Help:How to enter works published under an alternate name

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This page is a help or manual page for the ISFDB database. It describes standards or methods for entering or maintaining data in the ISFDB database, or otherwise working with the database. Other help pages may be found via the category below. To discuss what should go on this page, use the talk page.

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This page describes how to create an ISFDB record for any publication that was published using an alternate name, which means any author credit that differs from the ISFDB's canonical name. The difference may be as minor as "Iain Banks" instead of "Iain M. Banks" or as drastic as "Anson McDonald" instead of "Robert A. Heinlein."

This page assumes that you already know how to do basic entries. If not, see Help: Getting Started and Help: How to enter a new novel before continuing here.

First, make sure that the publication was actually published with the alternate name as the credited author. According to established ISFDB standards, the author's name as credited on the title page is the author of record, regardless of how the author is credited on the cover, spine, or copyright page.

Second, check to determine if the ISFDB already has a record of the book under either the alternate name or the canonical name. A regular or advanced title search should give the answer.

  • If a title record exists under the canonical name DO NOT add this publication under that title record. Doing so would attribute the publication record to the wrong title record.
  • If a title record under the alternate name already exists:
  1. Go to the alternate name's summary page and click the "view all titles published using this alternate name" link. The resulting page will display all existing title records currently attributed to the alternate name. If the publication's title is on the list, click on that title.
  2. When that title record page appears, click on "Add Publication to This Title", or if there is a previous publication for this title you can click it and then choose "Clone This Pub". Cloning is especially helpful when entering a collection or anthology, as all content records will be included in the new publication without having to enter them again, and subsequently having to merge them with the pre-existing title records.
  3. After completing as many fields as you have information for (or changing if you're cloning a publication), submit the edit.
  • If no title record under the alternate name exists, simply create a new publication, making sure to use the alternate name as the publication author's name. Once your submission has been approved by a moderator, you will need to create a variant title. Follow the instructions under Help: How to record a variant title in order to connect your the created record to the author's canonical name.

If the entered alternate name does not exist in the database, you will need to link it to the canonical name once the original submission has been approved. Follow the instructions under Help:Screen:MakeAlternateName.

If you have questions about this process, ask at the Help desk.