- 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 never show up as content records and cannot be edited by editing the publication. These title records will show up, however, if 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, give it the title "Untitled". Cover art should never be entered directly as content, so there is never a need to enter a title for cover art records. Cover art is always titled "Cover: " followed by the title of the publication. Artwork on the back cover of a publication is treated as interior art.
- 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:
- An ellipsis should be entered as the sequence "space", "period", "space", "period", "space", "period". 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.
- 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).
- Variant titles with carets. The old (ISFDB1) format indicated variant titles by including all of the titles in the title field, separated by carets, like so: "The Book of Poul Anderson^The Many Worlds of Poul Anderson". This is still supported for display; it is listed as a variant title. However, new data should not be entered in this format. To record variant titles, see Help:How to record a variant title.