ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard


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: While updating the Web API page, I realized that [[Data Submission Formats]] is badly out of date. Let me update the instructions for core submission types like EditPub and MakeVariant and then I will add you to the list of authorized submitters. [[User:Ahasuerus|Ahasuerus]] 10:00, 27 June 2019 (EDT)
: While updating the Web API page, I realized that [[Data Submission Formats]] is badly out of date. Let me update the instructions for core submission types like EditPub and MakeVariant and then I will add you to the list of authorized submitters. [[User:Ahasuerus|Ahasuerus]] 10:00, 27 June 2019 (EDT)
:: Ah, didn't look at that page. I based my tests on a manual submission of the same type before. That's easier, as in any case for me an automatic submission will be for a single type of problem and I can always make the first few entries manual and then test automatic submission in my own instance. --[[User:Stoecker|Stoecker]] 12:02, 27 June 2019 (EDT)

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Moderator Availability (edit)
Moderator Current Availability Time Zone
AhasuerusTalk Daily. Mostly working on automated submissions and the software. US Eastern (UTC-5)
Steve Fernie: Albinoflea - Talk Typically late afternoon or late evenings. US Eastern (UTC-4)
Annie Yotova: Annie - Talk Most days, at all kinds of hours. US Mountain/AZ (UTC-7)
Bob Lumpkin: Bob - Talk Most days, primarily afternoon and evenings. US Central (UTC-6)
Bill: Bluesman - Talk Double-secret probation ... CDN Mountain (UTC-7)
Darrah Chavey: Chavey - Talk Effectively unavailable until Summer 2019 US Central (UTC-6)
Chris Jensen: Chris J - Talk Available sometime everyday. Pacific (UTC+12)
J. Clark: Clarkmci - Talk Intermittent. Most likely day-time (Australian time) Mon. - Fri. Pacific (UTC+10)
Desmond Warzel: Dwarzel - Talk Most days, wildly varying hours. US Eastern (UTC-5)
Dirk P Broer: Dirk P Broer - Talk Taking a three-week break, catch up some reading. Netherlands (UTC+2)
Jens: Hitspacebar - Talk Sporadically, a few hours per month, mostly on weekends. Germany (UTC+2)
JLaTondre - Talk Intermittent, mainly evenings. US Eastern (UTC-5)
John: JLochhas - Talk Intermittent, mainly evenings and weekends. Germany (UTC+2)
Kevin Pulliam: Kpulliam - Talk Often missing for weeks and months - Best to email US Central (UTC-6)
Kraang - Talk Most evenings CDN Eastern (UTC-5)
Dominique Fournier: Linguist - Talk Off and on most days, with occasional blackouts (like now); can help on French or other outlandish titles. France (UTC+1)
Marc Kupper: Marc KupperTalk Low but not quite zero US Pacific (UTC-8)
MartyD - Talk Sporadic, but most days. US Eastern (UTC-5)
Mhhutchins - Talk Self-moderating only US Eastern (UTC-5)
Nihonjoe - Talk Most days, various times US Mountain (UTC-7/UTC-6)
Pete Young: PeteYoung - Talk Most days, although time zone frequently varies. Thailand (UTC+7)
Ron Kihara: Rkihara - Talk Too busy to do much editing, but I try to check the boards daily. US Pacific (UTC-8)
Ron Maas Rtrace - Talk Most mornings and evenings. US Eastern (UTC-5)
Rudolf: Rudam - Talk Intermittent, mostly on weekends. Germany (UTC+2)
C. Steinbacher: Stonecreek - Talk Most days, thozgh hours may vary. Germany (UTC+2)
Tpi - Talk Intermittent, mostly evenings. EET (UTC+2)
Willem Hettinga: Willem H. - Talk A few hours, most evenings Netherlands (UTC+2)
Currently unavailable


The Best of Amazing Stories: The 1929 Anthology

I accidentally entered the cover to the 1928 anthology instead of the 1929 one. If my submission is accepted I'll fix it. MLB 02:53, 11 November 2018 (EST)

Data Blanking Again

Regrettably, we need to revisit this discussion. Despite the referenced Moderator Noticeboard topic, a R&S discussion, another R&S discussion and polite notes from me and Ahasuerus, Bluesman has stated his intention to ignore the consensus and has continued to blank data in publications See these edits: [1], [2] and [3], all of which have had data which I had added to the records blanked. Clearly, asking Bill to abide by the consensus of the community doesn't work in preventing this sort of vandalism. I am frustrated at having to re-add this data several times and have to ask that the community to step in to prevent the data from being blanked again. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 21:12, 19 November 2018 (EST)

I have compared the current state of the affected publications with what's in the latest backup. The deleted lines were:
  • Reginald3: 24829.
  • Bleiler Science-Fiction: The Early Years: 964.
  • Reginald1: 06655.
  • Bleiler Science-Fiction: The Early Years: 992.
  • Reginald1: 06697.
  • Bleiler Science-Fiction: The Early Years: 1023.
This is the same issue that was discussed in June. I have left a note on User:Bluesman's Talk page asking him to respond and to abide by consensus. Ahasuerus 21:54, 19 November 2018 (EST)
And it still continues. I added data at here. Bluesman blanked the added data here within a minute of the addition. He has clearly not agreed to abide by the consensus. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 14:21, 5 December 2018 (EST)
He said he was going to restart the discussion on November 19, but I can't find any new discussions at this point. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:55, 5 December 2018 (EST)
I don't think the discussion has been restarted. I have left a note on his Talk page. Ahasuerus 15:56, 5 December 2018 (EST)
I suspect that this edit again blanked data. I can't be certain, but I would have added the Bleiler number when I did the verification in October, and they are certainly gone now. It's unfortunate that I feel I need to patrol the recent approvals list to catch these. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 22:14, 13 December 2018 (EST)
I have confirmed that the edit deleted the following line from the Note field:
  • Bleiler Science-Fiction: The Early Years: 1822.
Given that this issue has been going on for a long time and given Bluesman's refusal to respond to my requests to stop, I have suspended his moderator privileges until I can get assurances that this will not happen again. Ahasuerus 22:52, 13 December 2018 (EST)

IDs of Secondary Verification Sources in Notes

(Copied from User_talk:Bluesman#IDs_of_Secondary_Verification_Sources_in_Notes on 2018-12-16.)

Could you please respond to User:Rtrace's post on the Moderator Noticeboard? This is a follow-up to the last discussion re: removing IDs of secondary verification sources that are documented in publication notes. As I wrote on November 10, "the consensus was not to remove catalog numbers (from secondary sources) from notes. If you would like to restart this discussion, please post on the Moderator Noticeboard."

Update: As stated in Moderator Qualifications, moderators must "comply with the consensus gained on the ISFDB Wiki on the resolution of various bibliographic debates". We all have our individual preferences, but if we start deleting data that other editors have entered in accordance with Policy and consensus, the project will quickly fall apart. We can't let that happen; please reconsider and abide by consensus. Ahasuerus 21:47, 19 November 2018 (EST)

I will definitely restart this discussion. --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:52, 19 November 2018 (EST)
Sounds good. Please refrain from making any changes to these IDs until and unless the consensus has been changed. Ahasuerus 21:55, 19 November 2018 (EST)
There is a Moderator Noticeboard report of your removal of IDs earlier today. As I mentioned earlier, as per Moderator Qualifications moderators must "comply with the consensus gained on the ISFDB Wiki on the resolution of various bibliographic debates". We can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances that it won't happen again until and unless the consensus changes? Ahasuerus 15:55, 5 December 2018 (EST)

Update 2:== Blanking Data ==

(Copied from User_talk:Bluesman#Blanking_Data_2)

“Blanking data” …. an interesting euphemism, I prefer “Taking out the garbage”. Two notes first: this is about content or substance, very little to do with process or form. Second, this is not the first discussion or comment about these numbers, more like the fifth or sixth.

It’s an ‘interesting’ development that seems to have arisen over the last few years. If an idea gets put forth often enough the detractors get sick and tired of fighting it and cease replying/engaging so eventually only the ‘for’ contingent is left and VOILA!! - a consensus is reached. So, take heart all editors, no matter how inane or useless an idea is, just keep pushing [and of course ignoring any negative sentiments/feedback - think Vasha] and some day you’ll get your wish. This is not to detract from the good ideas, as those usually only have to be discussed once or twice. It’s not a condemnation of the process of collaboration, as all such have their faults.

At least the first two/three times this ‘data’ was discussed [and it goes back years so I’m not going to look for them] the reaction was: clutter, useless, stop doing it. So being accused of disregarding ‘consensus’ is more than a little annoying as that’s what’s been happening with every inclusion of these numbers for years. And remember, the ONLY reason this started was because the perpetrator saw them being included in a bookseller’s ads and thought it was neat idea. I’ll repeat: the ONLY reason this started was because the perpetrator saw them being included in a bookseller’s ads and thought it was a neat idea. They’ve been going into notes for about five years and I’ve been removing them for about five years. I don’t care who/what any pretentious bookseller does in their ads to impress a buyer that because their book is noted in some OTHER book that makes it worth at least 50% more than any other copy for sale - doesn’t make it anything more than a selling ploy.

Why do we have separate records? A facetious question but an important one. We do it because there are an untold number of editions/printings from various publishers of almost every title we include. What are the individual records for? To identify what makes that particular edition/printing different from any other with that title. Sometimes we have to use external sources to add information [dates/artists] and wherever possible to link to those sources [i.e. - proof]. A recent addition to the form of the record is the external ID list, a good thing as it decreases the clutter that was beginning to take over the notes. So, it really boggles the mind that numbers are being deliberately added to possibly ± 38,000 records [and that’s just Reginald] plus an estimated 200,000 more [Tuck almost can’t be counted, Curry maybe 5-6,000, the two Clute encyclopedias maybe 50,000] when we have an external field for them. [If you think this will stop when Reginald/Bleiler are exhausted, not too likely] Oh, wait ……. [drumroll] ……. none of these are linkable!!!! And I would bet my pension they never will be. This means that unless one owns a copy of the book[s] they are completely and utterly useless - merely a pretentious aping of a pretentious bookseller. And the fact that they are being deliberately hidden should say all one needs to know about their value. Even in this ‘text me [I can’t spell]’ age the alphabet is all one needs. And, gasp, each book has a ‘How to use this book’ section in the front! Wow! Who’d a-thought that! The idea that anyone who owns copies of the books we use for most secondary verifications couldn’t find an entry without the 'hidden treasures’ is ludicrous. On a slightly different plane: the current formulation of this non-data makes it look like the notes came from the sources being hidden. Posit for just a dreamish second: should any of the above sources be digitized, now every single one of these numerical delights would need to be removed. It’s been how many months of work to get a portion of the OCLC links/numbers moved and that started at only 60,000?

The opening of this particular door is dangerous. It tells any prospective new editor they can add anything they want as long as they hide it. Yes, the moderators should catch/nip most of this in the bud but what happens when it’s a moderator? If this succession of edits had been done by a non-mod we wouldn’t be having this discussion. So much actual, real data gets put in notes that belongs at a whole different level. A revision gets noted thirty times in records instead of once at the title level. Addresses of publishers [yes, we get those, and I don’t mean ones used to identify nefarious printings by Ace] when we have a whole page for each publisher. I love the ones where the nano-second a magazine shows up in a mailbox gets noted - how does that get past a moderator?? Just musing, folks. Not condemning anyone specific, but sometimes the urge to clear the queue [other than by rejecting everything] just takes over. Been there, done that. It seems that the Idea of “if it’s on the copyright page it has to go in the notes” is taking over and it’s just so much junk. If it doesn’t distunguish the edition/printing for that specific record, it shouldn’t be there. We have other places for real data that transcends any individual printing. But there’s still no place for these ridiculous numbers. They should simply be excised until that far distant day when/if the book[s] are linkable. Not data, not content, just clutter [hidden or not].

_________________________________________________________ FIN _____________________________________________________________________

Please do not reply here. If anyone wants to discuss/disect/decry the above, move it somewhere else. In about a week I’ll delete it and post something similar to Michael’s page. Being here just isn’t as much fun as it used to be, but I’m still a bibliographer at heart and there’s just SO many books. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bluesman (talkcontribs) .

I don't know where to, so I'll leave it to someone else to move the discussion. As a new member of the community, I'm trying to understand what the discussion is about. My summary would be as follows:
  1. We are a bibliographical project, which implies that we identify publications from available sources and record them. Sources can be:
    • book in hand
    • secondary sources
  2. We reference secondary sources that we've used to define a pub (and information pertaining to that pub). These references go into the External ID field for linkable ID's; they go into the secondary verification checkboxes if the reference sources are not readily available; or they go into the Notes as a last resort.
  3. Reginald, Bleiler etc. are secondary sources for pub data, so can be referenced as per 2. above.
My first question: is this correct?
Assuming it is, then my understanding is that the discussion boils down to whether or not Reginald, Bleiler etc. recordID's are secondary source references (which they are, aren't they?) that warrant addition to the pub record, right?
I understand Bluesman argues they are not because they are not references to source records that are readily available to the user of the ISFDB (unlike the other references we link to). Ron, I assume, argues they are refrenceID's to source data, so as per 2. above, can be added even if they rare useless to the majority of ISFDB users.
Does this about sum it up? MagicUnk 06:38, 17 December 2018 (EST)
The substantive issues associated with secondary IDs that we can't link to were last discussed in June 2018. As I wrote at the time, it's a tricky issue to address programmatically. There are different scenarios which makes it hard to come up with a single software solution the way we came up with a software solution for External IDs in May 2017:
  • The main problem is our secondary verification sources vary quite a bit. Some, e.g. Reginald and Bleier, have stable IDs. Some, e.g. Locus 1, have unstable URLs which change over time. Some, e.g. Tuck and the Clutes, do not have IDs. (Not to mention that the Clutes do not include publication details except for "US/UK/etc".)
At the time the consensus was that we should not be removing these IDs from notes. Bluesman did not participate in that discussion and went on hiatus around the same time.
The issue that arose when Bluesman returned in November 2018 was procedural: can moderators go against the consensus and change our data based on personal preferences? Here is the timeline:
  • On November 10 Bluesman wrote in response to Ron's June report of the reached consensus and a request to abide by it: "Not likely ..........." In response, I wrote "that the consensus was not to remove catalog numbers (from secondary sources) from notes. If you would like to restart this discussion, please post on the Moderator Noticeboard." Bluesman did not respond.
  • On November 19, after a confirmed report of some of these IDs getting deleted, I wrote: "As stated in Moderator Qualifications, moderators must "comply with the consensus gained on the ISFDB Wiki on the resolution of various bibliographic debates". We all have our individual preferences, but if we start deleting data that other editors have entered in accordance with Policy and consensus, the project will quickly fall apart. We can't let that happen; please reconsider and abide by consensus."
  • Bluesman responded with "I will definitely restart this discussion", at which point I wrote "Sounds good. Please refrain from making any changes to these IDs until and unless the consensus has been changed."
  • On December 5, there was another confirmed report of IDs getting deleted. In response, I wrote: "We can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances that it won't happen again until and unless the consensus changes?" Bluesman did not respond.
  • On December 8 Bluesman overwrote his Talk page with the "Blanking Data" text posted above. When I asked him about the deletion of his Talk page, he claimed that "There were no unresolved posts."
  • On December 13 I wrote "My question remains unresolved. It's an important question since, as I said, we can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances, please?"
  • Later on December 13 there was another confirmed report of Bluesman deleting IDs from notes. That's when I wrote "I have confirmed that you deleted an ID earlier today in spite of multiple requests not to go against the consensus. As I have repeatedly said, this goes against what is stated in Moderator Qualifications. Your moderator privileges have been suspended until I get assurances that this will not happen again."
As per Bluesman's post above, he can't give assurances that he won't go against the consensus in the future. His moderator privileges will remain suspended for as long as it remains the case. His ISFDB account remains active and he can create submissions, but he won't be able to moderate them. Ahasuerus 09:07, 17 December 2018 (EST)
Hi Ahasuerus. The intent of my post was to better understand the issue at hand. Even though being courteous is important, I do not intend to discuss behaviour here (whether it is appropriate or not - as it isn't all that fruitful imo).
It is my understanding that the current consensus is put up for discussion again. I'm interested in seeing arguments for and against. I'm not entirely clear as to the rationale for inclusion of these numbers. What is their added value? I still don't understand the reason for the heated debate. Rtrace, why do you want these ID's included in the notes, what do you use it for, what is your rationale? And Bluesman, I infer from your comments that having bloated notes is frowned upon, the numbers discussion merely an example of a wider issue that you're seeing - why is that and can you enlighten a newbie? Thanks! --MagicUnk 16:03, 17 December 2018 (EST)
I think having the numbers (or other references like that) is very helpful. True, not everyone has access to all of the sources, but that doesn't make them any less valuable. Having the sources makes the entries here more useful to everyone, as they can always visit a library or ask someone who has the source to provide additional details if needed. It makes ISFDB a great place to reference as it shows we've done our homework when adding information. Removing the information diminishes that. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:02, 17 December 2018 (EST)
I don't really want to re-litigate the substance here. However, Bluesman's above repost from his talk page misstates the narrative and sets up several straw men and I'll address that. The original discussions began in 2015. Unfortunately, Bluesman has deleted the archives of his talk page, but his first objections to catalog numbers can be found in this page history if you search for the heading "Pohl's Star Science Fiction". The relevant R&S discussions can be found here and here. Despite Bluesman's implications that the R&S discussions resulted in a consensus to prohibit such data, I don't consider either of these discussions to have resulted in a consensus. I was surprised that the data was at all controversial and seeing no policy that prohibits such data in the notes, I would assume that a new prohibition would be required in order to bar its addition. Absent a consensus to prohibit such data, to my mind, it is allowed. When I noticed that the data was being deleted without notice, and after a fruitless discussion with Bluesman, I brought this before the moderators in this forum here where I believe that a consensus was finally achieved. The rest of story is covered in Ahasuerus's above post. The straw men are Bluesman's contention that someone will want to add catalog numbers from Tuck, Curry and the Clute encyclopedias. Since none of these sources have catalog numbers, this isn't an issue. He also suggests that I'm attempting to hide this data because I somehow think it's improper. The truth is that placing the data below the {{break}} tag was a suggestion by Ahasuerus here, as an attempt to mollify Bluesman. I would actually prefer not to to put this data below the break, but have continued to do so as an attempt to compromise (Clearly, it doesn't have the desired effect. Do I need to continue putting these below the break?). My arguments for the inclusion of this data are in the discussions that I've cited. If someone really wants to start a a new discussion to change the consensus, I'll of course participate, but I feel that I've made my case several times. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 19:44, 17 December 2018 (EST)

Capturing IDs in a Structured Way

One other advantage of having these IDs in the database is that their presence makes it possible to check for gaps in our coverage. Since Reginald used sequential numbers (000001 through 37651) for first editions, we could easily create a cleanup report to look for gaps. Of course, it would be even easier to implement and display if we captured these IDs in a more structured way. Ahasuerus 16:49, 18 December 2018 (EST)

So are we back to "Let's have a non-linking External IDs" in their own list? And these will be extremely easy to move programmatically - they are very well (and predictably) structured in their notes - almost always alone on a line - so we can parse and dump the line...  :) Annie 18:31, 18 December 2018 (EST)
I can think of two different programmatic solutions:
  • Create a new set of fields that would be similar to the "External IDs" box but without the linking
  • Modify the logic behind External IDs to allow non-linking IDs
The second solution would be much easier to implement. I suspect that it would also be more intuitive for users and editors. Ahasuerus 22:00, 18 December 2018 (EST)
I'd vote for the second approach. It also has the built-in capability to switch non-linking to linking with a simple server edit (as opposed to some type of reclassification depending on the design). Annie 22:19, 18 December 2018 (EST)
In theory (I'm sure this isn't practicable) it'd be nice to have IDs associated with the secondary verification checkboxes. The numbers that people are defending the usefulness of are ones where the book itself was considered useful enough to add to secondary verifications. In the case of Reginald, it would be very nice to have the reference number displayed next to the verification; more complicated in the case of OCLC where there can be multiple numbers. We have many OCLC numbers without Worldcat verification checked and vice versa, and it's somewhat redundant to have both. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 18:33, 18 December 2018 (EST)
Interesting points, some of them in line with what I have been thinking. I will mull it over and respond tomorrow. Ahasuerus 22:44, 18 December 2018 (EST)
Most of the external IDs are defacto verifications anyway - just not against the usual American sources and we do not keep record of who added them... For a Russian book I am much more likely to trust and check FantLab than OCLC and most of the information will come from the Russian source. Same for SFBG for Bulgarian, DNB for German and so on. And most editors had treated these as verification sources - by noting differences between sources. Just saying... Annie 23:20, 18 December 2018 (EST)
I wonder how it'd look to have both external IDs and verifications in the same section. Some sources of data would be numberable, some verifiable, and some both; some numbers would be linking and others not. Would just need suitable design to be legible. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 23:32, 18 December 2018 (EST)
I have just deployed a couple of cleanup reports to look for discrepancies between OCLC verifications and External IDs. It's a good example of how the two types of data are related.
Having said that, the two sections currently capture somewhat different types of data. Obviously, the External ID section captures linked IDs, which is very useful. On the other hand, the Secondary Verifications section lets you choose "N/A", which the External IDs section doesn't support at this time. It also records the date of the verification and the name of the verifier, which can not be changed except by the verifier. Also, unlike External IDs, verifications can be added without moderatorial oversight. I have also noticed that some editors become attached to their verifications.
I think tighter integration between External IDs and secondary verifications is worth considering. We just need to figure out how to reconcile the differences that I outlined in the previous paragraph. Ahasuerus 19:48, 19 December 2018 (EST)
The two don't have to be "linked" in order to be displayed together; it could be more like two parallel columns --perhaps start the left column with external IDs that don't have verifications, then begin a column of verifications on the right, with matching numbers associated on the appropriate line on the left. Just a thought.
As for better data entry linking, one possibility would be to have a space to enter an associated number on the 2ndary verification form (OCLC having a "+" for multiple numbers). The numbers would be sent to a moderated submission but the verifications would just go through automatically. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 20:08, 19 December 2018 (EST)
I've been reading through the historical material (well, tried to), and it seems to me the current dispute could be solved by adding non-linking external ID's. Why not be pragmatic, and implement the 2nd proposal from Ahasuerus (ie Modify the logic behind External IDs to allow non-linking IDs)? It wouldn't really change anything from the current practice. After all, we're already adding oclc's and check the corresponding verification flag. I can't imagine that that would be a lot of effort (but what do I really know about coding the ISFDB, right? :)). Granted, that wouldn't all that be efficient, but hey, it would be a start and better than what we have now. As for the integration of verification and referencing, yes that could (should?) be done, but as a future enhancement as I'm sure that that would cost considerably more dev'pment effort.
Again, if this non-linking ext ID thingy can be implemented 'quickly', I believe it'd bring back tranquillity to the community (or at least has the potential to), don't you think? MagicUnk 06:27, 20 December 2018 (EST)
There is always a balance between:
  • going after the "low-hanging fruit" which can be done quickly but may have to be reworked later on, and
  • implementing a long-term solution which takes longer to implement but is more likely to be permanent
An important factor to consider is whether a short-term solution would require more work down the road once a permanent solution is put into place. For example, the way we handled non-English titles prior to 2011 required a complete revamp once language support was added.
In this case allowing non-linking External IDs for Reginald, Bleiler, etc appears to be a low-risk proposition. Even if we end up implementing a different solution at some future point, it should be easy to move structured IDs to a different field(s).
In addition, we may want to have support for non-linking External IDs for other reasons. For example, if an external database were to go off-line, our links would become dead and would need to be deactivated. We wouldn't want to delete the IDs in case the site is eventually resurrected, but there are examples of bibliographic sites getting merged (like Shelfari) or becoming frozen (like the European Library.) Conversely, it's possible that some secondary sources may become available online at some point in the future.
For these reasons I think it would be worth adding support for non-linking External IDs sooner rather than later. We currently have around 4,000 Reginald IDs in Notes. It would be better to migrate them to a separate field while the number is still manageable. I will copy this proposal to the Community Portal where more editors will have a chance to eyeball it. Ahasuerus 16:21, 20 December 2018 (EST)

Reginald, et. al. Linking

One of the objections raised above is that these numbers are not linkable and that one needs to own the physical book for them to be referenced. This is not quite accurate. The Internet Archive has some of the secondary verification sources available. I know Reginald1 & Bleiler78 are there. I did not check all the others so there may be more. The catch though is these titles are part of their library which means you have to have an account (which is free), you have to check them out, and only one person can check them out at a time (for 14 days & they provide a wait list function). We could provide a linking though using the page number since the Internet Archive supports linking to specific pages. The external ID entry could be "page-number|entry-number". So for example, take A Walk with the Beast, the Reginald1 entry could be "112|03204" that would display "03204", but link to This would take you to the book and when you login and check out the book, it would open to page 112 which shows the entry. I'm not saying this ideal (or even that it's a good solution), but it is an option. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:53, 18 December 2018 (EST)

Perhaps we could include instructions like what you wrote above as part of the popup and on the description help page. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:06, 19 December 2018 (EST)
I think it's worth adding to the relevant Help page. Ahasuerus 19:33, 19 December 2018 (EST)

Your Talk page

I noticed that the text that you added yesterday overwrote the previous version of the Talk page. Did you mean to create a new section or perhaps archive the page? If you'd like help with archiving, please let me know and I'll create a new archival sub-page. Ahasuerus 12:52, 9 December 2018 (EST)

There were no unresolved posts. I am quite familiar with how to archive, it just wasn't necessary. --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:16, 10 December 2018 (EST)
Re: unresolved posts, my last reply prior to the data getting overwritten was:
  • There is a Moderator Noticeboard report of your removal of IDs earlier today. As I mentioned earlier, as per Moderator Qualifications moderators must "comply with the consensus gained on the ISFDB Wiki on the resolution of various bibliographic debates". We can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances that it won't happen again until and unless the consensus changes? Ahasuerus 15:55, 5 December 2018 (EST)
My question remains unresolved. It's an important question since, as I said, we can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances, please?
In addition, we archive resolved Talk page discussions rather than delete them. They are a valuable source of supporting information in case similar issues arise in the future. Please use Wiki history to restore the overwritten data and archive it. Ahasuerus 15:50, 13 December 2018 (EST)
I have confirmed that you deleted an ID earlier today in spite of multiple requests not to go against the consensus. As I have repeatedly said, this goes against what is stated in Moderator Qualifications. Your moderator privileges have been suspended until I get assurances that this will not happen again. Ahasuerus 22:40, 13 December 2018 (EST)
I have restored your Talk page and archived November 2017 through May 2018. Ahasuerus 17:13, 15 December 2018 (EST)

Replies: the simplest first - since all 'traffic' is forever, indelibly etched in the Wiki pages, why is archiving even considered? For me it would mean recording my seemingly endless supply of typos [never took that class in high school] or those one-off particular refinements of a single record. Hardly earth-shatteringly important. So it goes ...

As for the 'assurance' part. To agree to that would be, to me, tantamount to a personal betrayal of every reason I exist here at all. Imagine collaborating with a group to build a 'Habitat-for-Humanity' house only to have one participant decide [without letting anyone know beforehand] to carve their initials in the solid-oak front door [just because someone else did it for entirely different reasons] and be forced to just 'accept' that [while the other participants stand by and note only that the carving was 'neatly done']. Can't do it. Not built that way. The better part of ten years have been spent here. Made some friends, Willem, Hervè [remember him?] Annie, Ahasuerus [there's still hope] and others. The changes have been enormous, from the globalization of the Moderator base, the database, and [I erroneously thought] the maturity of it all. This database was considered a joke by many during its formative years [and, quite frankly and for different reasons is still thought of as such by some] but it has progressed to the point where it's being cited as a source [albeit by OCLC, whatever that's worth]. Sad to see this obvious and ill-conceived diminution of the central core of the reason for its existence. Anything of this magnitude should have been cleared BEFORE inception, not seek belated approval five years later [and from a twisted perspective]. From the above posts, transcribed from my talk page, it is obvious that 'double-secret probation' is not an option, though that would definitely add to the farcical nature of this situation. To think that I get the shaft for the same thing as the git doesn't get for basically the same transgression is just too choice. So it goes. If the hangman's noose is the future, so be it [it's just a cyberspace neck .............]. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:07, 16 December 2018 (EST) [I'm amazed I got through that without the dreaded 'www' epithet - Lord Longley would have been proud, and likely laughing his butt off .......] ;-))))

Comparing removal of valid data to some odd "carving your initials on an oak door" scenario makes no sense. It's more akin to multiple other people hanging all the doors in the house, and then you coming along and removing them, and persisting in doing so despite being asked multiple times to stop. Part of the maturity you mention is abiding by the decisions made by the group as a whole. The group as a whole decided the data should remain in the notes, and you kept removing it. You were creating needless extra work.
There are several things I think should be done differently here, but discussions were had and the decision was made to do things differently than what I would prefer, so I abide by that. I'm sure everyone here has similar situations where they think another way might be better. However, once the decision has been made as a group, we all must abide by the decision until and unless it is changed in a future discussion. Everyone has to do that or, as Ahasuerus wrote, the project will fall apart.
Sneakily removing valid data entered by others simply because you don't think it belongs, especially after being asked repeatedly to not do so, is simply immature and not conducive to working in a collaborative environment. You were given several chances to stop the removals, yet you persisted in the behavior. The consequences were entirely inevitable when you refused to change your behavior (especially since Ahasuerus specifically mentioned the consequences at least once before implementing them). I enjoy your contributions here, and I hope you continue to contribute. Perhaps, eventually, you will understand why your actions were so frustrating to us. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:36, 17 December 2018 (EST)

Development server redux

After fixing the development server a few weeks ago, I hoped that it would last until the end of Windows 7's extended support in January 2020. Unfortunately, it looks like the hardware gods had other plans. I am currently starting the process of getting a new server, migrating the development environment to it, making Fixer work under Windows 10 and so on. It shouldn't be a showstopper, but it will affect the development schedule. Always something... Ahasuerus 00:42, 23 November 2018 (EST)

The new development server is up and running. The core ISFDB software is working fine, but, as expected, Fixer needs a bunch of upgrades to be fully operational under Windows 10. I wish I hadn't chosen Windows as Fixer's habitat 10 years ago, but oh well. Back to the salt mines... Ahasuerus 23:38, 3 December 2018 (EST)
Fixer is up and running on the new development server. Back to development. Ahasuerus 13:25, 9 December 2018 (EST)

The Snows of Olympus

As the editor who verified this pub is no longer active, I'm posting here that I have added to the contents the Prologue and Introduction records for Clarke's The Snows of Olympus. The Note already states that the same print was used as for the Gollancz first edition which I have verified. PeteYoung 02:30, 30 November 2018 (EST)

Author correction from the author

Hello, this is one of your listed authors, Adele Gardner. Thank you so much for the detailed listing of my works! I just wanted to request that you list me as the primary name and Lyn C. A. Gardner as the subsidiary. I have been publishing only as Adele Gardner since 2012. Here is a history of my bylines:

  • Carolyn Adele Gardner, used rarely, but will be used again. Note, this is my legal name, but I do not like to be called Carolyn.
  • C. A. Gardner, used primarily from 1984-2008
  • Lyn Gardner, used sporadically starting in 1991, will not be used again
  • Deirdre Ni Fionnula, used primarily around 1991-1998 but will not be used again
  • Lyn C. A. Gardner, used from 2008-2012, will not be used again. Note, as the least-used of my bylines, it should not be the "parent" name.
  • Adele Gardner, used exclusively since 2012, will continue to be my primary pen name. Note, this is my name as an active member of SFWA and HWA.

The author states regarding the use of her name: "Adele lives and writes under her middle name to honor her father, mentor, and namesake, Delbert R. Gardner, for whom she serves as literary executor." These facts can be confirmed if necessary at my website,, or by writing to me at Thanks for your help! Adele —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AdeleGardner (talkcontribs) .

We utilize the most common name as the parent name. This is done to make it easier for readers. In your case, it's relatively evenly split between Lyn C. A. Gardner and Adele Gardner. Since you are no longer using Lyn C. A. Gardner, it would only be a matter of time before Adele Gardner was the dominate form and we flipped them. I will go ahead and do that now. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 11:11, 26 December 2018 (EST)
Let me point out that by the author's request, we use Willis Couvillier as that author's canonical name even though he publishes far more often as WC Roberts. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 20:47, 26 December 2018 (EST)

Update Marc De Bel

Hi, can someone update the canonical name of Marc De Bel to Marc de Bel. Turns out his name is written with lower-case 'd'. Thanks. MagicUnk 07:12, 30 December 2018 (EST)

Done. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:38, 31 December 2018 (EST)

Update canonical name Jos Vandeloo

Hello, there's a typo in the name of author Jos Vanderloo. It should read Jos Vandeloo. Can somebody update it? Thanks! MagicUnk 13:34, 31 December 2018 (EST)

Done. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:37, 31 December 2018 (EST)

Megan E. O'Keefe

I entered Megan E. O'Keefe's name incorrectly on this submission. I left off her middle initial. Could someone fix this instead of creating a new author? Thanks Tom TAWeiss 21:53, 2 January 2019 (EST)

Approved the submission & then edited the title record to have the correct name. -- JLaTondre (talk) 22:45, 2 January 2019 (EST)

Bob Van Laerhoven

The canonical name of Bob van Laerhoven should be with a capital 'V' (being Flemish). Can someone correct this? Thank you! MagicUnk 03:20, 5 January 2019 (EST)

Corrected. --Willem 05:48, 5 January 2019 (EST)

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January-February 2019

I just entered this issue into the databank for approval. However I accidentally hit the enter button and so, if my submission is accepted, I'll add the book reviews and cover image. MLB 01:19, 6 January 2019 (EST)

Got it. Approved, fixed a typo on Douglas F. Dluzen, Ph.D.'s name and all yours to add the missing pieces. Annie 01:41, 6 January 2019 (EST)

Capital Letters

I normally don't bother to look at my rejected edits, but I recently did do. Anniemod rejected a correction I made to one of my own entries, where I tied to correct "Light from Her Eyes" to "Light From Her Eyes" to conform to the title of the artwork given in the publication. I have been under the impression that the contents should conform to what is given in the pub, even is the pub misspells or commits a grammar error. What irritated me about Anniemod's rejection was that she then lectured me about rules for capitalization; obviously, I made the error in the first place out of habit when I typed the entry as correct grammar would demand. I would have sent this message via Anniemod's messages, but there doesn't seem to be anyplace to do so, only archives. If I'm wrong about typing titles for artwork as presented in the pub, please let me know. Bob 14:52, 8 January 2019 (EST)

For most aspeects of titles, you're right that we'd follow what's in the publication. But there are exceptions, and one of them is that we standardize capitalization. Help:Screen:NewPub#Title gives an overview of current policies on how to enter English-language titles. I hope that helps ... (P.S. Yes, Annie does reply to messages on her talk page.) --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 15:09, 8 January 2019 (EST)
Hi Bob, I do not remember lecturing you anywhere? If I had quoted the rule in the rejection (and that's what you mean), I usually do that so that it is clear why I rejected it...
For capitalization, we do regularize titles: see the list, regardless of how the publication has the title. The rule in this case is "all later words are capitalized except for "and", "or", "the", "a", "an", "for", "of", "in", "on", "by", "at", "from", "with", and "to". This means that "from" should not be capitalized here unless it is a cartoon caption (it does not seem to be one). We do not correct grammar OR misspellings but we do change the capitalization.
You can add a note on my page by pressing the "plus" sign on the User:Talk page as always - being the beginning of the year, the old messages got archived for easier loading time so the page is a bit barren but it is still there. Annie 15:12, 8 January 2019 (EST)
PS: Yep, found the edit :) Yep, this is the usual "this is not one of the words we capitalize messages, with a copied list from the help page for easier reference". Annie 15:15, 8 January 2019 (EST)
Annie, I couldn't find any "+" on your user page. Sorry. Somewhere along the way to my PhD, I did learn about the proper grammar for capitalizing titles. I looked at the Help Screen Vasha indicated above, so I will from now on correct the publication editor's errors in capitalizing titles. Sometimes I think the capitalization "errors" are deliberate, but I'll ignore that in the future. Should I also correct spelling errors by the editors? Bob 16:35, 8 January 2019 (EST)
The plus should be visible after the Edit link here. Or you can just press the edit and post whatever is needed at the bottom. :) Don't think of the capitalization chnange as a correction but as a regularization - we make sure that we do not create a variant just because a magazine chose to use a special capitalization format. There are always special cases where the rules just need to be ignored (when it is clear that a word is capitalized for a reason in a story name for example even if it does not look like a name from the title (I tend to add notes in such cases so it is clear why)). And yeah - we do not use any of usually accepted standards - we have our own, ISFDB standard.
Nope, spelling mistakes are recorded as they are in the publication - the changes are strictly for the capitalization.  :) Annie 16:46, 8 January 2019 (EST)

(unindent) It's probably easier to remember the general rules, rather than a list of words. In most guides they say to capitalize the first and last word, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjuctions, and not to capitalize articles, coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions. Except for the capitalization of the last word, that pretty much covers our rules.--Rkihara 17:13, 8 January 2019 (EST)

"After, before, without, onto, into, up, out" (to name a few) are also prepositions though :) And we do capitalize "but" and "nor" which are a coordinating conjunctions (or so I had been taught). Annie 17:24, 8 January 2019 (EST)
I agree with Rkihara, on the grounds that strict adherence to the list sometimes gives incorrect results -- after all, words in English have multiple functions, and capitalization depends on function.
However, this is a long-standing argument in these forums (Annie will give you the other side of it). Back in archived discussions are a long conversation (and several shorter ones) where I proposed several.possible alternatives to the current standard. Annie was vehemently opposed to changing (and some other people weren't in agreement either), so since decisions here are by consensus, nothing whatsoever was changed (not even the minor matter of adding "as" to the list). I hardly expect things to be resolved now either (but people are going to keep bringing it up, Annie ...).
For people who are interested in the past debates, this is a place to start. My main proposal was to suggest using an external standard instead of trying to agree on our own, and the Chicago Manual of Style is a good one to choose because it explains the principles at length with examples. Rkihara's summary is essentially accurate but hard to understand, even for educated Americans (our schools are not good at teaching grammatical terminology); the CMoS both explains and shows which words in titles should be capitalized. Here are excerpts, without the examples. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 17:26, 8 January 2019 (EST)
I missed the earlier discussion or maybe I avoided it( ;>)? I like the suggestion of programming the capitalization function in. Maybe a checkbox for capitalization could be added with "ISFDB standard" as the default and "Other" for special cases, such as acronyms, non-English languages, etc?--Rkihara 19:19, 8 January 2019 (EST)
That's a recipe for trouble: having a computer mindlessly enforce seriously oversimplified capitalization rules would, in truth, make the ISFDB look like it was capitalized by computer, and that is never a professional look. And programming something like the CMoS rules is a very big project. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 19:48, 8 January 2019 (EST)
If there is a difference between how a computer and human being capitalizes titles, then it means that the rules of capitalization are too open to interpretation and no one could be totally satisfied with the result. I just found a site that offers a tool to do this in any choice of five styles, so it's not impossible, though maybe very hard to do as you say.--Rkihara 22:49, 8 January 2019 (EST)
Yes, I wish there was a computer tool available to do the capitalization, and maybe there is—but that site isn't it. Try it with a phrase like "Putting In the Bathtub" and it'll give you "Putting in the Bathtub": it fails to recognize that "In" isn't a preposition here, and thinks that instead of installing your bathroom fixture, you are golfing inside it! --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 23:01, 8 January 2019 (EST)
I agree that it would be exceedingly hard to enforce our capitalization standards programmatically. However, we could easily create a cleanup report or two to look for " Of ", " For " [note the spaces], etc in English titles and related pubs.
Of course, it would take a long time to do a thorough cleanup. At the moment we have:
  • 17,139 "A"
  • 4,515 "An"
  • 785 "And"
  • 414 "At"
  • 518 "By"
  • 1,033 "From"
  • 1,483 "In"
  • 750 "Of"
  • 1,087 "On"
  • 337 "Or"
  • 29,967 "The"
  • 950 "To"
  • 1,315 "With"
Ahasuerus 11:18, 9 January 2019 (EST)
Do these numbers exclude first letter after ": "? The number of "A" does not make sense unless we have subtitles not excluded... We kinda started the discussion around that last month (so we can put it in plain text in the rules) but someone derailed it as always by trying to over-complicate instead or covering the easy cases first :) And we can always start slowly - start with the smaller sets and keep adding when these are done. Of course, before we even tackle the prepositions, we need to deal with phrasal verbs - the current rules clearly state that "Go on" gets its "on" in small letters; the practice of half of the editors is different... Annie 11:38, 9 January 2019 (EST)
Oh, right, I forgot to account for subtitles. Without them, the numbers look much more manageable, e.g.:
  • "A": 1,876 instead of 17,139
  • "The": 9,501 instead of 29,967
On the other hand, there are additional, less common, scenarios that also need to be reviewed, e.g we have 73 "THE"s.
We could start with something simple like "By" or "At" and see where it gets us. Alternatively, we could start with "A", which would avoid the issue of phrasal verbs and postpositions for now. One step at a time and all that. Ahasuerus 11:52, 9 January 2019 (EST)
Exclude all Interior Art that starts with Cartoon or has the cartoon's format (with quotes and what's not)? A lot of the funny cases will be because of this exception :) Although it may not be as clear cut...
And probably exclude poems (for now)? Although we do need to talk about them.
The numbers of "The" still looks very high to me - although considering what I had been finding while cleaning, that may be actually normal...
So how about a plan such as:
  • Discuss the change in the formal rules to specify that subtitles are getting a first capital letter (for the "Title:Subtitle format and the "X, or, Y" formats) and discuss other options for formats. Annie 12:08, 9 January 2019 (EST)
  • That unlocks "and, or, the, a, an". So start with them
  • Start a discussion to decide how we handle phrasal verbs and then work through the prepositions based on that.
Annie 12:08, 9 January 2019 (EST)
The reason why we have so many titles with embedded " The " is that subtitles are not necessarily delimited in a consistent way. Here are the first 10 titles that my updated query found:
| The Chess Garden, or, The Twilight Letters of Gustav Uyterhoeven       |
| Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death |
| Roderick or The Education of a Young Machine                           |
| Nerilka's Story & The Coelura                                          |
| Marianne, The Magus, and the Manticore                                 |
| Marianne, The Madame, and the Momentary Gods                           |
| Lycanthia, or The Children of Wolves                                   |
| Gloriana, or, The Unfulfill'd Queen                                    |
| Listen! The Stars!                                                     |
| Sabella or The Blood Stone                                             |
If we decide to create a cleanup report, I should be able to fine-tune the query based on whatever standards we agree on on the Rules and Standard page. Ahasuerus 12:22, 9 January 2019 (EST)
These examples reminded me of another topic we need to also make sure we do not forget - the double titles (omnibuses for example) (where two titles are connected with & or "and" and so on -- and how we want to handle them. But that highlights the fact that if we will be doing cleanup, we first need to agree how we handle these cases. :) And that will also be very subjective - this will require a human to decide if "Title and the Title" is just a title or two titles in an omnibus ("Nerilka's Story & The Coelura" (two stories in one book) vs "The Boy and the Magical Forest" (one story) for example. Annie 12:31, 9 January 2019 (EST)

Web API/Fixer enhancements

As per FR 1239, the Web API, which is used by Fixer, has been enhanced. It now lets the submitter (me) include the name of the "holding" moderator in the submission.

This functionality should make certain tasks easier. For example, suppose a moderator wants to work on the ISBNs associated with a certain publisher or author(s). He or she can now ask me to leverage Fixer's internal databases to create submissions for the related ISBNs and put them on hold on behalf of the requesting moderator. (Requests are more than welcome!)

I am also using the new functionality to create new remote submissions on Fixer's behalf and immediately put them on hold on my behalf. I can then review them at my leisure and decide whether to work on them or whether to release the hold. Ahasuerus 14:00, 13 January 2019 (EST)

James Swallow

Hello I found a short story by this author called "Ashes & Iron" with an illustration by Dave Gibbons in a publication called "Adventures in No Man's Sky" issued with the collector's edition of the PS4 game "No Man's Sky". Can anyone advise how this can be added - the publication itself is comprised of the short story text and a graphic short called "Cargo" by Gibbons illustrated by Angus McKie - only the text pages are numbered--Mavmaramis 14:26, 21 January 2019 (EST)

As they are both shorts, it should be entered as an anthology. Enter each story as a separate entry within the anthology. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:06, 22 January 2019 (EST)

HarperVoyager and Harper Voyager (UK)

Per the notes in Harper Voyager (UK), HarperVoyager is the same publisher. Since Harper Voyager (UK) has more pubs to its name, can someone easily update all HarperVoyager pubs to Harper Voyager (UK)? Thanks! MagicUnk 10:02, 31 January 2019 (EST)

You mean this one and this one, right? Ignore the number of publications - we can merge the publishers if needed so that is the easy part:) Let me ping a few verifiers from the HarperVoyager titles and see what they think and why the two records are split. I do not disagree with the proposal but we need to be a bit more careful when dealing with verified publications. Annie 13:29, 31 January 2019 (EST)
Sure thing, Annie! The reason for asking is that all HarperVoyager ISBN's have the form 978-0-00-, as do the Harper Voyager (UK) pubs. Well, almost all. There are a few with 978-00-06-, which is the Harper Voyager (the US one) ISBN range) MagicUnk 14:36, 31 January 2019 (EST)
Yeah, I know. And I saw at least one UK ISBN with Australian price which is... interesting. :) As I said - I think we should do some merging here, just want to do some more due diligence before we do. Annie 14:41, 31 January 2019 (EST)

Partial Submissions

Is it okay to submit a new magazine issue but only include the fiction titles? I can easily fill in the data for the fiction in Apex's June and August 2015 issues, for example, but it's a chore for me to find the rest of the information. Is it helpful for me to fill in what I can and maybe leave a note or something? Or is it bad form to submit an incomplete magazine? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Greg_Hullender (talkcontribs) .

Just add a "Contents incomplete; only fiction titles included" in the notes of the publication (or something aling these lines); this way it is clear what we had included and someone can add more if they can/want (especially when someone has the magazine at hand). However - if you are verifying the magazine, adding the complete contents is kinda expected - I know it takes time but if you have the magazine in your hands, just bite the bullet and all that :) Annie 19:28, 31 January 2019 (EST)

Erroneous secondary verifications

There are a few publications were all the secondary verifications are set to "Verified" (example: DOA III). This user was last active on 2018-08-08. The only possible solutions would be to wait for an indefinite time or to clone the publication and delete the existing one. Or is there any other way to get rid of those verifications? Stonecreek 09:15, 2 February 2019 (EST)

At this time the software doesn't support removing secondary verifications by other editors. The reason is that in the past some editors were concerned about other editors overwriting them.
It would be possible to create a one-time script to remove these particular verifications. However, as you know, I am hesitant to rely on one-time scripts. They are time-consuming to implement and error-prone. We may want to consider a permanent software solution, e.g. letting moderators remove secondary verifications. Ahasuerus 09:47, 2 February 2019 (EST)
Thanks! Thus I tend towards cloning & deleting the publication and informing the editor. This seems to be the best way to clear this problem without the danger of forgetting about it. Stonecreek 10:14, 2 February 2019 (EST)
Cloning and then deleting the original publication would get rid of the erroneous secondary verifications. However, it would also delete the primary verification(s). In the case of this verifier, all 4 of whose primary-verified publications have invalid secondary verifications, it's a tempting option. However, consider this publication. It was primary-verified both by User:Michael Flores1 and by Darrah Chavey. If we were to delete it, we would lose Darrah's verification. Ahasuerus 10:22, 2 February 2019 (EST)
Okay, then I shall only clone & delete the ones only PVed by User:Michael Flores1. Stonecreek 10:35, 2 February 2019 (EST)

Currey book check

Please someone with Reference:Currey (book not website) at hand, check whether that source clearly specifies the UK or US (= The Macmillan Company) edition of H.G. Wells The Research Magnificent 1915 (non-genre novel?).

We have publication record P304326 that may be equivocal --both before and after the submitted PubUpdate is approved. The cited WorldCat record states "New York : Macmillan Company, 1915".

Later I will update that publication record again, and also create a new publication record of the other edition.

P.S. The cited WorldCat record OCLC 283946 also gives the puzzling report:

Contents: V.l.- Science and technology; assistant editors K. R. Rider and F. R. Taylor.-v.2. Philosophy & psychology, religion, social sciences, geography, biography & history; assistant editors A. L. Smyth and C. A. Toase.

--Pwendt|talk 18:07, 4 February 2019 (EST)

Currey lists the publisher as "London: Macmillan and Co., Limited" for that book. He doesn't mention anything about the content, though I don't believe he generally includes non-genre works, except for some non-fiction which is noted. On checking, I can find plenty of examples of non-genre fiction throughout Currey. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 19:18, 4 February 2019 (EST)

Ebook publication mixes Gutenberg and Amazon

Publication record 632173 needs attention by someone who knows both Project Gutenberg and Amazon Digital Services. (When do we want the latter's Kindle editions in the database? If that were routine, our holdings might be 194,000 rather than 194 ADS publications. Right?)

This record now reports the original 1891 publisher. Wrong. Otherwise it mixes data for Gutenberg Ebook 55457 and Amazon ebook ASIN B0758ZGDG3. (Those may share one publication date. Does Amazon now release Kindle ebooks at $3.99 or $2.99 on the day of Gutenberg's release?) --Pwendt|talk 15:52, 17 February 2019 (EST)

I've deleted it. Someone took the Project Gutenberg work and put it on Amazon for sale. They didn't even bother to remove the Project Gutenberg copyright statement. From our perspective, it's just a re-sale of the Project Gutenberg version. Amazon as a company doesn't sell Project Gutenberg works. However, there are unscrupulous sellers that use Amazon to sell them. Typically, they will at least re-package under their own name (in which case it would be a valid record for the ISFDB). This is the first time I've seen one not even bother to do that (but sure it happens quite frequently). -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:57, 17 February 2019 (EST)

Brandon Q. Morris

Fixer has found and entered the English versions of a recent series and a couple of standalone novels by Brandon Q. Morris. I could try and enter the German originals, but it would be safer if someone better familiar with the current German scene tackled them. Calling for volunteers! Ahasuerus 15:47, 17 March 2019 (EDT)

I'll give it a try! Stonecreek 04:20, 19 March 2019 (EDT)
Looks good, thanks! Ahasuerus 07:13, 19 March 2019 (EDT)

The Day the Electricals Ended

Response to STONECREEK regarding THE DAY the Electricals Ended' I guess I would call it a digest as it is a paperback the same size as previous publications that Alban Lake has done that featured or used my father's writings. The ISBN number is stated as being the ISBN number on the back of the book above the bar code but there is no ISBN number on the copyright page where it normally should be, so I guess you should just state that there is no ISBN number. Liz Elizabeth Hardy 16:49, 17 March 2019 (EDT)

Since EAN (bar code) and ISBN these days are the same, please just cite this 13 digit here. Thanks, Stonecreek 04:17, 19 March 2019 (EDT)

Short Stories Duplicated

Hello, ISFDB Moderators. Recently, when my collection Transmutations was added, all of my short stories were duplicated rather than linked into the new collection. You can view the problem here: How can this be corrected? --Mbuscemi 13:46, 18 March 2019 (EDT)

When you’d just type a title, the DB will not connect it to a preexisting record with the same name - you need to tell it that it is the same. That is why we have Clone (so you can clone a whole book with its content) and import (allowing content from one book to be imported into another or individual works to be added - very useful for omnibuses and previously published stories). When it is added anyway as in that case, you need to merge them manually one by one. I’ve done this for that collection now. Annie 15:00, 18 March 2019 (EDT)
Wonderful! Thank you! --Mbuscemi 07:23, 19 March 2019 (EDT)

Effectively stuck submission

Since Chavey isn't going to be available for a few more months, does something need to be done about this submission from the beginning of February? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:13, 29 March 2019 (EDT)

It's been 8 weeks, so I have rejected the submission and left a note on Darrah's Talk page. Hopefully he is OK and will revisit this pub once he is back. Ahasuerus 11:37, 29 March 2019 (EDT)
I went ahead and redid the changes since they seemed straightforward. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 11:50, 30 March 2019 (EDT)

Merge Author records

Authors Ran Cartwright and R. S. Cartwright are the same person. Confirmed on Additionally, some of the stories referenced in the Gretchen's Wood collection appear in my own A Cthulhu Mythos Bibliography and Concordance as under R. S. Cartwright. R. S. Cartwright should be the Alternate Name. Cjearkham 07:40, 10 April 2019 (EDT)Cjearkham

Working on it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:22, 10 April 2019 (EDT)
Okay, all done. Everything is under Ran Cartwright. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:34, 10 April 2019 (EDT)

The S. S. McClure Co., publisher

Hi. This publisher is in the database with unspaced initials, The S.S. McClure Co. and does not now appear in the Publisher field with the space. A space should be inserted. In publisher records I have numerous unlinked mentions and several {publisher} template links {publisher|The S. S. McClure Co.}, approved yesterday or submitted last hour. Some submissions now in the queue do insert the vital word "The ".

(All publications in the database are magazines. McClure, Phillips & Co. published books.) --Pwendt|talk 13:45, 11 April 2019 (EDT)

I've fixed The S. S. McClure Co. to have a space between the initials. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:14, 11 April 2019 (EDT)

Varying strategies

Some texts by Matheson have seen their translations revised (mostly by Jacqies Chambon) for the publication in the author's complete works by Flammrion. As per rules, textual revisions are not considered as "new" texts and therefore do not have a separate record. That's why I've merged the original translation with the Chambon revised one, resulting in records like this one (original translation in Miasmes de mort, revised one in Derrière l'écran) with the notes explaining the case. These submissions that seems to be perfectly legit were accepted by a moderator and are now massively rejected by Dirk P Broer without any discussion or notification. I'm not against rules and guidelines but it's not tolerable for me to see my correct submissions and the work they entailed be rejected (and without communication) depending on who moderates them. If adding data to the database is a kind of lottery that depends on blind luck, it does not interest me. I hope that you'll clean your act. SA-N-3 Goblet 05:51, 20 April 2019 (EDT)

It looks like there are two separate issues here. The first one is procedural: how should moderators communicate with submitting editors regarding rejected submissions? There are two ways a moderator can do it. The first one is to leave a message on the submitter's Talk page. The second one is to enter an explanation in the "Rejection Reason" field when rejecting the submission. The explanation is then displayed in the "Reason" field when the submitter views his or her list of My Rejected Edits, which is linked in the navigation bar on the left. Reviewing the master list of recent rejections, I see that Dirk used the second method.
The second issue is substantive: how should we enter revised translations? The basic rule is that "Translations done by different translators are entered as different Variant Titles" (Help:How to enter translations.) The question then is whether a revised translation counts as a "translation done by a different translator", especially if the changes were minor. I don't think there is anything in Help re: this topic, so we may want to discuss it on the Rules and standards discussions page. Ahasuerus 11:12, 20 April 2019 (EDT)
Ahasuerus and I cross-posted. He covered the key points much more succinctly than I did, but despite the redundancy, here's my response. Hopefully he and I agree. :-) --MartyD 12:25, 20 April 2019 (EDT)
Hi, and welcome. Sorry you ran into some trouble. We are always happy to have new contributors, and we moderators are here to help. And thank you for raising your concerns here instead of suffering in silence. Not to excuse anything, but keep in mind both that moderators are volunteers and that the ISFDB's policies, rules, and practices can be complicated and are sometimes shades-of-grey. Interpreting and applying them is part science but also part art. So seemingly similar submissions might get different treatment from different moderators. Everyone wants to do "the right thing", but sometimes that takes more work than it should. --MartyD 12:25, 20 April 2019 (EDT)
To your specific points:
  • There is nothing linking your new submissions to your previously accepted submissions. A moderator handling a current submission does not have any practical way to know that what the moderator decides should be done with it is different from how previous submissions were handled.
  • When differences arise, it's important to question the difference (as you did here) so we can clarify the situation for everyone -- contributors and moderators alike -- and work toward getting more consistent treatment.
Rejection Communication
  • I assume you found this, but for the record: You can find a list of edits you submitted that were rejected using the My Rejected Edits link that appears in the "Logged In As" section of the main ISFDB page immediately under the Search box. That view shows you a summary list of rejections, including the moderator who did the rejecting and the reason the moderator gave. You can click on the submission number in that view and see the full submission as the moderator would have seen it.
  • Some moderators always leave talk page notes about rejections, while others only leave additional notes if they believe the reason for the rejection isn't clear from the note provided in the rejection. Clarity is also in the eye of the beholder, of course. We do rely on contributors to ask if something is unclear in whatever feedback is given.
  • If the submission queue is long and the number of available moderators is small, a moderator may be rushing to get the submissions processed and might not take the extra time needed to leave follow-up notes or might forget to leave an intended follow-up note. I know that has happened to me on more than one occasion. Again, it helps us if a contributor asks about our handling of the submission.
Variants, merged/separate Titles, and Translations
In working with translations, you've stumbled into one of the trickier/messier bits of ISFDB data management. To try to summarize:
  1. A "work", as represented by a TITLE record, is the unique combination of exact label ("Title"), exact text/content, and exact author credit.
  2. We only merge TITLEs -- treating multiple appearances as publication of the same work -- if all three of those things are identical. But see Note 1.
  3. If the exact labels/titles or exact author credit differ, but the exact text/content is the same (again, see Note 1), we maintain two TITLE records -- one for each of the two combinations -- but then make one of those a variant of the other.
  4. If the text/content differs due to translation from the one (original) TITLE's language to another language, we maintain two TITLE records and make the TITLE for the translated-to work a VARIANT of the TITLE for the translated-from work.
  5. We assume that translation of the same original-language work by different translators produces different results, even if the translated-to language is the same. Thus, we make each of the translations have its own TITLE, but then we make each a variant of the original-language title as in #4.
Translations and sub-division of a single work into multiple pieces are the only two forms of derivative works for which we use the variant mechanism. Re-writes, adaptations, re-tellings, etc. are considered different works, and we do not link these to the original using a variant. That derivation information has to go in the TITLE's notes. Note 1: In the case of a "minor" revision, we relax the exact text/content requirement. The idea is that a re-publication with corrections or cosmetic changes, such as use of a different city name, does not constitute publication of a different work. There is no precise definition of "minor", so we rely on contributors to judge within the spirit of the above.
So where you have an earlier translation by a single translator that has been later revised by a second translator, unless that revision were purely cosmetic, we would consider the revised translation a separate work from the earlier translation -- we would treat them as two translations of the original work. Rather than merging the two and noting that later appearances were revised by the second translator, we would unmerge the appearances of the revised translation from the appearances of the earlier translation. If there were multiple appearances of the revised translation, unmerge will have created one TITLE for each, and we'd merge those to produce a single TITLE record representing that revised translation, and we would then make that a variant of the original TITLE. Then if we go to the original TITLE's page, we'd see one variant for the earlier translation and another for the later translation.
I don't know the details, but it looks like acceptance of the edit that resulted in your Frère de la machine example was a mistake, unless we determined that the "revision" by the second translator was minor -- more like an editor's pass instead of any re-translation. And if that determination were the case, we would want to record that in the notes.
I hope this helps a little. Apologies once more for the inconsistent treatment. I hope you will continue to contribute, and I encourage you to leave notes for moderator(s) handling your submissions if something seems amiss or is inconsistent, or unclear. --MartyD 12:25, 20 April 2019 (EDT)

Joan Vicent CantA Roig

The canonical name of Joan Vicent Cantó Roig is in error. Can someone correct this please (A->ó)? Thanks! MagicUnk 11:41, 1 May 2019 (EDT)

Done. I guess the next issue is determining who is responsible for the two COVERART titles associated with her. Ahasuerus 07:05, 2 May 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! She's not in my copy, but I would remove Sophie Burdess as my guess is she's the designer, not artist. And Shutterstock too (not very useful). We could then merge, as the only artist here is Joan Vincent Cantó Roig. I've left a note on ClarkMCI's talk page :) MagicUnk 10:19, 2 May 2019 (EDT)


Re this publication.

I contacvted Horzel (the PV for this copy).

It relates to the notes "signatures sewn in gatherings of 8s" which I have no clue what it means. Horzel stated that they were not his notes and did not know what that meant either.

Also the note "credits on [A2] verso" he assumed referred to the front flap of the dustwrapper - again uncertain.

Could someone clarify what these two notes actually mean ?

My copy is substantially different - being priced at 18/-, having no cover art credit on either flap of dustwrapper, being brown boards/gold lettering (not "reddish brown boards" as Horzel stated).Has "mcmlviii" as first publication date but no other printing history.

I have no idea whether the 18/- price (as opposed to the 15/- of Horzel's PV copy) is an earlier or later edition.

What's the best way to enter my publication please ?--Mavmaramis 13:31, 3 May 2019 (EDT)

"signatures sewn in gatherings of 8s" likely refers to the size of the signatures (see Wikipedia for details on signatures). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:58, 3 May 2019 (EDT)
Regarding how to enter yours, use the Clone this pub link on the left side under "Editing Tools", then change anything that isn't correct for your copy. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:00, 3 May 2019 (EDT)
Thanks. I'll do that.--Mavmaramis 15:59, 3 May 2019 (EDT)

Rename Gallery / Saga Press

As Saga Press is now an imprint of Gallery Publishing Group (see here), can a kind moderator rename the publisher record Gallery / Saga Press to Saga Press / Gallery instead? (ie the imprint / publisher format standard). Thanks! MagicUnk 07:20, 22 May 2019 (EDT)

Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror Pulp Tales Facsimile

I accidentally put the wrong cover in the submission for the facsimile of Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror, January 1932. If accepted I will correct. MLB 00:03, 23 May 2019 (EDT)


Could somebody provide the underlying dataset? I need it for a survey. Merci —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ricciflows123‎ (talkcontribs) .

Which dataset do you mean? Please, sign your posts with four tildes (~), just to let know who posted. Thanks, Stonecreek 05:56, 28 May 2019 (EDT)
The ISFDB backups are publicly available -- see ISFDB Downloads for the location of the files and the installation instructions. Ahasuerus 10:14, 28 May 2019 (EDT)

Jayel Wylie / Lucy Blue

Would it make sense to change Jayel Wylie's canonical name to Lucy Blue? She published a trilogy as "Jayel Wylie" in 2001-2003, but everything that has appeared since 2004 -- 4 novels and 2 collections that we know of -- has been as by "Lucy Blue". Ahasuerus 10:31, 30 May 2019 (EDT)

I'd say yes. Annie 15:24, 30 May 2019 (EDT)
Me too. Stonecreek 05:52, 6 June 2019 (EDT)
Done. Ahasuerus 08:12, 6 June 2019 (EDT)

Ein Dämon macht noch keinen Sommer

Hello, please delete the old cover. Many thanks Henna 16:19, 5 June 2019 (EDT)

Is there a new cover to replace it? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:32, 5 June 2019 (EDT)
Hello Joe, I uploaded the cover two times, cause I cut the edges. Thanks Henna 04:22, 6 June 2019 (EDT)
I have deleted the surplus image. Stonecreek 05:52, 6 June 2019 (EDT)

Major revision of Primary Verified publication record, submitted

Hi, all. As I must depart, perhaps for the weekend, I submit a long publication Note for one publication record PV by DESiegel60 ten years ago. Submission 4298858

It's one that I used for linked illustration yesterday at ISFDB:Community Portal#Project Gutenberg publication records. I expect next week to add an "Abridged edition" note to a few more publication records for the novel, and to notify PG of its clerical error. Now I must run. --Pwendt|talk 19:52, 6 June 2019 (EDT)

Cover Artists Pages

Hi, I just wanted to say how much I love this whole site. What a great resource for SF fans!!

I find especially valuable all the information on cover artists, which is lacking elsewhere. I note that when you bring up a specific book, it shows below all the covers for that book. Also, you can see all the actual covers a publisher issued in a specific year.

Is it possible, to enable a cover artist's page, to have the option to show all their actual covers too? It'd be great to see all their work at once, rather than clicking on each separate title. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Adele1967 (talkcontribs) .

Welcome to the ISFDB! Glad to hear that you find the resource useful. Re: your question, there is an outstanding feature request to show all cover images for an author/artist, which describes the same functionality. Ahasuerus 10:03, 10 June 2019 (EDT)

Adding my novels to the database

Hi, I am Lee Barckmann. I have published two novels, with a third set to be published by August 1, 2019.

All three of the novels might be labeled, Speculative fiction. My first, "Farewell the Dragon" is set in Beijing and is an espionage, murder mystery, whodonit about the search for a Chinese tablet carved 2500 years ago that resonates today.

My 2nd novel, "Digging Up New Business: The SwiftPad Takeover" is set in Portland Oregon about 2015. It describes the creation of "SwiftPad" the ultimate social media app, and of a multinational computer company's (and a deranged psychotic businessman's) attempts to take it over.

My most recent, (to be published in August 2019) is the sequel to "The SwiftPad Takeover" and is titled "Digging the Golden Fungus: SwiftPad 2020". It is set in 2020 and recounts the US's fall into a dystopic nightmare and of the attempts by the national government to destroy Portland Oregon and SwiftPad.

A third on is planned for next year. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lbarckmann (talkcontribs) . 10:21, 16 June 2019 (EDT)

You can submit them on your own. :) Here is the guide on how to add novels, a moderator will then approve (and work with you if something is needed). Keep in mind that we need a real speculative element - the falling into dystopia one sounds like something that fits; a novel about a virus that had been awaken when the glaciers died needs something more than just that (for the most part). The first one of yours does not sound speculative to me unless you missed to add something (but then the approving moderator may decide differently). See the rules of inclusion - it sounds like your first falls under the exclusion: "Techno-thriller, political thriller and satire works set in a future indistinguishable from the present". It may be a thin line sometimes... Annie 18:13, 20 June 2019 (EDT)

"Pink Fox Publications" publisher merge request

Thank you, Uzume 16:31, 20 June 2019 (EDT)

Done. And the verifier whose book got changed was notified. Annie 18:06, 20 June 2019 (EDT)

Super Science Fiction June 1958: Looking for the Kelly Freas cover

Working on an oversized coffee table book on the history of fantasy art for TASCHEN Publishing and trying with no success so far to find an original copy of Super Science Fiction June 1958 with the phenomenal Kelly Freas cover. You have the best scan so far, making me think someone actually has this mag. Even Freas wife had never seen it and had to reach out to fans to find the actual title, month and date. We will pay for a high quality scan if you have this magazine! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dianhanson (talkcontribs) .

The cover scan that we display is actually hosted by Galactic Central -- note the URL of the image: . The site administrator, Phil Stephensen-Payne, may be in a better position to find a high-quality image. His e-mail is displayed at the bottom of the Galactic Central home page. Ahasuerus 15:18, 24 June 2019 (EDT)

Access rights for WebAPI

I did a lot of cleanup in the database fixing broken or wrong image links lately. As the data for this is based on automated tools I'd also like to submit the relevant modifications automatically where possible, saving a lot of manual work. I'd thus would like to use the /cgi-bin/rest/submission.cgi interface. Please give me access to it. --Stoecker 04:13, 27 June 2019 (EDT)

While updating the Web API page, I realized that Data Submission Formats is badly out of date. Let me update the instructions for core submission types like EditPub and MakeVariant and then I will add you to the list of authorized submitters. Ahasuerus 10:00, 27 June 2019 (EDT)
Ah, didn't look at that page. I based my tests on a manual submission of the same type before. That's easier, as in any case for me an automatic submission will be for a single type of problem and I can always make the first few entries manual and then test automatic submission in my own instance. --Stoecker 12:02, 27 June 2019 (EDT)
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