Monthly Archives: May 2009

Mathematics in book titles

I’ve just found three books by J. Peter May with descriptions of mathematics notation in the title:

  1. E [sign for infinity] ring spaces and E [sign for infinity] ring spectra
  2. [The mathematical expression for infinite loop] ring spaces and [The mathematical expression for infinite loop] ring spectra
  3. E [infinity subscript] ring spaces and E [infinity subscript] ring spectra

It is difficult to write software that can tell these titles are the same, yet they are. The Open Library book merging code has failed to recognize these are all the same book, and so we have three records in the database, where there should be one.

I wonder how often descriptions of mathematical notation appear in bibliographic records; this is the first time I’ve seen it.

Democracy Now interviews Brewster Kahle

Hello! I’ve just joined the Open Library team as Project Lead. In this, my second week, I’m still finding my feet and getting to know everyone. The future looks really, really bright thanks to the amazing foundation already in place at Open Library. We have around 23 million books in our catalogue, over 1 million of which are available to read or download for free right now. The team has done an absolutely amazing job of drawing catalogue records from disparate libraries and connecting them all under

As I was finding my way last week, it just so happened that Brewster Kahle was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! about the current state of the Google Books Settlement – the perfect induction! (Brewster’s interview starts at around 13:55 minutes in.)

This blog post by Ryan Singel also came in handy: The Fight over the Google of all Libraries: A Wired FAQ.