ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard/Archive 14

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This is an archive page for the Moderator noticeboard. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from June - December 2013.

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Expanded archive listing

Uberarticles spammers

Can something be done about this whole lot of new "contributors" ? Perhaps should the inscription procedure be severized (with a captcha or a moderator) for a short time, just in case it deters the offending bot. I'm quite fed up with blocking accounts and deleting user pages. Hervé Hauck 14:12, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

There are a few things that we could do, but there are certain tradeoffs involved.
First, we could prevent new users from creating new Wiki pages -- they would only be able to edit their Talk pages once a moderator (or an established editor) left a note on it. The downside is that it would prevent new editors from creating Bio/Author pages.
Second, we could require that new users provide a valid e-mail address and be approved by a moderator before they are allowed to edit. Unfortunately, there appear to exist thousands of unused spammer accounts in the database -- spammers frequently create them ahead of time -- so this change may not have much impact in the immediate future.
When the current wave of attacks started, I hoped that it may subside in a week or two once the spammers' management realized that their inserted content was being deleted expeditiously. After all, they run a business, so if the rate of return is poor, they are likely to go seek other targets. However, we don't know what their business model is and it's possible that they get paid regardless of how long their spam pages stay up.
At this point I would be inclined to go with Option 1 as outlined above and see what happens. Thoughts? Ahasuerus 19:55, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm in favor of anything that would stop the spammers. The second option would be my personal favorite. I can't imagine any serious user would object to providing a valid e-mail address. --Willem H. 20:08, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Willem. Anyone who wishes to update the database and/or wiki pages should have no objection to providing a valid email address. I've said this several times over the years and nothing ever came of it. Perhaps these latest series of attacks should be a strong argument for such a change. If we had done this years ago, there wouldn't be "thousands of unused spammer accounts in the database." Any account that has been inactive over a certain period of time should be disabled, requiring the user to contact us to re-activate it. Which reminds me, there should also be a valid email address or some other method for potential users to contact us. Mhhutchins 02:02, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm also in favor of the solution requiring a valid e-mail address. Every so often there are users who really want to correct or add to an author's bio, so it wouldn't be favourable to block these, I think. Stonecreek 06:16, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with requiring valid email addresses. However, it's not that hard to create apparently valid spam email addresses, so I hope this includes the tactic of sending the confirmation email to the address given and requiring a response within a specified time. Chavey 15:20, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree, too, with requiring a valid email address but I think that the confirmation-response procedure is necessary, as pointed out by Darrah. Hervé suggested also a captcha to deter spam bots: would it be difficult to implement (or easy to circumvent) ? --Pips55 20:19, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

(unindent) Thanks, folks! Here are some answers/comments:

1. The reason why we originally decided not to require e-mail addresses/confirmations was to make registration as easy and painless s possible. Keep in mind that ISFDB accounts and Wiki accounts are shared, so that if the proposed change is implemented, you would need to provide an e-mail address and be confirmed before you can create User Preferences. There may be some ways around it, e.g. it may be possible to tweak our Wiki settings so that anyone could create an account on demand, but that account would require additional moderator approval before you could edit/create Wiki pages. I'll see what I can do.

2. Similarly, we have to be careful disabling Wiki accounts because it could also affect User Preferences. Also, I am not sure I see the value of disabling long-inactive accounts. As long as we are sure that the user is a legitimate contributor, would it be advantageous to have him or her re-contact us when s/he comes back a year later?

3. We are currently using simple capchas to deter spambots, but they are not effective against human spammers. It's a common tactic for spammers to create new accounts manually and then feed them to bots hours or days later. It helps them defeat certain "autoconfirm" settings which require that new accounts be older than N seconds before they can be used for posting.

4. We currently have an e-mail account (isfdb.moderators at which is forwarded to moderators, but it hasn't been made public. I can add it to the top of all ISFDB pages, but we'd have to decide how we want to handle incoming e-mail. If 12 moderators get the same e-mail message and 3 of them respond at approximately the same time, it could get messy and wasteful. In the meantime, I occasionally get e-mail from contributors who know my e-mail address and do not want to go through the standard editing process. When that happens, I enter the data into the database on their behalf. (Which reminds me that I have an outstanding e-mail to process.) Ahasuerus 06:09, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

1. I can think of only one website which allows someone to edit their pages without registering with a valid email account: Wikipedia. (They must have some way of deterring spammers. I know they record ISPs for non-registered editors.) I can not imagine that any person who seriously wants to edit the database would have an objection to registering with a email account.
2. My point in suggesting that inactive accounts be deleted was in response to your statement that there have been spam user accounts already created. It would not apply to accounts that have provided valid email addresses. Once that policy was made, the question of de-activation would become moot.
3. Requiring users to register with a valid email address would solve this problem, wouldn't it?
4. Until it goes "live" there's really no way of knowing how a shared email account is going to work. I would hope that we could come up with some kind of plan. We would have to strongly suggest that the email address not be used to provide database information. It should be considered a contact address only. Mhhutchins 14:14, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
OK, let me try to change some settings. Hopefully this will work... Ahasuerus 23:23, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, it looks like it worked. I will post an update on the Community Portal shortly. Ahasuerus 23:28, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Done. Now we'll have to wait and see how much difference it will make. Dedicated spammers have long lists of previously generated e-mail addresses which they can use to register spam accounts, but they may also find that it's not worth their time and switch to more lucrative targets. We'll give it a few days... Ahasuerus 23:43, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

User talk:Don Erikson

Don Erikson's talkpage looks empty, but no one deleted anything. The history tab shows an addition by Stonecreek at 6:04 (my timezone), but this doesn't show on the recent changes page. Is this a bug? --Willem H. 06:14, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it's a bug or, to be more precise, a case of minor database corruption. As far as I can tell, Stonecreek last edited Don't Talk page approximately 24 hours ago while I was purging old versions of Wiki pages (for space reasons.) The way we purge the Wiki isn't officially supported and I should have warned all users to stay away from it while the purge was in progress. The result was that Don's Talk page and the Moderator Noticeboard page collided. I have rolled back the Talk page, so the problem may have been resolved. If not, I will have to inspect/tweak the underlying Wiki tables, which is always an iffy proposition... Ahasuerus 06:44, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

ISFDB maintenance

As posted on the Community Portal a minute ago:

Due to technical problems caused by the Wiki purge two days ago, I need to bounce the database and perform a quick backup. ISFDB will be unavailable for about 20 minutes. Ahasuerus 22:19, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Stephen King's Joyland: Genre or Non-Genre?

I do suspect that King's new novel slipped into the category of NONGENRE because of its publisher 'Hard Case Crime'. From a review it seems that it has some genre relevance, since at least spooks and precognition do play a role. If there isn't an argument against this I'd like to change it to genre NOVEl. Stonecreek 13:47, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Data from reviews indicate this should be classified as speculative fiction. Mhhutchins 14:37, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, Michael! I have changed the novel to NOVEL. Stonecreek 15:08, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

New wiki registration causing problems with current editors?

A submission I just accepted from a very active editor had this note to moderator: "I cannot edit messages; I'm told to confirm my e-mail address, which I've tried to do numerous times, but cannot seem to get done (I never get an e-mail)." Mhhutchins 16:33, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

I created a new test account a few minutes ago and the registration process worked fine. I have also tested the process with Fixer to make sure that it works for pre-existing accounts. It's possible that this particular editor's spam filters (either account-based or provider-based) think that our confirmation messages are spam and either quarantine or auto-delete them -- this is a known peril of requiring e-mail confirmation during account creation and one of the reasons why we were leery of it. As the first step, I would suggest leaving a note on the editor's Talk page asking to check his/her spam folder to see if our confirmation e-mails may be stuck there. Ahasuerus 18:30, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Message left on the editor's page. I see that although he's unable to edit the Wiki, he's still able to upload images to the ISFDB server. Is that function excluded from the registration process? Mhhutchins 18:41, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
The way it works is that there is an "e-mail has been confirmed" flag for each user. This flag is checked by the Wiki software when a user tries to edit a Wiki page, but I don't think it is checked when users upload images. Ahasuerus 01:37, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
He's still unable to edit the wiki. The latest submission's Note to Moderator: "I still cannot confirm my e-mail because I do not get messages. I checked spam - nothing there either. I have two e-mail addresses, and neither one seems to work. These addresses are [removed here. I've made a private note of the email addresses to avoid publicly posting them here]. Can someone please fix this problem?" Mhhutchins 17:54, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I tried sending him an e-mail through the wiki, but got the message "This user has not specified a valid e-mail address, or has chosen not to receive e-mail from other users." I think he has to edit his preferences first, either adding an e-mail adress, or checking the box "Enable e-mail from other users". --Willem H. 18:13, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I think that's what he's trying to do, but is not getting the confirmation email back from the ISFDB. The problem may be because he's an existing user, and not a new one. He can edit the database, and can upload images...he just can't edit the wiki. I'll leave a message on his talk page to check his preferences. Mhhutchins 18:46, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I tested the "existing user" use case with Fixer right after I changed the Wiki settings and it worked fine. I have sent an e-mail to Bob at the e-mail address stored in the Wiki database to see if he gets it.
I have also run a number of additional queries against the Wiki database and it looks pretty grim. There were hundreds of spam accounts registered and authenticated (via e-mail) yesterday, so they are smart enough to defeat our safeguards. I suppose it makes sense since these safeguards have been used by various Wikis for years and spammers have had plenty of time to come up with automated ways of bypassing them. There is currently nothing preventing them from launching a truly massive spam attack on our Wiki with thousands of spam edits per day. We'll have to think of additional lines of defense... Ahasuerus 19:22, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
That's not very good news. This attack is obviously from one source. Is there a way to know the host of the email addresses and be able to block that server? Mhhutchins 21:09, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
They are using addresses (550ish out of the 726 registered yesterday), which is a spammer SOP. I don't think we can prevent new users from using hotmail addresses for registration purposes, at least not with this version of the MediaWiki software and without installing additional extensions. Also, I see some other apparent spam accounts that use (30 accounts) and (120 accounts), which may be coming from another spam entity.
I suspect that at some point we may have to abandon the current Wiki registration model and require individual account approval before users can edit pages. As an experiment, I have created a "Write" group which lets users edit/create Wiki pages and made it accessible via the Bureaucrat interface. If we ran a script to add all existing users with at least one edit to this group, then we could change the Wiki settings to require new users to be explicitly added to the "Write" group before they could edit the Wiki. We'd probably want two things to happen before we did it, though: (1) modify the core ISFDB software to add support for Bio notes, Biblio notes and Series notes and (2) give all moderators access to the Bureaucrat interface. And, of course, we'd need to post the e-mail address that new users would need to contact to be added to the group. It's not my preferred solution, but it may be the lesser of two evils, especially if these attacks intensify. Ahasuerus 21:48, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Bio notes, Biblio notes and Series notes are fairly easy, but I have no clue about how to transfer existing Wiki Notes to the DB. I can start the process if people wish, and let the Macro-confident do the next step? BLongley 23:12, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
The Wiki maintains comprehensive lists of all Series pages, all Bio pages, all Author pages, etc. It would be fairly easy to copy the text of these pages to the database, but converting all Wiki formatting would be challenging. It may be easier and less error-prone to tackle the conversion process manually. Ahasuerus 08:09, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

[unindent] Now that they've found us, I think it's unlikely they'll let up unless we make the drastic change you propose in Wiki registration. Unless you can think of another method for editors to communicate. Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:12, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Nothing else comes to mind at the moment, but I am not exactly a Wiki expert. Perhaps Marty or some other editor with Wiki experience may be able to come up with better alternatives. Ahasuerus 22:23, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Have you seen this article? It has some pointers that might be useful. I suspect the medicine required may be a strong lock-down for a month or two to get the attackers to shift their attention elsewhere. But employing some of the regex stuff and black lists subscriptions might be a good start. --MartyD 03:02, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Marty, that page gave me a few ideas that I hadn't considered previously. I have changed the captcha settings to make captchas required when a user with less than N edits or creates a page. It's not much, but it doesn't cost us anything and may stop some bots.
Unfortunately, a number of other tricks that the author of that article uses wouldn't work for us because they would make our Wiki very slow: I tried a few of them the last time we ran into these problems and things slowed down to a crawl. Ahasuerus 04:17, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, that didn't help much since all spam edits include URLs and those already required captchas. Oh well, back to where we were... Ahasuerus 05:18, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
More tweaks to the spam filters, which should auto-reject over 70% of the spam that has been added lately. We'll see if the spammers are smart enough to figure out what we are doing and adjust accordingly... Ahasuerus 08:01, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
So far so good -- only one spam edit got through in the last 18 hours. Ahasuerus 00:57, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Things are looking up, only a few spam edits over the last couple of days. I have applied a few more tweaks which may help reduce the number even further. Ahasuerus 17:00, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Fantastic. Mhhutchins 20:05, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the relief, Ahasuerus! Stonecreek 20:10, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Feels very good. Thanks! --Willem H. 20:35, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
One battle at a time :-) Ahasuerus 21:18, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

New cleanup script -- CHAPTERBOOKs with synopsis data

The other day I noticed that we have a non-trivial number (148) of CHAPTERBOOK titles with synopsis information attached to them, apparently because some of our editors have been entering synopses via the New Chapterbook menu option. We should probably explain it to them that synopses need to be associated with Shortfiction titles rather than with their containers. We may also want to remove the Synopsis field from the data entry form for Chapterbooks.

In the meantime, I have added a new cleanup script to the bottom of the "Cleanup Scripts" menu for your cleaning pleasure. Ahasuerus 01:19, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

And as an added bonus I have added a script that finds publications without titles. Ahasuerus 03:07, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
And since I am on a roll tonight, I have also added a script to find Chapterbooks with no contents titles. Ahasuerus 03:33, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Price corrections

Fixer is in the process of correcting UK prices, so you will be seeing a couple hundred submissions that will all look like "Change the price of this pub from L5.99 to £5.99". Ahasuerus 04:43, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

The data has been fixed and the software has been updated so that it will no longer try to transform "L" prices to "£" prices. Ahasuerus 18:01, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Michael Dahl

I thought that I would ask before acting, unusual I know, but Michael Dahl has put out a large amount of fantasy fiction, so has he reached the tipping point for me to enter several books in a young adult mystery series featuring Finnegan Zwake? These books all seem to involve a quasi-fantastic, scientific premise, with a mundane, I think, resolution. MLB 11:32, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

[This was posted on the wrong page (the talk page), when it should have been posted on this page, which is linked from the ISFDB:Community Portal). The talk page is used to discuss this page, not to leave messages for the moderators. Thanks.]
I see no problem with adding the series to this author's summary page. Unless they're borderline, and clearly not spec-fic, enter them as NONGENRE. Mhhutchins 14:13, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I think he is over the threshold or very close to it, so there is no harm in adding his "quasi-fantastic" books to the database as long as we explain their nature in Notes. Ahasuerus 18:45, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

A whole mess of Fernandez

There's an airbrush artist Stanislaw Fernandes.
There's also a comic book artist Fernando Fernandez whose signature looks like 'fernando' with a circle under the last letter, and who is sometimes credited as Fernando (see below).
Two of Stanislaw Fernandes' covers are actually by Fernando: The Sundered Realm, and The Other Side of the Sky.
There's also an entry for Stanislaw Fernandez: The Vardeman & Milan covers (both Playboy and Ace, 1982-1986) should be credited to Fernando Fernandez, the others I don't know.
There's an entry for Stanislaw Hernandez: This is actually Fernando Fernandez again (see signature).
There's an entry for Fernando, this is sometimes Fernando Fernandez (1980s entries), but sometimes half of photographer duo Fernando/Mercedes, also listed as Fernando Mercedes.
Then there are entries for Fernadez (two covers, non-PV'd, probably a spelling error), Fernandez (is Fernando Fernandez for all listed covers but maybe Hunter's Moon, scan too small to read signature).
- Create new author Fernando (II) for the photographer.
- Make 'Fernando' and 'Fernandez' pseudonyms of Fernando Fernandez. Horzel 09:20, 5 July 2013 (UTC).

I've made corrections to the records based on your suggestions, but have left the verified records alone. I'll check into the suggestion about pseudonyms. Mhhutchins 15:06, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I've separated the Fernandos and made one into a pseudonym of Fernando Fernandez. Mhhutchins 16:14, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much, this looks a whole lot better! Horzel 20:42, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Mid-life Confidential

I have a copy of this book. It is listed as NONFICTION, which it certainly is, but since it is a collection of essays by the members of The Rock Bottom Remainders edited by Dave Marsh, should it be listed as an ANTHOLOGY instead or should I just add the essays as content on the existing title? There is also one content, Appendix I: The Henley Episode and Its Ramifications, that has been credited as "Edited and annotated by Roy Blount, Jr." How do I go about adding that as the content field doesn't recognize editors?--Jorssi 10:30, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

This should remain as NONFICTION which is for book length works of nonfiction, regardless of the contents' author credits. An ANTHOLOGY contains works of fiction by different authors. Also, you should not add contents unless they are spec-fic or spec-fic related. Otherwise you can use the "Note" field to add as much (or as little) information as you want. (I'm not even sure if the book qualifies for inclusion in the database. So it's best not to do a lot of work on it if another editor decides it doesn't qualify and wants to delete it.) Mhhutchins 15:26, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer. I was surprised at the first place that this title was listed here as it is not spec-fic. I will verify it all the same, but I'm not offended if it is deleted in the future. However, the price isn't printed anywhere on the book, so I will edit that out and verify it after that when I wake up. Now, I'm going to sleep. Thanks again. --Jorssi 22:44, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Cemetery Dance, #55, 2006

I added content to this title. I also changed the page count, but you can ignore that since I found out after submitting the edit that in magazines the covers are added to the page count. Sorry about that. --Jorssi 13:55, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

You linked to #61, which scared me for a second, since I was the one who entered that record. I think you meant to link to this one. I'll change the page count back to 116 after I accept the submission. Moderators do not have the ability to pick and choose which parts of a submission to accept. Since you added so much new data, it would be a shame to reject it for an error in one field. Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:05, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Whoops, my bad. Thanks for the edit. --Jorssi 14:19, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

CreateSpace and Fixer

As some of you may remember, back in late 2008-early 2009, when Fixer was still very young, he submitted a lot of books published by CreateSpace, which was originally a POD company called BookSurge. (BookSurge had been purchased by Amazon in 2005 and turned into their flagship self-publishing division.) CreateSpace publishes many hundreds of SF titles every month, most of them by amateur writers, and it would overwhelm our moderators if we tried to keep up with them. For this reason I convinced Fixer to put CreateSpace books in a separate "suspend" queue, where they would languish until we had moderators who would volunteer to process these ISBNs.

Or at least that was the plan some 4+ years ago. It turns out that as of 2013 quite a few commercially published authors make their books and stories available via CreateSpace. Because of this change, we can no longer ignore CreateSpace completely, so I have modified Fixer's logic to submit CreateSpace-published books as long as their authors have been known to publish SF commercially. You can expect to see more of them in the queue going forward.

Please note that although Amazon lists these books as published by "CreateSpace", in many cases Look Inside shows that another publisher is credited on the title/copyright pages. As far as I can tell, they are mostly single-author publishers, sometimes shared by two or more authors. In some cases they are responsible for quite a few books, e.g. WMG Publishing. Based on our rules, we presumably want to credit these publishers rather than CreateSpace (when applicable.) Ahasuerus 06:58, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

I checked the Amazon Look-inside on all of the Fixer submissions that I handled last night. About half of them had a publisher stated on the title page or copyright page, so I updated the records to credit the publisher. All of the others I left as CreateSpace. Thanks for fixing Fixer's logic to add only those pubs by authors who already have work commercially published. I can deal with those. The others will have to languish in limbo, as I can't imagine there ever being a time when there's enough moderators to handle them. Mhhutchins 15:52, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! I should probably add that determining whether a book's author has been published commercially is not always easy. Fixer can tell that we have an author record on file (unless CreateSpace uses an uncommon form of the name like "Mr H G Wells"), but determining the nature of the publisher(s) associated with the author's books can be tricky. Ahasuerus 18:42, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Trema over the Vowel i

An editor submitted a proper name changing of the author Garen Drussai into Garen Drussaï. I accepted it, but the trema doesn't appear. Can ISFDB not display an i trema? Rudam 13:37, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

My understanding is that the system more-or-less ignores such diacritical marks. E.g., you search for names with an ï, you get every name with an "i" in it. So since it views "Drussaï" and "Drussai" as being exactly the same, a "name change" from one to the other has no effect. I believe that the only way to get a name to appear with a diacritical mark is to have the first record that introduces that name (or possibly the lowest numbered record with that name, or something like that) to include the diacritical, and that change can't happen by just changing the spelling in the author record. Chavey 13:52, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
I think what happens is that the database's configured language/"character set" is one where there's a bit of insensitivity to many diacriticals. So, for example, the database might consider "i" and "ï" to match. This, in turn, could lead the combination of the ISFDB software and the database to conclude that a edit changing Drussai into Drussaï did not actually change anything. You could try a two-step rename: Drussai -> DrussaX, then DrussaX -> Druissaï, and see if that produced the desired result. X will not match either "i" or "ï", so both edits should be viewed as true changes by all parts of the system. --MartyD 18:55, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your suggestions. I've tried it with the X and it worked. Thanks again! Rudam 19:00, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

I Am Active, But Not Very

After cataloging my SF collection, I had a hiatus of several months from the site and a moderator, quite rightly, has put a "No Longer Active" flag on my account. Although not as active as I was during my personal cataloging, I do still visit the site and will respond to questions about my PVs. My activity frequency is likely to be about once or twice a month. I'll leave it to a Mod to decide whether or not the flag should stay, or whether a note of my activity frequency could be substituted. Cheers. Nimravus 16:29, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

That template probably isn't the best in a case like this. I'll create an infrequent user template as an alternative. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:12, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Template:Infrequent user created. If anybody has recommended changes, just make them. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:18, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Little Leather Library

I have a number of these that I would like to post on this site. I have just submitted one for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and it has not yet been accepted, but if so, I would appreciate any criticism as to what should be in the note field, and on what I did put in. I have a cover scan for this book. MLB 08:11, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Submission accepted here. Notes are OK, but many seem to be specific to the publisher and not to the book at hand. These notes should be moved to the publisher page. I'm assuming these had a soft cover and not hardbound.
There were a couple of other problems. You should not record blank pages in an ISFDB record's page count field, unless there they appear between two sets of numbered pages. Also, the record should not have been entered as a CHAPTERBOOK, because the work is classed as a NOVEL. I'll make corrections for both of these. A reminder: when adding other volumes in the series, only add the spec-fic titles. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:53, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. However, I did not know that you could put notes on the publisher page. How do you do that? I would only list speculative titles or titles with some speculative content. MLB 05:53, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Go to the publisher's page and click on the link "Edit This Publisher" under the Editing Tools menu. You can add any publisher-specific notes in the edit, and link to any pertinent webpages as well. Mhhutchins 16:27, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Unless there was a change for which I missed the announcement, only moderators may edit publisher records. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
That's new to me. I knew non-moderators couldn't merge publisher records, but assumed they could add notes or weblinks to a publisher record. The submission has to be moderated so why not allow it? Mhhutchins 23:00, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
This answer was given to me once upon a time. I agree that non-moderators should be able to edit links and notes. Assuming the software hasn't already been changed, it may just need a feature request created. -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:54, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Also, this site will not allow me to post a cover image unless I changed the cover image to this book which I suspect would not be appreciated, especially by Bluesman who posted it. MLB 06:09, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Those records are entirely separate, so uploading images to one shouldn't effect the other. Are you certain you're using the "Upload cover scan" link on the page for the publication record? I just tried the link and it's working for me. Please try again and tell us if you get a warning message that you're replacing another image file. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:27, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I see now what happened. It's this record's image which will be replaced. It was uploaded from a record which once had the same tag. I'm not sure how your record got the same tag (I thought the system wouldn't use the same tag again, even if the pub had been deleted.) I'll change the name of the older image, and you'll be able to upload using the regular method. I'll post back here when I've finished. Mhhutchins 16:39, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
You should be able to upload now without any problems. Mhhutchins 16:43, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Okay, thanks, I'll try again. MLB 18:37, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Edited the notes as requested, hope that they are okay now. MLB 18:55, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Abridged/Altered Fictions

I have a number of these books around here. These are books, novels, and/or short stories that have been abridged (dumbed down) by various parties for children (of all ages, I guess) for various parties. Baronet is the most guilty, but others have done it, and while I have listed these things on this site, I don't know if there is any fast and hard rule here on how to list them. Should a story be listed as "Story (abridged)", "Story by Author and Abridger" and then list that the story has been edited in the notes, or "Story (abridged)" and then list the abridger, or editor, in the Notes? I see these things listed all these ways on this site and I would like to know what the bylaws are for me to follow. And if this is figured out, should I go back and change my previous entries? MLB 01:33, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

As far as I know, there are no specific rules about how to handle these cases. It seems everyone pretty much does the best they can to deal with a situation which the database itself has never been able to handle, either by software design or editor consensus. Some cases are more clear cut than others, while others are more problematic. It depends upon how the work is credited on its title page, both the title and the author(s). If you do that when creating a publication record, you can't be faulted. Use the Note field to give as much information as provided about how the book is credited. There may need to be "fixes" once the record is in the database, particularly in the determination of when to variant titles. So in other words, work with the moderator and deal with each book as they arise on an individual basis. Mhhutchins 17:20, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
I have been thinking about this problem for a few months and hope to start a discussion about possibly changing the software in the foreseeable future. Until then, though, we are stuck with the options that Michael listed above. Ahasuerus 02:12, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
If the story is simply shortened, then it seems that tagging it "abridged" should be fine and credit should go to the author only. If it's rewritten in part or in whole then it becomes more complicated. If it's a complete rewrite, then I would think that something like labeling it as "original story by "X" retold by Y," as it's a completely new story and not "abridged" as I understand it. Or it could be treated as a "translation" or "interpretation" in a more general sense of the terms. If it's a combination of shortening combined with a partial rewrite then I'm not so sure. As an example, I have a copy of Aelita by Alexei Tolstoy written for students of the Russian language that I've been thinking about how to enter it for some time. Compared to the original it's been shortened by maybe twenty percent, and difficult words and idioms have been replaced to make it easier to read. The large majority of what's left is still original.--Rkihara 16:31, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Quoting copyrighted material

See this submission. The material quoted is copyrighted. While the source is attributed, I'm concerned about the amount of material: Part of those notes is pretty much an entire page from the site, and I did not hunt down the rest. Does anyone familiar with copyright law and how something like the ISFDB plays in that realm have an informed opinion (or one that's more informed than mine, anyway)? Thanks. --MartyD 10:38, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

If the notes are facts that are represented in the book itself, I see no problem with including them, even though they're to the point of being excessive...but if the words are taken exactly from another website (regardless of whether they're copyrighted or not), then the quoted page can be linked. Even better, because the notes appear to not be publication specific, the website can be linked in the title record's webpage field. Mhhutchins 18:16, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Gerd Maximovič

The autor Gerd Maximovič is currently a pseudonym of Gerd Maximović. It should be the other way round. I own a book with a name-imprint from himself and it clearly states a "č" in the name. Also most stuff is credited by that name. As this is a major change I don't know how to proceed.

  • Unlink the autor records,
  • Reverse the variant,
  • delete all the wrong title entries caused by that pseudonym,
  • reverse the few entries where the pseudonym really was used? --Stoecker 20:49, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Looking for the cover artist for Heinlein's Star Beast

New editor Zflip provided a new printing of the novel and has found the letters SA 86 on the cover. Does anybody has an idea about the artist? Stonecreek 11:15, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

User email contact

I tried sending an email to this user, only to learn that they did not provide an email address. Could they have registered before a valid email address was required and only now have started editing the database? I can think of no other scenario. Mhhutchins 03:56, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

It is also possible to disable email in your preferences. The same message is displayed for both cases. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:39, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Then what's the point of requiring an email to register? That defeats the purpose entirely. It shouldn't be a "preference" to be able not to be contacted. Sheesh! Mhhutchins 14:54, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
A valid email address was mandated to reduce spam. You also have to remember the wiki software is not written by ISFDB developers. It is also woefully out of date. When it comes to the wiki, we're limited to features Wikimedia chose to implement for their purposes a ways back. It's possible there is a setting to override that option, but a cursory glance of the Wikimedia documentation doesn't show one (though that's not definitive as docs aren't always complete). -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:56, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I guess that leaves those of us who handle new editors' submissions without any method to contact them other than a user page which many never find. Frankly, I've pretty much reached my limit when it comes to handling such submissions. Straw...camel's back... Mhhutchins 17:58, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Checking this user's account definition in the database, I see that the "disable email" flag is set to "yes", so JLaTondre's guess was right. Unfortunately, I don't see a way to change the behavior of the Wiki software to prevent users from doing this. Perhaps MediaWiki creators thought that it was an important privacy feature?
In the medium run, we will need to upgrade the MediaWiki software in order to get the benefit of various security and performance improvements that are now available. I was hoping that Al would come back and do it since he knows more about it than I do, but at this point it seems unlikely. Ahasuerus 19:29, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
What about making the message notification more prominent on the database side? It's been awhile since I last saw it as I usually check my watchlist prior to the database. But if it is still just the highlighting in the left toolbar, that's not as visible as on the wiki side. What about a similar bar that shows up across the top of the database page? -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:51, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Sure, we can do that. Perhaps add something along the lines of "Your submissions may not be approved until you respond?" FR 479 has been created.) Ahasuerus 20:11, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

CHAPTERBOOKs and series

Checking submission history for 2013, I see that we have at least four moderators who seem to have occasional trouble with CHAPTERBOOKs. Let's make sure that we are all on the same page before we start fixing the data:

1. A CHAPTERBOOK publication should contain one (and only one) CHAPTERBOOK title. It should alsocontain at least one non-container (or "constituent") Title record. This non-container record is typically SHORTFICTION, but sometimes it can be a POEM or an ESSAY.

2. SHORTFICTION records and CHAPTERBOOK records should never be VTs of each other.

3. Normally, a CHAPTERBOOK record should not be added to a series. Instead, it's the associated SHORTFICTION record that should be added to the series. The exceptions to this rule are few and have to do with complex situations where the constituent SHORTFICTION record already belongs to another series in a nested series situation. When this happens, a Publication Series is often a better choice.

4. The Notes field of a CHAPTERBOOK record should never be used to record information about the constituent work. For example, "It is the first story about vampires in the English language" should be associated with the SHORTFICTION record for John Polidori's "The Vampyre" rather than with the CHAPTERBOOK record.

5. Synopsis information should be added to the SHORTFICTION record and not the CHAPTERBOOK record.

Does this match everyone's understanding? Ahasuerus 04:19, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

All of these are in agreement with my practice based on my understanding of the standards, with one slight difference (in #1). I won't make the publication of a single ESSAY into a CHAPTERBOOK record. That would be considered a NONFICTION type. The rules state that a CHAPTERBOOK contains "a single work of short fiction", which I interpret to be SHORTFICTION or POEM. Of course, it can additionally contain ESSAY and INTERIORART records, but not another SHORTFICTION or POEM content which would qualify it as a COLLECTION or ANTHOLOGY, even if there are only two of them. Mhhutchins 04:51, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I see that I was apparently misremembering the outcome of the original CHAPTERBOOK discussion. I thought that we had adopted the proposal to list books with a single essay as CHAPTERBOOKs rather than as NONFICTION, but apparently not. Not that it happens all that often, but I've seen some very slim single-ESSAY booklets, e.g. an 8-page (?) pamphlet by Vonnegut. Ahasuerus 06:15, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Or ones closer to the spec-fic field: this essay by Algis Budrys and this one, probably the most famous essay ever published as a standalone in the history of horror literature. Mhhutchins 06:34, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, you might add that a synopsis should be added to the SHORTFICTION record and not the CHAPTERBOOK record. Mhhutchins 04:51, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Good point, done. Ahasuerus 06:15, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Will you be able to write a script to find the errors? There's already one that looks for missing contents. Mhhutchins 04:51, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, we should be able to create additional scripts once we are all on the same page. Ahasuerus 06:15, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Entering record numbers for other databases and secondary sources

When sourcing non-ISFDB databases which contain record numbers, it is the ISFDB standard to enter such numbers in the following format

XXXX: nnnnnnnn

For example, a sourced Worldcat/OCLC record should be entered in the Note field using the format "OCLC: 1234567". The same thing goes for Library of Congress control numbers: "LCCN: 1234567". (Linking to the outside database is optional.)

The standard for OCLC entry is here. The standard for LCCN entry is here. Both show that a colon and space should be used as a separator between the source name and the record number.

Although it hasn't been documented, I propose that we use this same standard for all outside sources which number their records. For example: the British Library ("BLIC: xxxx"), R. Reginald's references, Amazon's ID ("ASIN: xxxx"), Bleiler's guides, etc. (See this example.)

This may at first sound trivial, but it's not. It is important that the standard be used, including the colon and space, so that any future software upgrades that include the creation of a new field for such numbers can be implemented with the least effort. Any record using such forms as "OCLC number", "OCLC record", "LOC", or "LCN" will have to be manually updated, instead of a single universal change. I've noticed that some moderators do not use this standard, and so have not passed it on to new editors. We should all be following the documented standard, if only for the LCCN and OCLC, the two most likely candidates for getting their own field. Mhhutchins 16:49, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

I agree with this as a standard (although I'm not sure where it's documented). Chavey 20:33, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
The documentation for each is linked in my original post. Mhhutchins 02:28, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I haven't looked at the other standard numbers, but my count gives about 2,700 records with "OCLC#", "OCLC Number", or "OCLC Record", and about 15,900 occurrences of "OCLC:", so percentage-wise we're not bad, but that's still a lot of records that break the standard -- and I didn't count those with only a space, like "OCLC 1234567". Chavey 20:33, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
I fix them when I see them, but it's a losing battle if moderators continue to accept submissions that don't follow the standard. (I've probably fixed a third of those 15K records.) Mhhutchins 02:30, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Eek, I must have completely forgotten about this standard. Sorry about that, I'll try to do better in the future.
As far as Amazon goes, I usually use "Kindle ASIN NNNNN", but perhaps that's redundant: we generally do not record ASINs for anything that is not a Kindle book because ASINs and ISBNs are the same for almost all recently published books. Ahasuerus 01:48, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
When did that start? I've yet to see one Amazon listing for a Kindle ebook which gives an ISBN. They only give the ASIN. Mhhutchins 02:33, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant "ASINs and ISBNs are the same for almost all recently published [paper] books." Ahasuerus 02:40, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. But the ASIN matching a print book's ISBN has been the practice for as long as I remember. It was easier for Amazon to use the already established book ID number (i.e. the ISBN) than to create a new ID number. It was only when they started selling products other than books that they had to come up with the own way of identifying products, thus the Amazon Standard Identification Number. BUT, because the ASIN is a 10-digit number, Amazon has to convert a book's stated ISBN-13 to the ISBN-10 for its ASIN. Mhhutchins 03:41, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
When I wrote "recently published", I meant since the early 1970s when ISBNs became common :-) They have to use non-ISBN-based ASIN for older books. Ahasuerus 04:06, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, I guess compared to this one, all books in the database are "recently published." :) Mhhutchins 04:38, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I blame it on the fact that I have been reading up on the 16th century lately :) Ahasuerus 05:22, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Patch r2013-112 - new cleanup screen for pre-2005 ISBN-13

Moderators should now have access to a new cleanup script which finds pre-2005 pubs with ISBN-13s. Ahasuerus 00:00, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

The script has been updated as per Michael's feedback and should show all matching ISBNs. Ahasuerus 17:50, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Patch r2013-113 -- Moderator cleanup scripts reorganized; CHAPTERBOOKs in series added

The moderator cleanup page has been reorganized to group related scripts together. We now have three CHAPTERBOOKs-related scripts at the bottom of the page. I'll add another one to find incorrect VTs once I figure out how to do it without bringing the server to its knees. Ahasuerus 03:10, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. I like the re-organization of the scripts into related subsections. Mhhutchins 03:43, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
OK, the "CHAPTERBOOKs with mismatched VTs" script has been added. I also removed the word "Find" throughout because it was redundant. Ahasuerus 04:47, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, nice change. If I was creating them now I'd probably retitle the entire option as none of them actually DO clean up anything - they just make more (necessary) work. I'd also hoped that most would be temporary scripts that could be retired by now.... oh well, if I could predict what you lot would do with them I'd become a sooth-sayer instead. BLongley 11:05, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, most of them are still valid because of human input errors. The only one that can be retired is "Duplicate Publication Tags", because of software changes that prevent it from happening in the first place. Mhhutchins 15:28, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Ideally, the software should prevent editors from creating invalid records. However, there are so many valid permutations and multi-step workarounds that imposing software-based constraints may cause more editor frustration. Ahasuerus 15:37, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
"Missing Editor Records", and "Publications with Extra Editor Records" could probably be removed, but it's possible that someone could accidentally change an EDITOR record to another type or change a title record to an EDITOR record, which should be caught by the moderator. They couldn't do either in a publication record creation or edit. So those two, though rarely used, should remain.
Concerning "Publications without Titles": frankly I don't know how a publication can be in the db without a title record, but this relatively new script did find about five or so when I first used it, but none since. So those pub records may have been orphaned by some method which can no longer happen. That script may no longer be necessary. Mhhutchins 15:28, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I think Remove Title lets you remove all titles in a pub. Ahasuerus 15:37, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

New cleanup script

A new cleanup script, Binding Codes, has been added. Some offending codes like "audio" may be hard to find using Advanced Search, so we may need to enhance the script to directly link to the pubs for any binding code with less than 20 pubs. Ahasuerus 06:24, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

The script has been fine-tuned to ignore "common" (i.e. documented in Help) bindings and to display links to the affected pubs. Ahasuerus 01:41, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. A great improvement. Mhhutchins 02:34, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
A reminder to anyone who chooses to use this script: it's not necessarily a "clean-up" script. For the most part, these are legitimate bindings, just uncommon, and there's no need to fix them...unless a Rules & Standards discussion leads to removing such uncommon bindings from the Pub Format field, leaving it blank, and then recording the oddity in the Note field. This is an approach that I would recommend because it would then open the door for a drop-down menu with all of the common bindings. Mhhutchins 02:38, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Patch r2013-122 -- Recent integration/rejection lists improvements

The pages showing recent integrations and rejections have been improved. They should display all submission types, including Import/Export, NewPub, AddPub, and ClonePub correctly from now on.

In addition, New/Add/ClonePub rows have been linked to the body of the approved/rejected submission. It's a bit inconsistent compared to the way other submissions are linked, but there isn't much we can do about it because all other submissions have the record number of the record that they modified embedded in the body of the submission while the New/Add/Clone submissions do not. Ahasuerus 05:14, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

New Submissions page -- cosmetic changes?

What do you think of the following proposed changes to the New Submissions page:


Note the changes to the header area and the addition of cell borders. Ahasuerus 22:00, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

I think that's an improvement. Chavey 04:51, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Done. If everything looks OK, we can apply the change to the Recent Integrations/rejects pages. Ahasuerus 03:42, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

New version of the "Chapterbooks without Contents Titles" script

The "Chapterbooks without Contents Titles" cleanup script has been fixed and should be able to find more wayward pubs now. The new logic checks all CHAPTERBOOK pubs to make sure that they have at least one SHORTFICTION, POEM or SERIAL title. Ahasuerus 18:56, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

New cleanup script - "Pseudonyms with Canonical Titles"

A new cleanup script, "Pseudonyms with Canonical Titles" has been deployed. It takes about 4-5 seconds to run, but I doubt I can make it any faster because it needs to examine hundreds of thousands of records.

The vast majority of the 1000+ author records that the script finds need to be fixed. However, there may be a few like H. P. Lovecraft whose collaborations were so unusual that we have circular pseudonyms for them. I guess once we have cleaned up 98% of what we currently have, we can decide what to do with the remaining 1-2%. Ahasuerus 00:24, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Also be aware that some of these are house names and there are titles which have not been varianted to a canonical author because the true author is unknown. Don't arbitrarily variant if you're not sure that the pseudonym isn't used by another author. That would be good advice whether it's a house name or not. Mhhutchins 04:44, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

(unindent) The script has been further tweaked to show how many canonical titles each pseudonym has and to display the total number of affected pseudonyms at the top of the page. Ahasuerus 23:43, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

The Waugh submissions

Dr. Charles G. Waugh submitted a whole bunch of newly edited anthologies, which stood for quite a time waiting in the queue. I accepted them but there remains a lot to do, since the contents were only listed in the synopsises. I will see what I can do for Apemen, Saved by the Belle and Survive, or Die! over the next days (or weeks) but there are five more that need to be taken care of. Since they are all published by Sam Teddy Publishing it shouldn't be too difficult to find them. Stonecreek 14:18, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

I created a macro that does most of the work of conversion, so I'll be glad to handle the contents for these. I'm leaving his submission notes as is, since he lists the dates of the story settings, but I'm moving them from the title rec to the pub rec, and converting them to lists. Here's one example. I'll do the rest later today. Chavey 17:43, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Great! Please tell me if there's anything left I can do (for example looking for needed mergings or variantings). Stonecreek 18:49, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I added price, page counts, and ISBN's to most of these books. ("Tooth and Claw" is listed as "Fort]hcoming" by Sam Teddy, with details unavailable.) I cleaned up the extensive, but unformatted, notes of Waugh, and added all of the stories as contents. I changed several title formats to our standards (changing parentheses to ":"). I added Waugh's names to books where he had not listed himself, but the covers showed him as a co-editor. I added publisher's synopses of the books, and added notes on several books that they seem to be largely or completely non-genre, i.e. "Saved by the Belle", "Survive or Die!", "Sailing Into Danger", "Making Tracks: 23 Classic Railroad Stories", and "Pine Tree Pioneers: 20 Tales of Early Mainers". What's left to do is: Variant author names to canonical names where necessary; merge titles where necessary; contemplate whether some of these books should be deleted as non-genre, or have only partial contents to remove non-genre. (That last step is hard, unless someone gets the books. But his one-line plot synopses makes an awful lot of them look like non-genre.) Let me know which books you do varianting and merging on, and I'll try to do those you don't get to. Chavey 16:43, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Are you certain that the contents of this anthology are eligible for the db? Same concern about this one and this one. Mhhutchins 15:47, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Re: Survive or Die! I entered the contents for this one and could merge nearly all of the titles with already existing ones, with three exceptions, two of which I mentioned in the publication notes, and the third (The Open Boat • (1897) • shortfiction by Stephen Crane) seems to be by an author who seems to be above the threshold. The listing of the contents in the title notes seems a bit superfluous now, doesn't it? Stonecreek 17:20, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
That is not one of the anthologies I linked to. About the Stephen Crane story: even if he is "above the threshold" (which I would personally dispute, no one would remotely think of Stephen Crane as an author of chiefly speculative fiction), this piece is non-genre short fiction. The NONGENRE type can only handle novels, and is unable to work with non-genre works of short fiction. It has been an established standard (whether it's documented I can't say) that we do not enter the contents of non-genre anthologies. The only other option is to list the non-genre works in the publication's Note field. And yes, it is superfluous to enter the contents (non-genre or not) in the Note field of the publication's title record. Mhhutchins 18:09, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry about Crane, I must have thought that a low author identity number would indicate a foundational impact for a given author. I'll remove the title (and also the superfluous notes). Stonecreek 08:52, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I also expressed concern that near the top of this thread that an awful lot of these stories looked non-genre. I left the content listings in the notes field because, generally, they included information that didn't go into the contents -- e.g. the location of the original publication of these stories. In all honesty, I was too lazy to edit all those short-story title recs and move the "first publication" notes to their individual short story title recs. Especially if someone else was going to delete the contents as non-genre. Chavey 06:43, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Submission in the queue for Catch a Falling Star

I'm not going to handle this submission due to the problems several moderators had with the author/ISFDB editor. If any moderator chooses to accept it, please be aware that he's using a pseudonym which is the name of another author of the early 20th century spec-fic: Garnett Radcliffe. You'll have to change the credit of the pub record and its contents to Garnett Radcliffe (1965-). What's strange is the username of the submitting editor is "Wgcontento". Whether it's the real W. G. Contento, I have some strong doubts, as it's known that the editor has played games with pseudonyms before. (He sent me a rather nasty pseudonymous letter using the ISFDB email system shortly after he disappeared from the scene, decrying me as an asshole in my dealings with that "other" editor.) So if you choose to accept it, just be prepared. Mhhutchins 01:08, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

And, as the target of diatribes by this submitter, I won't deal with this either. But I will note that in the past this submitter has had a weak grasp of when items fit the within the genre and when they do not. Chavey 06:54, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I would think ISFDB editors would be expected to act professionally and do their job, despite their personal issues with others. Al 08:37, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Fortunately, it isn't our "job", and it's not a profession. It's a choice, and some of us choose not to deal with submissions. You have the same choice. Mhhutchins 15:33, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
and that attitude is precisely why I haven't contributed but a thing or two in well over a decade to the ISFDB. Sadly that. Al 08:40, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
That's a double standard. You are saying other volunteers should participate regardless of the actions/attitudes of others, but you yourself are using the actions/attitudes of others as a justification for not participating. People participate in the ISFDB because they like to; not because they have to. Expecting people to put up with abuse is unrealistic. -- JLaTondre (talk) 11:20, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, J. That was a great response. I couldn't have said it better. Mhhutchins 19:17, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
sorta but not Really. There's a difference between deciding to not participate, which means not having to deal with what I have issues with, or If I were to participate again actively and being expected because I said I'd participate to do what was needed done despite my concerns. I agree people do not deserve to be abused. But approving or fixing an entry is a different matter, if abuse comes after such, then the abuser should be punished. However senior moderators shoulsnt be able to determine what and by whom gets entered into the database based on feelings because in theory it sets a dangerous precedent of what does and does not get entered. I think that's too much control and power and too dangerous a situation. Not dealing with entries because you do not like someone, is nowhere near the same as approving or disapproving entries based on established qualification rules, just to cut off that line of questioning from the beginning. Besides, I was never good enough nor enough of a perfectionist to continue here, I had relied on printed sources for my information, like the Encyclopedia of SF and unfortunately copied those errors over in my data that got used here in the dark ages, Both A's (Al amd Ahs) were a great help but it was clear I was out of my depth, then the attitudes started to change with the "new" at the time crop of volunteers and their holier than thou condesending attitudes they shoved down people who didn't get the complicated rules fast enough, and that did me in :(. And it all really is very sad as its a great resource I always wanted to be a part of. At least for a time I was and my name was. I also fel bad I screwed up upon my return and used Al, I need to change that out of respect. Al 11:45, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Until you've been at end of such abuse, you can't say exactly what you would have done. I believe our responses were correct, and wouldn't change a thing if given a second chance. If you were a moderator, you'd know that the decision to bypass a queued submission happens quite frequently. Some submissions are just too much work for some moderators who make a conscious decision to leave it sitting in the queue. Some of us moderators have taken on the extra burden of dealing with such submissions. You have no idea the hundreds of hours I've spent in mentoring new editors. You have no idea the thousands of words I've posted on their pages providing them with guidance when all they would have to do is read the help pages. So don't tell me what I have to do, especially if you're unwilling to do it yourself. You had that opportunity and chose to leave. I chose to stay and build the database. Mhhutchins 19:17, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
On a professional level, the difficulty in dealing with this editor is that it is very difficult to decide whether or not a submission of his belongs in the database. His works are self-published, do not get Amazon or WorldCat "summaries", do not get reviewed anywhere, and hence we can't get any outside opinion as to whether the contents are speculative fiction. He doesn't respond to questions about content well -- his attitude is "I wrote it, so it should be in there." There are certainly other authors who are at least as obnoxious as this one, but their personality problems do not interfere with us evaluating whether their book belongs in the system. And, as you probably know, a new editor's initial submissions often have a variety of little errors that need correction to match the standards in place for the system as a whole. It is unfortunate, but true, that several potential editors (and it sounds like you might fit in this category) do not get past this phase without giving up in frustration. (A lot more error detection/correction at the submission phase might help, but introduces other kinds of frustrations.) Occasionally, though, we get an editor at this phase of their participation who decide that our standards our stupid, that editors trying to implement them are assholes, and that they should be able to enter anything they want. That doesn't go over well. If this were a professional system, such editors would simply be banned. We try not to do that here. Instead, editors who have had substantial problems with an editor simply recuse themselves from working with that person -- the way any responsible judge in the real world would. That's what Mike and I have done here. Chavey 15:06, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
in actuality, a real editor would be assigned a task and would be expected to perform that task, despite any personal issues, Al 03:33, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

[unindent] My only request to anyone who would criticize Darrah and my decision not to handle this editor's submission is to read this page. It should answer any concerns about whether that was a right decision. No other editor could have been more patient than those of us who dealt with his submissions. Re-read my original post for this topic, and at no time did I say that the submission should not be accepted. If I felt that way, I could have easily rejected it and went on without any other moderator knowing the reason why. Mhhutchins 19:17, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

I am well aware of the situation. This wiki is open to all, and I've read pretty much every article at least twice however what hasn't still been addressed here is my point, much effort was made to explain how this or that submission doesn't get done by a moderator for this or that reason, despite me from the very beginning stating that I was not referring to rules and submissions. My concern remains what happens when every moderator refuses to deal with submissions because they just don't like e person that made it. And that's why i still claim, personal feelings, even if one doesn't t like the submitter, should not be a factor in refusing to deal with a submission. The ISFDB loses all credibility once submissions are deemed to be dealt with based on emotion, and not acceptable facts as per the rules. You may claim such a scenario will never happen, perhaps not, but I think it will and does now, I think thisor a fine example of the failure of using emotion to decide to deal with submissions or not, not just you, but other moderators have stated they will not deal with it, maybe everyone will. I shouldn't be surprised though, as I have stated its a holier tthsn thou crowd that demands ings be done as they say. And if not people are rushed off in a condescending put down. Al ones need do is read your recent indignation on the subject of dates to see what I mean. You insist over and over it's how it is,it's so simple to understand, and at since people don't get it, you throw your hands in the air and walk away, nothing more condescending and put someone in their place than that. And that's exactly what I mean by the attitude around here SUCKS. so yes, while I'm sad I'm not a part of this project, I'm also proud if that's the acceptable attitude, as well as refusing submission on the basis of emotions, then I am glad I didn't help more, I'll even go so far as saying I apologize for needing to post this here. If this were a real formal organization, there'd be contact information to file my concerns with authority, and not expect people to have to work their ass off to find a way to post feedback. Al 03:24, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Even if I can understand your virtual concerns (that some submissions may stay in the queue "ad vitam eternam"), note that in this precise case, the submission was dealt with. For the wish to "file my concerns with authority", you're probably not in the right place in a volunteer-based outfit. Making disparaging comments about moderators (in particular or in general) is, IMHO, not very constructive, perhaps it'll be wiser to become one and try to change things from the inside. Even if I had some bibliographic disagreaments with Michael, his tremendeous work should not be belittled. Hauck 10:31, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Further above, you stated that if abuse occurs "then the abuser should be punished". What you seem to be missing is that not accepting an editor's submissions is the only punishment we have. We don't have (and I hope we will never use) a formal banning system like other projects. If an editor antagonizes the entire community and no one is willing to deal with them, then so be it. That is a far more forgiving and a less open to abuse system than is used by other projects. It does not damage ISFDB's credibility; quite the opposite for anyone who has witnessed the destructive drama of Wikipedia's block/unblock wars, sockpuppetery, etc. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:10, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
There is a Blocking Policy, but it's hardly ever used. Not counting spambots, I can only recall two occasions when I had to invoke it. Ahasuerus 19:57, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Given your comment regarding a "real formal organization", it sounds like you have a misunderstanding of how open-source, collaborative projects work. Even Wikipedia, which is backed by a formal non-profit organization, doesn't have what you are suggesting.
As for the rest, it seems like you have an issue with Michael and are trying to tar the remainder of the community with it. Michael can be impatient and abrupt, but he also does great work including with new editors. However, he is not the the entire community. Instead of continuing to ask others to apply a different standard, may I suggest you practice what you preach and join us? We can always use additional participants; especially those willing to work with new and problematic editors. You don't need to be a moderator to correct errors and provide people with helpful instruction. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:10, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
in the end there is always someone responsible,in charge. Someone signs the cheque. Someone pays the bills. Someone has the domain registered. Even in such circumstances as an open thing as this. That aside, I don't have any particular issues with Michael, that I don't have either editors that act the same. I'm not a fan of allowing people to be abrupt and rude, just because they contribute a lot. What I have done is not tell anyone to change. What I have done is tell everyone here why some people stay away. And I'm hardly the only one, I can easily name a handful of people, other than the person that is the issue of this thread, who have stated through this wiki they left or didn't appreciate the abrupt, rude and condescending attitudes of some. What you do about it all is your (royal) call. I suspect the concerns will just be ignored because a ubsr productive member is more important here clearly than some manners towards those trying to learn the system. And with that, I'm done, because like stoecker, I can tell when I am jut beating my head uselessly against a wall. Go back to your condescension as you wish. All that matters in the ends filling up that database after all, not the people. I'll keep an eye put, should things change in attitude around here, then yes, I'll gladly throw in a few hours a week grunt work. I don't have books(can't read me) so being a primary or entering books is out, but there's tons of stuff need fixin, maybe others will join in too. But you might just find in the meantime we don't want to be an editor associated with a project that allows editors to be abrupt and condescending to others, especially when their main crime is not getting the "rules" fast enough. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Al (talkcontribs) .
No, it doesn't only matter to fill the database, regardless of the quality. It is the quality of data that puts ISFDB in high regard for users, and Michael (among others) has done tremendous work to ensure this quality. Some people won't take only a look at a given publication, and well, this directly leads to users complaining that a database is pretty undependable (= useless). Stonecreek 05:22, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, we had a major problem with data quality back in the 1990s and that's what prompted the switch from the original unmoderated process to a moderated one. Of course, once you have moderation in place, the human factor becomes more important and there will be times when editors, especially new editors, and approving moderators will have disagreements and/or misunderstandings. We try to mitigate these problems by making "good communications skills" a requirement for new moderators, but there is only so much we can do. Things happen and there will be editors who will decide not to contribute because they don't like the rules, the process or the moderators. Thankfully, it hasn't happened very often. Ahasuerus 05:39, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
yet, those "good communications skills" apparently are not required for veteran moderators. And that's the problem. I don't think there's anyone here that doesn't think Michael is abrupt and condescending to new editors that he gets tired of "trying to explain" or throws his hands in the air when those new editors or even veteran editors dont get his "interpretation" of the rules that are so clear to him and only him. He is not the only one Either, There's nothing wrong with what you say Ahasuerus, it's a lofty goal. But it should not just be enforceable on those new editors but on ALL editors equal and it's certainly not. Seriously - why is he allowed to be like that? Al 09:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm, you might get sounding a bit harsh when you have to deal the umpteenth time with the same upcoming problem (possibly by the very same editor), but as I wrote above, Michael seems to be the driving force behind an improvement of data quality, that is, he keeps insisting on this quality (and it is this insisting that may be regarded as harsh by some). On the other hand, who knows how many potential editors might have been driven away by lack of data quality (for example just showing a wrong cover, mistakenly entered publication dates etc. - there is really such a load of mistakes that need to be fixed). I might have been driven away by a mistake in the beginning, I just decided to fix it and became involved. But this was because the mistake was stated for a german publication that I didn't regard as essential for ISFDB. If I had found any central mistake, I might have never considered to edit or even to make use of the database.
If you don't think about dealing with books, than there is also much to do in other fields, as you might know ;-), and there shouldn't be much conflict with other moderators. Stonecreek 14:13, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

[unintend] So in other words, new editors are not allowed to be rude, but if you produce quality work as a senior editor you can be as rude as you want, as you are getting the job done. Nice. Al 11:51, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

If an editor believes that a moderator is being rude or is not interpreting the data entry rules correctly, he or she should post on the Moderator Noticeboard and link the exchange(s) in question so that they could be looked into. Ahasuerus 16:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Dating Publications in the rules section. Adding Gender in the community portal section. Need me to continue? Both full of vile a contempt and condescending remarks on Michaels part. Not that anything will be done of course, he's too valuable of a "get the data in" over people mentality. Feel free to prove me wrong and correct his rudeness being allowed, of course. As I said earlier, everywhere else on the Internet and real Life has a contact to deal with personal issues, but since you insisting on it being aired out publicly after people pointing it out on and off for years that it shouldnt be and there should be contact information. here we go. But I know right now what the answer will be, either a) that's not rude (despite the fact it is) and you are just saying so to keep him from being disciplined, or b) that's just Michael, that's how he rolls. Again not valid. Yes I'm upset about this. It is wrong and needs to be fixed. Not becaise i was harmed, but because it is wrong. There's a clear case. Of favouritism based on how much work you produce around here (clearly supported by the comments in this thread) and what you are allowed to get away with, that needs to be corrected, as it's the right thing to do. Al 11:12, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I was unclear. If you believe that one of your submissions wasn't correctly processed by a moderator and/or the approving moderator didn't communicate his concerns properly, please link the discussion so that other moderators could review it. As the page header says, "The purpose of this page is to get the attention of one or more moderators with concerns about submissions." Since your Talk page has no record of submissions-related discussions, I assume that you had problems using a different account. Was it User:Starseeker 2065, which Michael linked earlier? If so, which one of the discussions did you have a problem with? Ahasuerus 19:29, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
and as I said, nothing will be done, the issue won't be addressed and every excuse will be made to deflect the topic because it concerns the Actions of a heavy production editor. Work hard editors, and then you too can do whatever crap you want to others here! But if you are new, toe the line, or your submissions will just be ignored! Al 14:06, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, count me out of this discussion, it's getting nowhere. If the fact that there's no contact here for personal issues troubles you so much, it's perhaps wiser and less stressful to you to avoid discussions in such an "unfriendly" place. Hauck 18:09, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
that's NOT what I said. I said it would be nice to have a place private to deal with personal issues as it businesses and groups have, however that was never the issue. The issue remains, senior moderators refusing to deal with submissions due to rudeness on the part of the new editor, but themselves (senior moderators) allowed to continually be rude to others, either in regards to submissions or issues posted to the wiki. And the topic is only going nowhere because nobody is talking about the issue and doing their best to deflect and derail the actual issue, had the issue been actually discussed and resolved when raised instead of trying to get it derailed, this would have been long over. Al 14:03, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
To talk about the issue, please refer exactly to a text where hostility (or rudeness) was (mis)used against you. Stonecreek 15:53, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Please do. Ahasuerus 16:53, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

(unindent) I find the tone and path of this discussion both depressing and disheartening. It's not even aimed at me, and I can't imagine what some other people are feeling at this point. What started out as a notification to other moderators not to expect that our most prolific moderator would magically take care of some tricky submissions if the rest of us avoid handling them long enough has devolved into attacks ad hominem and bashing of some of the people putting in the greatest number of thankless hours walking the fine line between (among?) maintaining ISFDB quality, helping other contributors get up to speed/improve, and trying to keep up with the submission volume so that contributors can keep doing their thing. Wasn't the point of the initial post to ensure that the submissions DID NOT get ignored -- to ensure that they WOULDN'T sit in the queue for a long time -- and to help whoever might handle the submissions do so properly and avoid some potential pitfalls with regard to working with the submitter?

and there we go again.... He's a major contributor, so it's all okay he CN say what and how he wants becuase he produces wads of stuff for us! How much is produced is irrelevant or st least should be when how one is allowed to communicate rudely with their fellow volunteers, Al 14:06, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

The other thing to keep in mind is that this Wiki is a written medium, and it's very difficult to convey and discern intended tone in writing. The words I write are "said" in the tone I hear in my head, but that may not be what someone else reading them hears. In addition, a lot of what the job of moderating requires essentially is delivering criticism, and people respond to criticism in different ways: Some take it as a challenge, some as an affront, some don't even recognize it as someone's attempt to alter their behavior. Moderators, who are not necessarily professional psychologists, diplomats/politicians, or managers, can find themselves in situations where their communication style and abilities, not to mention the amount of time they have available to craft communication, are at odds with the contributor's feedback needs and reactions. Sometimes the best way to deal with that is to let someone else with a different mix of style and abilities (and time) take a shot at the situation. Often the head-butting proves to be temporary, as people get used to each other. And sometimes it doesn't. A not-currently-active editor used to have extremely negative reactions to one specific not-currently-active moderator, and I couldn't even begin to understand why. When that's the case, it's up to the moderator to avoid triggering further confrontations: A moderator can choose to avoid an editor, but an editor has no way to avoid a moderator, short of not contributing. --MartyD 18:26, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

All true and very well put. I would add that the "not-currently-active editor" referred to above had, as he once explained, significant medical issues which affected his ability to function. Also, not only is it hard to discern intended tone in writing, but it can also be hard to understand why a new editor is having problems. Some people are not very computer-savvy and what is obvious to an experienced moderator may completely elude a new editor.
In this particular case, the "ad hominem and bashing" come from one person who is yet to provide any specifics of alleged rudeness. Unless the specifics are forthcoming, I will be archiving this discussion and applying ISFDB:Policy as appropriate. Ahasuerus 21:52, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
my issue has always been stated as an ongoing one in general and not as a personal attack issie. have provided recent examples of s senior editor who was rude and condescending to others. There are many more. Even posters to this thread have madeit clear they feel Michael can be abrupt and rude at times. You. N continue to ignore this, but that doesn't mean the problem will go away. I have attempted to deal with this issue in the proper manner. I would have done private if possible, it isn't here. I then brought it to the organization, the organization seems to just want to ignore it and not deal with the issue, so that only leaves one avenue, going public. And I am more than prepared to do so, should the general topic of senior moderators being rude, condescending and abrupt not be addressed. You may delete, archive, punish me all you want for wanting to improve the "tone" of this project, but that will not stop me from using whatever means I can to see it done. Why? Because volunteers don't deserve to be treated with such abruptness and condescension as exhibited regularly by some senior moderators, and all in the open and visible to everyone that comes around. So fix it, or be prepared to deal eith it in the real world. Abusing volunteers usually doesn't sit well there. Al 14:06, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
As per the note above I am archiving this discussion and will be addressing the rest of it on the editor's Talk page. Ahasuerus 14:49, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Date change for Orbit 8 and contents?

See the notes in this pub. I'm inclined to change the date from October to December. Does anyone have strong feelings about the date, one way or the other? Thanks. --MartyD 11:47, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

As you answered to the submitter, IMHO "physical" (on book) date trumps all. Hauck 13:59, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Hauck that the date of the ISFDB record should reflect the stated date unless there's a reliable secondary source providing overwhelming evidence that the statement is drastically incorrect (e.g., publishers have been known to give the wrong year.) A couple of months in this case could just mean that copies may have appeared before the stated publication date, a pretty common practice in those days. Retain the note about Contento's "contention". But change the publication date of the book and its contents to conform with the ISFDB standard. Your note to the primary verifier sufficiently explained the various exceptions to this standard. Mhhutchins 16:53, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Fixer 2013-12

I have cleaned up high priority ISBNs for 2013 and 2014-01 as much as I could, so now I am going back to software development, health permitting. In the meantime, I will be asking Fixer to submit batches of relatively high priority ISBNs from 2012 as well as some medium priority ISBN from 2013. I expect each batch to contain about 20 ISBNs, although the first one has turned out to be a bit bigger than expected. Ahasuerus 05:35, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

P.S. One more thing. Over the last few weeks I have reconciled Fixer's database with Amazon's "authorities" data. Using our terminology, an "authority record" is any record other than a publication record, so our Title and Author records are authority records as far as Amazon is concerned. The nice thing about this is that you can ask Amazon's authority database questions like "What other ISBNs are related to this ISBN?" It's not comprehensive, but it does have a lot of useful information, so now Fixer can create submissions for additional ISBNs. Ahasuerus 06:41, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
When did CreateSpace and ReadHowYouWant get to be high priority ISBNs, or even medium priority? Mhhutchins 06:20, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Well over 90% of what CreateSpace publishes is low priority and ends up relegated to Fixer's "queue number 3" where ISBNs go to die -- or at least languish in obscurity.
However, CreateSpace is also used by bona fide SF writers. For example, this ReAnimus Press edition of Norman Spinrad's The Men in the Jungle was published via CreateSpace and that's how it appears in Amazon's database.
ReadHowYouwant specializes in large print reprints, including books by the likes of L. Ron Hubbard, Terry Bisson and Margaret Atwood. They are not terribly active, e.g. see this list of what they published in 2013. Ahasuerus 06:41, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Fantastic Fiction images

I have a moderator question. I put a hold on a submission by Gerryjm for "Gods for Tomorrow". He submitted a PubUpdate that added a picture of the book that he got from Fantastic Fiction. I know we have implicit permission to use their images. But normally we link to them, which then gives them credit for the image. In this case, the editor downloaded the image from them, uploaded it to us, and submitted that image. Is that kosher? The relevant Help Page seems quiet on this point. Chavey 04:33, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I see no problem with this practice. Bluesman has uploaded thousands of cover images from various sources over the years. I've even done it a number of times myself. I know some editors have downloaded images from Amazon and uploaded them to our server in order to avoid any future problems with changes in Amazon's URL or in the image itself. (I personally feel the latter is overkill, but there is no policy against the practice.) This doesn't violate any copyright laws that I'm aware of, as long as the uploader is using the correct upload procedure and a fair-use license is attached to the file. One last thing, there's no need to credit the source in the pub record unless we are actually drawing bandwidth from their server to display the file. And that's only a courtesy, as long as they are aware that we're deep-linking to their files. Mhhutchins 07:17, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Having said that, whenever I see a pub record with an image linked to Fantastic Fiction, I try to find another source for the cover. Their servers are very slow and their images for the most part aren't worth the trouble. Mhhutchins 07:19, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I just wanted to make sure. Chavey 16:02, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with all of the above with one caveat. Sometimes sites make changes to cover scans and claim "derivative work copyright". In most cases we are not interested in their altered images since they are not exact representations of the cover art. However, there are cases when their "alterations" amount to cleaning up images to remove creases and other post-production artifacts. Occasionally site owner(s) claim that these changes entitle their versions of images to copyright protection due to the amount of time they have invested. I am not sure whether their interpretation of the law has been/will be upheld by the courts, but I would steer clear to avoid potential problems. Thankfully, these cases are rare. Ahasuerus 17:24, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
That's akin to renovating a neighbor's kitchen and then claiming it as your own. Mhhutchins 17:33, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Hm, I sense a business opportunity! :-) Ahasuerus 17:55, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I've cleaned up thousands of images and uploaded them to this server. So I hereby declare that I shall retain no claim to these images and release them to any person without them having to credit my work. :) Mhhutchins 17:33, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
This seems suspiciously like a general claim that we can download, then upload, a cover photo from any site that doesn't claim derivative copyright, and post it on our site. That seems to violate my understanding of the copyright law. Chavey 18:00, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Displaying a copyrighted image of the subject of an accompanying text is not a violation of copyright laws. It aids the user in knowing what the referenced object looks like. Imagine newspapers, magazines, online websites, etc. having to get permission from copyright holders to display an image of books, movies, CDs, DVDs, etc which are being reviewed or discussed. It's called fair use and is very much legal. We cover ourselves legally by attaching the fair use license to every image uploaded to our server. Mhhutchins 19:11, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Submissions by Zygilix

Will the moderators who accepted submissions from this new editor please recheck the pub records? I noticed that he used a discounted price in several of his submissions. He'll also need to be informed about disambiguating generic titles, softcover binding formats, and the capitalization rules. One last thing: he should be asked to respond to messages left on his talk page instead of the page of the poster. (He's done that several times.) I'd do all this myself, but I'm taking a break from moderating new editors. It's really taken a toll on me both mentally and emotionally, and it's got to the point where I'm ready to give it all up. (I'm asking that no one other than an ISFDB moderator respond to this message. Thanks.) Mhhutchins 21:27, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Since no moderator responded to this message, I've gone ahead and made the corrections and left a message on his talk page. Hopefully, he won't take it too badly. Guess I'll have to go on playing the bad cop on the beat. Mhhutchins 23:19, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

"Authors with invalid Last Names" changed

One of the moderators-only cleanup scripts, "Authors with invalid Last Names", has been changed to look for punctuation characters, which should greatly reduce the number of false positives. Ahasuerus 22:54, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. As probably the only person who works on the clean-up scripts, I find that change to be very helpful, especially since most of them were not really "invalid" but just non-English names using a non-English alphabet. Thanks again. Mhhutchins 23:17, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
You are welcome! Our improved support for non-English works has had some unexpected side effects. We are still discovering various obscure areas of the ISFDB software that don't know how to handle Unicode characters. Ahasuerus 01:39, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Patch r2013-201 - Edit Title submissions fixed

Edit Title has been fixed to submit titles whose authors and/or series contained apostrophes correctly. In the past, the author's/series' name always appeared as changed on the moderator approval page. Ahasuerus 05:14, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Adding a cover credit

I'd like to add the cover credit to, as he isn't currently around, Dragoondelight's verified [1] .From the signature and style I believe this Jerome Podwil. He notes a guess as to the artist. If there is no objection I will add the credit and note my reasoning.Don Erikson 05:38, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Yes, please, go ahead. I don't expect a wild guess from you. Stonecreek 06:21, 27 December 2013 (UTC)


I tried to enter a new novel as well as a new magazine: both actions returned Title ID must be a valid integer number after submitting. Stonecreek 07:03, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

This is also happening to me too. --Chris J 08:14, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Same here. Hauck 08:52, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
And here, when entering a new fanzine. PeteYoung 13:10, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, must be a new bug introduced in a recent patch. Looking into it now... Ahasuerus 15:23, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, I think I got it -- please give it a try. Sorry about the aggravation! Ahasuerus 15:34, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for fixing this bug so fast! Stonecreek 18:04, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
The least I could do considering that it was I who broke it in the first place :)
There are a lot of bugs (or at least buggy band-aids) in the code that balance each other out, although imperfectly. As I continue replacing them with more solid code, I need to make sure that all of the affected areas are upgraded at the same time, which can be tricky. Ahasuerus 19:38, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

New Cleanup script - sort of

At one point Al created a "Most Queries Titles" script, which can create lists of "most queried novels", "most queried short fiction", etc. However, he never made the script available via the ISFDB interface and it's been sitting idle all these years. One of its incarnations, "Most Queries Titles without a Wikipedia Link", looks like it may be useful, so I have added it to the Cleanup Scripts page. Ahasuerus 02:08, 31 December 2013 (UTC)