Help talk:ISBN

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WikiProject Wikipedia Help Project (Rated NA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of the Wikipedia Help Project, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's help documentation for readers and contributors. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. To browse help related resources see the Help Menu or Help Directory. Or ask for help on your talk page and a volunteer will visit you there.
NA This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This page has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

broken - United Kingdom; Public Libraries[edit]

Just happened to be looking for a particular book and tried to use a dozen or so links from the Public Library section of "Book Sources" ( ). Every link tried either died or dead-ended. Being a Special Page I cannot delve into it's mysteries thus someone with rights above my pay grade and with a more extensive knowledge of UK libraries will need to reconnoiter the UK 'net to find out why their library links are in such a condition. Ta ta. JimScott (talk) 13:21, 22 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The skeleton table of links is at Wikipedia:Book sources; I've just added a row. I have tested this by checking for a book which I saw in Didcot public library earlier this month - ISBN 1852605081 - which not only displays correctly but also lists the Didcot copy. I suspect that the reason that your book isn't coming up is because it's not been bought by any libraries that you've checked. BTW, the Wikicode form of your link is Special:BookSources/1417989971 which may be entered as ISBN 1417989971. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:14, 22 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This should go somewhere...[edit]


The ISBN may be linked by simply typing 'ISBN', a space and the ISBN. Any characters other than a space will not trigger the link; invalid ISBNs will not trigger the link:

Markup Renders as
ISBN 0-14-020652-3
ISBN: 0-14-020652-3

ISBN: 0-14-020652-3

ISBN 020652-3

ISBN 020652-3

This magic link is created by use of the Parser.php software module.

ISBNs can also be included in templates such as the Citation Style 1 series. For these, the linking is done by {{citation/identifier}}.

Missing or bad ISBNs[edit]

Articles that do not have any ISBNs can be tagged using {{Lacking ISBN}}. Entries that are missing the ISBN can be tagged with {{ISBN missing}}.

Entries with bad ISBNs can be tagged with {{Please check ISBN}} or {{Listed Invalid ISBN}}.


Wikipedia:ISBN is a good place for it. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 00:23, 23 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have tried this ISBN lookup for some five years now, and it has never worked. If it can't be fixed, how about deleting it?

Georgejdorner (talk) 16:34, 6 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Which ISBN lookup? What article is the problem in? --Redrose64 (talk) 17:47, 6 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Georgejdorner (talk) 17:11, 7 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there a particular database that is at issue? --  Gadget850 talk 17:39, 7 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've found that Fulco Ruffo di Calabria is the article concerned. It contains ISBN 2-9507974-3-1 as plain text in ref 2. If I follow that ISBN link, I get the usual list of book sources; and the first three of these (Google Book Search,, WorldCat) all take me to the relevant book. I therefore believe that it's working as expected. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:19, 7 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While Fulco Ruffo di Calabria is the latest article on which I have tried the ISBN (as of 5 minutes ago), it is only my latest attempt in five years. Maybe it is an incompatibility issue because I use a Macintosh, but the ISBN lookup has been consistently useless for me since I began with WP five years ago. Frankly, I don't truly care if you fix this or not, as I use a functional ISBN lookup via Google Advanced Book Search. It's just that I hoped to spare others from wasting time.

Georgejdorner (talk) 22:25, 7 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You still haven't told us which database does not work. The ISBN lookups are through a web pages that we have no control over. --  Gadget850 talk 22:43, 7 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It sounds like Georgejdorner was confused by the page, as I was for a long time. I'd get to the page with an ISBN in a box with a button labeled "Go", click the button, and after a second the page would reload with no visible change. I anticipated that this was supposed to work like a search engine (e.g., Google), where you put information into the box, click "search", then see links to your search results. Instead of doing a search, the page is simply a list of links to isolated sources where searches/queries can be made. I found this extremely confusing. An explanation would have helped, and I think it would be also help to indicate what ISBN the current links on the page will query, and indicate that the text box and "Go" button is only needed if you want to change the links to query a different ISBN (unless the links are not yet set to any ISBN, as with Special:BookSources).
The world map was also confusing to me; the instructions simply say to select your region, without explanation of why or what selecting a region would do; having gotten no results from clicking the "Go" button, I figured it may be because I failed to heed the instructions to select a region. Now I realize that it's simply a graphical index to the Library section's country-specific subsections. Personally I would de-emphasize the map by moving it to the Library section, perhaps beneath the Library section's international resources, and explain what it does. As it stands, if someone is clueless and just follows the instructions to select their region, the link skips past the international resources. I'd hazard a guess that the Google Books link is the most popular link for people who are fully familiar with how the page works, and on a smallish screen (e.g., an iPad with normal settings), all you see is the ISBN/Go box and the map, so it's quite easy to skip past the Google Books link without realizing it was there. Agyle (talk) 21:32, 13 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mexico should be moved to the North America section not "The Americas", what is that?[edit]

In book sources, Mexico, was moved to "Americas" If you see any map, (contemporary, dispose those with turtles supporting the world) you will see that Mexico is in the continental mass called America, above what is called Central America, it is North America, please Americans are all the inhabitants of all the continent called America, the country called USA stands for United States of America, it is part of North America, just like Mexico and Canada.

Please put the name Mexico, in the North America section! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Which book sources? What is the link? --  Gadget850 talk 20:44, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This would be Special:BookSources/0000000000#Mexico -- John of Reading (talk) 07:04, 2 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

* HELP QUESTION - Where to make suggestion for Special:BookSources page?[edit]

Library of Congress link is defunct, obsolete[edit]