Wikicite (2006 proposal)/Technical Design

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The Wikicite technical design.

A Brief Discussion of ISBN[edit]

Since the first level of wikicite implementation would be to make available ISBN numbered books, or some subset, a short discussion of ISBN is in order.

Format of an ISBN number[edit]

An ISBN is a 10-digit number that identifies a book, it is used for commercial and citation purposes. It has 9 significant digits and a check digit. The check digit is base-11: that is 0 through 10, represented by the digits 0 to 9 and an "X" for 10.

The ISBN code is broken into 4 parts:

  • Group/Country id
  • Publisher id
  • Title id - by format
  • Check digit

The standard says hyphens are to be placed between these four parts, but often they are not.

Obtaining ISBN data[edit]

One can purchase commercial data for ISBN databases from the Library of Congress and other sources. However, Wikimedia would probably begin by taking MARC Records downloaded from Z39.40 sources.

A MARC record is a card catalog format, and the Z39.50 protocol is used to for records in this format. This means an initial test implementation could be "sparse" by creating records which are linking to the ISBN page as citations.

Wikipedia:List of ISBN ranges