Category talk:Publishers

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Revision as of 05:18, 5 September 2008 by Kpulliam (Talk | contribs)
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Contents

General concepts

  • If you create a new publisher wiki page then please add it here by adding a category link or template. Do the same if you find one not that's not listed here. See below for details on how to do this.
  • If you change the name of a publisher page using the Wiki "move" function then the change will be automatically reflected here as long as you do not delete the category link or template.
  • If you redirect a publisher page to the canonical version for a publisher then include it in this category if it's a well known imprint.

How to include a Publisher Wiki page in this list

The easiest way to get a publisher Wiki added to this list is to add {{Publisher Category}} to the page. Just copy/paste {{Publisher Category}} to the page and save it. As a convention, this should be added to the bottom of the page.

Note that if you are including a redirect page in the publisher category that the {{Publisher Category}} needs to be on the same line as the redirect. For example

#REDIRECT [[Publisher:Target Page]] {{Publisher Category}}

A more complete approach for including an article in the publisher category is to use Template:PublisherHeader the top of the publisher's page. This will add a standard header to the page and will include the publisher in this category without any further effort.

With both of these the edits are done to the individual publisher's page. For example, to include the publisher Fontana in this category you would edit Publisher:Fontana and not this page.

Don't redirect publisher pages

In my opinion.. this line "If you redirect a publisher page to the canonical version for a publisher then include it in this category if it's a well known imprint. " is a bad idea. We should not encourage redirects of publisher wiki pages. You should leave the page with a link to the primary house name page. Imagine if you had automatic redirects for pseudonyms? I check the wiki page to make sure I'm picking the correct publisher. If both 'Smith and Jones' and 'S. & Jones' take me to the correct place.. some people will think S & Jones is correct and other think Smith is correct... further muddying up the database. IF however the editor found a note on S & Jones wiki page saying "Variant Imprint for Smith and Jones - Used between 1910 and 1923. For other dates please see Smith and Jones" then there is no confusion. Kevin 22:29, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

We use wiki redirects when there is little or zero information available about a name. If there is a little bit of information available then it make sense to add that as a section of a longer article and to redirect that name directly to the section.
I agree with you completely that if there could be confusion about a name then the article should be a disambiguation/explanation page and not a flat redirect.
I'm also trying to keep the help worded as tightly as possible and this page is not an effort to document all of the possible exceptions and side-rules that could apply. I'm of that opinion as 1) This is a header for the category and the header will be included with each page of the category. 2) I believe this page will mostly be used by people interested in browsing the publishers and not people seeking the rules related to this category. If we need more detailed rules for managing the category I'd like to either have them on this talk page or a separate page.
My thinking at the time I did a number of redirects and added that line is that on the ISFDB database side we have many similar names for the same imprint or publisher. The redirects are intended to merge the variant names to the appropriate article. If an imprint is well known then it would get added to the category so that someone browsing for a name from the category can find it. As it is, usually pages that are silent redirects are very similar names to the well known ones.
Many of the "publishers" people have been using for ISFDB publication records are shorthand for an imprint. For example, DAW and DAW Books commonly found in ISFDB and both are short for DAW Books, Inc. which is an imprint of Donald A. Wollheim, Publisher which itself was a subsidiary of New American Library (NAL) which is now owned by Penguin Group (which I don't think has ever published any books). I suspect the formal article on DAW should be DAW Books, Inc. with all of the other names except for NAL being redirects to it.
The choice of when and if to make a name part of a category is subjective and my thinking of "Well used name" was that we would take a look at DAW for example and pick one of the names as the "Well used" one to be included in the category. I'd probably vote for DAW Books as that's more likely to be recognized by someone not familiar with the publisher than just "DAW". Marc Kupper (talk) 00:30, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining. I was just opposed to 'advertizing' the solution of redirecting pages. I think it invites confusion always because separate publisher names in the database are linking to the same wikipage (implying that the separate database entries are equal). I think my concern was muddied by my inclusion of the rest of the sentance, so let me ask it again plainer. Are you comfortable with separate database entries, pointing to the same wikipage, when the database implies that it should be pointing to a separate and individual page? When you use a redirect 'when there is little or zero information available about a name' you are automatically inviting confusion as to which name data you later collect refers to. I was proposing that a non-automatic redirect (a link) prevents this confusion from ever occuring.Kevin 00:56, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I've moved the rules to this page so that we can feel free to expand/elaborate on them. I'm comfortable with the present system of multiple/similar names in the database. For example, I brought up Baen Books below. Someone looking at and verifying a Baen publication is likely to use either the name Baen or Baen Books. Neither is correct as a "publisher" name but both are widely recognized. We could fix up the ISFDB software to force people to use "Baen Books" and that would certainly help clean up some of the mess. A concern I have with this in that people like to take the least resistance path (we are lazy). If someone happens to have a Baen Starline book and their only choice is "Baen Books" the odds are they will pick "Baen Books" even though it does not match their publication rather than doing whatever it takes to get Baen Starline added as an imprint. Ideally they add a publication note that the publication states "Baen Starline." Should we make it as easy to add "Baen Starline" to the system as it would be to select "Baen Books?" How do we deal with people who are not sure what the publisher is? For example, they may be adding a book based on a seller's description and thus may not know if this is a "Harcourt Brace & Company" or "Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc." books. If they pick one that implies great precision in that it *is* a "Harcourt Brace & Company" publication.
One other downside to a system that encourages selecting names from a defined set is that the names in the defined set will tend to be the longer ones. We'll have "DAW Books, Inc." in the list as that's what's stated. This means though that the list of publications on a title record will get harder to read as it's no longer books by DAW, Ace, Baen, etc. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:02, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I personally feel that making every page a non-automatic redirect will add aggravation. At present the database has 8,363 publishers referenced by 127,250 publications. I suspect most people would be happier and less confused by a system that has 8000 automatic redirects to a core set of publisher articles than to have 8,363 landing pages with next to zero content other than a link to a publisher page. There is a project underway to pair the 8,363 publishers down by merging similar names but that's another can of worms. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:02, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Categories on redirect pages

(moved from User_talk:Marc_Kupper#Category:Publishers) (and split to it's own thread try to prevent topic drifts)

Part of the reason why I wanted redirects excluded from Category:Publishers was that I wanted to use it to help drive merges. If editors saw similar names on the list (presumably near each other), it might be worth looking to see if they could productively be merged, either just in the wiki, or also in the DB. But if such looks commonly resulting in finding that the similar publishers were already redirs, then I fear editors will stop checking and miss the remaining plausible merge targets. At the least i would like to suggest that unless the imprint is both quite well known, and significantly different from the parent, it should not be listed. For example, I don't see much gain to listing both "HarperVoyager" and "HarperVoyager/HarperCollins". But what I particularly didn't want was to see both "Baen" and "Baen Books" or similar variations, if the wiki pages have already been merged.

Also, it can be just slightly tricky to include a redirect in a category. it can be done, but the category link must be on the same line as the redirect link, if it is on an lower line (the link must be on the first line of the page, or it isn't a redirect), the wiki software will simply drop it when the page is saved -- all content after the first line is dropped from any redirect page. If you want to encourage listing redirect we should mention this or people will be frustrated. -DES Talk 21:51, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

My thinking that only the canonical name for a publisher or imprint would get the category designation and that it does not matter if that name is an article or redirect page. As it is, we rarely use the full names in the database meaning we may well have a page such as DAW Books Inc., that redirects to the DAW article and it's only purpose is to define DAW Books Inc. as the canonical name for the imprint. I'll update the help to mention the business about that redirects need to be one line files. Thank you for a heads up on that. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:54, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I started to update the help and realized there's two conflicting goals. 1) That we designate a name as canonical and include it in the publisher category. 2) That we will have articles about publishers or imprints but they may not always be filed under the canonical name. For example, I suspect DAW Books Inc. should be the canonical name and that the article is filed under DAW. One solution would be to make it a rule that the canonical name always be the name the article is filed under and that other names such as DAW and DAW Books would redirect to this. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:29, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Rambling discussion 1

(moved from User_talk:Marc_Kupper#Category:Publishers)

Frankly, my initial enthusiasm at seeing more people finally working on publishers has been almost entirely lost. Most people seem to be trying to organise the little publisher data we have rather than improve it. Who has decided that we need Category:Publishers and why has nobody considered Category:Imprint? When a stub Publisher wiki-page mentions other Publishers that have wiki-pages why aren't they being linked? Why are there no discussions about "canonical publisher"? Or about what should be on a publisher page anyway? There's nobody being brave enough to do some BIG merges like all the Putnam or Harper pubs (thankfully - I don't know much about Putnam's but the Harper categories are a mess, and I don't think we SHOULD deal with those until we establish, for instance, when Voyager was a plain COLLINS imprint rather than a HarperCollins one.) There's big risks here - e.g. it's valid (from some viewpoints) to merge "Point SF", "Point Horror", and "Point Fantasy" into "Scholastic". But Amazon messed a lot of that up for us anyway and it should be our duty to SEPARATE some useful imprints, IMO. BLongley 22:47, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd suggest people back off from all this wiki-fiddling: ensure there IS a wiki-page for any imprint or publisher that deserves recording, and on it ASK for the data you want. ADD the data you have. Or create/expand the wiki-page to say why it SHOULDN'T be there and point people to where the right place should be. For example, I suspect "Transworld" has never been an imprint - most pubs should be Bantam or Corgi. I definitely don't want to merge Bantam and Corgi. I think we could consolidate a lot of the publishers we have under those names though - but "Yearling" leads into other investigations. I'd really prefer us to actually work on publishers and imprints rather than on organising the wiki pages for all the temporary notes for such. SOME organisation and linking is needed for that research, but too much and you make it look like a temporary note is a canonical entry. The Wiki entries we need are central "what the f**k are we trying to do here?" discussions still, not the "I've linked to the 27 different variants we have of this name" (of which I'll destroy a few just by fixing my own entries) or the "I've merged the UK, US and Canadian versions of this as the price should be clear enough" (something I've been very tempted to do with recent titles). Put some aims in place and we can work toward those - just categorising for the sake of it isn't helping. BLongley 22:47, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
For the record - I'm opposed to merges. People enter what's stated in publications and a merge will result in publication records getting changed without direct inspection and verification that the new/merged name is the same as what's stated in the publication. In the past I've done merges within my own databases and I've come to regret each of them.
I also agree that we have a problem in that publisher names are all over the map and that too often if five if us looked at a single publication and hour later the same five of us looked again that we'd have ten different publisher names.
As for publishers vs. imprints. 99% of what we call "publishers" are imprints or even logos or trademarks and in fact I don't think we have any pages for publishers. For example Publisher:Baen Books is an imprint of Publisher:Baen Publishing Enterprises and then often just have a Publisher:Baen logo on the title page. So what do you want to do? Historically we have called the "publisher" "Baen" as that's what's on the title page and less often people use "Baen Books" for publication records. So what's the correct canonical publisher name? Is it the most often used "Baen", the less used but more precise "Baen Books" or the correct "Baen Publishing Enterprises" that not a single person has ever used for a publication record? Marc Kupper (talk) 23:47, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree on that for post 1950 works, and disagree for earlier works. Maybe we can work towards organzing the information enough to propose an upgrade of the database where we can add imprints as a subset of Publisher. Or maybe we can hack it for now, by overloading the Publisher field in some way as it is sometimes overloaded with citynames now. Perhaps like so PUBLISHERNAME:IMPRINT_NAME:EVEN SUBIMPRINT NAME, two examples "MACMILLAN: TOR: FORGE" and "MACMILLAN: TOR: TOR". Thoughts?Kevin 00:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Bill. Please stop complaining about other people working on something that you don't see as productive at this moment. For your record, I'm the one who said 'Why don't we categorize them', and the reason there isn't a Category:Imprint is because the database doesn't have that field, and the database doens't automatically make a link to a wikipage for working on that field. Complaining about other volunteers donated efforts, which don't negatively impact your donated efforts is classist and rude. (End of rant) Kevin 00:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
And if you are still concerned about lost 'database effort' well then don't you worry about that. I reserved most of that cutting and pasting to time I was not going to be working on the database due to the party I was having with 'my good friends' Jack Daniels, and Jim Beam whilst watching TV. I promise you it was Cut and paste or nothing at that time. (Now where did my good friends go?) Kevin 00:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Bill. I almost proposed a merge yesterday based on the work I have been doing on the wiki pages. But I didn't know the best place to discuss it, nor what level of documentation I would need to support the merge. Maybe this is a good place to discuss that. I would also love to participate in a discussion of how to determine Canonical Publisher names. Please start em up below.Kevin 00:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
As to merges in general, as long as they are researched, and documented, and there is a consensus that the changed entries were in fact incorrect, I'll happily support cleaning things up. Kevin 00:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
As to Redirects of Publisher Variant1 to Variant2, I'm Opposed, see above.Kevin 00:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
As to putting Redirected pages into the Category:Publishers, It depends on why the redirect exists in the first place, but probably opposed.Kevin 00:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

how to determine Canonical Publisher names

I would also love to participate in a discussion of how to determine Canonical Publisher names. Please start em up below.Kevin 00:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Entry and verification of publications has generally been considered mechanical "non-thinking" work. It should be completely objective. When we move to titles and authors there is often quite a bit of of subjective work. As we have over 8000 publisher names to deal with though it sounds like we should have a near "mechanical" method for determining which names should be canonical. We can't put the individual names up for votes. My "vote" would be the commonly known names, the most frequently used version (per counting pub records), and that the names be be two words or more. Use "DAW Books" rather than "DAW" so that we catch Pocket, Inc. vs. Pocket Books, Inc. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:35, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
See Publisher:Methuen. I have collected 3 verified datapoints, with two variant names. Eventually the datapoints themselves will tell the story, and the 'common elements' would form the canonical name. (At this point for Methuen, the data recommends 'Methuen & Co.'. At least for early twentieth century works... Kevin 05:18, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Publisher Selector

I'd love to see the Publisher field for publisher records have some sort of select thing so that people could choose/enter exactly what's stated on the title page. Looking at the stack that's right at hand I found these

  • Ace Books, Inc.
    1120 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, N.Y. 10036
  • Ace Books
    A Division of Charter Communications Inc.
    1120 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, N.Y. 10036
  • Ace Books, a division of
    Charter Communications Inc.
    A Grosset & Dunlap Company
    51 Madison Ave, New York. N.Y. 10010.
  • Ballantine Books • New York
  • (Corgi logo)
    Corgi Books
  • Collier Books
    Macmillan Publishing Company
    New York
    Maxwell Macmillon Internalional
    New York   Oxford   Singapore   Sydny
  • DAW Books, Inc.
    Donald A. Wollheim, Publisher
    1301 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, N.Y. 10019
  • (Berkley logo)
    A Berkley Medallion Book
    Published by
    Berkley Publishing Corporation
  • Paperback Library
    New York
  • Paperback Library, Inc.
    New York
  • Sphere Books Limited
    30/32 Gray's Inn Road, WC1X 8JL

Marc Kupper (talk) 04:35, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Merging USA and Canada, and other countries

Bill wrote in ramble #1 ""I've merged the UK, US and Canadian versions of this as the price should be clear enough" (something I've been very tempted to do with recent titles)." I'm not sure who Bill is quoting and so can't credit the first part.

I like seeing the (country) suffix as it raises awareness that people need to pay attention to where a book is printed and it makes it easier to search for these and to spot them in the list of publications for a title. For years when DAW printed in both the USA and Canada the books were identical other than the price was different and at the bottom of the copyright page it would say "Printed in Canada" or "Printed in the U.S.A." The Canadian printings often had something about New American Library on the title page either immediately over or underneath the DAW Books stuff. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
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