When a question or answer refers to a book, does the following descending preference-order for link destinations make sense? If not, what would be better?

  1. Book's site if the full text is freely available on the web
  2. Excerpt page on Google Books
  3. Amazon
  4. Safari
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I dislike Google excerpts, since they seem to show/obscure different parts of the book to different people. Instead of hardcoding Amazon (which one?), an ISBN number is perhaps more useful -- it can go to a service like isbn.nu, or can also be translated to an Amazon id. Ideal would be some support for ISBN mapping as Wikipedia does. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2010 at 20:34
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Some books have DOIs; in those cases a DOI link would be ideal. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2010 at 20:58
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I think the ordering should be (1) free legal copy (2) DOI if it exists (3) ISBN number if it exists (4) google books (5) whatever commercial site you prefer. $\endgroup$ Sep 23, 2010 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ I posted a feature request to support ISBN tags: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/65537/magic-isbn-markup $\endgroup$ Oct 24, 2010 at 20:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I almost agree with Suresh's ordering (with the possible exception of #5 -- I think we may want to discourage links to commercial sites), but a couple of options are possible once one has an ISBN: - Wikipedia Book sources: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/0-7167-9948-0 - Google books: books.google.com/books?as_isbn=0716799480 $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2010 at 4:24

1 Answer 1


This seems like a reasonable ordering, although I don't know what "Safari" is.

  • $\begingroup$ Safari is Oreilly's online bookstore. It gives a preview page for most pages in a book, with the bottom ripped off $\endgroup$
    – Chris S
    Aug 25, 2010 at 10:11

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