[ANN] A Package to download the currently free Springer books

Springer has made some of their books available as pdfs for free on their website during the quarantine. There are already packages in Python and R to download them. Since I couldn’t find one for Julia I thought that would be a great first public project. I hope it is not too simplistic to make an announcement here. Any feedback is much appreciated! You can find the package on Github:

SpringerQuarantineBooks.jl

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I’m sure someone has downloaded all of them. How much space does that take?

17 books in and already 1GB. 407 books in total.

you have been warned

There’s no need to download everything though. A Beginners Guide to Python 3 Programming is definitely not something many of us want to read.

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7.5GB. Not that bad.

I just finished loading all of them. Here is my du

 ~/Documents/books > du -h
49M	./Religion_and_Philosophy
378M	./Medicine
59M	./Literature_Cultural_and_Media_Studies
141M	./Business_and_Economics
49M	./Education
733M	./Computer_Science
1002M	./Physics_and_Astronomy
737M	./Chemistry_and_Materials_Science
164M	./Humanities_Social_Sciences_and_Law
1,4G	./Biomedical_and_Life_Sciences
598M	./Earth_and_Environmental_Science
42M	./Economics_and_Finance
35M	./Law_and_Criminology
184M	./Behavioral_Science
671M	./Mathematics_and_Statistics
71M	./Behavioral_Science_and_Psychology
174M	./Energy
113M	./Intelligent_Technologies_and_Robotics
86M	./Social_Sciences
1001M	./Engineering
270M	./Business_and_Management
7,8G	.
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I love this sort of stuff. It’s relatively simple and isn’t going to win any awards but it certainly makes a lot of people happier.

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The example in the repository docs creates an Excel workbook of all 407 books along with categories, direct url links, etc. You could sort the workbook to get this.

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The spreadsheets are linked at the bottom:
https://www.springernature.com/gp/librarians/news-events/all-news-articles/industry-news-initiatives/free-access-to-textbooks-for-institutions-affected-by-coronaviru/17855960

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Anybody have any books they’d recommend from the list? I don’t care to have “Introduction to Logic Circuits & Logic Design with Verilog” in my library and especially don’t care about “Advanced Guide to Python 3 Programming” (:wink:).

I’ll start: they have “Numerical Optimization” by Nocedal and Wright which is often used as reference for solvers like BFGS, etc.

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Downloaded a book to test the package and read the first sentence:

Alice invites six guests to her birthday party: Bob, Carl, Diane, Eve, Frank,
and George. When they arrive, they shake hands with each other (strange
European custom).

Strange indeed in quarantine times!

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Thanks! Pretty cool and easy to do.

Kind regards

Thanks to Anshul Singhvi (@asinghvi17) the package now has a progress bar instead of just printing into the console. :partying_face:

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Now only to have the time to read the 400 something books. :wink:

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Now only to have the time to read the 400 something books.

If the corona virus lockdown goes on much longer, you’ll crack open Taxation In the European Union with relish and delight. :wink:

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In my case, the script downloads 393 books, taking up 4.2 GB in space. I wonder why this is much less than what’s been reported by others (7.5 GB). Do these numbers include the epub files as well? In my case, only pdf files are downloaded.

As for the number of downloaded books (there are 407 in the Excel file, but only 393 have been downloaded in my case), I’ve noticed that books with the same title are downloaded only once. Most of the time, this happens because of different editions of the same book. However, there are some instances of different books (from different authors) with the same title. For example, both books below are titled “Fundamentals of Biomechanics”, but only one of them is downloaded:

https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-0-387-49312-1
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-44738-4

This happens with some other titles: “Introduction to Partial Differential Equations”, “Probability Theory”, “Quantum Mechanics” and “Robotics”.

Update: I’ve just noticed that if two books have the same title but belong to different categories, both are downloaded (presumably because they go to different folders). This is the case, for example, for the books titled “Robotics” (one is in the category “Engineering” whereas the other is in “Intelligent Technologies and Robotics”).

Ah great catch. I’ll fix that.

Great!

Regarding the total download size, I think I know what happened. I had previously downloaded some of these books manually through some links I had received from friends. When comparing the books downloaded by this Julia script to the ones I had downloaded previously, I noticed that some of them are much smaller now. So I guess Springer updated their repositories with a shrunken version of their pdf files in order to reduce the load on their servers.

As for the books with the same title, pre-pending the year to the file name solves most occurrences (that’s what happens when you download the books from a web browser). However, there are still some corner cases. For example, there are 2 files associated with the book “Advanced Organic Chemistry” (same title in the Excel file, same author, same year), one for Part A and another for Part B.

Thanks a lot for your script.

I just had a look at the ISBN numbers for the books and they are all distinct. There are in fact two distinct books called “Robotics”. The problem however (is) was that books with the same title and category were overwritten. I am now appending the Electronic ISBN number to the book title such that the names are distinct. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

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The ISBN should do it. ISBNs are supposed to be different between different editions of a book, between the printed and electronic versions of a book, and even between the paperback and hardcover versions of a book.

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