TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2009-08 > 1249141045
From: Megan M Isely <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] ISBN #s (Was: Hone's Land and Property Research)
Date: Sat, 01 Aug 2009 10:37:25 -0500
References: <4A722B57.email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <010b01ca1182$576e0850$064a18f0$@net> <4A72DBC2.email@example.com><019001ca1225$68f5a760$3ae0f620$@net>
Thank you for the clarification, which makes perfect sense. As you said
errors do happen (and the more people that are involved creates the
possibility for more, as your example clearly shows; that principle
manifested itself clearly yesterday in a situation where I work) and
those published errors do need to be corrected whether it is a
new/revised edition or not.
> Let me clarify a point: If "major changes" are made or a substantial portion
> is revised, GPC calls it a new edition. I referred to the printings between
> the new editions, for which small changes but incremental changes are made.
> In any one case, of course, any "small change of text" in one person's view
> could be a bigger change to someone who is directly affected by it.
> I do disagree with your opinion that publishers who make incremental changes
> "are doing a disservice to all who would purchase their books and
> materials." The change of an ISBN is associated with a new edition, as you
> first pointed out. Given that a new edition is considered to be one with
> substantial alterations; a change in ISBN number is a flag to buyers that
> purchasing another copy should be worth the investment.
> In the meanwhile, every book goes to press with gremlins. Correcting those
> gremlins at the next reprinting is an act of responsible publishing. Also,
> in today's world, many books have passages that are outdated as soon as they
> roll off the press. Continuing to reprint what is outdated or incorrect
> would constitute, IMO, the "disservice to all who purchase."
> As a real-time example:
> Two months ago, the University of Georgia Press released a new book in its
> series _[State Name] Women._ Each is a "book of readings," composed of
> essays about key women in the history of the state, with each written by a
> different author. I wrote the lead essay for _Louisiana Women_. My essay on
> a colonial freed slave, Coincoin, was approved by the two academic
> historians who were the book's assigned editors. When all the essays went to
> the press, the press's editor altered several sentences in my text, then
> sent the edited copy back for review. There were the usual misunderstandings
> of nuances, because she was not versed in the time and place, but one
> alteration created a major factual error.
> In brief (I'll paraphrase here to summarize the situation being discussed),
> my original sentence stated that Coincoin's son Louis, who was at that time
> a slave, fathered a daughter by a slave woman and that Coincoin labored for
> four years to purchase the child's freedom. The editor changed the sentence
> around to say that Louis fathered a male child by a slave woman whom he
> could not legally marry because he was still a slave, and so Coincoin
> labored for four years to purchase her son Louis. The significance here is
> major, not just from a genealogical or biographical standpoint. Louis was
> the founder of a National Historical Landmark, whose biographical details
> are well known to everyone who works on the area. All researchers know that
> Coincoin did not free this son--his father did--and that he would remain a
> slave for another decade. In fact, the date and facts of his manumission are
> central to the argument as to who founded that landmark.
> For my essay to assert that Coincoin freed Louis 10 years before he was
> actually freed not only affects the facts of the founding but also makes me
> appear ignorant, careless, or a poor researcher; and it misleads others.
> Naturally, I explained the problem to the editors. The volume editors
> instructed the press editor to reinstate the original sentence but the press
> editor did not.
> The book was released with this factual error. I have requested that it be
> corrected at the next printing. The press would not at all call a new
> printing a new edition because of "small changes" by this or that author.
> Nor would the press assign a new ISBN to each new printing, when one or
> another author catches a problem.
> Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
> Hendersonville, Tennessee
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