Rules and standards changelog

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This is a changelog of ISFDB data entry rules and standards. It summarizes the outcomes of discussions on the Rules and standards discussions page as well as functional data entry changes prompted by software patches. It began logging changes on 2016-11-13. There is no changelog for rule changes before that date.

Note that this changelog is limited to changes to data entry standards. For a list of software changes see Recent Patches.

Date of change Short description New rule Old rule Help pages affected by this change Discussion which led to the rule change

(the link may not work for archived discussions)

After 2000 but not later than 2006 Self-published books and vanity publishers included Self-published books and vanity publishers are included Self-published books and vanity publishers were excluded ISFDB:Policy#Included ISFDB_talk:Policy#Policy_page_updates
Around 2006 Print on demand (POD) publishers included Print on demand (POD) publishers are included Print on demand (POD) publishers were not covered by Policy ISFDB:Policy#Included ISFDB_talk:Policy#Policy_page_updates
Mid-2006 Audio books included Audio books -- readings but not dramatizations -- were included and the software was updated Audio were not included and not supported by the software ISFDB:Policy#Included ISFDB_talk:Policy#Policy_page_updates
Mid-2006 E-books with ISBNs included E-books with ISBNs included [e-books without ISBNs remained excluded until 2011-03 - see below] E-books generally excluded and not supported by the software ISFDB:Policy#Included ISFDB_talk:Policy#Policy_page_updates
Early 2007 Paper-based fanzines included Paper-based fanzines are included [webzine remained excluded until 2018 - see below] All fanzines excluded ISFDB:Policy#Included ISFDB_talk:Policy#Policy_page_updates
2011-03-27 Inclusion of e-books with unique identifiers E-books with a unique identifier such as an ISBN, ASIN, EAN, or catalog number are included E-books without an ISBN excluded ISFDB:Policy#Included Archived Rules and Standards discussion
2011-10-15 Exclusion of dissertations Excluded as per Community Portal consensus Inclusion/exclusion status not defined ISFDB:Policy#Excluded Archived Community Portal discussion
2016-11-13 Date of variant titles Date must be the first occurrence of the variant title Date to use was the first occurrence of the work Template:TitleFields:Date Improve "How to enter foreign language editions" page regarding the publication date of translations
2016-11-27 Eliminated 'sf' Story Length 'sf' is no longer entered in the Story Length field 'sf' was supposed to be entered in the Story Length field for short fiction titles of unknown length Template:TitleFields:Length Eliminating "sf"/"shortfiction" during editing and 2016-11-27 downtime
2016-11-27 Omnibus story length separators Plus signs are to be used as omnibus story length separators Slashed were to be used as omnibus story length separators Template:TitleFields:Length Composite "story length" values for OMNIBUSes
2017-01-16 Story length field split into 4 Omnibus length values as well as juvenile and novelization indicators have been moved from the "story length" field to separate fields. A leading slash is no longer required for omnibus length values. The story length field was used to store all 4 types of information. Leading slashes were to be used for omnibus length values. Template:TitleFields:Length, Template:TitleFields:Content, Template:TitleFields:Juvenile, Template:PublicationFields:Juvenile, Template:TitleFields:Novelization, Template:PublicationFields:Novelization 2017-01-16 downtime - 6:30pm
2017-03-12 Suffix handling in author LegalName field Suffixes that are part of the author's legal name are recorded; format Lastname, Firstname Middlenames, Suffix No suffixes were to be recorded Template:AuthorFields:LegalName Handling of suffixes on author names
2017-03-15 Redaction of detailed biographical data of living authors Detailed biographical data of living authors can be deleted upon author request Policy was not spelled out ISFDB:Policy#Data_Deletion_Policy ISFDB:Community_Portal/Archive/Archive42#Data_deletion_policy_--_proposed_language
2017-10-02 Psychic abilities Explicitly state genre includes fictional psychic abilities Not specifically in inclusion criteria ISFDB:Policy Psychic abilities: In or Out?
2017-12-22 Boxed sets Boxed sets with additional data elements are included Boxed sets were excluded Template:PublicationFields:PubType Boxed Sets
2017-12-25 Non-genre speculative fiction Removed reference to "non-genre speculative fiction" as confusing. No real change in policy itself. "non-genre speculative fiction" was listed in inclusion criteria. ISFDB:Policy "Non-genre speculative fiction" in ISFDB:Policy
2018-01-17 Special genre issues of non-genre magazines For special genre issues of non-genre magazines, non-fiction may be entered as well Non-fiction from non-genre magazines never entered Help:Entering non-genre magazines Special Genre Issues of Non-Genre Issues
2018-07-05 Webzines and one-time online anthologies included Webzines published as distinct issues and one-time online anthologies are now included Webzines and one-time online anthologies were not included except when allowed by other inclusion criteria ISFDB:Policy Rules_and_standards_discussions#Inclusion_of_webzines_and_one-time_anthologies
2018-07-26 Location of biographical data Biographies are now entered in author records using Note fields Biographies were entered in the ISFDB Wiki using "Bio" pages ISFDB:Policy#Biography Policy, Help:Contents/Purpose#Biographies, ISFDB:FAQ#Can I enter author biographies in the ISFDB? No recent discussion; Author records were updated to support a Note field a few years ago; the cleanup project to start moving biographies from Bio pages to author records was initiated shortly thereafter
2018-07-31 Inclusion of unpublished material Unpublished books are now included if they have been announced (but never published), have been published in translation or are supposed to be published within the next 90 days Unpublished books were listed as "Debatable" in the Rules of Acquisition ISFDB:Policy#Rules_of_Acquisition Rules_and_standards_discussions#Rules_of_Acquisition_--_unpublished_books
2018-08-18 Author's canonical name The canonical name is the most recognized name for that author within the genre The canonical name is the most recognized name for that author Help:Glossary Rules_and_standards_discussions#Canonical name for an author with lots of non-genre and a few genre works only
2018-10-01 Inclusion of newspapers SF published in newspapers is included SF published in newspapers is included was "debatable" ISFDB:Policy#Rules_of_Acquisition Rules_and_standards_discussions#Newspapers
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