Help:Screen:NewPub

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This page is a help or manual page for the ISFDB database. It describes standards or methods for entering or maintaining data in the ISFDB database, or otherwise working with the database. Other help pages may be found via the category below. To discuss what should go on this page, use the talk page.

If, after exploring the Help system, you still have a question, please visit the Help desk and let us know. We probably know the answer, but we need your help to know what we left out of the help pages.

If you are new to editing the ISFDB, please see Help:Getting Started.

For more on this and other header templates, see Header templates.


The New Anthology, New Chapbook, New Collection, New Fanzine, New Magazine, New Nonfiction, New Novel, and New Omnibus data entry forms allow you to enter information for a new publication. Each of these forms is identical with the following exceptions:

  • The value of the non-editable publication type field is prefilled with "Magazine", "Anthology", etc.
  • For novels, the "Content" section of the Web page is labeled "Additional Content" instead to indicate that editors should not re-enter the main Novel record in this section.
  • For novels, the "Additional Content" section of the Web page displays fewer blank Content lines compared to the "Content" section of the other New Publication formes. This is due to fact that the number of additional content items in novel publications (introductions, afterwords, etc) is usually limited.
  • For omnibuses, blank Content entries default to 'NOVEL'. For non-fiction books, they default to 'ESSAY'. For all other publication types, they default to 'SHORTFICTION'.

The "Add New ..." links are displayed in the navigation bar when viewing the ISFDB home page or any other bibliographic page. They are not displayed when editing data or when viewing moderator-only pages.

The following is a detailed definition of exactly what should be entered in each field. These definitions are intentionally very complete. If you are looking for a quick summary of how to use this data entry form, please refer to Help:Getting Started which gives a simplified description of how to enter a book's publication details.

Each data entry form is divided into three main sections as described below.

Contents

Title Information

The fields in the first section contain data about the main (or "reference") title record that will be created for this publication.

Title

  • Title - The title of the publication. The title should appear exactly as published, even though this may be different from the canonical title.
    • Books. For a book, use the title page to get the title. This is typically the page with the copyright information on the back. Don't use the title on the cover, spine, or page running heads.
      Some books, mostly hardcovers, have both a "half-title" and a "full-title" page. The half-title generally comes first, and omits the author's name and the sub-title, if any. It may include a list of other works in the series, or by the author. The full-title lists both title and author, and normally gives the publisher's name, and often the publisher's city or cities. If both are present, take the title from the full-title page.
    • Omnibuses. If the book you are entering is an omnibus, it may have multiple title pages, one for each novel it contains. In these cases, if there is an omnibus title, such as "SF Special No. 33", enter that. Otherwise enter the individual titles, separated by a slash between spaces, like this: "Conan the Conqueror / The Sword of Rhiannon".
    • Magazines. For the title of a magazine, the best source is the information (often below the table of contents) about the publisher, giving the address; this often says something like "IF is published monthly by . . . ." If this is not present, the magazine cover and the heading on the contents page are about equal in priority; again take a good guess. The name on the spine should be used last. You may find sometimes that the publication information only says "Published by . . ." without giving the magazine name; and then the title on the contents may differ from the cover. In these cases, either choose something that seems reasonable to you, or agree an approach for that publication on the magazine's project wiki page. Also, please note that the title should be of the form Magazine Title, Date, such as Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2004. This helps differentiate different issues of the magazine. See the note on missing and variant dates below for more on formatting this part of the title.
    • Subtitles. If the title has a subtitle, enter it, with a colon and a space used to separate the title from the subtitle. For example, the 1986 edition of George MacDonald's "Lilith" has "Lilith" on the title page, and below that, in a smaller font, "A Romance". This should be entered as "Lilith: A Romance". It is sometimes a judgement call as to whether a change of font or a colon indicates a subtitle or just some creative license on the part of the typesetter. If in doubt, take your best guess and document the guess on the publication's wiki page.
      Note that the title page may show the series name, and sometimes the publication's position in the series. It is left to the editor's discretion as to whether this should be part of the "title" that you enter for the publication. If you don't enter the series name as part of the ISFDB title then editors are encouraged to include a note explaining how the title is stated on the title page. For example, you could enter the title for a publication as "Song of the Dragon" and the note would have "The title page states 'Song of the' over 'Dragon' over 'The annals of Drakis: Book One'."
    • Case. Titles should have case regularized unless there is some specific evidence that the author intended certain letters to be in a specific case. For example, if the title is "EXTRO" in all caps, the title should be entered as "Extro". This applies to the titles of short stories as well as books. Typesetting style is not important; for example, Fantastic Universe typically printed story titles in lower case, but these titles are regularized for the ISFDB. Regularized case means that the first word is capitalized, and all later words are also capitalized except for "and", "or", "the", "a", "an", "for", "of", "in", "on", "by", "at", "from", "with", and "to". Hyphenated words have the first letter after the hyphen capitalized.
    • Symbols and punctuation. Strange symbols should be entered if appropriate typographical characters exist. If not, do what you can and make a note as necessary on the wiki page. For example, John Varley's story "Press Enter" is often titled with a black rectangle, indicating a computer cursor, at the end. Other characters should be entered in Unicode if possible; this includes accented characters, and symbols such as em-dashes. An ellipsis should be entered as the sequence "period", "period", "period" with no spaces in between the periods. If the ellipsis is in the middle of the title, it should be entered with a space after it as well, prior to the start of the following word. Em-dashes should be entered directly adjacent to the words on both sides. Hyphens and spaces make different titles: "Hell Fire", "Hellfire", and "Hell-Fire" are three different titles, and should be entered as such. If you are using a Windows computer, you can use the Windows Character Map to enter unusual characters; to access the Character Map, go to Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools.
    • Fonts. Sometimes a title will have one or more words in italics, or in boldface, or in an unusual font. The ISFDB software would permit representing these via embedded HTML. However, this would mean that user searches that did not include the HTML would fail in many cases where they ought to succeed. Therefore, do not use embedded HTML to show font changes. For the same reason, do not use underscores to show _italics_, nor asterisks to show *boldface*, nor other typographical methods to show font in titles. If the font seems important, it can be shown and/or described in a note.
    • Missing or variant dates. The date part of a magazine title should be given after the title, following a comma and a space. The month should be given in full and then the year in full. If the issue is a quarterly, or a bimonthly, give the date in the form given on the magazine -- for example, "Fantastic Universe, June-July 1953" or "Interzone, Fall 1979". A hyphen should be used between two months used for a bimonthly issue. If the magazine has an overprinted date, then use the later date; this happened, for example, with some issues of the pulps, which were delayed in release and were overprinted with a later date to keep them on the newsstand for longer. If there is no apparent date, or the date is incomplete, a volume/issue number may be substituted. The date is always preferable, even if the magazine typically gives the issue number -- Interzone, for example, frequently quoted the issue number on the cover, only showing the date on the contents page. Information can also be drawn from bibliographic sources when useful, but this should always be noted in the "Note" field. For example, the first few issues of the British edition of Science Fiction Adventures are dated simply 1958, but per the Tuck encyclopedia these are in fact bimonthly, starting in March of that year. If you have access to such a bibliographic source you can use this data, but be sure to make it clear in the notes field what information was drawn from secondary sources. If you don't have access, and find yourself entering data for a magazine without clear date or numbering characteristics, it is best to post a query to the Community Portal page of the ISFDB Wiki and ask for assistance with that magazine. Some issues of the Australian magazine Void are not easily distinguished, for example.

Transliterated Titles

  • Transliterated Title. Populate only if the title is spelled using a non-Latin alphabet/script. If you know the Romanized form of the name, enter it in this field. If there is more than one possible Romanization, click on the Add Transliterated Title button below and enter the other Romanized spellings of the title. You can click on the Add button as many times as necessary. This field is not to be used to enter English translations, which can be added to Notes if known.

Author(s)

  • Author - The name of the author of the publication. The name should be entered exactly as it is actually given on the publication's title page. This includes pseudonyms, abbreviated names ("I. Asimov" instead of "Isaac Asimov", "Robert Heinlein" instead of "Robert A. Heinlein"), etc. Any variation of the author credit appearing in other parts of the publication (e.g. the cover or spine of the book) should be noted.
    • Editors, authors, translators, etc. If the publication is explicitly credited to an author (or authors) on its title page, use that name (or names). If it is an ANTHOLOGY, multi-author OMNIBUS, or multi-author work of NONFICTION, credit the editor as the "author" of the publication. If the book is a COLLECTION or a single-author OMNIBUS, but also credits an editor, that credit can only be noted in the Note fields of the publication record and the title record. A multi-author OMNIBUS that has no editor credit (and no secondary source for the editor credit) should credit the authors of the contained fiction. (It is suggested that when there are five or more authors, that the editor should be entered as "uncredited".) There is currently no support in the ISFDB for translators or other non-author roles; this information should just be entered into the Note field.
    • Anonymous or uncredited works. If a work is credited to "Anonymous", then put "Anonymous" in the author field. The same applies for any obviously similar pseudonym, such as "Noname". If the work is not credited at all, use "uncredited", with a lower case "u". This applies to editorship of anthologies that are not credited. If a work is attributed to a role, e.g. "Editor" or "Publisher", then use that name as the author, even if it you have clear evidence as to who the author really is. For example, editorials in magazines were frequently uncredited, or credited to "The Editor"; these should be entered with the Author field set to "The Editor". The intent is that the record made from the publication should reflect what can be found in the publication. If there is external evidence (such as a collection of editorials from a magazine, making it clear who the author was) that identifies the author, then you can add a variant title to that item, using the real name. This will attach the work to the true author's bibliography, without giving incorrect data about what is actually in the source publication. If you are working from a secondary source which does not specify the author, but does not explicitly state that no author is credited in the publication, use "unknown" rather than "uncredited".
    • Case. Case should be regularized. A few magazines and books have typographical conventions that include, for example, printing an author's name in all lower case, or all upper case. These should convert to leading capitals. If a name includes an element that typically is not capitalized, it should be uncapitalized regardless of how it is presented in the publication. For example, if a magazine gives a story as by "L. Sprague De Camp", the name should be entered as "L. Sprague de Camp". Author names that vary only in capitalization are not tracked as variants.
    • Initials. Initials should normally be entered followed by a period and a space as "Gordon R. Dickson" or "K. D. Wentworth", even if period or space is omitted in the publication. However, when it is clearly the author's choice to omit the period, or when the author has a single letter name that is not an initial (e.g. "Harry S Truman") the period should be omitted. In the very rare case where an author prefers two (or more) initials as if they were a name (such as "TG Theodore"), without period or space, and is so credited, we follow the author's preference. A possible clue to such cases occurs when most authors have initials shown with period and space, but a particular author is handled differently in a magazine or anthology. Checking other sources, such as a Wikipedia article or the author's web site, is a good idea. Such non-standard forms should be mentioned in a publication or title note.
    • Spaces in Names: Spaces within a name should be regularized. If a name differs from a canonical name or existing pseudonym only by the lack of, or addition of, blank spaces, it should be entered as the existing name or pseudonym. For example, a book credited to "Ursula LeGuin", "Lester DelRey", or "A. E. VanVogt" should be listed by including the missing space, e.g. "Lester del Rey". Conversely, if a book were credited to "John De Chancie", the extra space should be removed, and the book credited to "John DeChancie". One effect of this rule is to avoid subjective judgements when there appears to be a "partial space" in a name.
    • Pseudonyms. If you know that a particular author's name is a pseudonym, leave it as the pseudonym rather than changing it to the real name. If the title page shows both an original and a subsequent name, use the original name. For example, Isaac Asimov's "Lucky Starr" books were originally published under the pseudonym of Paul French, but later reprints were given both names: "by Isaac Asimov, writing as Paul French". In these cases you should still enter Paul French as the author and record the dual credit in the notes. If the cover shows both names but the title page shows only one name, use the name from the title page -- no matter which it is -- and record the discrepancy with the cover credit in the notes. When a book is known to be ghost-written, this should be treated as a pseudonym; the ghost-writer will eventually show up as having a pseudonym of the well-known author, but that data is not entered via this field.
    • Accented characters. If you are entering a name such as "Philip José Farmer" that is printed with an accented e, that accented character should be reproduced in your entry of the name. Two versions of an author's name that are printed with and without accents are treated as variants; you should not convert one form to another. However, if an accented form is given on a story title, but an unaccented form is given on the table of contents, use the accented form as the standard.
    • Collaborations. If a story has two authors, it doesn't matter which order you enter them in -- the ISFDB does not record any order internally regardless of how the authors are entered.
    • Writers "with" other writers. In some cases a writer is quoted as writing a story "with" another author; this can indicate that the more famous author did little more than lend their name to a project which was written almost entirely by a lesser known author. However, if both names appear on the title page, both names should be entered. A note can be added to the note field explaining the situation and giving a source.
    • Ranks, suffixes, prefixes. If an author is given as "Captain Robert L. Stone" then that should be entered in the database. Abbreviated versions of the rank should be entered as given, rather than expanded. For example, during World War II, on at least one occasion Amazing Stories printed an issue of stories from active service members, giving their ranks as part of the author attribution. These ranks should be included in the author names, and made into variant names for the relevant authors . Suffixes such as "Jr" should follow a comma and space, and be followed by a period if they are abbreviations. This should be regularized if they are not presented this way in the publication. E.g. "Sam Merwin Jr" should be entered as "Sam Merwin, Jr."; similarly, it's "Edward Elmer Smith, Ph.D."; or "Frederick C. Durant, III". Other prefixes and suffixes should follow analogous rules.
  • Add Author/Editor. If there is more than one author or editor for this publication, this button will create a second author field. As many authors as you wish can be added.

Language

  • Language - A field for the title's language. Select the appropriate language from the drop-down list. If the language of the title doesn't appear in the drop-down list, post a request to have it added on the Community Portal.

Series

  • Series Name - Entering a series name in this field will add this title to the series you name. If the series doesn't exist, the software will create it automatically. Note that there is no distinction between regular series, anthology series and non-fiction series made internally. All title records of all types belonging to the same series point to the same series record. The only difference is in the way they are displayed by the software. Also note that the software won't let you put variant titles in a series.
    • Impact of changing series names. You can change series names to anything you want, but keep in mind that if you change the name to the name of a pre-existing series, it may merge the two series' data when you don't expect it. To move titles from one series to another, edit the titles in the first series and change their series' names to the name of the second series. When the last title in a series is moved to another series, the "empty" series disappears.
    • How to change series names. In order to change the name of a series, display the series and select "Series Data" on the left, then change its name. Please note that a series may have only one name, so if two or more series names are equally popular (e.g. one name is preferred by the author, another one by the publisher, and a third one is commonly used in SF encyclopedias), the only option that we have is to list them all in a slash delimited format.
    • One thing that is not supported is having the same title belong to more than one series. This can be a problem in certain cases when a book clearly belongs to two or more series, but at this point there is no workaround.

Series Num

  • Series Number - If you know the order in which the titles in the series are supposed to be read, you can number them starting with 1. You can use decimal numbers like 4.5 to place a title between the titles numbered 4 and 5. No Roman numerals (like I or IV) or letters (like "1a" or "A") are allowed. Please note that some series are very linear (e.g. Harry Potter) and it's easy to tell how to assign series number to individual entries. Other series can have multiple possible numbering schemes reflecting the series' publication order, internal chronological order, intended publication order, "author recommended" order, etc. Please don't change pre-existing numbering schemes unless you are sure that they are in error. Any series with this sort of ambiguity in internal ordering should have the sequence worked out on the Series project page. This includes prequels, which can be listed first in the series, before the main entries; or listed after the main entries; or even split into a separate series which then becomes a subseries in a superseries comprising both the original series and the prequels. If you are entering data for an omnibus which contains multiple works in a series, see the note on the Content field which allows information about an omnibus's series contents to be recorded. Also, you may not put variant titles in a series.

Juvenile

  • Juvenile - Check the check-box only if the main title in this publication is targeted at the juvenile or Young Adult market.

Novelization

  • Novelization - Check the check-box only if the main title in this publication is a novelization of a movie, TV show, game or other non-written work.

Non-Genre

  • Non-Genre - Check the check-box only if the main title in this publication is not a work of speculative fiction and is not related to speculative fiction. Titles of all types can be "non-genre" except REVIEWs and INTERVIEWs.

Graphic Format

  • Graphic Format - Check the check-box only if the main title in this publication is a graphic novel or another type of work in which graphic material is inseparable from the text. Titles of all types can be "graphic" except REVIEWs and INTERVIEWs.

Synopsis

  • Synopsis - A short non-spoiler synopsis can be entered here. Note that this is not a place for criticism or reviews, and should maintain a neutral point of view. It must be in English, even if the title's language is not English. State the source of the text if you didn't write it yourself. For instance:
   Structured in a manner reminiscent of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, Hyperion is a linked 
   series of stories, all relating to the mysterious planet Hyperion. The stories are told by 
   7 hand-picked pilgrims, while in transit to the Time Tombs of Hyperion, which are opening 
   for the first time in centuries, and are normally inaccessible due to the lethal actions of 
   its guardian, The Shrike. The stories are told against a space opera backdrop in which humankind 
   has formed the Hegemony, a far-flung collective of planetary systems linked by farcaster portals, 
   threatened with attack by the Ousters (who are space-evolved humans) as the novel opens. The novel 
   has elements of both science fiction and horror, and covers a wide range of themes such as: 
   time-travel, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, religion, ecology, and the works of John 
   Keats. The book does not have closure in the conventional sense, and is continued in the sequel 
   The Fall of Hyperion. (Source: example.org)

Limited HTML and templates can be used in this field -- see Help:Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields for more details.

Title Note

  • Title Note - This field is for notes about the title record, not about any particular publication associated with that title. It can be used to enter the name of the title's translator, describe the relationship of the title to other related titles and so on. Certain templates and a limited subset of HTML can be used in this field -- see Help:Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields for more details.

Web Page

  • Web Page - A field for the URL of a Web page related to this title. Examples of related Web pages include legally posted versions of the title's text and Web pages that discuss this title. If you need to enter URLs of additional Web pages, use the "Add Web Page" button and more "Web Page" fields will appear on the page. There is no limit to the number of URLs that can be entered for a title.

Publication Information

The fields in the second section contain data about the publication.

Publication Type

  • Pub Type - Identifies the type of publication. On the New Publication page, this field is not editable and the value is pre-filled based on which "New ..." menu option you previously selected. On the Edit Publication page, this is a drop down menu of the following choices:
    • ANTHOLOGY. A publication containing fiction by more than one author, not written in collaboration, should be typed as an ANTHOLOGY. For example, "Late Knight Edition" contains stories by both Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm, individually; this is an anthology, not a collection. If a book of Conan stories contains stories which are all partly or wholly by Robert E. Howard, it is a collection; if one or more of the stories is by Lin Carter or L. Sprague de Camp, not in collaboration with Howard, then the book is an anthology.
    • CHAPBOOK. This publication type is a unique ISFDB designation for a separate publication of a single work of SHORTFICTION (q.v.) or a single POEM. In addition to the single SHORTFICTION or POEM content record, such publications may also contain one or more ESSAY and INTERIORART content records. This type covers all bindings and formats, including ebooks and audiobooks of less-than-novel length fiction.
      • Do not use this type for publications which contain a single ESSAY without a SHORTFICTION or POEM content. Those publications should be entered as NONFICTION. Publications with more than one SHORTFICTION or POEM content record should be entered as ANTHOLOGY (for multiple-author publications) or COLLECTION (for single-author publications).
      • Do not merge a CHAPBOOK's title record with its identically titled content record. (The "Check for Duplicate Titles" function no longer matches such records for merging consideration.)
      • CHAPBOOK title records should not contain a synopsis nor be entered into a title series. Both of those should be added to the SHORTFICTION title record which it contains.
      • This type should not be confused with the generally accepted publishing format for pamphlets called chapbook or the term used for books intended for intermediate readers called chapter book.
    • COLLECTION. A publication containing two or more works of SHORTFICTION or POEMs by a single author or authors writing in collaboration should be typed as a COLLECTION. The typing of individual publications which contain works with various combinations of author credit should be discussed on the Community Portal on a case-by-case basis. The title page credit should be the major factor in determining the types of these kinds of publications. Excerpts from other works published after a NOVEL for promotional purposes do not make the publication into a COLLECTION.
    • MAGAZINE. It can be difficult in some cases to determine if something should be regarded as a magazine or a book. Some magazines were published in book format; some books were published as series with letter columns and regular dates of publication. Borderline cases should be discussed on the magazine or book wiki pages, but generally a magazine must have a common title from issue to issue, and an enumeration or dating system of some kind. This still leaves anthology series such as New Worlds Quarterly as judgement calls. In these cases, look for a consensus on the publication bibliographic wiki page. If no discussion exists, use your best judgment and document the decision on the wiki page.
    • NONFICTION. This type should be used for books that are predominantly or completely non-fiction. This includes book-length works of non-fiction or books containing essays by one or more authors. A publication that contains both non-fiction and fiction should be typed by that which is predominant. A single work of fiction in an Isaac Asimov essay collection does not make it a COLLECTION. A book of fiction (NOVEL, COLLECTION, or ANTHOLOGY) containing a generous, but not predominate, amount of non-fiction, such as introductions, essays, and other non-fiction works, should not be typed as NONFICTION. Mixtures of fiction and non-fiction are more usually found in magazines than they are in books, so the question does not often arise.
    • NOVEL. Used when the book is devoted to a single work of fiction. The addition of multiple short stories makes the book a collection, not a novel (A single story is a judgment call, see below). However, sample chapters placed at the end of a book for advertising reasons do not make a novel into a collection. If a book is packaged as a single volume work, and then republished as a multi-volume work, all the publications are novels; there is no need to classify the single volume work as an omnibus. Conversely, if a book is originally published as multiple volumes, and republished as a single volume, the latter is a novel unless the presentation within the single volume makes it clear that the works are presented as separate novels. For example, "The Lord of the Rings", by J.R.R. Tolkien, was originally published in three volumes; the single volume edition is to be categorized as a novel. Sometimes a novel is bound with a single short work of fiction by the same author (an example is this edition of The Misenchanted Sword). In such a case it is often preferred to class the publication as a novel with a "Bonus story" rather than a 2-item collection or omnibus. This is particularly true if the publication has the same title as the novel. It is a judgment call, however.
    • OMNIBUS. A publication may be classified as an omnibus if it contains multiple works that have previously been published independently, and at least one of them is a NOVEL, ANTHOLOGY, COLLECTION, or NONFICTION. However, generally this category should not be used unless the other categories do not seem appropriate. For example, if a publication contains stories that have previously been published independently in pamphlet form, this should be classified as an anthology. A collection such as Robert Heinlein's "The Past Through Tomorrow" should be categorized as a collection, although one of the works is a novel. "Omnibus" is appropriate for such publications as the Science Fiction Book Club's collections of three independent novels by different authors under one set of covers; or for a single-volume edition of all the Amber novels by Roger Zelazny. If none of the contents have been published before, the inclination should be to classify the publication as an anthology, rather than an omnibus, but this does not have to be an absolute rule. The distinction between "Omnibus" and the other types is somewhat subjective and may require discussion and consensus on the publication biblio wiki page.
    • Boxed sets. A boxed set will typically contain books that have their own ISBNs. In such cases the boxed set is not of interest, as it is only a form of packaging; a note can be made in note field for the books contained in the boxed set, but the boxed set itself does not need a separate entity. If a boxed set or other packaging format does not have separately identifiable publications, however, then the whole package is an omnibus, anthology, or collection, as appropriate.
    • Other Types
      • Fixups. This is a single work composed primarily of several previously published works. It should generally be typed as NOVEL. Some fixups are less coherent, consisting of largely independent stories, formed into a whole by the addition of linking material between the stories. In these cases, it is possible that the publication could be typed as either COLLECTION or NOVEL. The decision should be discussed with other verifiers or on a community page if there is any doubt. Factors that should be taken into consideration: table of contents page, title pages for the constituent parts, the publisher's marketing of the book, and the author's personal designation of the work.
      • "Split" novels. Occasionally a novel will be published as a single volume, and then republished (perhaps in another country) as two or more separate volumes. For example, Peter Hamilton's "Night's Dawn" trilogy was republished as six volumes in the US. The first book, "The Reality Dysfunction", was republished as "The Reality Dysfunction, Part One: Emergence", and "The Reality Dysfunction, Part Two: Expansion". The other two volumes were treated similarly. In these situations, the books should be treated as novels, even though they form only part of a work published as a novel. Also note that the original book is still treated as a novel; it does not become an OMNIBUS because it contains two works later republished as novels. Situations like this should be documented in the notes, and if necessary discussed on the bibliographic comments page for the publications.

Date

  • Date - The date of publication. Dates are in the form YYYY-MM-DD, where month and day are filled in if known, otherwise they have the value 00. Under certain circumstances, it is allowable to use a date of 0000-00-00, which means that the publication date is unknown. Examples:
  1956-00-00
  1956-11-00
  1956-11-26
  • 8888-00-00 is used to date publication records for books that were announced but never published. In most cases these publications turn out to be vaporware, but there is good reason to keep these records in the database: it prevents Fixer (along with other automated bots) and editors using secondary sources from submitting records with duplicate ISBNs as well as establishing a bibliographic record of important titles like Last Dangerous Visions.
  • For books, to identify the publication date, try to find a statement (often on the verso of the title page) that says something like "Published in June 2001"; the copyright date is often misleading, since works can be reprinted. Look out for signs that this is a reprint; indications often include a series of numbers (e.g. "3 4 5 6 7 8 9") at the bottom of the verso of the title page; this particular string indicates that this is a third printing. If you know you are holding a reprint, and there is no way to date that particular publication, leave the year field as 0000-00-00. It is sometimes possible to find dates of reprints from subsequent printings which list all printings and their associated dates; if you enter a date from a source like this, record this source in the record's note field. Note that we are interested in recording each different reprint of a publication, since there can be some significant differences between them, such as cover art, or price.
  • For magazines, the month on the cover is rarely the month of actual publication. However, since this is a well-known fact about magazine publication schedules, and also because there is no good way to determine actual publication date, both month and year should be given where possible. For bimonthly magazine dates, use the earlier month: "January-February 1957" should be entered as "1957-01-00", for example. If a bimonthly magazine only quotes a single month in the title, use that month. E.g. the March 1959 issue of Fantastic Universe was preceded by January 1959 and succeeded by May 1959; it should be entered as "1959-03-00". If a bimonthly issue spans a year boundary, such as a December-January 1960 bimonthly issue, use the earlier year and month: "1959-12-00". For magazine cover dates that cannot be assigned to a specific month, use the year only: "Spring 1943" is just entered as "1943-00-00".
  • If you use a secondary source, such as a bibliography or sf encyclopedia, to find dates, make sure that you note the source of this date in the publication record's notes field.
  • Note also that the publication date does not always perfectly match the calendar date. For example, a January issue of a magazine is usually available in December of the previous year, and often earlier than that. Books with a January publication date may often be bought in the closing weeks of the prior year; they will show the later year's copyright date, even though that year has not yet started. In these cases, the convention is to use the official publication date rather than to try to identify when a book actually first became available. If there is a large discrepancy -- for example if a book was printed but unexpectedly delayed before release -- then this can be noted in the notes field.

Publisher

  • Publisher - The name of the book's publisher. Use the official statement of publication where you can. The publisher has in the past not been a key entity in the ISFDB, but publisher and imprint support is in the process of being improved, and a process of determining canonical names for publishers and imprints is in progress. For the time being you are free to choose an imprint ("Ace Books"), a division ("Berkley") or the parent corporation ("Penguin Group (USA)") as you wish. Imprints are often a suitable choice since they may be genre specific. A good rule of thumb is to choose a publisher name that would not surprise the reader; thus "Del Rey Books" is a better choice for that imprint than "Ballantine Books", even though Del Rey was in fact an imprint of Ballantine, because Del Rey's imprint is the prominent label on the cover of those books, whereas "Ballantine" appears only in small print at best. However, if both an imprint and a publisher are listed, and particularly if both are known for publishing genre fiction, consider listing both. For example "Del Rey / Ballantine" may be an even better choice than either "Del Rey Books" or "Ballantine Books".
  • For self-published works, fanzines, bibliographic pamphlets and the like, use the name of the editor/author if no other publisher information is visible. Sometimes a fan organization or something similar will be quoted as the publisher, e.g. for books or booklets issued as sf convention special publications: these are not strictly publishers, but should be treated as such for this field.
  • Where multiple forms of a name exist, it is not important to always enter exactly the form of the name as it appears on the book. For example, an imprint may say "A Tor Book", "Tor", "Tor Books", "Tor Books Science Fiction", or "Tor: A Tom Doherty Associates Book". Sometimes several of these varying forms will be on a single book. These can be converted to a canonical form; in this case "Tor" would be the sensible choice. The ISFDB does not currently have a page to identify and document canonical forms for publishers but may do so in the future.
  • Case should be regularized unless there is a clear reason not to. For example, a Tor book often gives the imprint name as "TOR Books"; this should be entered as "Tor Books". DAW, however, is an acronym, and so "DAW Books" is the correct form for that imprint. Publishers of magazines are often printed in uppercase -- e.g. Fantastic Universe's statement of printing shows "KING-SIZE PUBLICATIONS, INC." as the publisher; the form "King-Size Publications, Inc." should be used here.
  • If you are entering both the imprint and publisher name, as in "Del Rey / Ballantine", then it should be entered as Imprint / Publisher with the imprint first, spaces around the slash, followed by the publisher name. Note, it's still ok to enter things like "Imprint, an imprint of Publisher". The things we want to avoid are the Imprint/Publisher (with no space) and Publisher / Imprint (imprint / publisher flipped around) and formats.
  • Library records, and in some cases the copyright pages of books, often list publishers with a preceding city, as "London: Mammoth Books Ltd" or "New York: Giant Press inc". In such cases, list only the actual name of the publisher, not the city. (Existing records should not be changed to match this standard without considering how to avoid data loss). The city or country can be listed in the notes field of the publisher record, or on an associated wiki page, or both. Where needed to avoid confusion, a country suffix may be used, so we might have, for example, "Mammoth Books (UK)" and "Mammoth Books (Canada)".
  • Science Fiction Book Club books should be entered as "Publisher / SFBC" where Publisher is the publisher name stated on the publication. Also see How to enter a SFBC publication.

Pages

  • Pages - This field is used to record the number of pages in the publication, or its "page count". For books, the general rule is to use the last printed page number, with exceptions explained below. For magazines, the rule is to use the actual page count - including the cover. For example, early issues of Fantastic Universe numbered the interior pages from 1 to 192, not counting the front or back covers. This would be entered into the ISFDB record as "196".
  • Some magazines use a page numbering system that does not start from 1 in every issue. These are usually cases where the magazine has a volume and issue number, and the pagination restarts at 1 for every volume, and the page numbering is continuous from one issue to the next within that volume. In these cases, manually count the number of pages, including the covers, and enter this number in the page count field. This should be noted in the record, e.g. "Actual page numbering runs from 193 to 384".
  • When a book has a section with Roman numeral page numbers for introductory material, followed by Arabic numerals for the main text of the book, enter both sets of numbers. For example, a book with a page count field of "viii+320" has "viii" as the highest numbered page with a Roman numeral. (Note that there are no spaces in the page count.) Pages without numbers that fall between the two types of page numbering can be ignored. Note that you should include the enumeration of the pages in Roman numerals even if there is no material that requires a separate content record (such as an introduction or preface) in those pages. This is in contrast with the situation with unnumbered pages prior to page 1; see the following bullet point for what to do in that case.
  • Sometimes a publication will have unnumbered pages before page 1. If there is any material in these pages which needs to be entered as part of the contents of the book, you may record this by entering the count in squared brackets. For example, [6]+320 would be a publication with six unnumbered pages and then 320 numbered pages. There is no need to record these unnumbered pages if they contain no content that needs to be recorded. At times you will need to count backwards from the first numbered page to see which is page 1 and then would count the unnumbered pages that are before this. Likewise, you may record the count of unnumbered pages at the end of a publication. For example, 320+[4]. As before, only do this if there is additional content in these pages that requires the creation of a content record, as when there is an afterword or book excerpt which appears on unnumbered pages.
  • Books in dos-à-dos format, such as Ace doubles, have two sets of page numbers, one for each half of the book. This is entered as "256+320" for example.
  • It is fairly common for the last page (or more) of text in a book to be unnumbered. In this case, count forward to the last page of text and use that as the publication's page count. For example, if a novel ends on the unnumbered page after page 244, enter the page count as "245" with an explanatory note about the unnumbered last page.
  • If a publication is not paginated (no printed numbers), you may leave the field blank. You also have the option of manually counting the pages and entering that number in squared brackets in the page count field. For example "[48]". In either case, enter "Not paginated" in the note field.
  • For more information and examples about this field for books see this how-to.

Pub Format (Binding)

  • Pub Format - This is the binding format of the publication. Select one of the following choices from the drop-down list:
  • Print books
    • hc - hardcover. Used for all hardbacks of any size. A book is a hardback if it is constructed so that the cover is intended not to be flexible. (There exist leatherbound paperbacks, for example, which should not be designated as "hc".) Unlike other formats, this designation takes preference over "dos" for the case of hardcover dos-a-dos publications, such as Up to the Sky in Ships / In and Out of Quandry.
    • tp - trade paperback. Used for any softcover book which is larger than a standard paperback, except when the format is either "dos" or "ph" (see below), in which case those designations take precedence. Any other book that is at least 7.25" (or 19 cm) tall, or at least 4.5" (11.5 cm) wide/deep, and is not a hardback, should be entered as "tp". 7.5" × 5" is a common size, but there exist many variant sizes larger than this, including large format artbooks with paper covers, for example. (For the purposes of this database "height" and "width/depth" are the dimensions of the cover; neither should be understood to mean the "thickness" of a book.)
    • pb - paperback. Typically 7" × 4.25" (18 cm × 11 cm) or smaller, though trimming errors can cause them to sometimes be slightly (less than 1/4 extra inch) taller or wider/deeper. For books as tall as 7.25" (19 cm) or as wide/deep as 4.5" (11.5 cm) use "tp". Low-height paperbacks such as Ace Books from the fifties, and similar publications can be about half an inch shorter. Such variations in size below the typical 7" × 4.25" do not need to be noted unless significant. If a book qualifies as a "dos" or "ph" (pamphlet), those designations take precedence over "pb". (For the purposes of this database "height" and "width/depth" are the dimensions of the cover; neither should be understood to mean the "thickness" of a book.)
    • ph - pamphlet. Used for short (in page count), unbound, staple-bound, or otherwise lightly bound publications.
    • digest - Used for books which are similar in size and binding to digest-formatted magazines, using the standard digest size of approximately 7" × 4.5".
    • dos - Used for dos-a-dos or tête-bêche formatted paperback books, such as Ace Doubles and Capra Press back-to-back books. This format is not to be used for hardcover dos-a-dos books.
  • Audio books
    • audio CD - Compact disc with standard audio tracks
    • audio MP3 CD - Compact disc with mp3-encoded audio tracks
    • audio cassette - Cassette tape
    • audio LP - Long-playing record (vinyl)
    • digital audio player - Player with a pre-loaded digital file of the audiobook
    • digital audio download - Digital recording in any format that is downloaded directly from the Internet. This category includes podcasts.
  • Print magazines
    • digest - includes both standard digest size, at about 7" × 4.5", and also large digest, such as recent issues of Asimov's, which are about 8.25" × 5.125".
    • pb - paperback-formatted magazines, i.e. periodical publications which otherwise would qualify as paperbacks (see "pb" in the Print books section), e.g. the 1964-1967 issues of New Worlds
    • pulp - the common pulp size: 6.5" × 9.5". For ISFDB purposes this may also be used as a designation for the quality of the paper. There are some untrimmed pulps that are as large as 8" × 11.75"
    • bedsheet - 8.5" × 11.25", e.g. early issues of Amazing; or the 1942-43 issues of Astounding
    • tabloid - 11" × 16", usually newsprint, e.g. British Science Fiction Monthly
    • A4 - 21 cm × 29.7 cm or 8.3" × 11.7", used by some UK and European magazines
    • A5 - 14.8 cm × 21 cm or 5.8" × 8.3", used by some UK and European magazines
    • quarto - 8.5" × 11", usually saddle-stapled, instead of side-stapled or glued
    • octavo - 5.5" × 8.5", usually saddle-stapled, instead of side-stapled or glued
    • tp - trade paperback magazines, usually perfect-bound, i.e. periodical publications (often POD) which otherwise would qualify as trade paperbacks (see "tp" in the Print books section)
    • Note: If a magazine is between the sizes of these categories, use the one with the closest description, and add a note in the record. Small variations do not need to be noted.
  • Electronic books and periodicals
    • ebook - Used for all electronic formats, including but not limited to EPUB, eReader, HTML, iBook, Mobipocket, and PDF. Specify the particular formats available in the record's note field. If unknown, specify the reader: iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc. This designation is also used for downloadable electronic issues of Internet-based periodical publications, aka "ezines".
    • webzine - Used for Internet-based periodical publications which are otherwise not downloadable as an "ebook". Not all webzines are eligible for inclusion in the ISFDB. Initiate discussions about inclusion/eligibility on the Community Portal.
  • other - Choose this value if a publication can not fit comfortably into any of the above categories. This includes publications distributed via e-mail, on CD-ROM and other uncommon formats. Make sure to describe the details in the Note field. Assistance for clarification can be requested at the Help Desk.
  • unknown - Choose this value if you're creating or updating a record from a secondary source and the publication format is unknown. This is the default choice when entering new publications.

ISBN / Catalog #

  • ISBN / Catalog # - A field for identification numbers. It should hold the ISBN if the publication has one, otherwise it should hold the publication’s catalog number if available. Note that prior to 2007 all ISBNs were 10 digits long while around 2007 they were expanded to 13 digits. Some books printed around 2007 specified both the 10 digit and the 13 digit version of the ISBN. The ISFDB software supports both formats, so if two forms of ISBN are present, you can enter either one.
  • If there is no ISBN specified (they were introduced in the late 1960s and became widespread by the mid-1970s), then enter the catalog ID provided by the publisher and prefix it with # as in #UQ1064.
    • You may enter the ISBN with or without hyphens. If the ISBN is valid then ISFDB will display it with hyphens. One exception to the enter-as-stated rule is ISBNs delimited with spaces instead of hyphens. The ISBN should be entered using hyphens.
    • You may also see an ISBN of the form "0-586-06604-7-275"; the last three digits after the last hyphen indicate a price, and are not part of the ISBN; they should not be entered.
    • In some cases you will see a nine digit SBN, without a leading zero (for English language publications); in this case you can add the leading zero and enter that number.
    • If you entered a value that was not exactly as stated in the publication, then please add a comment about this in the Note field.
    • For works that predate ISBNs, the book's catalog number/ID may be placed here. If the book had neither an ISBN nor a catalog number, the field should be left blank and a comment should be added to the notes field that a catalog number or other identification was not stated.
    • For magazines, it was at one time the practice of some ISFDB editors to enter the ISSN. However the ISSN does not identify a particular issue, but rather the magazine as a whole. Therefore the consensus is now that it should not be entered here, but rather on a magazine's wiki page. If a magazine does not have an issue-specific catalog number, leave this blank.
    • If a publication has more than one number, then enter the one that seems most reasonable in the ISBN field but then also add a comment to the notes field about the various numbers and where they are located in the publication. For example, a book may have both an ISBN and a catalog number. In this case the ISBN would go in the ISBN field and you would make a note, for example, that the ISBN is on the spine and catalog number is on the front cover.

External IDs

  • External IDs - If this publication is listed by a supported third party Web site which has assigned a permanent ID to it, select the Web site from the drop-down list on the left and enter the ID in the field on the right. If you need to enter additional External IDs, click the "Add External ID" button. Note that you can enter multiple External IDs per web site if needed, e.g. OCLC/WorldCat frequently has more than one record per ISBN. The following third party Web sites are currently supported:
+----------------------+----------------------------------------+
| ASIN                 | Amazon Standard Identification Number  |
| BL                   | The British Library                    |
| BN                   | Barnes and Noble                       |
| BNB                  | The British National Bibliography      |
| BNF                  | Bibliothèque nationale de France       |
| COPAC                | UK/Irish union catalog                 |
| DNB                  | Deutsche Nationalbibliothek            |
| FantLab              | Laboratoria Fantastiki                 |
| Goodreads            | Goodreads social cataloging site       |
| JNB                  | The Japanese National Bibliography     |
| LCCN                 | Library of Congress Control Number     |
| NDL                  | National Diet Library                  |
| OCLC/WorldCat        | Online Computer Library Center         |
| Open Library         | Open Library                           |
| SFBG                 | Catalog of books published in Bulgaria |
+----------------------+----------------------------------------+

Price

  • Price - The original cover price of this publication. Enter a single price, preceded with a currency symbol. For books published in both the USA and Canada, only the USA price should be noted. The original price of a 40 year old book isn't relevant in a purchasing sense anymore - the information is used to differentiate print editions, or to construct statistics on book pricing, which is difficult to do if two prices are present. Additional prices can (and usually should) be entered in the notes field.
Prices under a dollar are entered as a decimal, e.g. $0.25, for 25¢. Odd pricing formats can be ignored -- for example, occasionally a price of 20¢ will be printed as 20c; this should be entered as $0.20.
Period (".") should be used as the decimal separator and comma (",") as the thousands separator, regardless of currency or native number format. E.g., €7.80 or Lit 1,000.
Do not enter a space when the currency is represented by a symbol (e.g. $, £, €, ¥). When using an alphabetical (non-symbolic) form or abbreviation of the currency (e.g. DM, Lit, Ft), a space should be added between it and the numeric amount.
For books priced in other currencies, use the appropriate symbol or the accepted alphabetical alternate.
  • British currency should be indicated by a UK pound sign: "£", but if you can't generate one on your keyboard you can use an L: "L2.50" means two pounds fifty pence. Note that for Windows machines, the "Character Map" system accessory can be used to generate the pound sign as well as other characters or from the keyboard Windows users can hold down either ALT key, enter 0163 (zero 163) on the numeric keypad, and release the ALT key. Macintosh users can type OPTION-3.
  • In the 1970s, many British books cost less than a pound and so would be priced in pence alone, e.g. 25p. These should be regularized like dollars and cents, e.g. 25p should be entered as £0.25 and 95p as £0.95.
  • Older British books were priced in shillings, or shillings and pence, where 20 shillings equals one pound and 12 old pence equals one shilling. Shillings were indicated with a variety of suffixes, e.g. 3s, 3', 3", 3/ all mean 3 shillings. Any number after that is additional pence, usually 6 (half a shilling) but sometimes 3 or 9 (a quarter of a shilling or three-quarters of a shilling). A "-" indicates zero pence, for example 5/-. The older the book, the more likely the pence prices are to reflect quarter shilling ranges than half-shillings. We always record the pence in ISFDB even if 0 (indicated by "-"), and use the "/" separator, e.g. 3/6 is used to mean three shillings and sixpence even if the book says 3s6 or 3'6; a price of three shillings exactly would be 3/- even if indicated on the book as 3s, 3" or 3' or even plain "Three shillings".
  • Even older British paperback books, and magazines, may have been priced in pennies alone, indicated by a "d" suffix. E.g. 6d is six old pence, or half a shilling, 9d is nine old pence or three-quarters of a shilling. These are entered the same way as other pre-decimal prices but using the '-' for zero shillings, e.g. -/6 and -/9 in these examples.
  • Note that between about 1968 and 1971, British books were usually printed with both pre-decimal and decimal prices. In these cases enter only the pre-decimal price, as the decimal price was not the currency used at the time of printing, but was printed in case the book remained for sale after the date of decimalization. The official date of conversion to decimal currency was Feb. 15, 1971. For a couple of years afterward, the pre-decimal price might be shown in brackets after the decimal price for people still not used to decimal currency: these can be ignored or left in notes.
  • British books are often priced for several other commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malta, Gibraltar, South Africa, East Africa, Trinidad (W.I.), and countries with a significant English-speaking population such as Spain and the Republic of Ireland. These additional prices are usefully entered in notes. Some of these countries also have pre-decimal formats based on the British pound and post-decimal formats similar to Dollar prices, and some have changed yet again to € (Euro) prices. If in doubt, enter these in notes exactly as stated.
  • Enter Canadian Dollars with a leading C, for example, "C$3.95".
  • Enter Australian Dollars with a leading A, for example, "A$3.95".
  • Enter Euros with a leading euro symbol, for example, "€4.50".
  • Enter Italian Lira as "Lit", for example, "Lit 9,000".
  • Enter West German (and after German reunification German) Deutsche Marks as "DM", for example "DM 7.80".
  • Enter East German Marks as "M", for example "M 7.80".
  • Enter Hungarian Forints as "Ft", for example "Ft 30".
Use the appropriate form for other currencies but also add an explanatory note if you believe that it is uncommon enough that most ISFDB users will not recognize the form of currency. For example you could use Y4800 or ¥4800 but would then add a note that the price was stated in Japanese Yen.
If there is any ambiguity about the price, add an explanation in the Notes field. Overprinted prices should use the visible price. If the price change is via a stickered label, however, the price change should be ignored. For example, copies of the British distribution of some American magazines were labeled with a British price. These are not British reprint editions of those magazines, but simply imported copies of the American edition, so a separate record should not be created.


Image URL

  • Image URL - A URL to an image of the cover art.
    • Make sure to select an image that matches the publication, especially if the publication has been verified. If the only available image is close but not an exact copy of what appears on the cover of the publication, add a publication note explaining the differences.
    • If you have a scan of the image on your hard drive, you can upload it to the ISFDB Wiki -- see How to upload images to the ISFDB wiki for details. Use the "Upload cover image" or "Upload new cover image" link on the publication display page to simplify the uploading process and then enter the URL of the Wiki-hosted image in this field.
    • The URL entered in this field should always point directly to the image, not to the Web page that contains the image. If the external site hosting the image requires you to link to the Web page that contains the image (e.g. SFE3 -- see below), then append the "pipe" character ("|") and the Web page's URL at the end of the URL of the image.
    • Only use images hosted by ISFDB or by external sites which have given ISFDB explicit permission to link to them. At this time these sites are:
    • Amazon - ISFDB has implicit permission to use Amazon's images as an Amazon associate. A good-quality medium-sized image is available usually by clicking on the "See This Image" link under the smaller cover image. Some listings do not have this link, but the larger version can be obtained by right-clicking on the image and copying its URL, even for those books that generally only display a thumbnail marred by the "Look Inside" banner. Check that the image is actually the correct one for your edition though: and beware if it's a publication still in print, as it seems Amazon use this for the current edition and may change it without warning.
      • Sometimes you will see an Amazon image that's framed by a large white border such as ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cXim2%2BwSL._AA240_.jpg. The "._AA240_" tells Amazon what size image (as a square) you want displayed. Amazon's logic seems to be that they will scale an image down to the size you want, but will not scale up. Instead it wraps the image in a white border. When you see a postage stamp size image on Amazon the best course seems to be to use the original (unscaled) image which you can get to by removing the "._SS500_" or "._AA240_" size indicator, for example, ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cXim2%2BwSL.jpg , and let ISFDB scale it.
      • Sometimes a good-quality large image can be found from thumbnails and medium-size images marred by the "LOOK INSIDE!" (on small thumbnail) or "Click to LOOK INSIDE!" (on medium thumbnail) arrows. As with the scaling above, Amazon seems to encode scaling and adornment in a period-delimited section just before the trailing ".jpg" or ".gif". The URL for the large underlying image can be derived by removing everything starting with the penultimate period up to the final period. For example:
    ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5142ES9VS1L._SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU01_AA115_.jpg (small thumb)
    ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5142ES9VS1L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg (medium thumb)
    ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5142ES9VS1L.jpg (unscaled, unmarred underlying image)
    • Visco which covers only magazines and not books. The ISFDB has explicit permission to use Visco's images and has logic to add a credit to Visco.
    • Fantastic Fiction - ISFDB has explicit permission to use Fantastic Fiction's images, but please first check to see if the image is available on Amazon and use that one. Fantastic Fiction's bandwidth is limited and displaying the image in the ISFDB record may take time. Also, the quality of their images vary greatly so they should only be a source for otherwise unavailable images.
    • Phil Stephensen-Payne's "Galactic Central" - ISFDB has explicit permission to use images hosted by "Galactic Central".
    • Fantascienza.com - ISFDB has explicit permission to use images hosted by Fantascienza.com. To find the URL of a publication, select 'titolo' (title) in the search box on the home page and type the title (in Italian or English), then follow the links. The format is: www.fantascienza.com/catalogo/cov/DD/DDddd.jpg, where "DD" are the first two characters of the five characters code DDddd in square bracket.
    • icshi We are now permitted to link directly to the covers: if you do so, please at least credit 'Icshi" in the notes, and an occasional hyperlink or two back to the site would be appreciated.
    • vanvogt Japanese site, but English text with lots of pretty covers and artist info. Yutaka, the sitemaster says "You may link my pictures to anywhere you like, but I'll be glad if you would let me know where you use them" - so drop him an email if you need to use one of them on the ISFDB.
    • Magnus' van Vogt site Icelandic site with good selection of covers Magnus is very generous too: "Hi. Feel free to link however you want, I have free bandwidth where I'm hosting the images."
    • Bookscans ("Graphically illustrating the evolution of vintage American paperbacks - 1939 through 1969") "The ISFDB hereby has permission to link to any page or picture on the BookScans web site."
    • Ace image library "I give you permission to use whatever images that you need from the ACE IMAGE LIBRARY for the ISFDB and appreciate the credit notation for this usage. I should note that a couple of the AIL images (primarily for original cover art or prelliminary drawings as well as a couple of the inserts or daybills for the Man From U.N.C.L.E movies) have been permitted to the AIL from other sources. These are noted on the appropriate AIL page and if you use these you may wish to credit them as "Original art / movie art for ........ . Permission for use given to AIL."
    • Mondourania Italian language site. Has images of covers from many Italian SF publications. Automatically credited based on ImageURL domain.
    • The Trash Collector Small images, but wide variety. Scott Stine, owner, says "Feel free to link to the pictures on my website. [...] Thanks for writing and asking permission, and good luck on your worthy endeavor."
    • Collectors Showcase This is a great source for images of pulps, digests and early hardcover editions, and not just French publications.
    • Open Library is an open source project sponsored by the Internet Archive. All their content is available for reuse under a free license. They grant permission for the sort of hotlinking we do at http://openlibrary.org/dev/docs/api/covers, and we now automatically include a backlink based on their domain, as we do for most whitelisted sites.
    • Dagan Books Permission to link images use other public information given by Carrie Cuinn, the site owner, on 2010-12-15.
    • The Luminist League Permission to link images given by the site owner on 2010-12-16.
    • Fantlab.ru Permission to link images granted by the site owner, Alexey Lvov, via e-mail from one of the moderators, User:Papyrus, in January 2011.
    • De Boekenplank is a website devoted to Dutch-language SF. Permission to link images granted by the site owner, Kees Buis, via e-mail to the ISFDB moderators on 2011-04-27.
    • 1632.org and ericflint.net and grantvillegazette.com and riversofwar.com Permission to link to any of these 1632, Inc. domains granted by "Head Geek" Rick Boatright via email to moderators on 2011-06-18.
    • Ofearna. Permission has been granted by the owner, Ofearna to link to images on this website.
    • Black Bed Sheet Books / Downwarden.com. Permission has been granted by the owner, Nicholas Grabowsky (Downwarden) to link to images on this website: I'm the publisher/owner of Black Bed Sheet Books and give permission for ISFDB to use images from www.downwarden.com
    • Armchair Fiction. Permission has been granted by the owner, Gregory Luce, via an Armchair Fiction employee, Susan Greer: "I have consulted the owner of Armchair Fiction, Gregory Luce, and he has authorized me to give permission to link to images on our website. Thanks, Susan Greer".
    • SFE - The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 3rd edition. Permission granted by Dave Langford via e-mail after consulting other SFE3 editors. Note that we are only allowed to link to SFE3-hosted images that reside in the following sub-directories: /clute/, /langford/ and /robinson/. Images residing in other sub-directories were provided to SFE3 by third parties and SFE3 can't give us permission to link to them. In addition, all SFE3-hosted images must have a link to the associated "Gallery" page added after a "pipe" ("|") character. For example, the value of the "Image URL" field of the Blow, Blow Your Trumpets publication record is "http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/gal/clute/FrazerS-Blow.jpg|http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/gallery.php?id=FrazerS-Blow.jpg", where the first URL is that of the image itself and the second URL (after the "|") is that of the "Gallery" page which provides additional information about the image.
    • Diamond Bay Research and Yunchtime. Permission granted by Lex Berman, the sites' owner, via e-mail.
    • Before using a site not listed above, ask the Webmaster of that site for permission. If you receive permission to link to a new source, post about it on the ISFDB Community Portal. This will notify other editors that they may use this new site and one of the moderators will update the list above. More information about the process of requesting permission and a sample letter can be found at ISFDB:Image linking permissions.

Pub Series

The Pub Series and corresponding Pub Series # fields allow the entry of a Publication Series name. A Publication series is a group of publications marked out by the Publisher in some way. Unlike ordinary content-based series, different publications or editions of a book may belong to different Publication series. The Pub Series # field is to indicate this publication's numerical place in the series. Not all Publication Series have numbers. if no number is known this field is left blank. See Help:Screen:PublicationSeries for more detail on Publication Series.

Pub Note

  • Note - A note specific to this particular publication. These notes should be permanent comments that reflect something indisputable about a Publication, e.g. a mis-spelled title on the contents page.
    • Temporary comments'. Temporary comments that support the bibliographic effort but will be eventually deleted (once all issues are resolved), belong in the "Bibliographic Comments" field in the Wiki; e.g. information about incorrect data that is in the process of being corrected.
    • Miscellaneous data. Miscellaneous additional bibliographic information can be recorded here, such as the volume/issue information for a magazine.
    • Printings. Information about which printing is being recorded should be recorded here: commonly this is done as "Stated third printing of 1970 Signet edition", to indicate not only which printing it is, but that the book explicitly states this (as opposed to a deduction made from bibliographic sources). If the information on printing number and date is derived from a number line, you can mention that: "Stated 35th printing (per number line) of 1972 Bantam edition". If there is no printing information beyond the edition date, and no specific "first printing" statement, it is likely that this is a first printing, and you can put "Appears to be first printing of 1974 Puffin edition."
    • Sources. You do not need to record the source of data if it is taken from one of the standard bibliographic sources used in verification. For example, if the month of publication is drawn from the Locus index, while the book only shows the year, you do not need to say "Date per Locus1"; the verification flag showing that Locus1 has been consulted provides this information. Other sources used to update the record should be mentioned; though complex issues may be discussed on the author's wiki page or the publication comments wiki page.
    • Errors in sources. If you find an error in a source, make a note here -- e.g. "Locus1 incorrectly gives page count as 506".
    • Templates and HTML. Certain templates and a limited subset of HTML can be used in note fields. See Help:Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields. HTML is never required.

Note to Moderator

This field should be used to provide additional information for the moderator to help in the decision to accept the submission. This note is seen only by the moderator handling the submission and does not become a visible part of the database record. For example, it can be used to inform the moderator that this submission is the first of several steps in updating a record. You can use this field to inform the moderator that you're working from a book-in-hand which will speed up the acceptance of the submission.

  • Do not enter any vital bibliographic information which you believe adds value to the record. This includes the source of the data used to update or create the record. That data should be recorded in the "Note" field.
  • Do not ask questions of the moderator in this field. You will get a faster response at the Help Desk, and by asking there, you may avoid needless effort and unnecessary submissions.

Content Information

The third section of the data entry form is used to enter the publication's contents. It is in turn divided into three sub-sections. The first sub-section, "Content", includes all items in the publication, including reviews and interviews. (For novels, do not re-enter the main Novel title, which you already entered at the top of this Web page, in this section.) The second sub-section, "Reviews", and the third sub-section, "Interviews", provide additional details about the reviews and interviews. They are to be used in addition to the entries for those items in the Contents section.

What to include

This section will help editors to determine whether a contained work should be entered as a separate content record in a ISFDB publication record.

Contents always included

  • Fiction: All forms of fiction are always included.
  • Essays: Shorter works of nonfiction (other than reviews and interviews; see below) contained in a larger work, i.e. book or magazine, are entered as ESSAY type in the "Regular Titles" section of the data entry form. These include, but are not limited to:
    • Forewords, introductions, prefaces, afterwords, endnotes, etc.: These should all be included. Occasionally some pieces will be set in the fictional world of the novel; these do not get indexed separately as they are regarded as part of the novel's text.
    • Editorials: These are entered as ESSAY type, not EDITOR.
    • Science fact articles: Restricted to those published in a speculative fiction publication.
    • Letter columns. Letter columns should be included as a separate content record. Entered as ESSAY type.
    • Individual letters to the editor published in magazines: Entries may be restricted to significant letters by well-known sf personalities. Editors have the option to include other letters. An untitled letter should be entered using the format: Letter (Title of Magazine, Date).
  • Reviews: Reviews of books and short fiction that are eligible for inclusion in the database based on the Rules of Acquisition should be entered into the "Reviews" section of the data entry form. A title in this section is automatically typed as REVIEW.
    • Reviews of media products (films, TV shows, games, music and dramatized recordings), stage productions, magazines and fanzines (regardless of their genre), and books that are not eligible for inclusion in the database (graphic novels, nongenre novels by authors that are below the threshold, nonassociational nonfiction works), should not be entered into the "Reviews" section of the data entry form. A record should be created in the "Regular Titles" section typed as ESSAY. If the review is not titled, this title format is suggested: Review of "Work" by Responsible Person(s). Descriptions of the type of work are also encouraged. For example: Review of the graphic novel "Agatha Heterodyne and the Clockwork Princess" by Phil & Kaja Foglio.
  • Interviews: These are entered into the "Interview" section of the data entry form, crediting both the interviewee and the interviewer. A title in this section is automatically typed as INTERVIEW. An author profile, which is usually entered as ESSAY, may contain substantial direct quotes from the author, and may also be entered as INTERVIEW.
  • Interior artwork: Works of art published inside the publication are entered into the "Regular Titles" section of the data entry form and typed as INTERIORART. For more information, see INTERIORART. Note: Cover art credit is entered into its own separate section of the data entry form. If there is a significant reproduction of the cover art inside the publication, it can also be entered as a separate INTERIORART record.

Contents included with exceptions

  • Story introductions: In some cases, anthologies or collections include introductions (or, less often, afterwords) to individual works. If these are short and amount to blurbs, they should not be indexed separately. When they amount to critical essays or otherwise have significant content, they should be included. This is always a judgment call. Such story introductions are often unsigned and untitled. If they occur in a single-author collection without a separate editor, they can usually be safely attributed to the author. If they occur in a collection or anthology with a single editor, they can usually be safely attributed to the editor. In an anthology (or collection) with multiple editors, such introductions (if they are being entered into the database) should be attributed to "uncredited" if there is no clear indication of who actually wrote them. If untitled, such items should be listed as "Story (Introduction)" (where "Story" represents the title of the story being introduced) or some similar form. In borderline cases, signed intros are more worthy of inclusion than ones which would need to be attributed to "uncredited".
  • "About the Author" and other biographical sketches: Include these when they are separate entries in the publication and are of substantial length or quality. Don't include them when they are part of a blurb or lead-in, or otherwise insignificant. Eligible works should be entered as ESSAYs.
  • Forthcoming announcements: Notes about what will be in future issues can be included if they are significant; for example, a single filler line at the bottom of a page doesn't get indexed, but an article, e.g. "In Times to Come", describing future issues, should be indexed. Other pieces may fall into this category; for example, a notice that the editorship is changing, or that a key figure associated with the magazine has died. The boundary between inclusion and non-inclusion is a judgement call here, and depends on length and significance.
  • Calendars: Calendar pages, such as "The Analog Calendar of Upcoming Events", should be indexed. Insubstantial listings should not.
  • Acknowledgments: Generally do not include. Occasionally an acknowledgments may contain more than a simple listing of copyright dates and thank-yous to friends and researchers; if it contains material such as reminiscences, opinionation or anything else likely to interest a reader or researcher, consider including it.
  • Reader polls: A clip-out coupon (or something similar) for readers to send in to vote on their favorite stories should not be included. A significant amount of text accompanying the poll coupon may be worth indexing, per the other rules. For example, a listing in the table of contents. The results of reader polls are likely to be worth recording, however; they will be entered as ESSAYs.
  • Dedicatory material: Dedications, as a rule, are never included, with one exception: when work from other authors is used as dedicatory or other introductory material. For example, Denise Levertov's poem "Come into Animal Presence" appears in introductory section of Ursula Le Guin's collection Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences. It is also included in the table of contents. Such an exception warrants that the work be indexed in the publication record.
  • Inserts: An item inserted into a book or magazine should be indexed under the same rules as if it were included in the main body. For example, some David Weber books include an Honorverse CD; this has its own ISBN and should be indexed as a separate title, with a note in the record that the CD is included. A poster insert in a magazine should be indexed as INTERIORART, with a mention in the Note field of the publication record that it was an insert.
  • Photography: As a general rule, photographs are not indexed. But, if the photograph illustrates a work, it should be entered as INTERIORART. Author photographs are usually not indexed. This determination is left to the record's primary verifiers.
  • Cartoons. Signed or significant cartoons are included; enter as INTERIORART. At the editor's discretion, incidental works may be omitted.

Contents never included

  • Tables of content: Do not create a separate content record for a table of contents. The contents shown in the table are included if they meet the individual criteria as explained in other areas of this help section.
  • Blurbs: Review quotes and author blurbs presented either on the back covers or dustjackets of books, or on the pages before the title page should not be indexed. Magazines often include lead-ins, or blurbs, before a story and these are also not included.
  • Advertising: No advertising of any kind is indexed, including calls for subscriptions, back issues, and plugs for conventions.
  • Quotations and other filler material: These are not included unless they fall within some other category, such as the table of contents rule mentioned above. For example, Analog periodically places quotes of interest to its readers in filler positions. This rule also applies to uncredited spot illustrations whose only purpose is to fill the last page of a story or essay.
  • Statements of ownership: Statutory statements of ownership and circulation are not included; nor are colophons, lists of editorial positions, and similar material. Information from this statement, such as circulation figures, may optionally be included in the Note field in a record's "Metadata" section.

Cover Art

  • Title - Title of the COVERART record. Note that this field is not displayed when entering new publications or editing/cloning publications without COVERART records. If this field is displayed, its value should be the title of the publication.
  • Date - Date of the COVERART record. Note that this field is not displayed when entering new publications or editing/cloning publications without COVERART records. If this field is displayed, its value should be the date of the first known appearance of the COVERART title.
  • Artist - Cover artist responsible for the cover art. If not known, leave blank. If the artist is not credited, but a signature is visible on the artwork, the signature can be used to determine the author's name. When using a signature to determine the artist, clarify in the Notes where you found the information. If there is both a signature and a printed credit, follow the printed credit. If you believe that you recognize the artist's style but can see no actual attribution, make a note in the Notes field but don't enter the artist's name. If the only source of artist information is a secondary bibliographic source, enter the artist's name and also add a comment in the Notes field explaining the source of the attribution. If there is no cover art, leave the field blank, but consider adding a comment in the notes field to that effect so that it's clear to other editors that the artist field has not been simply ignored. Note that entering this information will actually create a "COVERART" content record, behind the scenes, with the same title as the title of the publication. The cover designer (as opposed to the cover artist) is only entered in this field if he or she also did (parts of) the cover art. Otherwise the cover designer can be recorded in the note field.
  • Add Artist - If the cover art is credited to more than one artist, use this button to create a second artist field. As many artists as you wish can be added.
  • Add Cover - If there is more than one COVERART record associated with this publication, use this button to create an additional record. This typically happens when dealing with "dos-a-dos" books.

Regular Titles

For regular titles, each record is defined by a set of six fields: page, title, date, title type, length, and author. On all but one data entry pages, there is room for nine content items in the initial screen display. The exception is the New Novel data entry form, which has only three content items. Additional content items can be created by clicking on the "Add Title" button at the bottom of the content section, which causes a set of blank fields for the next content record to appear. This can be repeated until enough content items are available to enter everything in the publication.

The content records are intended to record all the fiction, essays, and artwork in the publication, as well as some other material. See the discussion of the "title type" field below for more details about how to record specific types of content.

The information that you enter in each record's six fields will be used to create a new "Title" record within the ISFDB database. It will also associate this newly created title record with the new publication.

  • Page - The number of the page on which the content begins. This is the number which is actually printed on the page of the publication, not the count of pages from the start. Caution: Do not use the table of contents to determine the page numbers of a publication's contents. Enter content page data by going through the publication and entering the numbers which are printed on the pages on which contents begin.
    • Pages without a printed page number - For contents starting on pages which do not have a printed page number, the following rules apply.
      • Unnumbered pages within a range of numbered pages - Quite often in book publications and occasionally in magazines, the publisher/designer chooses not to print a number on the page on which a story, artwork, or essay begins. If the page is not numbered, and is within a range of numbered pages (i.e. the pages which follow the first numbered page within a publication), its page number can be derived from the nearest numbered page.
      • Unnumbered pages within a range of unnumbered pages - If a content starts on an unnumbered page within a range of unnumbered pages, its page number should first be derived and then entered in squared brackets. The page number can be derived by counting forward from the first page of the section of unnumbered pages. For example, if a content appears on the fifth page in a range of unnumbered pages, enter "[5]". Do not use brackets for unnumbered pages which fall within a range of numbered pages. (See the first bullet under this subsection.) If the entire publication is unnumbered, determine the pages for contents manually, starting from the first page after the front loose endpaper, and enter the page numbers for contents in brackets.
      • Special designations
        • fc - front cover of a magazine which doesn't include the covers in its pagination.
        • fep - front end paper of a book publication, or inside front cover of a magazine which doesn't include the covers in its pagination.
        • bp - unnumbered pages that precede pagination (although generally you can derive the page number and enter it in brackets).
        • ep - unnumbered pages that follow pagination (although generally you can derive the page number and enter it in brackets).
        • bep - back end paper of a book publication, or inside back cover of a magazine which doesn't include the covers in its pagination.
        • bc - back cover of a magazine which doesn't include the covers in its pagination.
    • Roman-numeraled pages - For pages in introductory material which use Roman numerals, use the lower case form. If a work appears on an unnumbered page within a range of Roman-numeraled pages, its page number can be derived from the nearest numbered page.
    • Exception for works which have illustrations preceding their title pages - If a magazine presents artwork for a story or essay preceding the piece's title page, and it is apparent that the art accompanies the text, the starting page of the story or essay should be the page number of the artwork which illustrates it. If you're creating content records for both the work and its illustration, they would have the same starting page. (See "Sorting" below for multiple works appearing on the same page.) If there is no indication that the artwork is related to the text on the succeeding pages, and no indication in the table of contents that it illustrates the work, then do not count it as the first page of the work.
    • Sorting - If the entered page number causes the item to appear in the wrong position relative to the other items in the publication, you can append an optional "sorting" number which will control where the item will display in the contents section of a publication record. To enter a "sorting" page number, append the "pipe" character ("|") to the end of the regular page number value and then enter the number that the software will use to determine where to display the content. For example, a content entered as "10|1" will display as appearing on page 10, but will be displayed in the publication record as the first item. The "sorting" number can be either a whole number like 23 or 355 or a decimal number like 3.2 or 567.001. The only limitation is that the total number of characters in the "Page" field cannot exceed 20. Other uses for sorting contents using the pipe method:
      • Multiple titles, i.e. two or more short works (story, poem, essay or artwork) appearing on the same page. For example, the first work on page 25 should be entered as "25|25.1", the second as "25|25.2", etc.
      • Books where numbering is restarted for various reasons, like Ace Doubles, omnibuses, etc.
      • Contents appearing on unnumbered pages prior to page 1, using decimals in the sorting number. For example, use "[4]|0.1" if the first content in the publication appears on the fourth unnumbered page, and use "[6]|0.2" if the second content appears on the sixth unnumbered page.
      • Uncommon page numbers like A-1, B-2, etc.
      • Boxed sets, to sort individual volumes within the set.
      • Unpaginated publications, like ebooks or audio recordings. In these cases, enter the pipe first and then proceed to number each content in the order in which they appear.
      • Artwork appearing on unnumbered plates.
  • Title - The title of the work. The title should appear exactly as published, even though this may be different from the canonical title. Note that if you are cloning a publication, this field is not editable for existing content records.
    • Novels. For a novel, the title should be identical to the title of the publication in which the novel is published, unless the novel is included in an omnibus or collection. There can be differences in unusual cases: for example, a publication title might be "The Official Dune", for Frank Herbert's preferred text, but the novel contained in that publication might still have the title "Dune", depending on how the work is presented. Usually, however, the title page will provide the novel's title. This is typically the page with the copyright information on the back. If you're entering a novel from within an omnibus, there may be a separate title page for each novel. Note also that if you're entering a novel using the "New Novel" screen, you will not be given an option to enter the novel title separately from the publication title. This should never matter, since for a novel the publication and title should use the same form of the title, but if it does -- for example if this is a scholarly presentation of the work, and the novel is given a separate title page within this presentation -- then you should use a different type, such as COLLECTION or ANTHOLOGY.
    • Subtitles. If the title has a subtitle, enter it, with a colon and a space used to separate the title from the subtitle. For example, the 1986 edition of George MacDonald's "Lilith" has "Lilith" on the title page, and below that, in a smaller font, "A Romance". This should be entered as "Lilith: A Romance". It is sometimes a judgment call as to whether a change of font or a colon indicates a subtitle or just some creative license on the part of the typesetter. If in doubt, take your best guess and document the guess on the publication's wiki page.
    • Short fiction, essays and poems. For short stories, essays and poems, when working from a primary source, always take the title from the heading on the page where the work begins. The title shown in/on the table of contents, running page headers, index, front cover of the publication, secondary bibliography, or a promotional website listing is secondary. Any differences between titles in the publication may be noted in the publication notes, but this is not required. If titles are being entered solely from a secondary source, please record the source in the note field.
    • Excerpts. Sometimes an excerpt from a forthcoming book will be printed at the back of a book. This should be treated as short fiction. If the excerpt has a title that makes it clear that it is only an excerpt, use that title. Otherwise, use the title given, but add " (excerpt)" to the end; e.g. "A Feast for Crows (excerpt)".
    • Omnibuses, nonfiction, anthologies and collections. Like novels, the title of an omnibus, nonfiction booklength work, anthology or collection is duplicated from the publication title at the time the publication is created. Unlike novels, however, these titles are not displayed as content records unless there is a discrepancy between the publication type and the title type. See the help for the entry type field for more discussion.
      • When recording an omnibus publication, please record all of its contents. If it contains one or more collections, please record both the collection titles and the individual short fiction or essay titles as part of the omnibus's contents.
    • Artwork. Interior art should have the same title as the fiction or essay it is associated with. If it is independent of other content, and has no apparent title or caption, give it the title of the publication in which it appears, disambiguating if necessary. [Note: occasionally a work may actually be titled "Untitled" which can correctly be given as the title of the work in the ISFDB record.] Cover art should have the same title as the title of the publication that it is associated with. Artwork on the back cover of a publication is treated as interior art. For works with multiple illustrations per story (usually a magazine or anthology) where the illustrations are not individually named, use the format "Story Title" for the first illustration, then "Story Title [2]", "Story Title [3]", and so on.
    • Case. Titles should have case regularized unless there is some specific evidence that the author intended certain letters to be in a specific case. For example, if the title is "EXTRO" in all caps, the title should be entered as "Extro". This applies to the titles of short stories as well as books. Typesetting style is not important; for example, Fantastic Universe typically printed story titles in lower case, but these titles are regularized for the ISFDB. Regularized case means that the first and last words are capitalized, and all other words are capitalized except for "a", "an", "and", "at", "by", "for", "from", "in", "of", "on", "or", "the", "to", and "with". Hyphenated words have the first letter after the hyphen capitalized.
    • Symbols and punctuation:
      • An ellipsis should be entered as the sequence "period", "period", "period" without spaces in between the periods. If the ellipsis is in the middle of the title, it should be entered with a space after it, prior to the start of the following word.
      • Em-dashes should be entered directly adjacent to the words on both sides. Hyphens and spaces make different titles: "Hell Fire", "Hellfire", and "Hell-Fire" are three different titles, and should be entered as such.
      • Quotes can be entered either as single (') or double (") quotes. They are considered interchangeable typographical artifacts and no variant titles should be created for versions of the same story that use different types of quotes.
      • Strange symbols should be entered if appropriate typographical characters exist. If not, do what you can and make a note as necessary on the wiki page. For example, John Varley's story "Press Enter" is often titled with a black rectangle, indicating a computer cursor, at the end. Other characters should be entered in Unicode if possible; this includes accented characters, and symbols such as em-dashes. Note that if you are using a Windows computer, you can use the Windows Character Map to enter unusual characters; to access the Character Map, go to Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools.
    • Fonts. Sometimes a title will have one or more words in italics, or in boldface, or in an unusual font. The ISFDB software would permit representing these via embedded HTML. However, this would mean that user searches that did not include the HTML would fail in many cases where they ought to succeed. Therefore, do not use embedded HTML to show font changes. For the same reason, do not use underscores to show _italics_, nor asterisks to show *boldface*, nor other typographical methods to show font in titles. If the font seems important, it can be shown and/or described in a note.
    • "Standard" titles. The title of a non-fiction piece of the ESSAY type may have a standard, or generic, title, such as "Introduction", "Editorial", "About the Author", "Foreword", or several other similar titles. If an author has written many "Introduction"s over their career, their bibliography will show several identical titles, with the only way to distinguish them is clicking on each one to find out its publication history. For this reason, you should parenthetically append the container title (title of the novel, collection, anthology, etc) to the title of the essay, i.e. "<generic essay title> (<container title>)" in order to create a unique title. For example, Susan Wood's introduction to the Le Guin collection The Language of the Night was entered as Introduction (The Language of the Night).
  • Date - The original publication date of this title. The format of the field is "YYYY-MM-DD" (ex: 2017-05-30 is today).
    • Note that if you are cloning a publication, this field is not editable for existing Content titles.
    • If you leave this field blank for a title in the Content section, then the title's date will automatically default to the date of the publication that contains it, which is OK if this is the first publication of the title. If, however, this is not the first publication of the title, then you need to find when the title first appeared and enter that date manually. You may need to check the copyright/acknowledgments pages or other bibliographic sources to find the first publication date.
    • When entering a variant title record, enter the earliest known date when this variant record was published. This includes variant title records created for new titles, new pseudonyms, new translations and/or significant textual revisions. If it's not clear whether textual revisions were significant, discuss the issue on Help desk‎. If the variant title is a translation but was published before the canonical title see the remarks on How to enter translations.
    • Serializations
      • Books: If a work has been serialized in a magazine, there may be a difference in textual content between the first magazine publication and the first book publication. "Skylark of Valeron", for example, appeared as a magazine serialization in 1933-4, but was not published in book form until 1949. Therefore, record the first book publication date. A note in the title field can record the magazine serialization date, if there is one. (Note that as more fully explained in Help:Use of the SERIAL type#Date Rule, the ISFDB uses the date of first book publication even if the magazine text is known to be the same as the book text.)
      • Magazines: Serial installments of a work are always given the date of the magazine in which they appear even if the work has been published previously in book or serial form. Novel length works (40,000+ words) printed as a single installment in a magazine are treated as serials and given the date of the issue in which they appear; the Title Type is "Serial" and the text "(Complete Novel)", preceded by a space, is appended to the title. See "Beyond This Horizon" for an example of a novel which was published as a multi-part serial, a book, and then as a single installment serial.
    • Plays and Scripts. Use the date when a play or script (teleplay, screenplay, radioplay, etc) was published, not the date when it was performed or broadcast. (If a dramatic work has been performed but not published in writing, it should not be entered.) In some cases plays and scripts are not published until many years after they are first performed.
    • Sources. If you know that a book's first edition is prior to the date in the title, the best thing to do is find a copy of the first edition, and enter that publication. Then the title record can be updated to match the earlier publication. If you're unable to locate a copy of the earlier book, it is generally not a good idea to use a copyright date without further checking. Copyright dates occasionally differ by a year from the date of publication of the book they refer to. Instead, look for secondary sources, such as bibliographic reference works, and enter data from there. Record your source in the notes field.
  • Title Type - The type of title being recorded. Note that if you are cloning a publication, this field is not editable for existing content records. The options are:
    • SHORTFICTION. Any form of fiction other than a novel should be given this title type. A novel is defined as work of over 40,000 words; this cannot easily be determined by looking at a publication, so typically you should enter SHORTFICTION for anything you are not certain is a novel. Note that frequently a magazine will describe a story as a complete novel, even though it may be substantially below the 40,000 word mark. The description in the magazine should not be relied upon for this distinction. Some books contain fictional essays, purporting to written by a character in the book, as introductions or afterwords. There is no "FICTIONAL ESSAY" title type, so you have to choose whether the title is better described as SHORTFICTION or ESSAY.
    • ANTHOLOGY and COLLECTION. These are rarely the correct type for a content title. If you create a new anthology or collection, an "ANTHOLOGY" or "COLLECTION" content record is automatically created by the ISFDB, but it is not displayed. However, if you are entering an omnibus, or a dos-a-dos book such as an Ace Double, which has an anthology or collection as one of the components, then you should create an anthology or collection title as well as entries for the constituent stories. The difference between an anthology and a collection is that a collection is by a single author; stories by that author in collaboration with other authors are permissible, but if there are any two stories in the book that are by different authors then it is an anthology.
    • EDITOR. This title type is created automatically for new Magazines/Fanzines and typically is not entered manually. The primary exception is when converting another type of publication, e.g. an Anthology, to a Magazine, in which case you will need to change the publication's "ANTHOLOGY" title to an "EDITOR" title.
    • ESSAY. Used for editorials, opinion pieces, and items such as "The Story Behind the Cover", "Next Issue", and letter columns. Occasionally the boundary between ESSAY and SHORTFICTION is blurred: for example, Fantastic Universe had a one page description of the cover in most issues. Some of these were formulated as if they were pages from stories; these are entered as SHORTFICTION. In other cases a brief framing paragraph at the end or beginning makes it clear that the text is discussing the cover, rather than intending to be a piece of fiction; these are entered as ESSAY. Some books contain fictional essays, purporting to written by a character in the book, as introductions or afterwords. There is no "FICTIONAL ESSAY" title type, so you can choose whether the title is better described as SHORTFICTION or ESSAY. Review columns and interviews are also entered as ESSAYs. If an interview column contains only one interview (as is usually the case), then the interview column does not need to be entered at all; instead, just enter the interview information in the Interview section. The details of what was reviewed, or who was interviewed, are recorded with REVIEW and INTERVIEW types, which are entered via the special Review and Interview sections described below. See also NONFICTION.
    • INTERIORART. There are three ways in which this can be used. First, if a single artist does all of the interior art for a book (e.g. Pauline Baynes for many of the "Narnia" editions), then a single content title, without a page number, is appropriate. If each story in a collection, anthology or magazine is illustrated by one artist, the artwork can be indexed with a single title for each artist and story. For example, the December 1956 issue of Infinity Science Fiction contains the story "My Sweetheart's the Man in the Moon" by Milton Lesser, which is illustrated by Stallman. The story starts on page 5 but the first piece of artwork is on page 9. In this case there is only one illustration for the story, but if there were multiple illustrations a single title would still suffice. The page number given is the page number of the start of the story in this case; the title is the title of the content item being illustrated. An alternate option is to enter the first page where artwork appears. Page 9 would also be acceptable in the above case. It is also acceptable (but not required) to enter all pages where multiple artwork appears in a story. See Analog, January 1965 for an acceptable implementation. The multiple pieces of artwork should not be merged. If the illustration has a separate title or caption, document in the illustration's Notes field. The third way to use this title type is to capture illustrations that are not attached to individual stories, or to capture illustrations of stories which are illustrated by multiple artists (a rare situation). In these cases each title indicates a specific illustration, and the page number is the page number of the illustration itself. If an illustration is independent of other content, and has no apparent title or caption, give it the title of the publication in which it appears, disambiguating if necessary.
      • Maps. These are considered interior art for ISFDB purposes and are typed as INTERIORART. The format for titling maps is "Title of Work (map)", for example: Brightness Reef (map). Optionally, if a map is titled you can use the stated title of the map without appending the name of the work, for example The Land of Nehwon (map).
      • Rules for including artwork. If artwork illustrates a particular story, it should be included. If it does not, but is a significant piece of artwork, or is signed by or credited to a well known sf artist, then it should be included. Credited cartoons are always included. Uncredited full-page cartoons in digest magazines of at least 1/3 page cartoons in pulp and bedsheet size magazines are always included. The title should be "Cartoon: " followed by the caption, in the original case, between quotation marks. If there is no caption the words "no caption" should be used without quotation marks. See Dream World, February 1957 for examples. If an article is illustrated with diagrams, or with photographs, these do not need to be included; they are not "artwork" in the sense that we are indexing.
    • INTERVIEW. Generally you do not need to use this type; use the special interview details section lower down the editing page.
    • NONFICTION. Generally not used for content, since it refers to book length works. This might occur as an element of an omnibus.
    • NOVEL. Used for a fiction piece of more than 40,000 words. As noted above, under SHORTFICTION, you should generally ignore any statements made in magazines about something being a novel; this statement is often made about much shorter works. If you know something has been independently published as a novel, it is safe to mark it as a novel when you see it as a content element in a larger publication. For Ace Doubles, each content title will typically be a NOVEL, rather than SHORTFICTION, unless one of the constituent works is itself an anthology or a collection.
    • OMNIBUS. Do not use; the omnibus content type is created automatically by the ISFDB when an omnibus publication is entered. It is not displayed with the publication and never needs to be entered manually.
    • POEM. Self-explanatory.
    • REVIEW. Generally you do not need to use this type; use the special review details section lower down the editing page.
    • SERIAL. Use for a title that would otherwise be either SHORTFICTION or NOVEL, but which is being serialized. Include "(Part 1 of 3)" etc in the title of the work. Occasionally this will lead to odd situations. For example, Frederik Pohl's novel "Jem" was serialized in Galaxy; it was initially intended to be a four part serialization, so the first two parts were listed as "Part 1 of 4" and "Part 2 of 4". By the time the third part was printed, it had been changed to a five part serialization, so the titles of the next two parts were "Part 3 of 5" and "Part 4 of 5". In this case it makes sense to go back and change the title of the first two parts; a note should be added to the note field of the publication to make it clear what has been done and why, if such a situation arises. Also, note that if the combination of story title and author name that is used in the serial was never used on a published version of the story, you will need to create a variant title of this novel to link it to the title used in the published version. For example, "The Space Merchants" by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth was originally serialized as "Gravy Planet". This had to be created as a variant title to connect the serialized pieces to the published novel.
  • Length - This field is only used for SHORTFICTION titles. It indicates the number of words in this SHORTFICTION title. Note that if you are cloning a publication, this field is not editable for existing content records.

The allowed values are:

  • shortstory - A work whose length is less than or equal to 7,500 words. (Roughly 20 or fewer pages in a book.)
  • novelette - A work whose length is greater than 7,500 words and less than or equal to 17,500 words. (Roughly 20 to 50 pages in a book.)
  • novella - A work whose length is greater than 17,500 words and less than or equal to 40,000 words. (Roughly 50 to 100 pages in a book.)
  • Author - The name of the author of the work. This will be duplicated from the publication author field for novels, anthologies, collections and omnibuses. The name should be entered exactly as it actually appeared in the publication. This includes pseudonyms, abbreviated names ("I. Asimov" instead of "Isaac Asimov", "Robert Heinlein" instead of "Robert A. Heinlein"), etc. As with the title, take the author credit from the title page rather than the cover or spine of the book. In a collection or anthology, take the credit for individual stories, essays, and other short content from that given at the start of the story or essay. Do not use the author credit given on the publication's contents page unless there is no credit for the individual works. Most single-author collections understandably will not credit an author at the start of each story. But there are instances where a pseudonym is credited for some entries, and that credit should be used. If necessary, a variant title record should be created after the submission has been accepted. An exception is made for fictional essays, which are written as if by a character in the story, often as an introduction or afterword. Even if these are signed by the fictional character, they should be recorded as by the actual author of the work. Note that if you are cloning a publication, this field is not editable for existing content records.
    • Anonymous or uncredited works. If a work is credited to "Anonymous", then put "Anonymous" in the author field. The same applies for any obviously similar pseudonym, such as "Noname". If the work is not credited at all, use "uncredited", with a lower case "u". (If you are working from a secondary source which does not specify the author, but does not explicitly state that no author is credited in the publication, use "unknown" rather than "uncredited".) This applies to stories and essays that are not credited (often the case for short announcements in magazines, for example), and artwork that is not attributed and for which no signature can be identified. Letter columns with embedded editorial responses should be credited to whoever writes the responses, or to "uncredited" if this is not obvious. If a work is attributed to a role, e.g. "Editor" or "Publisher", then use that name as the author, even if you have clear evidence as to who the author really is. For example, editorials in magazines were frequently uncredited, or credited to "The Editor"; these should be entered with the Author field set to "The Editor". The intent is that the record made from the publication should reflect what can be found in the publication. If there is a reliable source (such as a collection of editorials from a magazine, making it clear who the author was) that identifies the author, then you can make the uncredited record into a variant of a record crediting the actual author (see Help:Screen:MakeVariant). This will attach the work to the true author's bibliography, without giving incorrect data about what is actually in the source publication. The source should be documented in the title notes.
    • Case. Case should be regularized. A few magazines and books had typographical conventions that include, for example, printing an author's name in all lower case, or all upper case. These should be converted to leading capitals. If a name includes an element that typically is not capitalized, it should be uncapitalized regardless of how it is presented in the publication. For example, if a magazine gives a story as by "L. Sprague De Camp", the name should be entered as "L. Sprague de Camp". Author names that vary only in capitalization are not tracked as variants.
    • Initials. Initials should normally be entered followed by a period and a space as "Gordon R. Dickson" or "K. D. Wentworth", even if the period or space is omitted in the publication. However, when it is clearly the author's choice to omit the period, or when the author has a single letter name that is not an initial (e.g. "Harry S Truman") the period should be omitted. In the very rare case where an author prefers two (or more) initials as if they were a name (such as "TG Theodore"), without a period or space, and is so credited, we follow the author's preference. A possible clue to such cases occurs when most authors have initials shown with period and space, but a particular author is handled differently in a magazine or anthology. Checking other sources, such as a Wikipedia article or the author's web site, is a good idea. Such non-standard forms should be mentioned in a publication or title note.
    • Short stories and artwork. For short stories that appear in magazines and anthologies, the author's name should be taken from the story heading, rather than from the table of contents, if there is one. However, as with titles, this is not particularly important, and if they differ, and one is the generally used canonical form of an author's name, take the canonical one -- e.g. if the story heading says "P.J. Farmer" but the table of contents has "Philip Jose Farmer" then use the latter. Similarly, if you are entering the artist for interior illustrations, and the artist is credited as "Emsh", enter "Emsh", but if the contents page says "Illustrations by Ed Emshwiller", feel free to enter "Ed Emshwiller" as the artist even if the individual stories assign them to "Emsh". In tables of contents, magazines sometimes abbreviated long names (e.g. collaborations) to fit into the available space, but used longer forms of the names on the story titles. In these cases the longer form of the names should be used.
    • Pseudonyms. If you know that a particular author's name is a pseudonym, leave it as the pseudonym rather than changing it to the real name. The only exception is when a reprint shows both the original and subsequent names. For example, Isaac Asimov's "Lucky Starr" books were originally published under the pseudonym of Paul French, but were later reprinted with the cover giving both names: "by Isaac Asimov, writing as Paul French". In these cases you can simply give "Isaac Asimov" as the author. When a book is known to be ghost-written, this should be treated as a pseudonym; the ghost-writer will eventually show up as having a pseudonym of the well-known author, but that data is not entered via this field.
    • Accented characters. If you are entering a name such as "Philip José Farmer" that is printed with an accented e, that accented character should be reproduced in your entry of the name. Two versions of an author's name that are printed with and without accents are treated as variants; you should not convert one form to another. However, if an accented form is given on a story title, but an unaccented form is given on the table of contents, use the accented form as the standard.
    • Collaborations. If a story has two authors, make the first author you enter the author who is first, alphabetically. The ISFDB distinguishes between a story by "Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp" and one by "L. Sprague de Camp and Robert E. Howard". Since the order of author entry does not indicate primary author, use alphabetical order.
    • Writers "with" other writers. In some cases a writer is quoted as writing a story "with" another author; this can indicate that the more famous author did little more than lend their name to a project which was written almost entirely by a lesser known author. However, if both names appear on the title page, both names should be entered, in alphabetical order. A note can be added to the note field explaining the situation and giving a source.
    • Ranks, suffixes, prefixes. If an author is given as "Captain Robert L. Stone" then that should be entered in the database. Abbreviated versions of the rank should be entered as given, rather than expanded. For example, during World War II, on at least one occasion Amazing Stories printed an issue of stories from active service members, giving their ranks as part of the author attribution. These ranks should be included in the author names, and made into variant names for the relevant authors. Suffixes such as "Jr" should follow a comma and space, and be followed by a period if they are abbreviations. This should be regularized if they are not presented this way in the publication. E.g. "Sam Merwin Jr" should be entered as "Sam Merwin, Jr."; similarly, it's "Edward Elmer Smith, Ph.D."; or "Frederick C. Durant, III". Other prefixes and suffixes should follow analogous rules.

Add Author. If there is more than one author or editor for this publication, this button will create a second author field. As many authors as you wish can be added.

Reviews

Review columns (or individual reviews within a volume of critical essays) are entered as ESSAY types in the general content record, but you should also record the books reviewed, and who reviewed them, in this section. Each set of review details is defined by five fields: page, title of the work being reviewed, first date of publication of the review, author of the work being reviewed, and reviewer. There is room for three reviews in the initial screen display; additional reviews can be created by clicking on the "Add Review" button at the bottom of the review section. The screen will redisplay with a fourth review record visible. This can be repeated until sufficient review records are available to enter every review in the publication.

Note that you should only include books that are actually commented upon. If a reviewer mentions that a publisher has re-issued a work, but does not comment on the quality of the book, don't include it. Even a brief comment, such as "recommended", is enough to qualify, but without any comment the review should not be listed. For old reviews of Ace Doubles a reviewer would occasionally review one side of the book and simply mention the name of the book on the other side without comment. In these cases only enter the title that was actually reviewed. A review for a work of short fiction should be entered only if the reviewer specifically comments on that specific story. If several stories from the same collection or anthology are discussed, each briefly, recording this as a review of the collection or anthology may be preferable.

  • Page - The page on which this particular review can be found. See the general help information for page numbering. Note also that the ESSAY content entry for the overall review column will have a page number of the page it starts on, but the individual reviews should be indexed to the page within the review where they start. For a review column on pp. 110-112, some reviews will start on p. 110, some will start on p. 111, and some will start on p.112.
  • Title - The title of the work being reviewed. If the review uses a non-canonical title which is already recorded in the ISFDB as a variant of the canonical title for this work, simply enter the title used in the review. If the review uses a title which differs from any of the known titles for this book, but which still serves to unambiguously identify the book (e.g. if the review has a misprint, or abbreviates the name of the book), then enter a corrected title, but make a note in the notes field for the publication that the review title was spelled incorrectly, and give the form of the title actually used in the review.
  • Date - The date the review first appeared. Normally the date of the publication in which the review appears unless it is a reprint. (Note: if you leave this field blank it will default to the date of the publication being added or modified).
  • Author - The author of the work being reviewed. If the review uses a non-canonical name which is already recorded in the ISFDB as a pseudonym or alternate name of the canonical name for this author, simply enter the version of the author's name used in the review. If the review uses a version of the author's name which differs from any of the versions of this author's name known to the ISFDB, but which still serves to unambiguously identify the book (e.g. if the review has a misprint, or abbreviates the author's name), then enter a corrected name, but make a note in the notes field for the publication that the author's name was spelled incorrectly, and give the form of the name actually used in the review.
  • Add Book Author. If there is more than one author or editor for the work being reviewed, this button will create a second author field. As many authors as you wish can be added.
  • Reviewer - The name of the reviewer. This will generally match the name of the reviewer recorded in the general contents section of the publication, as the author of the review column. This name should not be corrected if mis-spelled, or given in a variant form; it follows the same rules as the rules for author name in a content record.
  • Add Reviewer. If more than one person wrote this review, this button will create a second reviewer field. As many reviewers as you wish can be added.

Interviews

Unlike review columns, interviews are generally not entered separately in the content records. The only exception is if a content record exists for multiple interviews, in which case it is indexed as an ESSAY type.

Each set of interview details is defined by five fields: page, interview title, date the interview was conducted, name of the person being interviewed, and name of the interviewer. There is room for two interviews in the initial screen display; additional interviews can be created by clicking on the "Add Interview" button at the bottom of the interview section. The screen will redisplay with a third interview record visible. This can be repeated until sufficient interview records are available to enter every interview in the publication.

  • Page - The page on which this particular interview can be found. See the general help information for page numbering. Note also that the ESSAY content entry for the overall interview column will have a page number of the start of the column, but the individual interviews should be indexed to the page within the interview column where they start. For a interview column on pp. 110-112 which interviews more than one interviewee, the second interview may have a page number of 111 or 112.
  • Title - The title of the interview column. Follows the same rules as the titles of all content items.
  • Date - The date the interview was first published.
  • Interviewee - The canonical name of the person being interviewed, whether or not it matches the form(s) of the name used in the interview. This is done so that the interview is displayed on the interviewee's summary bibliography page. The interview's title, however, should be entered exactly as it appears in the publication, even if it contains a non-canonical form of the the interviewee's name. If no name is used in the title, and the interviewee is referred to in the body of the interview by a non-canonical form of his/her name (whether a misspelling, abbreviation, or pseudonym), that name should be recorded in the record's note field.

Add Interviewee. If more than one person is being interviewed, this button will create a second interviewee field. As many interviewees as you wish can be added.

  • Interviewer - The name of the interviewer. This name should not be corrected if mis-spelled, or given in a variant form; it follows the same rules as the rules for author name in a content record.
  • Add Interviewer. If more than one person conducted this interview, this button will create a second interviewer field. As many interviewers as you wish can be added.

Letters to the Editor

Letters should be entered with the following format: Letter (publication name, publication date). Example. If the letter has a title the editor has the option to append it by adding a colon, a space, and the text of the title to the letter entry. Example. Entries should currently be restricted to significant letters by well-known sf personalities.

Letters may eventually be assigned their own Entry Type. if they are, existing titles will have to be modified manually.


Submitting

Once you're done entering the data, check it over, and then press the "Submit Data" button. This will put your data into the "submission queue". It won't immediately update the ISFDB. The submission queue is managed by the ISFDB moderators, who periodically look at the submissions and decided whether to approve or reject them. If you check back after a while you'll find you submission has been dealt with, and, most likely, approved. If you now search for your book's title, you should see that its data is now part of the ISFDB.

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