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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
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    $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – András Salamon Aug 24 '10 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ Some books have DOIs; in those cases a DOI link would be ideal. $\endgroup$ – Jukka Suomela Aug 24 '10 at 20:58
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    $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Sep 23 '10 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ I posted a feature request to support ISBN tags: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/65537/magic-isbn-markup $\endgroup$ – András Salamon Oct 24 '10 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ 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 $\endgroup$ – David Eppstein Oct 25 '10 at 4:24
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This seems like a reasonable ordering, although I don't know what "Safari" is.

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  • $\begingroup$ 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 '10 at 10:11

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