Help talk:Screen:NewPub

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The page currently states:

Books. For a book, use the title page to get the title. This is typically the page with the copyright information on the back. If the title has a subtitle, you don't need to enter it; this is sometimes a judgement call as to whether a change of font or a colon indicates a separate subtitle or just some creative license on the part of the typesetter. If in doubt, take your best guess and document the guess on the publication's wiki page.

This is somewhat at odds with the current practice. Typically, when entering a new Publication title, I try to stick to what the title page says as close as possible, including obvious subtitles like "A Novel" and "Book 18 in the Spellbingding Adventures series". However, once the Pub has been filed, I then go back and clean up the "Title title" field so that the Author's biblio pages look reasonable. The main reason for this approach is that I have found that subtitles can be quite informative: they can help recreate Series data, disambiguate different editions (whenever the subtitle changes), etc. This is also a good example of the previously mentioned differences between the "objective" data that is found in Publication records and "derived" or "subjective" data that is found in Title records. Ahasuerus 17:52, 20 Dec 2006 (CST)

I take the point about disambiguation. The OED does something similar: they use the full title (which may be very long) on their equivalent of the publication record, and a shortened form in the citations.
This would require users to take an additional step after entering a book with a subtitle, though. That seems a bad thing. I do see it done (somewhat inconsistently) in the database already, though; for example "The Language of the Night" has two pubs without the subtitle, one of which I entered, and one with the subtitle. "Tehanu", on the other hand, has the subtitle in the title record. I'm a bit concerned that the latter situation is what we'll start to see if we take this approach. However, it may be manageable through notes and the wiki author pages.
It would be more of an issue with "New <publication>" than with "Add Pub to this Title", because the latter will get the title correct, regardless of how it's entered. I would also have to document this in a couple of other places; it means that the rules for pub.title are different than for title.title. I'll wait to see if there are more comments; then I'll make some changes to the help file -- or feel free to go do the same. Mike Christie (talk) 20:12, 20 Dec 2006 (CST)
If we are going to make this change, we should make it very clear that editions with different subtitles can be entered as Publications under the same Title, but any change in the title should result in a Variant Title. Unfortunately, I have seen cases where it was really hard to tell whether a certain part of the title was really a subtitle. Ahasuerus 21:58, 20 Dec 2006 (CST)
One thing that concerns me is that the help pages are getting really long as things get added to deal with the special and edge cases. I believe it would help if instead it was explained why the information was getting collected – for example, I’ve asked about the # of pages, and “year” fields recently and am glad the question about titles got brought up here as I was wondering about that too. I believe if people understand “why” they can then make judgment calls that will be in line with ISFDB’s goals without needing to consult through a 30 page rule-book for each field. Perhaps the help files could get divided into the basic help and then you click to see previous “on the edge” cases that have come up and how ISFDB’s people decided to deal with it. Marc Kupper 01:42, 21 Dec 2006 (CST)
A valid concern, no doubt, and I agree that we should probably expand the Help page to include the "whys" as well as the "whats". Unfortunately, I don't think that just listing the "whys" would do the trick since it would still leave a great deal open to interpretation, which wouls result in different people entering the data differently -- as we saw the last time the ISFDB was open to outside editing. The OCLC folks had the same problem worldwide, which is why they ended up with an admittedly unwieldy manual hundreds of pages long :(
On the plus side, Mike has put together a rather nice "Getting Started" guide for newbie editors, which will hopefully help alleviate the "30 page rule-book" concern to some extent. Ahasuerus 03:54, 21 Dec 2006 (CST)
Ahasuerus is right that the goal of the "Getting Started" guide was to act as the introduction, with the detailed help pages being the "special cases" page. However, if there's any specific where you think a further "Special Cases" link from within some of the help files might be useful, let's talk about it. Mike Christie (talk) 08:00, 21 Dec 2006 (CST)
The getting-started pages looked good – I made a couple of minor edits and guess it will come down to what sort of mistakes people make. I know I’m still going back and making minor adjustments to previously edited records as I better understand what ISFDB needs. Marc Kupper 23:43, 21 Dec 2006 (CST)

FANZINE is listed as an option for the Pub Type in the drop down list when creating a new pub, but there is no mention of it on this page, or what the guidelines would be for selecting it among the other options listed. Albinoflea 19:27, 5 March 2011 (UTC)