How do you check if a book is a new edition of an older book, but they have different titles, without accessing the books? Are there websites which maintain such records?

For example, is this book

Fundamentals of data structures in C / Ellis Horowitz, Sartaj Sahni, Susan Anderson-Freed.
Edition 2nd ed.
Published/Created   Summit, NJ : Silicon Press, 2008.

a newer edition to this one

Fundamentals of data structures / Ellis Horowitz, Sartaj Sahni.
Published/Created: Computer Science Press, c1976.

Does the second one have later editions?

  • 1
    Why would you want to do this "without accessing the books"? The easiest (perhaps the only) ways to find out are (1) read the preface of the more recent book, and (2) ask the author(s) directly.
    – JeffE
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 23:03
  • (1) no access. (2) expect no reply.
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 23:15
  • According to the first author's web page (ellishorowitz.com), Fundamental Data Structures in C (1992) is one of several "Derived Versions" of Fundamental Data Structures (1976). It seems likely that Fundamental Data Structures in C (2nd edition) (2008) is the second edition of the 1992 "derived version", but not (strictly speaking) a new "edition" of the original 1976 book.
    – JeffE
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 22:28
  • @JeffE: Thanks. The background of my question is: I am interested in formally learning data structures. I felt the 1982 (not sure if it is the same as 1976) fits my taste. But I worry if it is outdated. I admit that I haven't had access to many books yet. If interested, could you leave some comments here or under my more relevant post cs.stackexchange.com/questions/30627/… ? I appreciate that.
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 23:09

2 Answers 2


I don't know if there's an easy way to track this. The Library of Congress catalog, for instance, shows no trace that the second book was an earlier edition of the first. However, if the edition numbers are consecutive, there's usually no "intervening" edition.

  • thanks. is this the first edition for the first book: lccn.loc.gov/92002524 ? It is not the same as the second book.
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 20:00
  • No, it shouldn't be the same. Here's the second book, representing the older edition. But what I meant is that there's no link in the newer book pointing back to the older one. You'd have to check for each book manually, or so it would seem.
    – aeismail
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 21:10

There's really no general answer to this, since sometimes a book is completely rewritten (including things like changing the computer language that is used in the books examples) and published as a second edition, while in other cases a book will be published by a new publisher under a different title with very few actual changes (typically after the authors have regained the copyright from the original publisher.) The choice of whether or not to call the book a new edition is really up to the publisher.

As another example of the this, look at Don Norman's "The Psychology of Everyday Things" also known as "The Design of Everyday Things." These are basically the same book with different titles.

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