Extend ISBN API
Two extensions to the ISBN look-up API would significantly extend its utility -
1. For each matching list return the numeric value of the priority status of the item (1, 2, 3)
-- It would be very useful to be able to display importance alongside occurence
2. Support 'OR' requests (allowing multiple ISBNs to be added to a single call)
-- With a JSON [or other] string for each ISBN match
As part of integration theme
Richard Cross commented
On (1) - sure that could be a useful approach. The current API returns URL/label for matching lists, with a list level (rather than an item level) link. A method which returned the item URI, and importance value, and list URL/label would have real advantages.
One other core piece of data here is enrolment numbers. While academics can add this data in a a free-text field at the point of submission for Library review, they are not obliged to and there's no guarantee that the figure will be accurate and current. One thing we're thinking of, is how to tie in the API to a local data call which could return student numbers for that module/list.
When reviewing an ISBN that would then tell us:
* How many lists is this ISBN present on?
* What are the importance settings for each occurence of the ISBN?
* How many students are enrolled on course lists referencing that ISBN?
On (2), yes, we're interested in related editions. We're also interested in the ability to query a list of (unrelated) ISBNs in one single pass, and thinking about ways that the API could help. Here's a use case: I have 15 books that have been flagged for withdrawal. Before I pull them from stock I want to make sure that they are not present on any Resource Lists. Rather than run 15 sequential API calls, I'd rather run one and get out a report of all IBSNs in one pass.
At a simpler level, if pre-API call we match ISBN-10 with ISBN-13, it would be good to be able to ask Aspire about the occurence of both (one item record may include ISBN-10 alone, the other ISBN-13 alone).
Adminchrisc (Admin, Talis) commented
On 1) the API as it is returns matching lists. Since importances are actually a property of items, not lists, how do you see this working? Instead, should we be thinking along the lines of extending the api like this:
This could return the item URIs that reference the ISBN, along with the importance and the corresponding list URI the item is on.
On 2, is the real reason behind this (multiple ISBNs in a hit) because you want to do some xISBN style function, i.e. send me back data not just for this ISBN, but all related ISBNs? If so, we are doing some research work in Aspire to actually marry up editions (you'll see the first fruits of this soon in talisaspire.com, which will tie up references at work level).