Template:PublicationFields:Title

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  • 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 in the publication's notes.
      Note that the title page may show the series name, and sometimes the publication's position in the series. The present (2018) usage is to enter only the "simplified" title, 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 according to language-specific rules 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, the magazine Fantastic Universe typically printed story titles in lower case, but these titles are regularized for the ISFDB. For English titles, the ISFDB case regularization rules are as follows:
      • the first word is capitalized
      • all later words are 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
      • exception: cartoon captions use the original case (see Template:TitleFields:TitleType for details)
    • Symbols and punctuation. Strange symbols should be entered if appropriate typographical characters exist. If not, do what you can and explain the issue in the publication notes. 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 preferable, but the usage (be it the one of the magazine like Interzone or the one of the country of publication as in France) or an erratic or undocumented publication schedule may lead to the use of only the issue number. 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.
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