EAN reading RFC

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Enable search on EAN

Status: unknown
Sponsored by: St Etienne University
Developed by: BibLibre
Expected for: 2011-05-01
Bug number: Bug 5384
Work in progress repository: No URL given.
Description: In acquisition module, scanning an EAN will result in a correct search.

Comment: convert internally to ISBN-13 everywhere?

This was sent in (to mjr) by a librarian. I think it is also suggesting standardising internally on ISBN-13.

In most cases the new 13-digit ISBN is directly equivalent to the 13-digit EAN, and many libraries will be routinely adding the 13-digit number to biblios as part of the ISBN statement (020) or as part of the OTHER STANDARD IDENTIFIER field (024).

You cannot routinely take an EAN or 13-digit ISBN and convert it to a 10-digit ISBN for searching purposes - some EANs or 13-digit ISBNs have no 10-digit equivalent. So it makes little sense to try to read an EAN and convert it to 10 digits for searching purposes, especially since many books published in the last 4 years have no 10-digit ISBN anyway.

But you can ALWAYS take a 10-digit ISBN and convert it to a 13-digit number. It would therefore make much more sense to develop a batch routine to examine each and every biblio for a valid ISBN, and to create and add the 13-digit equivalent to the biblio as part of the permanent record, either as an ISBN (020) or as an EAN (024) (and you can use subfield 2 to identify that an EAN is machine-calculated). Then the number is there in the catalogue to be found whenever a barcode number is read.

It would probably be as well to make an on-the-fly conversion routine available as part of the Add MARC Record process too, but much of the processing would be the same.

In a large database, the batch job involves a serious amount of processing, but the conversion task only ever has to be done once per biblio. Converting a scanned EAN for searching purposes has to be done every time a 13-digit number is entered, and over years that could be considerably more processing.