Skip to main content

app and framework for 'all things ISBN' (International Standard Book Number) including metadata, descriptions, covers... .

Project description

Built Status Bugs PYPI Downloads


isbntools provides several useful methods and functions to validate, clean, transform, hyphenate and get metadata for ISBN strings.

For the end user several scripts are provided to use from the command line:

$ to_isbn10 ISBN13

transforms an ISBN13 number to ISBN10.

$ to_isbn13 ISBN10

transforms an ISBN10 number to ISBN13.

$ isbn_info ISBN

gives you the group identifier of the ISBN.

$ isbn_mask ISBN

masks (hyphenate) an ISBN (split it by identifiers).

$ isbn_meta ISBN [goob|openl|merge] [bibtex|csl|msword|endnote|refworks|opf|json] [YOUR_APIKEY_TO_SERVICE]

gives you the main metadata associated with the ISBN, goob uses the Google Books service (no key is needed), and is the default option (you only have to enter, e.g. isbn_meta 9780321534965), openl uses the api (no key is needed) and wiki uses the Wikipedia api (no key is needed). You can enter API keys and set preferences in the file isbntools.conf in your $HOME\.isbntools directory (UNIX). For Windows, you should look at %APPDATA%/isbntools/isbntools.conf. The output can be formatted as bibtex, csl (CSL-JSON), msword, endnote, refworks, opf or json (BibJSON) bibliographic formats.

NOTE You can apply this command to many ISBNs by using posix pipes (e.g. type FILE_WITH_ISBNs.txt | isbn_meta [SERVICE] [FORMAT] [APIKEY] in Windows)

You can add more sources for metadata by installing isbnlib plugins: isbnlib-bnf, isbnlib-porbase, isbnlib-loc, isbnlib-mcues, isbnlib-dnb, isbnlib-sbn, isbnlib-kb, … (check pypi for available plugins).

$ isbn_editions ISBN

gives the collection of ISBNs that represent a given book (uses Wikipedia and LibraryThing).

$ isbn_validate ISBN

validates ISBN10 and ISBN13.

$ ... | isbn_validate

to use with posix pipes (e.g. cat FILE_WITH_ISBNs | isbn_validate in OSX or Linux).

TIP Suppose you want to extract the ISBN of a pdf eboook (MYEBOOK.pdf). Install pdfminer and then enter in a command line:

$ -m 5 MYEBOOK.pdf | isbn_validate
$ isbn_from_words "words from title and author name"

a fuzzy script that returns the most probable ISBN from a set of words! (You can verify the result with isbn_meta)!

$ isbn_goom "words from title and author name" [bibtex|csl|msword|endnote|refworks|json]

a script that returns from Google Books multiple references.

$ isbn_doi ISBN

returns the doi’s ISBN-A code of a given ISBN.

$ isbn_ean13 ISBN

returns the EAN13 code of a given ISBN.

$ isbn_classify ISBN

returns the OCLC classifiers of a given ISBN.

$ isbn_ren FILENAME

renames (using metadata) files in the current directory that have ISBNs in their filename (e.g. isbn_ren 1783559284_book.epub, isbn_ren "*.pdf").

Enter isbn_ren to see many other options.

$ isbntools

writes version and copyright notice and checks if there are updates.


$ isbn_repl

you will get a REPL with history, autocompletion, fuzzy options, redirection and access to the shell.

Following is a typical session:

$ isbn_repl

    Welcome to the isbntools 4.3.29 REPL.
    ** For help type 'help' or '?'
    ** To exit type 'exit' :)
    ** To run a shell command, type '!<shellcmnd>'
    ** Use '#' in place of the last ISBN

$ isbn> ?

Commands available (type ?<command> to get help):
BIBFORMATS  classify  desc     ean13     from_words  info  to_isbn10
PROVIDERS   conf      doi      editions  goom        mask  to_isbn13
audit       cover     doi2tex  exit      help        meta  validate

$ isbn> meta 9780156001311 tex
     title = {The Name Of The Rose},
    author = {Umberto Eco},
      isbn = {9780156001311},
      year = {1994},
 publisher = {Harcourt Brace}
$ isbn> meta 9780156001311 tex >>myreferences.bib
$ isbn> !ls
$ isbn> desc #
It is the year 1327. Franciscans in an Italian abbey are suspected of
heresy, but Brother William of Baskerville's investigation is suddenly
overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen
and Kurt Wolff Book
$ isbn> cover #
bnf  dnb  goob  kb  loc  mcues  openl  porbase  wiki
$ isbn> exit

Within REPL many of the operations are faster.


From the command line enter (in some cases you have to precede the command with sudo):

$ pip install isbntools

If you use linux systems, you can install using your distribution package manager (packages python-isbntools and python3-isbntools), however usually these packages are very old and don’t work well anymore!

For Devs

If you would like to contribute to the project please read the guidelines.

Conf File

You can enter API keys and set preferences in the file isbntools.conf in your $HOME/.isbntools directory (UNIX). For Windows, you should look at %APPDATA%/isbntools/isbntools.conf (create these, directory and file, if don’t exist [Now just enter isbn_conf make!]). The file should look like:






The values are self-explanatory!

NOTE If you are running isbntools inside a virtual environment, the isbntools.conf file will be inside folder isbntools at the root of the environment.

The easier way to manipulate these files is by using the script isbn_conf. At a terminal enter:

$ isbn_conf show

to see the current conf file.

This script has many options that allow a controlled editing of the conf file. Just enter isbn_conf for help.

Known Issues

  1. The meta method and the isbn_meta script sometimes give a wrong result (this is due to errors on the chosen service), in alternative you should try one of the others services.

  2. The isbntools works internally with unicode, however this doesn’t solve errors of lost information due to bad encode/decode at the origin!

  3. Periodically, agencies, issue new blocks of ISBNs. The range of these blocks is on a database that mask uses. So it could happen, if you have a version of isbntools that is too old, mask doesn’t work for valid (recent) issued ISBNs. The solution? Update isbntools often!

  4. Calls to metadata services are cached by default. If you don’t want this feature, just enter isbn_conf setopt cache no. If by any reason you need to clear the cache, just enter isbn_conf delcache.

Any issue that you would like to report, please do it at github or at stackoverflow with tag isbntools.

Project details

Release history Release notifications | RSS feed

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

isbntools-4.3.29.tar.gz (33.3 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Source

Built Distribution

isbntools-4.3.29-py2.py3-none-any.whl (38.9 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Python 2 Python 3

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page