcome to NHU-PAC and Advanced Searching tabs. " This searching approach is still valid.
As David reported previously searching for ISBN13s in the ILL system is not totally as it should be yet, but the improvements coming to ILL in 2007 will fix this -- and a patch may resolve it before then.