Works and Editions

Works and Editions

Filename: works_to_isbn.xml

Sample Feed: works_to_isbn_small.xml

Contents and Purpose

This is a list of all the LibraryThing works and the ISBNs that compose them.

Insofar as most LibraryThing data is keyed to work IDs, called "workcodes," this is the feed most users will use to link up their content with LibraryThing data.


	<work workcode="2" copies="2">
			<isbn count="1">9026836783</isbn>
			<isbn count="1">9001986307</isbn>
	<work workcode="16" copies="1">
			<isbn count="1" uncertain="true">0843111577</isbn>

Elements and Attributes

The basic structure is shown in the example above.

<works> is the top-level element
  • <work> is repeated.
    • workcode="N" attr (required) For historical reasons the work id is here (and some other places) called the "workcode." This is also the name most LibraryThing users know for the work id. The <work> elements are ordered low-to-high by this parameter.
    • copies="N" attr (required) is the number of copies of the work in the LibraryThing system. This number is cached, not correct to the second.
    • <isbns> a list of <isbn> elements. It is optional and non-repeatable.
      • <isbn> contains the ISBNs for a work. The ISBNs are always given in their shortest form. That is, a 13-digit 978- ISBN will be expressed as a 10-digit, but a 979 ISBN will be 13 digits.

        Note Only valid ISBNs, of the correct length and with the correct check-digit, are considered ISBNs.

        • count="N" attr (required) is how many copies of the ISBN are held by LibraryThing members. The ISBNs are currently ordered high-to-low by this parameter, but this is not assured. As LibraryThing draws on many sources for its ISBN-to-work/work-to-ISBN relationships, count should not be taken as a confidence rating.
        • uncertain="true" attr (optional) Uncertain is set, and is set to true, when an ISBN is "split" across two works. This is generally a sign of error in the data.

          Note Most feed users should skip ISBNs with uncertain="true" entirely.