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The New Novel data entry form allows you to enter information for a new publication that is a novel. The screen is similar to the other "New . . ." screens, such as "New Magazine" and "New Collection", except that the "Content" part of the screen is labeled "Additional Content".

The screen is accessible by clicking on the "Add New Novel" link in the left navbar. This link is visible from the ISFDB home page, and from other display pages within the ISFDB.

The following is a detailed definition of exactly what should be entered in each field on this screen. These definitions are intentionally very complete. If you are looking for a quick summary of how to use this screen, please refer to Help:Getting Started which gives a simplified description of how to enter a book's publication details.

Title Information


  • Title - The title of the publication. The title should appear exactly as published, even though this may be different from the canonical title.
    • Books. For a book, use the title page to get the title. This is typically the page with the copyright information on the back. Don't use the title on the cover, spine, or page running heads.
      Some books, mostly hardcovers, have both a "half-title" and a "full-title" page. The half-title generally comes first, and omits the author's name and the sub-title, if any. It may include a list of other works in the series, or by the author. The full-title lists both title and author, and normally gives the publisher's name, and often the publisher's city or cities. If both are present, take the title from the full-title page.
    • Omnibuses. If the book you are entering is an omnibus, it may have multiple title pages, one for each novel it contains. In these cases, if there is an omnibus title, such as "SF Special No. 33", enter that. Otherwise enter the individual titles, separated by a slash between spaces, like this: "Conan the Conqueror / The Sword of Rhiannon".
    • Magazines. For the title of a magazine, the best source is the information (often below the table of contents) about the publisher, giving the address; this often says something like "IF is published monthly by . . . ." If this is not present, the magazine cover and the heading on the contents page are about equal in priority; again take a good guess. The name on the spine should be used last. You may find sometimes that the publication information only says "Published by . . ." without giving the magazine name; and then the title on the contents may differ from the cover. In these cases, either choose something that seems reasonable to you, or agree an approach for that publication on the magazine's project wiki page. Also, please note that the title should be of the form Magazine Title, Date, such as Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2004. This helps differentiate different issues of the magazine. See the note on missing and variant dates below for more on formatting this part of the title.
    • Subtitles. If the title of a novel, omnibus, nonfiction, anthology, collection, short fiction, essay, or poem has a subtitle, enter it in the Title field using a colon to separate the title from the subtitle. For English language titles, the colon should be followed by a space. For example, the 1986 edition of George MacDonald's "Lilith" has "Lilith" on the title page, and below that, in a smaller font, "A Romance". This should be entered as "Lilith: A Romance". For titles written in other languages, use language-specific rules for the use of colons. For example, in French, colons are both preceded and followed by a space (e.g., "Défricheurs d'imaginaire : une anthologie historique de science-fiction suisse romande"). If multiple subtitles exist, they should all be entered and separated with colons and spaces, e.g. A Son of the Ages: The Reincarnations and Adventures of Scar, the Link: A Story of Man from the Beginning. Note that it is sometimes a judgment call as to whether a change of font or a colon indicates a subtitle or just some creative license on the part of the typesetter. If in doubt, take your best guess and document the guess in the publication's Notes field.
    • Exceptions to the Subtitles rule. There are two scenarios where subtitles should not be entered in the Title field:
      • The subtitle is "A Novel" or its equivalent in the language of the title. This subtitle is generic and should not be entered in the Title field.
      • The title page displays the series name (and sometimes the title's position within the series) where the subtitle would normally be. The series information should not be treated as a subtitle or recorded in the Title field. Instead it should be recorded in the "Series" and "Series Number" fields of the Title record. You may still record it in the Notes field for the sake of completeness. For example, if the title page says "Song of the Dragon" and then "The Annals of Drakis: Book One" below it, you would enter "Song of the Dragon" in the Title field, "The Annals of Drakis" in the Series field, and "1" in the Series Number field. You could then optionally update the Notes field of the publication record with detailed information like "The title page states 'Song of the Dragon' over 'The Annals of Drakis: Book One'."
    • Case. Titles should have case regularized according to language-specific rules unless there is some specific evidence that the author intended certain letters to be in a specific case. For example, if the title is "EXTRO" in all caps, the title should be entered as "Extro". This applies to the titles of short stories as well as books. Typesetting style is not important; for example, the magazine Fantastic Universe typically printed story titles in lower case, but these titles are regularized for the ISFDB. For English titles, the ISFDB case regularization rules are as follows:
      • the first word is capitalized
      • all later words are capitalized except for "a", "an", "and", "at", "by", "for", "from", "in", "of", "on", "or", "the", "to", and "with"
      • hyphenated words have the first letter after the hyphen capitalized
      • exception: cartoon captions use the original case (see Template:TitleFields:TitleType for details)
    • Symbols, punctuation and non-English characters. Strange symbols should be entered if appropriate typographical characters exist. If not, do what you can and explain the issue in the publication notes. For example, John Varley's story "Press Enter" is often titled with a black rectangle, indicating a computer cursor, at the end. Other characters should be entered in Unicode if possible; this includes accented characters, and symbols such as em-dashes. An ellipsis should be entered as the sequence "period", "period", "period" with no spaces in between the periods. If the ellipsis is in the middle of the title, it should be entered with a space after it as well, prior to the start of the following word. Em-dashes should be entered directly adjacent to the words on both sides. Hyphens and spaces make different titles: "Hell Fire", "Hellfire", and "Hell-Fire" are three different titles, and should be entered as such. If you are using a Windows computer, you can use the Windows Character Map to enter unusual characters; to access the Character Map, go to Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools. See How does the ISFDB deal with Unicode and accented characters? for more information about non-English characters.
    • Fonts. Do not use embedded HTML outside of Notes/Synopsis fields. If the title has one or more words in italics, boldface, or another unusual font, and the font seems important, it can be shown and/or described in a note.
    • Missing or variant dates. The date part of a magazine title should be given after the title, following a comma and a space. The month should be given in full and then the year in full. If the issue is a quarterly, or a bimonthly, give the date in the form given on the magazine -- for example, "Fantastic Universe, June-July 1953" or "Interzone, Fall 1979". A hyphen should be used between two months used for a bimonthly issue. If the magazine has an overprinted date, then use the later date; this happened, for example, with some issues of the pulps, which were delayed in release and were overprinted with a later date to keep them on the newsstand for longer. If there is no apparent date, or the date is incomplete, a volume/issue number may be substituted. The date is preferable, but the usage (be it the one of the magazine like Interzone or the one of the country of publication as in France) or an erratic or undocumented publication schedule may lead to the use of only the issue number. Information can also be drawn from bibliographic sources when useful, but this should always be noted in the "Note" field. For example, the first few issues of the British edition of Science Fiction Adventures are dated simply 1958, but per the Tuck encyclopedia these are in fact bimonthly, starting in March of that year. If you have access to such a bibliographic source you can use this data, but be sure to make it clear in the notes field what information was drawn from secondary sources. If you don't have access, and find yourself entering data for a magazine without clear date or numbering characteristics, it is best to post a query to the Community Portal page of the ISFDB Wiki and ask for assistance with that magazine. Some issues of the Australian magazine Void are not easily distinguished, for example.


  • Author - The name of the author of the publication. The name should be entered exactly as it is actually given on the publication's title page. This includes pseudonyms, abbreviated names ("I. Asimov" instead of "Isaac Asimov", "Robert Heinlein" instead of "Robert A. Heinlein"), etc. Any variation of the author credit appearing in other parts of the publication (e.g. the cover or spine of the book) should be noted.
    • Authors and editors. If the publication is explicitly credited to an author or multiple authors on its title page, use the stated name(s). The following rules determine what is entered for different publication types:
      • ANTHOLOGY, multi-author OMNIBUS, or multi-author work of NONFICTION. Credit the stated editor(s) as the "author(s)" of the publication. A multi-author OMNIBUS that has no editor credit (and no secondary source for the editor credit) should credit the authors of the contained fiction. It is suggested that when there are five or more authors, the editor should be entered as "uncredited".
      • MAGAZINE or FANZINE. Credit the stated issue editor(s) as the "author(s)" of the publication. "Issue editor" is defined as the guest editor if specified and the editor-in-chief otherwise. If the guest editor(s) and the editor(s)-in-chief are explicitly co-credited, enter both the guest editor(s)' and the editor(s)-in-chief's names. The names of other types of editors (e.g., associate editors, science editors, literary editors) may be optionally documented in the Notes field.
      • Non-genre MAGAZINE or FANZINE. Use the rules for genre MAGAZINEs/FANZINEs stated above, but note that "Editors of PERIODICAL NAME" may be used instead of some or all editor names if they are unknown or unclear or not of genre interest -- see Help:Entering non-genre periodicals for details.
      • COLLECTION or single-author OMNIBUS. If the publication also credits an editor, the editor credit can only be noted in the Note fields of the publication record and the title record.
    • Translators and other people who worked on the text. There is currently no support in the ISFDB for translators or other non-author roles. Translators should be entered into the Note field (using the {{tr|translator name}} template).
    • Anonymous or uncredited works. If a work is credited to "Anonymous", then put "Anonymous" in the author field. The same applies for any obviously similar pseudonym, such as "Noname". If the work is not credited at all, use "uncredited". If you are working from a secondary source which does not specify the author, but does not explicitly state that no author is credited in the publication, use "unknown" rather than "uncredited". The intent is that the ISFDB record should reflect what is stated in the publication. This applies to editorship of anthologies that are not credited. If there is a publicly available source which identifies the publication's author/editor, the publication's main title record will be later turned into a variant title using the author/editor's canonical name.
    • Case. Case should be regularized. A few magazines and books had typographical conventions that include, for example, printing an author's name in all lower case, or all upper case. These should be converted to leading capitals. If a name includes an element that typically is not capitalized, it should be uncapitalized regardless of how it is presented in the publication. For example, if a magazine gives a story as by "L. Sprague De Camp", the name should be entered as "L. Sprague de Camp". Author names that vary only in capitalization are not tracked as variants.
    • Initials. Initials should normally be entered followed by a period and a space as "Gordon R. Dickson" or "K. D. Wentworth", even if the period or space is omitted in the publication. However, when it is clearly the author's choice to omit the period, or when the author has a single letter name that is not an initial (e.g. "Harry S Truman") the period should be omitted. In the rare case where an author prefers two (or more) initials as if they were a name (such as "TG Theodore"), without a period or space, and is so credited, we follow the author's preference. A possible clue to such cases occurs when most authors have initials shown with period and space, but a particular author is handled differently in a magazine or anthology. Checking other sources, such as a Wikipedia article or the author's web site, is a good idea. Such non-standard forms should be mentioned in a publication or title note.
    • Spaces in Names: Spaces within a name should be regularized. If a name differs from a canonical name or existing alternate name only by the lack of, or addition of, blank spaces, it should be entered as the existing name or alternate name. For example, a book credited to "Ursula LeGuin", "Lester DelRey", or "A. E. VanVogt" should be listed by including the missing space, e.g. "Lester del Rey". Conversely, if a book were credited to "John De Chancie", the extra space should be removed, and the book credited to "John DeChancie". One effect of this rule is to avoid subjective judgements when there appears to be a "partial space" in a name.
    • Alternate Names. If you know that a particular author's name is an alternate name, enter that alternate name rather than changing it to the canonical name. If the title page shows both an original and a subsequent name, use the original name. For example, Isaac Asimov's "Lucky Starr" books were originally published under the pseudonym of Paul French, but later reprints were given both names: "by Isaac Asimov, writing as Paul French". In these cases you should still enter Paul French as the author and record the dual credit in the notes. If the cover shows both names but the title page shows only one name, use the name from the title page -- no matter which it is -- and record the discrepancy with the cover credit in the notes. When a book is known to be ghost-written, this should be treated as an alternate name; the ghost-writer will eventually show up as having an alternate name of the well-known author, but that data is not entered via this field.
    • Non-English characters. Non-English characters, including accented Latin characters and all other Unicode characters, should be entered exactly as they appear in the publication. See the ISFDB FAQ for more information on accented characters.
    • Collaborations. If a work has multiple authors, it doesn't matter in which order you enter them. Although author fields are labeled "Author 1", "Author 2", etc, these numbers are not stored in the database when submissions are approved. Bibliographic pages will order author names alphabetically.
    • Writers "with" other writers. In some cases a writer is credited as writing a story "with" another author. If both names appear on the title page, both names should be recorded in the ISFDB. Although the "with" convention can indicate that the co-authors' contributions were not equal (often the more famous author did little more than lend their name to a project which was written almost entirely by the lesser known author), the "Author" field treats them as regular co-authors. A note can be added to the record explaining how the work is credited and giving additional information about the nature of the collaboration if publicly available.
    • Ranks, suffixes, prefixes. If an author is given as "Captain Robert L. Stone" then that should be entered in the database. Abbreviated versions of the rank should be entered as given, rather than expanded. For example, during World War II, on at least one occasion Amazing Stories printed an issue of stories from active service members, giving their ranks as part of the author attribution. These ranks should be included in the author names, and made into alternate names for the relevant authors . Suffixes such as "Jr" should follow a comma and space, and be followed by a period if they are abbreviations. This should be regularized if they are not presented this way in the publication, e.g. "Sam Merwin Jr" should be entered as "Sam Merwin, Jr."; similarly, it's "Edward Elmer Smith, Ph.D."; "Frederick C. Durant, III"; and so on.
    • Duplicate Names. See Help:How to enter duplicate record names
  • Add Author/Editor. If there is more than one author or editor for this publication, this button will create a second author field. As many authors as you wish can be added.


  • Language - A field for the title's language. Select the appropriate language from the drop-down list. If the language of the title doesn't appear in the drop-down list, post a request to have it added on the Community Portal.


  • Series Name - Entering a series name in this field will add this title to the series you name. If the series doesn't exist, the software will create it automatically. Note that there is no distinction between regular series, anthology series and non-fiction series made internally. All title records of all types belonging to the same series point to the same series record. The only difference is in the way they are displayed by the software. Also note that the software won't let you put variant titles in a series.
    • Impact of changing series names. You can change series names to anything you want, but keep in mind that if you change the name to the name of a pre-existing series, it may merge the two series' data when you don't expect it. To move titles from one series to another, edit the titles in the first series and change their series' names to the name of the second series. When the last title in a series is moved to another series, the "empty" series disappears.
    • How to change series names. In order to change the name of a series, display the series and select "Series Data" on the left, then change its name. Please note that a series may have only one name, so if two or more series names are equally popular (e.g. one name is preferred by the author, another one by the publisher, and a third one is commonly used in SF encyclopedias), the only option that we have is to list them all in a slash delimited format.
    • One thing that is not supported is having the same title belong to more than one series. This can be a problem in certain cases when a book clearly belongs to two or more series, but at this point there is no workaround.

Series Num

  • Series Number - If you know the order in which the titles in the series are supposed to be read, you can number them starting with 1. You can use decimal numbers like 4.5 to place a title between the titles numbered 4 and 5. No Roman numerals (like I or IV) or letters (like "1a" or "A") are allowed. Please note that some series are very linear (e.g. Harry Potter) and it's easy to tell how to assign series number to individual entries. Other series can have multiple possible numbering schemes reflecting the series' publication order, internal chronological order, intended publication order, "author recommended" order, etc. Please don't change pre-existing numbering schemes unless you are sure that they are in error. Any series with this sort of ambiguity in internal ordering should have the sequence worked out on the Community Portal. This includes prequels, which can be listed first in the series, before the main entries; or listed after the main entries; or even split into a separate series which then becomes a subseries in a superseries comprising both the original series and the prequels. If you are entering data for an omnibus which contains multiple works in a series, see the note on the Content field which allows information about an omnibus's series contents to be recorded. Also, you may not put variant titles in a series.


  • Non-Genre - Check the check-box only if the main title in this publication is not a work of speculative fiction and is not related to speculative fiction. Titles of all types can be "non-genre" except REVIEWs and INTERVIEWs.

Graphic Format

  • Graphic Format - Check the check-box only if the main title in this publication is a graphic novel or another type of work in which graphic material is inseparable from the text. Titles of all types can be "graphic" except REVIEWs and INTERVIEWs.


  • Synopsis - An optional short non-spoiler plot summary.
    • The synopsis must be in English even if the title's language is not English. Note that this is not a place for criticism or reviews.
    • A synopsis can only be entered for canonical titles. The software won't let you add a Synopsis to a variant title.
    • Limited HTML and templates can be used in this field -- see Help:Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields for more details.
    • If you wrote the synopsis yourself, make sure that it maintains a neutral point of view.
    • A synopsis from another source like a blurb or a bibliographic note may be used, in whole or in part. If you do, enclose the text in quotes, state the source and include the date. An English synopsis should be quoted verbatim, while a non-English synopsis should be translated, following the original as closely as possible and identifying the exact source of the text and its language. Use an ellipsis ("...") for omitted text. Individual words may be replaced for clarity, with the replacement enclosed in square brackets ("[]"). For example:
   Structured in a manner reminiscent of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, Hyperion is a linked 
   series of stories, all relating to the mysterious planet Hyperion. The stories are told by 
   7 hand-picked pilgrims, while in transit to the Time Tombs of Hyperion, which are opening 
   for the first time in centuries, and are normally inaccessible due to the lethal actions of 
   its guardian, The Shrike. The stories are told against a space opera backdrop in which humankind 
   has formed the Hegemony, a far-flung collective of planetary systems linked by farcaster portals, 
   threatened with attack by the Ousters (who are space-evolved humans) as the novel opens. The novel 
   has elements of both science fiction and horror, and covers a wide range of themes such as: 
   time-travel, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, religion, ecology, and the works of John 
   Keats. The book does not have closure in the conventional sense, and is continued in the sequel 
   The Fall of Hyperion. (Source:

Web Page

  • Web Page - A field for the URL of a Web page related to this title. Examples of related Web pages include legally posted versions of the title's text and Web pages that discuss this title. If you need to enter URLs of additional Web pages, click the '+' button next to the field label and more "Web Page" fields will appear on the page. There is no limit to the number of URLs that can be entered for a title.

Publication Information

The fields in the second section contain data about the publication.

Publication Type

  • Pub Type - Identifies the type of publication. On the New Publication page, this field is not editable and the value is pre-filled based on which "New ..." menu option you previously selected. On the Edit Publication page, this is a drop down menu of the following choices:
    • ANTHOLOGY. A publication containing fiction by more than one author, not written in collaboration, should be typed as an ANTHOLOGY. For example, "Late Knight Edition" contains stories by both Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm, individually; this is an anthology, not a collection. If a book of Conan stories contains stories which are all partly or wholly by Robert E. Howard, it is a collection; if one or more of the stories is by Lin Carter or L. Sprague de Camp, not in collaboration with Howard, then the book is an anthology.
    • CHAPBOOK. This publication type is a unique ISFDB designation for a separate publication of a single work of SHORTFICTION (q.v.), a single POEM or a single SERIAL installment of a longer work. In addition to the single SHORTFICTION, POEM or SERIAL content record, such publications may also contain one or more ESSAY and INTERIORART content records. This type covers all bindings and formats, including ebooks and audiobooks of less-than-novel length fiction.
      • Do not use this type for publications which contain a single ESSAY without a SHORTFICTION, POEM or SERIAL content. Those publications should be entered as NONFICTION.
      • Publications with more than one SHORTFICTION, POEM or SERIAL content record should be entered as ANTHOLOGY (for multiple-author publications) or COLLECTION (for single-author publications). The following types of SHORTFICTION titles are ignored when deciding whether the publication is a CHAPBOOK:
        • Supporting and incidental material such as excerpts, synopses, and fictionalized essays
        • Up to one bonus short story, poem or short serial installment, but only if the publication's title page lists only the main title and the main title's author(s)
      • Do not merge a CHAPBOOK's title record with its identically titled content record. (The "Check for Duplicate Titles" function no longer matches such records for merging consideration.)
      • CHAPBOOK title records should not contain a synopsis nor be entered into a title series. Both of those should be added to the content title record.
      • This type should not be confused with the generally accepted publishing format for pamphlets called chapbook or the term used for books intended for intermediate readers called chapter book.
    • COLLECTION. A publication containing two or more works of SHORTFICTION or POEMs by a single author or authors writing in collaboration should be typed as a COLLECTION. The typing of individual publications which contain works with various combinations of author credit should be discussed on the Community Portal on a case-by-case basis. The title page credit should be the major factor in determining the types of these kinds of publications. Excerpts from other works published after a NOVEL for promotional purposes do not make the publication into a COLLECTION.
    • FANZINE. This publication type is to be used for non-professional or amateur-published magazines.
    • MAGAZINE. This publication type is to be used for both professionally published magazines and newspapers. As a general rule, a magazine must have a common title from issue to issue and an enumeration (or dating) system of some kind. However, note that in some cases it can be difficult to determine if something should be entered as a magazine or as a book. For example, some magazines were published using a physical format which made them look like books. Conversely, some series of books were published with titles which included their publication date and included letter columns. Borderline cases such as the New Worlds Quarterly anthology series should be discussed on ISFDB:Help desk or the Community Portal.
    • NONFICTION. This publication type should be used for books that are predominantly or completely non-fiction. This includes book-length works of non-fiction or books containing essays by one or more authors. A publication that contains both non-fiction and fiction should be typed by that which is predominant. A single work of fiction in an Isaac Asimov essay collection does not make it a COLLECTION. A book of fiction (NOVEL, COLLECTION, or ANTHOLOGY) containing a generous, but not predominate, amount of non-fiction, such as introductions, essays, and other non-fiction works, should not be typed as NONFICTION. Mixtures of fiction and non-fiction are more usually found in magazines than they are in books, so the question does not often arise.
    • NOVEL. Used when the book is devoted to a single work of fiction. The addition of multiple short stories makes the book a collection, not a novel (A single story is a judgment call, see below). However, sample chapters placed at the end of a book for advertising reasons do not make a novel into a collection. If a book is packaged as a single volume work, and then republished as a multi-volume work, all the publications are novels; there is no need to classify the single volume work as an omnibus. Conversely, if a book is originally published as multiple volumes, and republished as a single volume, the latter is a novel unless the presentation within the single volume makes it clear that the works are presented as separate novels. Sometimes a novel is bound with a single short work of fiction by the same author (an example is this edition of The Misenchanted Sword). In such a case it is often preferred to class the publication as a novel with a "Bonus story" rather than a 2-item collection or omnibus. This is particularly true if the publication has the same title as the novel. It is a judgment call, however.
    • OMNIBUS. A publication may be classified as an omnibus if it contains multiple works that have previously been published independently, and at least one of them is a NOVEL, ANTHOLOGY, COLLECTION, or NONFICTION. However, generally this category should not be used unless the other categories do not seem appropriate. For example, if a publication contains stories that have previously been published independently in pamphlet form, this should be classified as an anthology. A collection such as Robert Heinlein's "The Past Through Tomorrow" should be categorized as a collection, although one of the works is a novel. "Omnibus" is appropriate for such publications as the Science Fiction Book Club's collections of three independent novels by different authors under one set of covers; or for a single-volume edition of all the Amber novels by Roger Zelazny. If none of the contents have been published before, the inclination should be to classify the publication as an anthology, rather than an omnibus, but this does not have to be an absolute rule. The distinction between "Omnibus" and the other types is somewhat subjective and may require discussion on ISFDB:Help desk or the Community Portal.
    • Boxed sets. Boxed sets which have additional data elements (ISBNs, cover art, etc) not present in the individual books that they collect should be entered as OMNIBUS publications. Boxed sets which do not have additional data elements and are merely bundlings of pre-existent books should not be entered.
    • Other Types
      • Fixups. This is a single work composed primarily of several previously published works. It should generally be typed as NOVEL. Some fixups are less coherent, consisting of largely independent stories, formed into a whole by the addition of linking material between the stories. In these cases, it is possible that the publication could be typed as either COLLECTION or NOVEL. The decision should be discussed with other verifiers or on a community page if there is any doubt. Factors that should be taken into consideration: table of contents page, title pages for the constituent parts, the publisher's marketing of the book, and the author's personal designation of the work.
      • "Split" novels. Occasionally a novel will be published as a single volume, and then republished (perhaps in another country) as two or more separate volumes. For example, Peter Hamilton's "Night's Dawn" trilogy was republished as six volumes in the US. The first book, "The Reality Dysfunction", was republished as "The Reality Dysfunction, Part One: Emergence", and "The Reality Dysfunction, Part Two: Expansion". The other two volumes were treated similarly. In these situations, the books should be treated as novels, even though they form only part of a work published as a novel. Also note that the original book is still treated as a novel; it does not become an OMNIBUS because it contains two works later republished as novels. Situations like this should be documented in the Notes field.


  • Date - The date of publication, in the form YYYY-MM-DD. The list below provides instructions for how to determine the date. DO NOT GUESS. Some date handling details are different for different types of publications. See Dating Periodicals and Dating Books for handling details specific to those publication types.
    • General Publication Date Policy - The ISFDB records a publication's date, as best it can be determined, according to the following general rules:
      • Start with the publication's stated publication date as the basis unless known to be/demonstrably for another printing or a misprint, in which case the inappropriate date should be recorded in the publication notes and otherwise treated as if absent.
      • A missing date, or a correction for an inappropriate date, may be supplied from secondary sources, as long as the source is recorded in the publication notes, along with the publication's original statement (or lack thereof). See Secondary Sources of Dates.
      • The base date optionally may be made more precise (e.g., supplying the month or day of publication) using information from a secondary source, if that source's date is otherwise consistent with publication's stated date. The source, and which details of the date were obtained from that source, must be recorded in the publication notes. See Secondary Sources of Dates.
      • Discrepancies between the publication's stated date and dates from secondary sources should be recorded in the publication notes.
    • Partial/Incomplete Dates - If the day or month is not known, use 00 in its place. Examples:
              1956-00-00 - "Published 1956"
              1956-11-00 - "Published November, 1956"
              1956-11-26 - "Published November 26, 1956"
    • Future Publication Dates - ISFDB captures records for some publications that have been announced for release in the future.
      • New publications announced for the near future (within the next 90 days) should be given that future publication date.
      • Do not create records for newly announced publications scheduled for release more than 90 days into the future, as these plans often change.
      • New publications announced for the future but with an unstated or unknown release date should be given the date 9999-00-00. Do not use this if the date is stated or known, and do not use this as a substitute or placeholder for a publication with an announced date more than 90 days into the future.
    • No Publication Date - When a publication's date is unknown or unavailable, use one of these special date values:
      • 0000-00-00 - The publication date is unknown
      • 8888-00-00 - The publication was announced (to be released in the past) but was not published.
      • 9999-00-00 - The publication has been announced (to be released in the future), with no known scheduled release date.
    • Dating Periodicals - Except for reprints (see Periodical Reprints), use the issue's "cover date", regardless of when the issue became available. The date usually appears on the cover or web page.
      • If more than one month is stated, use the earliest year and month. E.g. "December 1959/January 1960" should be entered as "1959-12-00".
      • For cover dates that cannot be assigned to a specific month, use the year only. E.g. "Spring 1943" should be entered as "1943-00-00".
      • If a more specific publication date consistent with the cover date is available, that may be used, as long as its source is recorded in the publication notes.
      • Periodical Reprints should be given the date of the publication of the reprinting, with the source of the date recorded in the publication notes. Follow the instructions in Dating Books.
      • Discrepancies between the cover date and any other source of date should be recorded in the publication notes.
    • Dating Books - Follow the General Publication Date Policy, and see Secondary Sources of Dates for more information about other sources of dates. A source used that is not the publication itself must be recorded in the publication notes, and recording of the book's actual statement (or lack thereof) is strongly encouraged.
      • Try to find a statement (often on the verso of the title page) that says something like "Published in June 2001"; the copyright date is often misleading, since works can be reprinted or copyrighted before publication. Also, some reprints reproduce the original publication date statement instead of providing an updated date for the reprinted edition. See Book Reprints for more information about identifying and dating reprints.
      • Sometimes a publication date is represented as a series of two-digit numbers on the verso of the title page, e.g., "98 99 00 01 02 03", which is shorthand for "1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003". The earliest date in the list applies to this printing. Later dates do not indicate that future printings are planned or scheduled. Whether such a number line refers to publication date or reprint number may be ambiguous (e.g., "01 02 03 04 05"), and care must be taken when assessing the meaning.
      • If there is a single statement about simultaneous publication in multiple locales but with differing dates, use the earliest date if this record is for all of the locales, and use the locale-specific date if this record is for just one of the locales. E.g., "Published in the USA March 1990 and Canada April 1990" should be entered as "1990-03-00" if this single record represents both locales or just the USA edition and should be entered as "1990-04-00" if this record represents just the Canada edition.
      • If multiple dates are stated, other than in the context of simultaneous publication in different locales, use the most recent date stated unless that is determined to be inappropriate (in which case, treat the date as missing and record that determination in the notes). The earlier dates in this list are a record of publication dates for earlier printings, and this publication's statement may be used as a Secondary Source of dates for other records in the database.
      • Book Reprints - The ISFDB records each different reprint of a publication, since there can be some significant differences between them, such as cover art, or price.
        • The date recorded should be the publication date of the reprint, not of the original edition.
        • Look out for signs that this is a reprint, such as a series of numbers at the bottom of the verso of the title page whose lowest number is higher than "1" (e.g. "3 4 5 6 7 8 9" indicates a third printing), a list of previous publication dates, or differences in price/cover/ancillary content between this publication and similar publications.
        • If you know, or suspect, you are holding a reprint, try to assess the likelihood that any stated date applies to this specific printing. If there is a stated date, and it does not seem suspect, use it. If the stated date is suspect and/or there is no way to determine the date, use one of the special date values described in No Publication Date. Here are some examples of indications about a stated date's reliability:
          • Suggesting reliable: The publication also lists past publication dates, the stated date is later than dates for previous printings, a later printing's list of previous printings corroborates this printing's statement.
          • Suggesting suspect: The stated date is earlier than a stated date on contained material (ads, artwork, sometimes an introduction), contained advertising lists for sale publications not available at the stated date, the identical statement in another printing is known to be incorrect, multiple printings (especially with different prices) state the same date.
    • Discrepancies Between Stated Date and Reality - Publication date does not always perfectly match the calendar date. For example, a January issue of a magazine is usually available in December of the previous year, and often earlier than that. Books with a January publication date may often be bought in the closing weeks of the prior year; they will show the later year's copyright date, even though that year has not yet started. In these cases, the convention is to use the official publication date rather than to try to identify when a book actually first became available. If there is a large discrepancy -- for example if a book was printed but unexpectedly delayed before release -- then this can be noted in the notes field.
    • Secondary Sources of Dates - A "secondary" source is any source other than the publication itself. Dates, and date details, may be obtained from any of the following secondary sources, as long as the source and the publication's original statement are recorded in the notes. Editors are encouraged to provide page numbers or (stable) links for the secondary source information, where available. This list is roughly in descending order of how authoritative ISFDB considers them. For sources other than those with first-hand involvement, bibliographic databases and library catalogs are usually more authoritative than other sources, such as reviews or interviews. Also, databases and catalogs in the same country or region as the publication are usually more authoritative than databases and catalogs based elsewhere. Editors are strongly encouraged to seek independent corroboration of dates from sources lower in the list.
      • First-hand participant (publisher, editor, author, contributor, artist) website/blog/catalog
      • A later printing/edition's historical publication statement
      • Other bibliographic databases and library catalogs, such as the ISFDB Verification Sources (list and details)
      • Second-hand participant (new book seller website/catalog, new book announcement/list, new book review, etc.)
      • Calculation based on codes, known announcement + publication timings, etc. (e.g., for book clubs)
      • Other sources, such as interviews and used book seller websites/catalogs


  • Publisher - The name of the book's publisher. Use the official statement of publication where you can. The publisher has in the past not been a key entity in the ISFDB, but publisher and imprint support is in the process of being improved, and a process of determining canonical names for publishers and imprints is in progress. For the time being you are free to choose an imprint ("Ace Books"), a division ("Berkley") or the parent corporation ("Penguin Group (USA)") as you wish. Imprints are often a suitable choice since they may be genre specific. A good rule of thumb is to choose a publisher name that would not surprise the reader; thus "Del Rey Books" is a better choice for that imprint than "Ballantine Books", even though Del Rey was in fact an imprint of Ballantine, because Del Rey's imprint is the prominent label on the cover of those books, whereas "Ballantine" appears only in small print at best. However, if both an imprint and a publisher are listed, and particularly if both are known for publishing genre fiction, consider listing both. For example "Del Rey / Ballantine" may be an even better choice than either "Del Rey Books" or "Ballantine Books".
  • For self-published works, fanzines, bibliographic pamphlets and the like, use the name of the editor/author if no other publisher information is visible. Sometimes a fan organization or something similar will be quoted as the publisher, e.g. for books or booklets issued as sf convention special publications: these are not strictly publishers, but should be treated as such for this field.
  • Where multiple forms of a name exist, it is not important to always enter exactly the form of the name as it appears on the book. For example, an imprint may say "A Tor Book", "Tor", "Tor Books", "Tor Books Science Fiction", or "Tor: A Tom Doherty Associates Book". Sometimes several of these varying forms will be on a single book. These can be converted to a canonical form; in this case "Tor" would be the sensible choice. The ISFDB does not currently have a page to identify and document canonical forms for publishers but may do so in the future.
  • Case should be regularized unless there is a clear reason not to. For example, a Tor book often gives the imprint name as "TOR Books"; this should be entered as "Tor Books". DAW, however, is an acronym, and so "DAW Books" is the correct form for that imprint. Publishers of magazines are often printed in uppercase -- e.g. Fantastic Universe's statement of printing shows "KING-SIZE PUBLICATIONS, INC." as the publisher; the form "King-Size Publications, Inc." should be used here.
  • If you are entering both the imprint and publisher name, as in "Del Rey / Ballantine", then it should be entered as Imprint / Publisher with the imprint first, spaces around the slash, followed by the publisher name. Note, it's still ok to enter things like "Imprint, an imprint of Publisher". The things we want to avoid are the Imprint/Publisher (with no space) and Publisher / Imprint (imprint / publisher flipped around) and formats.
  • Library records, and in some cases the copyright pages of books, often list publishers with a preceding city, as "London: Mammoth Books Ltd" or "New York: Giant Press inc". In such cases, list only the actual name of the publisher, not the city. (Existing records should not be changed to match this standard without considering how to avoid data loss). The city or country can be listed in the notes field of the publisher record, or on an associated wiki page, or both. Where needed to avoid confusion, a country suffix may be used, so we might have, for example, "Mammoth Books (UK)" and "Mammoth Books (Canada)".
  • Science Fiction Book Club books should be entered as "Publisher / SFBC" where Publisher is the publisher name stated on the publication. Also see How to enter a SFBC publication.


  • Pages - This field is used to record the number of pages in the publication, or its "page count". Note that different rules apply to calculating and recording the page count depending on the publication's format and on whether it's a book or a magazine/fanzine. The details are described below:
  • Electronic Publications
  • For electronic publications, do not enter the number of pages in this field. If an estimated number is provided by the publisher or by a third party Web site, it may be entered in the "Notes" field.
  • Paper Books
  • For paper books, the general rule is to use the last printed page number, with exceptions explained below. For additional information and detailed examples of handling pagination variations when recording this field for paper books, see this how-to.
  • If a book is not paginated (no printed numbers), you may leave the field blank. You also have the option of manually counting the pages and entering that number in squared brackets in the page count field, e.g, "[48]". In either case, enter "Not paginated" in the Notes field.
  • When a book has a section with Roman numeral page numbers for introductory material, followed by Arabic numerals for the main text of the book, enter both sets of numbers. For example, a book with a page count field of "viii+320" has "viii" as the highest numbered page with a Roman numeral. (Note that there are no spaces in the page count.) Pages without numbers that fall between the two types of page numbering can be ignored. Note that you should include the enumeration of the pages in Roman numerals even if there is no material that requires a separate content record (such as an introduction or preface) in those pages. This is in contrast with the situation with unnumbered pages prior to page 1; see the following bullet point for what to do in that case.
  • Sometimes a book will have unnumbered pages before page 1. If there is any material in these pages which needs to be entered as part of the contents of the book, you may record this by entering the count in squared brackets. For example, [6]+320 would be a book with six unnumbered pages and then 320 numbered pages. There is no need to record these unnumbered pages if they contain no content that needs to be recorded. At times you will need to count backwards from the first numbered page to see which is page 1 and then count the unnumbered pages that are before this. Likewise, you may record the count of unnumbered pages at the end of a publication. For example, 320+[4]. As before, only do this if there is additional content in these pages that requires the creation of a content record, as when there is an afterword or a book excerpt which appears on unnumbered pages.
  • It is fairly common for the last page (or more) of text in a book to be unnumbered. In this case, count forward from the last numbered page to the last page of text and enter the total number in the page count field. For example, if a novel ends on the unnumbered page after page 244, enter the page count as "245" with an explanatory note about the unnumbered last page.
  • Some books, e.g. dos-à-dos books and certain omnibuses, have multiple sets of page numbers, one for each part of the book. These sets should be separated with the plus sign, e.g. "256+120+174".
  • For multi-volume books, use commas to separate the page counts for each volume, e.g. "vii+387, xii+422".
  • Paper Magazines and Fanzines
  • For paper magazines and fanzines, the rule is to use the actual page count - including the cover. For example, early issues of Fantastic Universe numbered the interior pages from 1 to 192, not counting the front or back covers. This would be entered into the ISFDB record as "196".
  • Some magazines and fanzines use a page numbering system that does not start from 1 in every issue. These are usually cases where:
    • the magazine has a volume and issue number, and
    • the pagination restarts at 1 for every volume, and
    • the page numbering is continuous from one issue to the next within that volume.
  • In these cases, manually count the number of pages, including the covers, and enter this number in the page count field. The details should be recorded in the publication record's Notes field, e.g. "Actual page numbering runs from 193 to 384".


  • Format - This is the format of the publication. Select one of the following choices from the drop-down list:
  • Print books
    • hc - hardcover. Used for all hardbacks of any size. A book is a hardback if it is constructed so that the cover is intended not to be flexible. (There exist leatherbound paperbacks, for example, which should not be designated as "hc".) Unlike other formats, this designation takes preference over "dos" for the case of hardcover dos-a-dos publications, such as Up to the Sky in Ships / In and Out of Quandry.
    • tp - trade paperback. Used for any softcover book which is larger than a standard paperback, except when the format is either "dos" or "ph" (see below), in which case those designations take precedence. Any other book that is at least 7.25" (or 19 cm) tall, or at least 4.5" (11.5 cm) wide/deep, and is not a hardback, should be entered as "tp". 7.5" × 5" is a common size, but there exist many variant sizes larger than this, including large format artbooks with paper covers, for example. (For the purposes of this database "height" and "width/depth" are the dimensions of the cover; neither should be understood to mean the "thickness" of a book.)
    • pb - paperback. Typically 7" × 4.25" (18 cm × 11 cm) or smaller, though trimming errors can cause them to sometimes be slightly (less than 1/4 extra inch) taller or wider/deeper. For books as tall as 7.25" (19 cm) or as wide/deep as 4.5" (11.5 cm) use "tp". Low-height paperbacks such as Ace Books from the fifties, and similar publications can be about half an inch shorter. Such variations in size below the typical 7" × 4.25" do not need to be noted unless significant. If a book qualifies as a "dos" or "ph" (pamphlet), those designations take precedence over "pb". (For the purposes of this database "height" and "width/depth" are the dimensions of the cover; neither should be understood to mean the "thickness" of a book.)
    • ph - pamphlet. Used for short (in page count), unbound, staple-bound, or otherwise lightly bound publications.
    • digest - Used for books which are similar in size and binding to digest-formatted magazines, using the standard digest size of approximately 7" × 4.5" (17.8 cm x 11.4 cm).
    • dos - Used for dos-a-dos or tête-bêche formatted paperback books, such as Ace Doubles and Capra Press back-to-back books. This format is not to be used for hardcover dos-a-dos books.
  • Audio books
    • audio CD - Compact disc with standard audio tracks
    • audio MP3 CD - Compact disc with mp3-encoded audio tracks
    • audio cassette - Cassette tape
    • audio LP - Long-playing record (vinyl)
    • digital audio player - Player with a pre-loaded digital file of the audiobook
    • digital audio download - Digital recording in any format that is downloaded directly from the Internet. This category includes podcasts.
  • Print magazines
    • digest - includes both standard digest size, at about 4.5" x 7" (11.4 cm x 17.8 cm), and also large digest, such as recent issues of Asimov's, which are about 5.125" x 8.25" (13.0 cm x 21.0 cm).
    • pb - paperback-formatted magazines, i.e. periodical publications which otherwise would qualify as paperbacks (see "pb" in the Print books section), e.g. the 1964-1967 issues of New Worlds
    • pulp - the common pulp size: 6.5" × 9.5" (16.5 cm x 24.1 cm). For ISFDB purposes this may also be used as a designation for the quality of the paper. There are some untrimmed pulps that are as large as 8" × 11.75 (20.3 cm x 29.8 cm)"
    • bedsheet - 8.5" × 11.25" (21.6 cm x 28.6 cm), e.g. early issues of Amazing; or the 1942-43 issues of Astounding
    • tabloid - 11" × 16" (27.9 cm x 40.6 cm), usually newsprint, e.g. British Science Fiction Monthly
    • A4 - 21 cm × 29.7 cm or 8.3" × 11.7", used by some UK and European magazines
    • A5 - 14.8 cm × 21 cm or 5.8" × 8.3", used by some UK and European magazines
    • quarto - 8.5" × 11" (21.6 cm x 27.9 cm), usually saddle-stapled, instead of side-stapled or glued
    • octavo - 5.5" × 8.5" (14.0 cm x 21.6 cm), usually saddle-stapled, instead of side-stapled or glued
    • tp - trade paperback magazines, usually perfect-bound, i.e. periodical publications (often POD) which otherwise would qualify as trade paperbacks (see "tp" in the Print books section)
    • Note: If a magazine is between the sizes of these categories, use the one with the closest description, and add a note in the record. Small variations do not need to be noted.
  • Electronic books and periodicals
    • ebook - Used for all electronic formats, including but not limited to EPUB, eReader, HTML, iBook, Mobipocket, and PDF. Specify the particular formats available in the record's note field. If unknown, specify the reader: iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc. This designation is also used for downloadable electronic issues of Internet-based periodical publications, aka "ezines".
    • webzine - Used for Internet-based periodical publications which are otherwise not downloadable as an "ebook". Not all webzines are eligible for inclusion in the ISFDB. Initiate discussions about inclusion/eligibility on the Community Portal.
  • other - Choose this value if a publication can not fit comfortably into any of the above categories. This includes publications distributed via e-mail, on CD-ROM and other uncommon formats. Make sure to describe the details in the Note field. Assistance for clarification can be requested at the Help Desk.
  • unknown - Choose this value if you're creating or updating a record from a secondary source and the publication format is unknown. This is the default choice when entering new publications.


  • ISBN - Enter the publication's ISBN (International Standard Book Number) if it has one. ISBNs were introduced in the late 1960s and have been universally used for paper-based publications since the 1970s. Some electronic and audio publications use them and some don't.
    • ISBN-10 vs. ISBN-13: Prior to 2007 all ISBNs were 10 characters long; the first 9 characters were digits and the 10th, the checksum character, was either a digit or an "X". Around 2007 ISBNs were expanded to 13 digits by adding a 3-digit prefix (978 or 979); the last character is still the ISBN's checksum, but, unlike with ISBN-10s, it's always a digit. Some books printed during the transition period around 2007 included both the 10 digit version and the 13 digit version of the ISBN. The ISFDB software supports both formats, so if two forms of ISBN are present, you can enter either one in this field and document the other one in the Notes field.
    • Hyphens and Spaces: You may enter the ISBN with or without hyphens. Any hyphens or spaces in the entered value will be automatically stripped by the software and the value will be stored in the database without them. If the ISBN is valid, then the ISFDB software will display it with hyphens using the International ISBN Agency's hyphenation rules adjusted for known exceptions like Tor prior to 2007.
    • Checksum Character: Most ISBN-10s whose checksum character is "X" use the uppercase form of the letter "x", but a few use the lowercase form. The ISFDB software automatically converts lowercase "x"'s to uppercase at data entry time, so you can enter either "x" or "X".
    • Embedded Price: If the stated ISBN is of the form "0-586-06604-7-275", do not enter the last hyphen and the three digits that follow it. They indicate the publication's list price and are not part of the ISBN.
    • SBNs: Some English language books published during the late 1960s and 1970s used nine digit "SBN"s without a leading zero. When entering these publications, add the leading zero.
    • Discrepancies between the Stated ISBN and the Entered ISBN: If you entered a value that was not exactly as stated in the publication, e.g. you added a leading 0 to an SBN, explain the details in the Notes field.
    • ISSNs: Magazine ISSNs should not be entered in this field. This is because ISSNs identify the magazine as a whole rather than a particular issue. If an ISSN is present, you can enter it in the Notes field of the series that this magazine issue belongs to.
    • Multiple ISBNs: If a publication has more than one ISBN, then enter one in the ISBN field and enter the other(s) in the Notes field.
    • ISBNs with invalid format: Stated values that may look like ISBNs but do not follow the standard ISBN format, i.e.:
      • 9 digits followed by a digit or an "X"
      • 13 digits starting with 978 or 979
    • are not considered ISBNs for ISFDB purposes. They will generate a "Bad Format" yellow warning on post-submission pages. Do not enter them in the ISBN field; document them in Notes instead.
    • ISBNs with an invalid checksum: An ISBN that follows the standard ISBN format but fails checksum validation will generate a "Bad Checksum" yellow warning on post-submission pages. After double-checking that the ISBN was entered as it appears in the publication, it should be entered in the ISBN field. The fact that it fails checksum validation should be documented in the Notes field.

Catalog ID

  • Catalog # - This field contains the catalog ID provided by the publisher, if there is one. Note that in the past, catalog IDs were entered using a leading "#" sign, but they are no longer used.


  • Price - The original cover price of this publication. Enter a single price, e.g. for books published in both the USA and Canada, only the USA price should be entered in this field. Instead, additional prices can (and usually should) be entered in the Notes field. This is done because the value in this field is used to differentiate between print editions, search the ISFDB data or construct statistics on book pricing, which would be difficult to do if multiple prices were present in the same field.
The numeric price value should be preceded with a currency symbol (like "$", "€" or "£") or an alphabetical abbreviation of the currency (like DM, Lit or Ft). See below for a list of commonly used currency symbols and alphabetical abbreviations. The only time a currency symbol is not used is when entering older (pre-decimalisation) British prices which are discussed below.
Prices under a dollar (or other currency unit) are entered as a decimal, e.g. $0.25, for 25¢. Odd pricing formats can be ignored -- for example, occasionally a price of 20¢ will be printed as 20c; this should be entered as $0.20. Note that a few currencies like the Bahraini dinars use three digits after the decimal separator.
Period (".") should be used as the decimal separator and comma (",") as the thousands separator, regardless of currency or native number format, e.g. €7.80 or Lit 1,000.
Do not enter a space when the currency is represented by a symbol (e.g. $, £, €, ¥, ℳ, F). When using an alphabetical (non-symbolic) form or abbreviation of the currency (e.g. DM, Lit, Ft), enter a space between it and the numeric amount. The currency's "Yes"/"No" value in the "Abbrev." column of the Help:List of currency symbols table determines whether it's a symbol or an abbreviation.
Special note on British currency:
  • British currency should be indicated by a UK pound sign, "£". For example, "£2.50" means two pounds fifty pence. If you can't enter "£" on your keyboard, you can use an uppercase "L" instead. As long as the "L" is followed for a digit, it will be automatically converted to "£" when the submission is created. Note that for Windows machines, the "Character Map" system accessory can be used to generate the pound sign as well as other characters. Alternatively, Windows users can hold down one of the ALT keys, enter 0163 (i.e. zero followed by 163) on the numeric keypad, then release the ALT key. Mac users can type OPTION-3.
  • In the 1970s, many British books cost less than a pound and so would be priced in pence alone, e.g. 25p. These should be regularized like dollars and cents, e.g. 25p should be entered as £0.25 and 95p as £0.95.
  • Older British books were priced in shillings, or shillings and pence, where 20 shillings equals one pound and 12 old pence equals one shilling. Shillings were indicated with a variety of suffixes, e.g. 3s, 3', 3", 3/ all mean 3 shillings. Any number after that is additional pence, usually 6 (half a shilling) but sometimes 3 or 9 (a quarter of a shilling or three-quarters of a shilling). A "-" indicates zero pence, for example 5/-. The older the book, the more likely the pence prices are to reflect quarter shilling ranges than half-shillings. We always record the pence in ISFDB even if 0 (indicated by "-"), and use the "/" separator, e.g. 3/6 is used to mean three shillings and sixpence even if the book says 3s6 or 3'6; a price of three shillings exactly would be 3/- even if indicated on the book as 3s, 3" or 3' or even plain "Three shillings".
  • Even older British paperback books, and magazines, may have been priced in pennies alone, indicated by a "d" suffix. E.g. 6d is six old pence, or half a shilling, 9d is nine old pence or three-quarters of a shilling. These are entered the same way as other pre-decimal prices but using the '-' for zero shillings, e.g. -/6 and -/9 in these examples.
  • Note that between about 1968 and 1971, British books were usually printed with both pre-decimal and decimal prices. In these cases enter only the pre-decimal price, as the decimal price was not the currency used at the time of printing, but was printed in case the book remained for sale after the date of decimalization. The official date of conversion to decimal currency was Feb. 15, 1971. For a couple of years afterward, the pre-decimal price might be shown in brackets after the decimal price for people still not used to decimal currency: these can be ignored or left in notes.
  • British books are often priced for several other commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malta, Gibraltar, South Africa, East Africa, Trinidad (W.I.), and countries with a significant English-speaking population such as Spain and the Republic of Ireland. These additional prices are usefully entered in notes. Some of these countries also have pre-decimal formats based on the British pound and post-decimal formats similar to Dollar prices, and some have changed yet again to € (Euro) prices. If in doubt, enter these in notes exactly as stated.
See Help:List of currency symbols for information about other supported currencies. If the currency that you are trying to enter is not listed, use the most commonly used symbol or abbreviation.
If you believe that the currency is uncommon enough that most ISFDB users will not recognize it, add an explanatory note. For example, if you enter ₹2,000 in the price field, add a note that the price was stated in Indian rupees.
Overprinted prices should use the visible price. However, if the price change is via a stickered label, the price change should be ignored. For example, copies of the British distribution of some American magazines were stickered with a British price. These are not British reprint editions of those magazines, but simply imported copies of the American edition, so a separate publication record with a separate price value should not be created for them.
If there is any ambiguity about the price, add an explanation in the Notes field.


  • Title - Title of the COVERART record. Note that this field is not displayed when entering new publications or editing/cloning publications without COVERART records. If this field is displayed, its value should be the title of the publication.
  • Date - Date of the COVERART record. Note that this field is not displayed when entering new publications or editing/cloning publications without COVERART records. If this field is displayed, its value should be the date of the first known appearance of the COVERART title.
  • Artist - Cover artist responsible for the cover art. If not known, leave blank. If there is no cover art, leave the field blank, but consider adding a comment in the Notes field to that effect so that it's clear to other editors that the artist field has not been simply ignored. For other sources of artist attribution use the following rules in the order they are listed below:
    • If the artist's canonical name is stated in the publication, enter it
    • If the artist's alternate name is stated in the publication, enter it and make sure to create a Variant Title later
    • If the publication has no explicit artist credit, but another printing of the same book credits the artist:
      • Import the COVERART title from the printing with the artist credit
      • Adjust the COVERART title's date to reflect its earliest known appearance
      • Update the Notes field with the source of the attribution
    • If the cover has the artist's initials, enter the artist's canonical name if known and update the Notes field with the source of the attribution
    • If the cover has an artist-specific symbol (e.g. a stylized version of the artist's initials), enter the artist's canonical name if known and update the Notes field with the source of the attribution
    • If the cover has a recognizable signature, enter the canonical name if known and update the Notes field with the source of the attribution
    • If the publication has no explicit artist credit, but a secondary source credits the artist, enter the canonical name and update the Notes field with the source of the attribution
    • If the publication has no explicit artist credit, but the credit is implied (e.g. a small section is reproduced as a credited INTERIORART work), treat it as a "secondary bibliographic source" scenario described above: enter the canonical name and update the Notes field with the source of the attribution
    • If the publication has no explicit artist credit and no secondary or implied credit, but the artist's style is recognizable, leave the "Artist" field blank and update the Notes with the name of the artist and reason for attribution
  • Additional Note on Cover Artists and Designers: Note that entering the artist's name in the "Artist" field will actually create a "COVERART" content record behind the scenes; the COVERART record will have the same title as the title of the publication. The cover designer (as opposed to the cover artist) is only entered in this field if he or she also did (parts of) the cover art. Otherwise the cover designer can be recorded in the note field.
  • Add Artist - If the cover art is credited to more than one artist, use this button to create a second artist field. As many artists as you wish can be added.
  • Add Cover - If there is more than one COVERART record associated with this publication, use this button to create an additional record. This typically happens when dealing with "dos-a-dos" books.
  • Add Artist. If the cover art is credited to more than one artist, this button will create a second artist field. As many artists as you wish can be added.

Image URL

  • Image URL - A URL to an image of the cover art.
    • Make sure to select an image that matches the publication, especially if the publication has been verified. If the only available image is close but not an exact copy of what appears on the cover of the publication, add a publication note explaining the differences.
    • If you have a scan of the image on your hard drive, you can upload it to the ISFDB Wiki -- see How to upload images to the ISFDB wiki for details. Use the "Upload cover image" or "Upload new cover image" link on the publication display page to simplify the uploading process and then enter the URL of the Wiki-hosted image in this field.
    • The URL entered in this field should always point directly to the image, not to the Web page that contains the image. If the external site hosting the image requires you to link to the Web page that contains the image (e.g. SFE3 -- see below), then append the "pipe" character ("|") and the Web page's URL at the end of the URL of the image.
    • Only use images hosted by ISFDB or by external sites which have given ISFDB explicit permission to link to them. At this time these sites are:
    • and and and Permission to link to any of these 1632, Inc. domains granted by "Head Geek" Rick Boatright via email to moderators on 2011-06-18.
    • Ace image library "I give you permission to use whatever images that you need from the ACE IMAGE LIBRARY for the ISFDB and appreciate the credit notation for this usage. I should note that a couple of the AIL images (primarily for original cover art or prelliminary drawings as well as a couple of the inserts or daybills for the Man From U.N.C.L.E movies) have been permitted to the AIL from other sources. These are noted on the appropriate AIL page and if you use these you may wish to credit them as "Original art / movie art for ........ . Permission for use given to AIL."
    • Amazon - As an Amazon associate, ISFDB has implicit permission to use Amazon's images. Things to keep in mind when linking to an Amazon-hosted image:
      • Check that the image is actually the correct one for your edition.
      • Keep in mind that if a publication is still in print, Amazon may replace its image with an updated one without warning.
      • A good-quality medium-sized image is usually available by clicking on the "See This Image" link under the smaller cover image. Some Amazon pages do not have this link, but the larger version can be obtained by right-clicking on the image and copying its URL. This works even for those books that generally only display a thumbnail marred by the "Look Inside" banner.
      • Many images displayed by Amazon contain additional formatting such as borders, shades, framing, shrinking and so on. The formatting is embedded in Amazon URLs by adding an underscore and a special code. For example, "AA" adds white borders, "SS" changes the size of the image, "SL" creates a small thumb, and "CR" adds cropping. Except for "CR" (see below), these formatting codes are not supported by the ISFDB software. Remove them from the URL before entering it into the database. This is accomplished by removing everything starting with the penultimate period up to the final period.
      • If an Amazon image contains unwanted elements, e.g. a large background or other books, you can add cropping before the final period in the URL. The format is "._CR102,6,148,257", where "._CR" tells Amazon to crop the images, "102" is the left border, "6" is the top border, "148" is the width and "257" is the height. Follow this link to,6,148,257.jpg to see the result.
    • Armchair Fiction. Permission has been granted by the owner, Gregory Luce, via an Armchair Fiction employee, Susan Greer: "I have consulted the owner of Armchair Fiction, Gregory Luce, and he has authorized me to give permission to link to images on our website. Thanks, Susan Greer".
    • Black Bed Sheet Books / Permission has been granted by the owner, Nicholas Grabowsky (Downwarden) to link to images on this website: I'm the publisher/owner of Black Bed Sheet Books and give permission for ISFDB to use images from
    • Bookscans ("Graphically illustrating the evolution of vintage American paperbacks - 1939 through 1979") "The ISFDB hereby has permission to link to any page or picture on the BookScans web site."
    • Collectors Showcase This is a great source for images of pulps, digests and early hardcover editions, and not just French publications.
    • Dagan Books Permission to link images use other public information given by Carrie Cuinn, the site owner, on 2010-12-15.
    • De Boekenplank is a website devoted to Dutch-language SF. Permission to link images granted by the site owner, Kees Buis, via e-mail to the ISFDB moderators on 2011-04-27.
    • Diamond Bay Research and Yunchtime. Permission granted by Lex Berman, the sites' owner, via e-mail.
    • Permission granted by the owner, Steve Pendergrast aka Peter S. Drang, via e-mail on 2023-06-08.
    • - ISFDB has explicit permission to use images hosted by To find the URL of a publication, select 'titolo' (title) in the search box on the home page and type the title (in Italian or English), then follow the links. The format is:, where "DD" are the first two characters of the five characters code DDddd in square bracket.
    • Fantastic Fiction - ISFDB has explicit permission to use Fantastic Fiction's images, but please first check to see if the image is available on Amazon and use that one. Fantastic Fiction's bandwidth is limited and displaying the image in the ISFDB record may take time. Also, the quality of their images vary greatly so they should only be a source for otherwise unavailable images.
    • Permission to link images granted by the site owner, Alexey Lvov, via e-mail from one of the moderators, User:Papyrus, in January 2011.
    • Phil Stephensen-Payne's "Galactic Central" - ISFDB has explicit permission to use images hosted by "Galactic Central".
    • Howard Works Permission to link images granted by the site administrator, Bill Thom, via e-mail on 2017-11-29.
    • icshi We are now permitted to link directly to the covers: if you do so, please at least credit 'Icshi" in the notes, and an occasional hyperlink or two back to the site would be appreciated.
    • Permission to link images given by the site owner on 2020-08-29.
    • Lawrence Dagstine Permission to link to Wordpress-hosted filed displayed on Lawrence Dagstine's Web site ( granted by the site's owner on 2024-03-21.
    • The Luminist League Permission to link images given by the site owner on 2010-12-16.
    • Magnus' van Vogt site Icelandic site with good selection of covers Magnus is very generous too: "Hi. Feel free to link however you want, I have free bandwidth where I'm hosting the images."
    • Mondourania Italian language site. Has images of covers from many Italian SF publications. Automatically credited based on ImageURL domain.
    • Nathan M Hurst. Permission has been granted by the owner, Nathanmhurst, to link to images on this website.
    • Nitchevo Factory -- see
    • Ofearna. Permission has been granted by the owner, Ofearna, to link to images on this website.
    • Open Library is an open source project sponsored by the Internet Archive. All their content is available for reuse under a free license. They grant permission for the sort of hotlinking we do at, and we now automatically include a backlink based on their domain, as we do for most whitelisted sites.
    • Jennifer R. Povey's site. Permission granted by the owner on 2020-03-07.
    • Permission granted on this Talk page in 2013.
    • Permission granted on the "About" Web page under "Policies and Legal Stuff" on 2023-06-23.
    • SFE - The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 3rd edition. Permission granted by Dave Langford via e-mail after consulting other SFE3 editors. Note that we are only allowed to link to SFE3-hosted images that reside in the following sub-directories: /clute/, /langford/ and /robinson/. Images residing in other sub-directories were provided to SFE3 by third parties and SFE3 can't give us permission to link to them. In addition, all SFE3-hosted images must have a link to the associated "Gallery" page added after a "pipe" ("|") character. For example, the value of the "Image URL" field of the Blow, Blow Your Trumpets publication record is "|", where the first URL is that of the image itself and the second URL (after the "|") is that of the "Gallery" page which provides additional information about the image.
    • Smashwords. Permission granted by Mark Coker, the site's owner, via e-mail on 2017-07-07. Images should include a link to the Web page hosting the image. For example, the value of the "Image URL" field of The Book of Deacon publication record is "|", where the first URL is that of the image itself and the second URL (after the "|") is that of the Smashwords Web page for the publication.
    • SF-Leihbuch German SF. Images should include a permanlink to the Web page hosting the image after a "|". The permalink URL is displayed at the bottom of all SF-Leihbuch Web pages. Permission granted by the site administrator in May 2019.
    • Starship Sloane Publishing "a small, independent, traditional publishing company establishing itself in the literary marketplace." Permission granted by the owner via email on 2023-12-06.
    • The Trash Collector Small images, but wide variety. Scott Stine, owner, says "Feel free to link to the pictures on my website. [...] Thanks for writing and asking permission, and good luck on your worthy endeavor."
    • Urania Mania. Mostly Italian covers, permission granted in 2012-04.
    • vanvogt Japanese site, but English text with lots of pretty covers and artist info. Yutaka, the sitemaster says "You may link my pictures to anywhere you like, but I'll be glad if you would let me know where you use them" - so drop him an email if you need to use one of them on the ISFDB.
    • and, owned by Vonnie Winslow Crist. Permission received in 2017-03 -- see FR 1009.
    • Robert G. Williscroft's Web sites:,,,,,, Permission received via e-mail on 2017-10-10.
    •, used by Nitchevo Factory.
    • Before using a site not listed above, ask the Webmaster of that site for permission. If you receive permission to link to a new source, post about it on the ISFDB Community Portal. This will notify other editors that they may use this new site and one of the moderators will update the list above. More information about the process of requesting permission and a sample letter can be found at ISFDB:Image linking permissions.

Pub Series

The Pub Series and corresponding Pub Series # fields allow the entry of a Publication Series name. A Publication series is a group of publications marked out by the Publisher in some way. Unlike ordinary content-based series, different publications or editions of a book may belong to different Publication series. The Pub Series # field is to indicate this publication's numerical place in the series. Not all Publication Series have numbers. if no number is known this field is left blank. See Help:Screen:PublicationSeries for more detail on Publication Series.

Pub Note

  • Note - A note specific to this particular publication. These notes should be permanent comments that reflect something indisputable about a Publication, e.g. a mis-spelled title on the contents page.
    • Temporary comments'. Temporary comments that support the bibliographic effort but will be eventually deleted (once all issues are resolved), belong in the "Bibliographic Comments" field in the Wiki; e.g. information about incorrect data that is in the process of being corrected.
    • Miscellaneous data. Miscellaneous additional bibliographic information can be recorded here, such as the volume/issue information for a magazine.
    • Printings. Information about which printing is being recorded should be recorded here: commonly this is done as "Stated third printing of 1970 Signet edition", to indicate not only which printing it is, but that the book explicitly states this (as opposed to a deduction made from bibliographic sources). If the information on the printing number and date is derived from a number line (aka "printer's key"), you can mention that: "Stated 35th printing (per number line) of 1972 Bantam edition". If there is no printing information beyond the edition date, and no specific "first printing" statement, it is likely that this is a first printing, and you can put "Appears to be first printing of 1974 Puffin edition." For more information on number lines/printer's keys, see:
    • Sources. You do not need to record the source of data if it is taken from one of the standard bibliographic sources used in verification. For example, if the month of publication is drawn from the Locus index, while the book only shows the year, you do not need to say "Date per Locus1"; the verification flag showing that Locus1 has been consulted provides this information. Other sources used to update the record should be mentioned; though complex issues may be discussed on the author's wiki page or the publication comments wiki page.
    • Errors in sources. If you find an error in a source, make a note here -- e.g. "Locus1 incorrectly gives page count as 506".
    • Templates and HTML. Certain templates and a limited subset of HTML can be used in note fields. See Help:Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields. HTML is never required.

Note to Moderator

This field is primarily used to provide additional information for the moderator to decide whether to approve the submission. This note does not become a visible part of the database record. However, it will be visible on submission history pages, so confidential information should not be entered in it.

Examples of use:

  • Inform the reviewing moderator that this submission is the first of several steps in updating a record.
  • Inform the reviewing moderator that you're working from a book-in-hand which will speed up the acceptance of the submission.

Information that should not be entered in this field:

  • Any bibliographic information which you believe adds value to the record. This includes the source of the data used to update or create the record. That data should be recorded in the "Note" field.
  • Questions for the moderator. You will get a faster response at the Help Desk; by asking there, you may avoid needless effort and unnecessary submissions.

When editing publications which have been primary-verified by users other than you, this field is required. State what data has changed and why, e.g. "corrected price based on publication", "added cover artist based on artist's website", or "corrected misspelling". This will clarify the nature of the changes on submission history pages.

Additional Content

The "Additional Content" section is used to enter forewords, introductions, interior art, essays, excerpts from forthcoming books, reviews, interviews and other information that may appear in Novel publications -- see Help:Screen:NewPub for detailed instructions on what to enter in this section. Do not re-enter the main Novel record in this section.

Once you're done entering the data, check it over, and then press the "Submit Data" button. This will put your data into the "submission queue". It won't immediately update the ISFDB. The submission queue is managed by the ISFDB moderators, who periodically look at the submissions and decided whether to approve or reject them. If you check back after a while you'll find you submission has been dealt with, and, most likely, approved. If you now search for your novel's title, you should see your book's data is now part of the ISFDB.