ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard/Archive 19

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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 January 2016 - June 2016.

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Expanded archive listing

Help with Cosmic Exodus

I could use opinions on Cosmic Exodus, this ebook/novel (from Fixer) vs. this print/chapbook. I'm not putting huge stock in Amazon's 320-page print length -- it looks like mostly a reproduction of the original, which was only 64 pages -- but I'm wondering if it should be a novel instead of a chapbook; I don't know how to interpret Harry's note "Half or less size font for novel text.". Keep as chapbook and just note in the ebook that Amazon's print length seems to be way off? --MartyD 12:59, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

I decided to stick with Harry's chapbook / novella. --MartyD 12:35, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
The current listing of the ebook gives the print length as 85 pages and the size of the file as 769 kb. That would definitely be less than novel-length. Keep in mind, Fixer never creates CHAPBOOK records for NewPub submissions. The only time it creates a CHAPBOOK record is if it finds an exact matching title already in the database, and uses the AddPub function. Even then it doesn't create a SHORTFICTION record. Otherwise, it's the moderator's task to change the type to CHAPBOOK and import the SHORTFICTION content record. Mhhutchins|talk 17:14, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Errored Out Submission

I think something bad happened to one of my submissions, namely: 2915107. It seems like a moderator accepted it but somehow it only partially completed the transaction. How does this happen and how can it be avoided/remedied? Several of the content records were missing so I added this update submission: 2915170. Uzume 20:06, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

I believe this happens to submissions with a particularly large number of contents. The moderator hits the accept button, but doesn't wait for the SQL Update page to completely load before going on to another page. I'm not sure if moderators are aware of the necessity to wait for these large submissions to be accepted. (It's happened to me enough times that I've slowed down for such submissions) Of course, there may be other reasons of which I'm not aware. Mhhutchins|talk 21:22, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
I am not sure that waiting for a large submission to be processed would help. I suspect that the problem lies with a certain third party software package that we use -- it's known to have a "memory leak" which can cause it to abort when processing large volumes of information. I'll need to do more digging to see what exactly is happening and perhaps replace the package with something more reliable. Ahasuerus 00:44, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
P.S. Checking the submission that errored out, it doesn't look big enough to cause the kinds of problems that we saw in the past. Once the backups run tomorrow morning, I will try to re-approve this submission on the development server and see if it errors out.
The good news is that only 2 submissions have errored out since the October patch that fixed CoverArt records. Ahasuerus 00:50, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
Which third party software package is that? Thanks for looking into this. Uzume 05:04, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I called it a "third party" package, but xml.dom.minidom has been a part of the standard Python library since 2.0. There are reports of memory leaks here and here. Perhaps they were addressed in a later version, but upgrading Python would be a whole different can of worms. Ahasuerus 12:59, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
After restoring the latest backup file on the development server, I re-approved the submission and everything was processed successfully. I am not sure what caused the problem on the main server... Ahasuerus 05:15, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
We could switch to using a different XML parser. In my opinion that is one of the more unfortunate design decisions that Al made (tying the submissions to XML). Thanks for taking the time to look into this (even if it did not lead to anything yet). Uzume 09:06, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Enforcing publisher name uniqueness

I am posting this here because the ability to change existing publisher names is currently restricted to moderators.

As a general rule, the ISFDB software prevents users from creating multiple "authority" records with the same. It's a fundamental principle of database design and we enforce it for authors, series, awards, award types, award categories and now publication series. The only exception is publishers, but we have a nightly cleanup report which finds duplicate publisher names with the expectation that moderators would them merge them.

As far as I know, the only reason that we allow duplicate publisher names is that publisher merges require that about-to-be-merged publishers should have identical names. This restriction was implemented a number of years ago in an attempt to prevent moderators from merging publishers without thinking through the implications. The intent was laudable, but the implementation was lacking. I suggest that we change the software to eliminate this pre-merge check and enforce publisher name uniqueness. Ahasuerus 23:33, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

As it works now, when a moderator changes the name of a publisher to one that's already in the database, the system creates two publishers with the same name which will have to be subsequently merged manually. If I understand correctly, you suggest that the software should be modified so that when this occurs, the publication records of the two publishers would automatically be merged. I think that's a good idea, but would also suggest that there be a warning on the moderation screen for the publisher name change to alert the moderator that another publisher with the identical name exists, and that accepting the submission would merge them into one. Mhhutchins|talk 01:35, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I may not have been clear. I am proposing the following two changes to the way the software behaves:
  • If a moderator tries to create a submission to change the name of a publisher to a name that already exists in the database, the software will no longer let him do it. This will prevent duplicate publisher names from being created.
  • If a moderator tries to create a submission to merge two publishers, the software will let him do it without checking whether the names are identical.
Ahasuerus 02:24, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
Even better. I'd go with such a change. So would there be a checkbox in a publisher search which would allow the merger of two (or more) publishers? Mhhutchins|talk 03:17, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the "Merge" checkboxes on the Publisher search page will remain as they are now. Ahasuerus 03:38, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
I support the proposed changes. Chavey 23:40, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
I am not a moderator but I too support the proposed change. It should be noted publisher name changes are only restricted to moderators in so far as the web application does not allow non-moderators to the edit page but submissions can be still be bypassed/made in other ways (e.g., the web API). As an example, I have never been a moderator but I am still listed here: Uzume 04:10, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

"Suspected Duplicate Authors" -- the triumphant conclusion

"Suspected Duplicate Authors" has been modified to cover the letter 'J', the last outstanding Latin letter. The report will be kicked off on 2016-01-17 at 9:50am server time and will take many hours to complete. The exact time frame is unclear, in part because the server upgrade on 2015-12-31 may have made the compilation process faster (emphasis on "may".) Also please note that the server is now on Eastern Standard (US) time. Ahasuerus 00:33, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Jean de Bosschere

I would like to merge 153904 Jean de Bosschere with 201860 Jean de Bosschere, but not being a moderator I am unable to.--Dirk P Broer 01:40, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Done. Mhhutchins|talk 02:51, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Fixer's Borgo Press submissions

Please note that the original incarnation of Borgo Press published its last book in December of 1998. There were a lot of vaporware titles left in the wake of its liquidation, so any ISBNs found and submitted by Fixer for the 1999-2002 period should be treated with caution. Most of them are apparently 8888-00-00s. Ahasuerus 22:55, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

I find it very difficult to tell. Amazon offers to sell them, and Google finds them listed elsewhere. So how are we to know? I've noticed some sources claim Wildside where Amazon is claiming Borgo, but this for things with 2001-2002 publication dates, which is before what we seem to think is the start of Wildside's Borgo Press imprint.... My default, when I can't tell, is to accept them, figuring it won't be that hard to go back to review and change if needed. --MartyD 12:55, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
I've been changing these "Borgo" titles to Wildside. Anything starting with 2007 are "Borgo Pres / Wildside Press". I also check to see if Amazon is selling them. If so, we have to accept that they're available. Apparently, because they're POD, even if not a single copy is ever printed, they're still considered published. Mhhutchins|talk 17:12, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
If you look at the OCLC records for the ones currently in the database for Borgo Press in the years 2001-2002, they are all listed as from Wildside. I'll correct the ISFDB records. Mhhutchins|talk 17:13, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Back when Robert Reginald (RIP) was editing here, he made it clear that Borgo as an imprint of Wildside didn't start until 2007. It seems that there has been some retro-dating and retro-publisher changing for some of these titles, by either Amazon or Wildside. And since Reginald was the editor for the imprint, I'm seeing some titles from this 2001-2002 period that I'm almost certain he wouldn't have chosen for his imprint. Most of them are public domain works. Reginald worked with living writers and the estates of others, and rarely with the 19th century works that are showing up here. Also, some of these publications (both public domain and not) from this period were edited by Alan Rodgers and appeared under his Alan Rodgers Books imprint. Those records will also have to be updated once the dust has cleared from this current batch of Fixer submissions. Mhhutchins|talk 17:21, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
For an example of the changes that need to be made to this record, look at the OCLC record for it. I would suggest that moderators working on these submissions check with OCLC. Mhhutchins|talk 17:23, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, that one was particularly messy. Looks like it should probably be "Alan Rodgers Books / Wildside Press". Although OCLC makes no mention of Alan Rodgers, several other independent sources do. I'll change it to that for now. --MartyD 16:33, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Actually it does. Go down to the Notes section. Mhhutchins|talk 02:01, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

"Suspected XYZ Authors without a Language Code" - changes

FYI, the 4 "Suspected XYZ Authors without a Language Code" cleanup reports have been changed to include variant titles. The results will be available shortly after 1am server time.

Please note that in many cases language assignment will not be straightforward. For example, "Randell Garrett" was a Dutch misspelling of Randall Garrett's name. Similarly, "Thea v. Harbou" was a Dutch variation on Thea von Harbou's full name. Ahasuerus 02:12, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Is it possible to automatically add a language to a non-languaged pseudonym that matches its canonical author's language? This would save at least 1000 manual edits. Mhhutchins|talk 16:25, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
I'll have to check. Some shared pseudonyms may be problematic, e.g. if one parent author has a language code assigned and the other one doesn't. Ahasuerus 00:36, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
Do we care or even want a language code with pseudonyms? Pseudonyms, by definition are not canonical so they do not definitively identify contributors. I also wonder about author language codes. Right now we only allow a single value per entry but many people are born into multilingual environments and even when not, people are able to learn other languages and create material in any they know. The question that comes into play is when content is translated and when it is not. If we had translation credits this would be much clearer (and translators would necessarily need to have multiple languages). Uzume 01:56, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
The "Working language" field is only used to decide whether canonical titles should have their respective languages displayed next to them. For example, take Vladimir Nabokov's Summary page. At the moment we have four of his novels listed, one written in Russian and three in English. Since Nabokov's "working language" is currently set to "English", the Russian novel has "[Russian]" displayed next to it. If we were to change the value of the "Working Language" field to "Russian", the word "[Russian]" would disappear and the word "[English]" would appear next to the three English language novels. (This is particularly useful when displaying "original translated" collections and omnibuses.) Allowing multiple working languages per author would result in a partial loss of this functionality. Ahasuerus 03:46, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
It's important to understand the difference between "Working Language" and the languages that someone "born into multilingual environments" use. For example, I've seen several authors where their birth language is Catalan or Galician, but who always write in their second language, Spanish, presumably because of the increased sales opportunities. I've seen an English/Spanish bilingual author who always writes in English, but has his books translated into Spanish by someone else, presumably because he doesn't trust his Spanish as much. The "Working language" is the language that the author "most often" writes in. When a book of theirs appears in another language, it might be because the author wrote it in that language, and it might be because it was translated into that language. For now, we just have to recognize that either is a possibility. Eventually, we will get translation credits included, and we'll be able to tell. But not today. Chavey 06:52, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Modified pub type

Changed an “Introduction” from “SHORTFICTION” to "ESSAY” in P-Bran's verified pub. Thanks. Linguist 21:14, 24 January 2016 (UTC).

That's better done with a title edit submission rather than a pub edit. If you had you would have noticed that it's a variant, and that the parent record should also be edited to ESSAY. I've done that for you. Mhhutchins|talk 01:24, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks a lot ! Linguist 09:48, 25 January 2016 (UTC).

Dragons of Summer Flame

Posting here since Dragoondelight is not active. Please see my post here. Thanks. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:38, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

Changing series data doesn't require notifying pub records' verifiers. Title-specific data is not relevant to publication records since you're not changing any data in the verified record. Mhhutchins|talk 20:25, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Okay. Figured better be safe than sorry since Dragoondelight had verified two different entries there. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:17, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

Fixer and CHAPBOOKs

There has been a change to Fixer's logic. NewPubs with fewer than 71 pages are now submitted as CHAPBOOKs rather than NOVELs. Ahasuerus 19:40, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

That's a much appreciated change. I wouldn't mind it being raised even higher, but I'm happy with at least that threshold. Thanks. Mhhutchins|talk 20:26, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
The only downside to this enhancement is that certain post-approval changes will now require two edits: you can't edit "container" titles using the Edit Publication page. Ahasuerus 00:57, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
No problem. The only exception would be for short poetry or story collections and anthologies, and I don't see that happening very often. It's well worth the offset. Mhhutchins|talk 02:31, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
I was mostly thinking about subtitles and various Amazon-derived parenthetical irrelevancies. I try to eliminate them during the submission creation process, but it's not always possible. Ahasuerus 03:21, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

[unindent] Here is an example of what I spoke: a short book which Fixer created as CHAPBOOK when it's actually an ANTHOLOGY. I'm willing to live with this, even having to update the record after acceptance. Other moderators should also be aware that this is always a possibility. Mhhutchins|talk 22:07, 28 January 2016 (UTC)


I had to quickly look something up, and I found that, and this may be my computer, images by Visco like this are not coming up. Following the link shows that the site may no longer be there. Anyway, as I said, this may be me, but I thought that I'd mention it. MLB 07:48, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. A message about that problem was posted on the community portal yesterday. Please feel free to correct the links to Visco to those images on Galactic Central if you come across them. Mhhutchins|talk 16:28, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

“20.000 Leagues under the Seas" cover art credit

I have updated this pub PVed by Andrewk : the illustrations of the original Hetzel edition of this book (one of which has been used for the cover of this pub) are usually credited both to Édouard Riou and Alphonse de Neuville. Thanks. Linguist 16:29, 27 January 2016 (UTC).

Unauthenticated editors changes

As most of you know, our Wiki software is configured to require registered users to provide a valid e-mail address when they register. The software then uses the specified e-mail address to send a confirmation e-mail with a link back to the ISFDB Wiki. Once the user clicks on the link, the user's Wiki record is updated and the registration process is completed. At that point the new user can edit Wiki pages, notably his/her Talk page.

This process was put in place a few years ago in order to limit the amount of spam that we get. It was also hoped that requiring a valid e-mail address would help address the problem of "unresponsive editors" who ignored messages on their Talk pages.

As it turns out, there is a fairly serious flaw with this approach. It relies on e-mail communications, which are not always reliable, e.g.:

  • The ISFDB e-mail server may be temporarily down due to the hosting company tinkering with the server (happened earlier this month)
  • The user's e-mail server may be down
  • The user's e-mail server may be rejecting ISFDB-originated e-mail messages
  • The user's e-mail client may be routing ISFDB-originated e-mail messages to the spam folder (apparently Gmail does this)

As of this morning we had over 300 users who had provided an e-mail address and created at least one submission yet hadn't completed the registration process. Some of them apparently created ISFDB accounts before we tightened our registration requirements, but it was a serious problem nonetheless.

A few minutes ago I ran a database script which identified these 300+ users and set the "e-mail registration completed" flag on each account. This should allow them to respond on their Talk pages. Going forward, I expect to change all submission review pages to let moderators set this account flag manually. It won't be a perfect solution since it may mask certain account problems (e.g. what if the user mistyped his/her e-mail address?), but it should be better than what we have now. Until the change has been made, you can always ask me to re-run the database script if we get new "unresponsive" editors.

Please note that users will still have the option to decide not to receive mail from the ISFDB. It's a privacy setting within the Wiki software which we can't easily disable. Ahasuerus 00:38, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Where (and how) will moderators be able to set a user's account verification flag? Mhhutchins|talk 22:23, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
The current plan is to add this functionality to the submission review pages. Instead of the current "Submitted by: Fixer (Talk)" above the "HOLD / Approve" line, it would say something like:
  • Submitted by: Fixer (Talk) [This editor's e-mail hasn't been verified. If the submission looks legitimate, click here to verify it.]
As I mentioned earlier, it won't be a perfect solution because it may mask certain account problems, e.g. mistyped e-mail addresses. Nonetheless, it will be (hopefully) a net plus. Ahasuerus 23:17, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Sounds like a good plan to me. Mhhutchins|talk 23:46, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Langford's Platen Stories

I have changed the pub type of Dave Langford's Platen Stories, verified by BLongley, from COLLECTION to NONFICTION. The entire contents are essays. PeteYoung 21:27, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Need to merge these two titles

Girl (2007) and Girl (1991) are the same work (the English translation of 少女). The 2007 entry is listed under Ōhara Mariko and the 1991 entry is listed under Mariko Ohara, so the normal duplicate finder won't find them (not even on aggressive mode). Can someone merge these two titles? Also, the 少女 entry will need the release date changed to 1991. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:08, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

You can merge titles without using the duplicate finder. Go to advanced search, and under the Title Search Form, enter "Girl" in the first field, and "Mariko" in the second field, changing the parameter to AUTHOR. When the results are returned check the boxes of the two titles you want to merge.
There is a problem with this particular title, because the author credit is different. (The author's names are reversed.) You'll need to contact the other verifying editor (Markwood) to confirm the author credit is correct. If it is correct, you shouldn't merge them. You'll have to variant them to the original Japanese title.
As for changing the date, any editor can do that by just editing the date field of the title record. Mhhutchins|talk 01:31, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
That is one of the problems with out current variant title system. It is used for multiple things and as such is problematic when both occur (translation and variant title/credit). I personally would prefer a new different system for alternative titles and credits (something similar to how transliteration may be implemented/deployed) but for now this is what we have (and forces us to not merge identical works when such alternative names are used). Uzume 16:38, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Uncertain about CYoA juveniles

I was asked to inquire here about whether more Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Reader novels are allowed to be included.--Auric 17:22, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I would imagine they could be included if they met the other requirements (fantasy, science fiction, horror, alternate history). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:46, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Sure, if it's speculative fiction! Stonecreek 18:18, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
It satisfies those requirements. Thanks.--Auric 18:53, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Python crash report Uzume 17:36, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Will investigate, thanks! Ahasuerus 18:11, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Incidentally, I was trying to search for cases where the language was unset but it would not let me so I tried a single space and then got the crash. Then I manually rebuilt the query using GET instead of POST (which the web form uses though there is no reason to use POST over GET in this case) so I could more easily post it here. Uzume 18:20, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Fixed. Ahasuerus 01:53, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Hayakawa Books

I have made submission 2950526 to merge this publisher with Hayakawa Shobō. I cleaned up all the unverified pubs but this still affects the following verified pubs: Hayakawa Books search. This affects 18 pub records with primary verifications by Don Erikson and Mhhutchins. Since these are all native Japanese publications, I am certain none of the publications actual cites "Hayakawa Books" as the publisher but rather most likely cites "早川書房" (Hayakawa Shobō) which is sometimes translated as Hayakawa Books or Hayakawa Publishing. After the merge I would also like to get a moderator to rename Hayakawa Shobō to its native script name "早川書房" (since our code now support transliterations for such things). Thank you. Uzume 16:46, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

You actually can't say what's on the actual publication until it's in your actual hands. Both of my primary verified publications state in English "First Hayakawa Publishing, Inc." Otherwise I wouldn't have actually quoted that in the Note field, especially since I can't read Japanese. They also have a logo on the back in English stating "Hayakawa Books". The actual words "Hayakawa Shobō" don't appear anywhere in the book, while "早川書房" does. I have no problem with your changing the canonical name of the publisher using native script, but the transliterated name should have been kept.
Also, a question to Ahasuerus, hovering over the circled question mark beside the publisher name leads to another question mark. What's the point of that? Mhhutchins|talk 18:32, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
I never imaged "Hayakawa Shobō" appeared anywhere on the publications but rather that "早川書房" does. "Hayakawa Shobō" is the transliteration of "早川書房" and "Hayakawa Publishing" and "Hayakawa Books" are alternative translations of that as well (早川 incidentally means something like "fast/early river" however since it is a name its translation is just a direct transliteration to Hayakawa). Uzume 20:35, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Just a question mark and nothing else? Normally a question mark appears for a split second and then the transliterated name(s) are displayed. Could you please link the page where this happens? Ahasuerus 19:13, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Here, here, and here. In other words, everywhere the circled question mark appears. When I place my mouse over it, only another "?" is visible. I've set my preference so that the mouseover help doesn't appear on Edit pages, but should that make a difference with these new function? I'd think one use wouldn't affect another. Mhhutchins|talk 19:23, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
It's working now. (Maybe I missed it before.) There's still a question mark, but now the "transliterated name" shows up just under it. However, in this case, the "transliterated name" is exactly the same as the displayed name. So again, I don't understand its purpose. This would support my statement above that the displayed name (the publisher field) should be "早川書房" and the transliterated name field should be "Hayakawa Books". At least then it would make sense to an English-only user. Mhhutchins|talk 19:32, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
You are right, that's how it is supposed to work.
Here is what I suspect happened in this case. A few days ago Uzume, who is not a moderator and can't change publisher names, added a Note to the effect that the Japanese name of the publisher was 早川書房. His hope was that the approving moderator would move 早川書房 to the Publisher Name field and relocate "Hayakawa Shobō" to the Transliterated name field, but that didn't happen. Ahasuerus 19:39, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
And that is why I asked for that to be changed at the end of the my post here. Uzume 20:35, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, my bad. I only read Michael's question at the end of his response, not the whole section. Ahasuerus 21:18, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Incidentally, once the publisher has been renamed to native Japanese script it will look more like this record: 暗黒星雲のかなたに. Uzume 20:46, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
How was the moderator supposed to know that when it's not even been discussed how these fields are supposed to work? I've been trying to keep up with the changes, but frankly, I'm almost at the point of not handling any submissions for publications not in the Latin alphabet. Mhhutchins|talk 20:26, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
The goal of the ongoing "internationalization" effort, which we have been discussing over the last year or so, is to reconcile two different priorities.
On the one hand, we have always stated that our goal is to support entering bibliographical data exactly as it appears in publications. Once the raw data has been entered, we use various software tools ("Make Variant Title", "Make Pseudonym", etc) to link it to other records in the database. In some cases we have been forced to compromise, e.g. by implementing "publisher regularization" and "case regularization", but as a general rule entering data "as stated" is one of our fundamental principles. The way we originally handled translated works was the one major exception to this rule (shudder), but it was finally changed in 2010. It took a few years to convert the data once the software was ready, but it's pretty much done now.
The biggest remaining exception to the "enter as stated" rule is the way we handle non-Latin alphabets/scripts. In the past, our software didn't support non-Latin characters, so we had no choice but to enter transliterated (or, to be more specific, "romanized") values in all fields. Thankfully, the software has been improved a lot and no longer errors out when you enter non-Latin characters. We still have certain software issues, primarily with non-Latin author names, e.g. the Author Directory doesn't support them and Wiki-based "Bio"/"Author" pages don't always work for them, but they will be addressed soon.
At the same time, working with non-Latin data has made it abundantly clear that we need to provide a way for people not familiar with all possible scripts (and I doubt that there is more than a handful of them on this planet) to interpret our records. "תרגומים" is not particularly enlightening unless you happen to know Hebrew. Hence the current effort to add "transliterated" fields to all of our major records -- publishers, series, authors (legal names and canonical names), titles, publications, and publication series. Legal names were done last year, publication series were done in January and publishers were done earlier this month. Once the rest of the records have been upgraded, the "enter as stated" rule will finally apply to non-Latin records, which should make it much easier to recruit editors interested in entering non-Latin data. And there will be much rejoicing! :-) Ahasuerus 23:33, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
But that still begs the question whether "Hayakawa Shobō" is correct. Yes, it may be a transliteration of the Japanese, but it's not a translation. Wouldn't "Hayakawa Books" be more beneficial to the vast majority of the database users? Mhhutchins|talk 20:26, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
The recently added "transliterated" fields are for transliterated values only. At one point I suggested adding similar "translated" fields, but we were not able to reach consensus. That discussion was limited to just a few editors, so I hope to revisit it in the foreseeable future once all of us are more comfortable with the "transliterated" fields. Ahasuerus 21:22, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Or should we continue to add fields and making such changes for a very minute percentage of our users, and in doing so take up valuable time and resources which could benefit more users? Mhhutchins|talk 20:26, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
I did provide those translations in the publisher note record. "Hayakawa Shobō" works as a transliteration for any language that uses Latin script (e.g., German). If we also had translations, I am sure "書房" would need more than than just "Publishing" and "Books" as those are English words. Uzume 20:35, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Pulp Tales Press Facsimile Reprints

Well, I blundered again. It's been a long day and night but when I entered this series instead of listing the parent series as Pulp Tales Press Facsimile Reprints I listed it as Series: Pulp Tales Press Facsimile Reprints. When I tried to fix it, all I got was "Error". Either I'm doing something wrong, or I'm too tired to think of what I should be doing right. Or be coherent. How do I fix this? MLB 10:14, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

<puts his software maintainer hat on> Do you happen to remember what kind of error it was? Did it just display the word "Error"? Was it a wall of bluish text starting with something like "A Python error has occurred"? Ahasuerus 14:51, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
IIRC (for having trying it) it's something along the line of "this series already exists" when trying to change the parent series to the correct one. Hauck 16:10, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Oh, OK. That's a legitimate error message -- the software won't let you change the name of a series to a name currently associated with another series. That would cause two different series to have the same name, which is not supported. Ahasuerus 16:27, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
I've tried something. Is it OK? Hauck 13:28, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
I am guessing what happened was that you miss-entered the name, causing a new series to be created and then tried to renamed it to the correct name and the software complained because the series you wanted already existed with a different record number (and as Ahasuerus stated the software does not allow two series to have the exact same name for good reason). What you really wanted was a title series merge (I am not sure we have that feature) not a rename. I am assuming you updated the series you had been entering to have the correct parent name and it linked it to the right one. It looks good. BTW, I made a submission to delete the empty title series. Uzume
yes, I was waiting for the empty series to appear on the cleanup report.Hauck 18:31, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
You can't merge series at this time, but there is a Feature Request to add this functionality. Ahasuerus 17:10, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

"Le Nyctalope" series

Hello. This series appears on the Series with Numbering Gaps page, probably due to the fact that #2 and #3 have been exiled to the bottom of the list, for one of those mysterious reasons only ISFDB knows. Thanks ! Linguist 15:37, 17 February 2016 (UTC).

It's probably because #2 & #3 are themselves a subseries, not single works. Hauck 16:14, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Urania (Italian publication) concerns

Trying to submit the record for Urania 1627 (see, e.g. MondoUrania entry for it), I started stumbling upon what I think are some issues with the Urania Series itself (themselves, because there are many series that spinned off the main one). A few examples of what I found:

  • I tried to submit the latest issue of the publication (I own it, it's a reprint of #1280 in the same Series) cloning the ISFDB existing one, but since it's recorded as a Magazine, this is impossible. To me Urania, however, looks more like a Publication Series, not an actual Magazine;
  • there actually exist a Series called (correctly) Urania (see Series:Urania), but it is incomplete, a bit outdated and the discussion falls to a non active member (so, at least, it seems to me);
  • but there is also another Urania Series (here) set as a sub-series of Mondadori, which I feel quite a strange thing, since Mondadori is the Publisher...

I'd really like to fix this thing out, but being a new user to ISFDB (I know it since some years, but always used it only in searches) I need someone to address me at the starting points to discuss on the topic and find/implement solutions out of the existing records and new ones (I myself own about a hundred issues for this series that can help along the way). I can put in clear my email address if it's preferable to start this thing on private communication, or I can start putting down my comments and suggestions on the talk page of the Urania series on the wiki. I can also setup a test db+web and try to do it offline before actually applying changes to the production site (also because I think it would be probably faster modifying existing records directly via SQL).

If this is the wrong place to post this request, please let me know. I'd like to start this thing out also to gain some experience with ISFDB to enter other Italian books, series and actual magazines that exist out there. Orcolat 11:21, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

No, it's the absolutely right place. I also had the feeling that this is more a publication series, like the german Terra (and its successors 'Terra Nova' & 'Terra Astra') series. There really seems next to no content that marks them as magazines. Also, there's the fact that magazines shouldn't contain whole ANTHOLOGIES or COLLECTIONS. Is there any easy way to transform this series into a regular pub. series? I don't know. Stonecreek 11:57, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
If there's no such thing as a straightforward way, I guess this should go into a to-do-list, maybe it'd be possible to install yet another cleanup report for Urania? Stonecreek 14:57, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
This was discussed with Ernesto Vegetti (yes, that Ernesto Vegetti) when we first started allowing non-English language publications into the database. He believed that Urania was a periodical, and not a publication series, and entered hundreds of records typed as MAGAZINE. Even if we determine seven years later that he was wrong, it's going to be an enormous effort to convert 1600+ publication records from MAGAZINE to ANTHOLOGY, NOVEL, or COLLECTION. Looking over the contents of issues of Urania, I agree with Ernesto that it's a periodical, not solely because of the regularity of its publication, but that it includes essays and columns that are not related to the fiction. Those works wouldn't appear in an ANTHOLOGY, NOVEL, or COLLECTION.
Now to answer your other concerns:
  1. The software currently doesn't allow an editor to CLONE a record typed as MAGAZINE. When you want to create a record for a publication which has duplicate contents of a periodical, you must first create the publication record, and then IMPORT the contents of the other record.
  2. The updating of the wiki page you found for Urania has been discontinued because the software was written that automatically creates magazine grids on the database itself. So I suggest not using it at all, but instead use the series page and magazine grid both of which are part of the database itself, and not part of the wiki.
  3. About the superseries Mondadori: this was created because Ernesto originally had both Urania and Urania Rivista in the same series. Both had issues in 1952-1953, which caused confusion. I separated the two and suggested the publisher name for the superseries, with the intention that eventually a better name could be found. It seemed to work well for Ernesto, because he didn't change it in his time working here on the ISFDB. I see no problem with getting rid of it entirely, and that could be easily done.
I encourage you to add publication records to this series (magazine or whatever) when you're able. We've lost all of our Italian editors and no one has stepped forward to update it. (Our British editor, Bill Longley, worked on the last few hundred or so issues before he passed away.) Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins|talk 23:28, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
I agree on the definition of URANIA as a periodic, but that doesn't make it a magazine, despite the content varies a lot. I know it'll be an enormous effort to do the conversion, that's why I was thinking to try the thing offline on my laptop and see what I can get out of it.
I'm also aware of the "Urania" vs. "Urania Rivista" issue, but that can be solved. e.g. setting the fisrt to be "Urania (collana)", letting the second be "Urania (rivista)" and thus allowing for all the other available Urania(s): Millemondi, Capolavori, Collezione, Argento, whatever... to be set in place. Maybe a discussion may be made on whether to put "Urania" as a superseries and then all of the others end to be sub-series of this (as I said I'm not confident enough on myself understanding the drawbacks of this choice).
In short: I'll continue contributing with the existing architecture but, if you agree it would be ok, I'll also start messing on a local copy to try to smooth the "magazine" issue.
(note: the CLONE-ing issue was just what started this thing, not a real issue in a sense)
Last: is it ok if I report my (lets call them) progresses on my talk page? Orcolat 08:09, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
No. It's like being in a room talking to yourself, and an occasional passer-by looks through the window. :) Please use one of the community forums to discuss your ideas. Mhhutchins|talk 18:36, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
More or less replying to myself: looking at publication types, it seems impossible to move Urania out of the MAGAZINE definition, given the essays in there. So probably it's better keep it that way. I'll anyway try to smooth out the series structure, because I feel the "Mondadori" series bit of an hack with respect to the actual periodic. Orcolat 09:08, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
I have taken your advice to change the titles of the two subseries and then change the superseries to"Urania". Thanks for the suggestion. Mhhutchins|talk 18:36, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
If Ernesto said it was a Magazine, then I think we should respect that authority and keep it as a magazine. I think the issue of the essays unaffiliated with the stories, which I've seen in my copies of the magazine, convince me that it should properly be viewed that way. Chavey 04:07, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Mhhutchins for moving Urania to primary series.
Chavey, sure, I'll not touch the magazine behaviour, as said above. I'll only verify the publications I own and continue on adding them being a subscriber. Orcolat 13:24, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

"Titles with Invalid Story Length Values" updated

"Titles with Invalid Story Length Values" has been updated to include non-OMNIBUS titles with storylen values that begin with a slash. The new data (40ish titles) will be available around 1:30am server time. Ahasuerus 04:44, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Is there a reason this is a moderator cleanup report (over an editor cleanup report)? Just curious. Thanks. Uzume 16:23, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
To be honest, I didn't think of that. The change was a side effect of a larger project that I am currently working on.
Normally, I open up cleanup reports if:
  • they include a lot of records, and/or
  • require specialized expertise, and/or
  • need additional research
Conversely, a cleanup report that identifies only 40ish problematic records is something that the moderator crew will take care of in a day or two. Ahasuerus 17:17, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps because the corrections may neccesitate more than one edit (e.g. when the title is wrongly given as a COLLECTION and is in fact an OMNIBUS), which is more quickly done by a moderator. Hauck 16:54, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Finished. Hauck 17:16, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 17:17, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
True, there is a speed factor as moderators can moderate themselves and need not wait for moderation. Uzume 00:34, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

two Neil Randall

"About the Author" at Amazon The Holy Drinker Paperback – May 12, 2015 [1] --see also the other novels at Amazon's Neil Randall page [2]-- implies that the writer is a new Neil Randall, distinct from the writer of five other titles, namely:

For author Neil Randall A3846 last hour, I added a legal name with middle initial 'F' and a link to the University of Waterloo website of "long-time faculty member in the English department at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and the director of the Games Institute" --quoting his English dept. biography [3]. Assoc. Prof. Neil Randall does list among his works all of the 5 other titles in the database. Indeed his CV makes clear that he is responsible for all 20 LC catalog records of works by Neil Randall (select Browse LC Online Catalog). (I did not add that page to the database because LC doesn't know that one person is responsible for all of those works, per the special note; the page represents "Neil Randall" undifferentiated.) Somewhere he says that one of his research interests is games based on The Lord of the Rings, so may have nonfiction that may belong here. --Pwendt|talk 21:50, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

I have disambiguated the author of The Holy Drinker so that his work is separate from that of the other Neil Randall. Thanks for finding this. Mhhutchins|talk 15:38, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

The New York Review Children's Collection

Publisher 37937 The New York Review Children's Collection (credited with about 10 publications 2011-2014) seems to be Publication Series 1040 New York Review Children's Collection of Publisher 4056 New York Review of Books

--copy-paste myself from User talk:Mhhutchins; i will try to remember to post here in future
--Pwendt|talk 23:59, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Weird submission issue

I updated the date on this magazine, but for some reason the system decided to make a change I didn't submit. For the editor of the magazine, it changes the type from EDITOR to ANTHOLOGY. Is it supposed to do that? Nothing I entered or selected told the system to do that (at least not directly). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:54, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

It's a magazine-specific bug. It was introduced when we allowed editing container titles in Edit Pub. Thanks for identifying it! Ahasuerus 18:18, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
The bug has been fixed.
Please note that editors can now select "EDITOR" in the Content section of Edit Pub. It was originally removed from the drop-down list because new editors often thought that "EDITOR" stood for "editorial". Now it is back in order to support the ability to edit container titles within Edit Pub. It should be relatively harmless because we have a nightly report that finds improperly entered EDITOR titles. Ahasuerus 18:47, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
Okay, if someone can approve the submission, I'll go change it back to EDITOR (or whoever approves it can just quickly change that themselves, since it might be quicker that way). Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:54, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
Done and done! Ahasuerus 19:11, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:17, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

Waiting for feedback from primary verifiers

Typically, how long are we supposed to wait for feedback from primary verifiers when requesting to make changes? I have some significant changes (e.g., incorrect titles that can be easily identified even from the cover art) I want to make and I posted on the verifier's talk page but it has been a week now with no response (see User talk:Don Erikson#Hayakawa Bunko SF primary verification changes). I just wanted to know how long I should wait to make such changes (or if there is something else I should do). Thank you. Uzume 23:02, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

If they are basic and obvious corrections like that, I will usually just submit the change and advise the primary verifiers. Are you also verifying these titles? That can make a difference, too. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 23:13, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
That isn't strictly adhering to the stated policy. A conscientious moderator would hold such submissions until the primary verifier has responded. Mhhutchins|talk 23:54, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Well if you want to get technical, Help:How to verify data#Making changes to verified pubs only states I have to notify and ask (not wait for a reply/consent/outcome). I know your own talk page does specify "Do NOT make a submission to make this change until the outcome of the discussion" but the policy you quoted does not state that is actually necessary. I prefer to ask and wait in most cases myself but there are limits (which is why I brought this here). Uzume 03:18, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
"It is very strongly encouraged that you notify the verifier first if the change is particularly significant." That means notifying the verifier before the submission to change is made. That implies that you don't make the submission before the discussion. Mhhutchins|talk 03:22, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
So your contention is that "notify" implies waiting for the reception of the notification. That is an interesting interpretation (which I generally like to adhere to) but methinks some would interpret that differently (e.g., I know the IRS and most creditors do not require my reception to consider me notified of something). Uzume 03:22, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
No, I do not have prints of these works available to me (if I did I would just verify them and then submit the changes with a small notification). Some of the changes are obvious but some I posted about might not be (e.g., inclusion in a pub series). Uzume 23:32, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
If the primary verifier is active but temporarily away (like Don), and it's a substantial change to the pv'd data, and you don't have a copy of the publication, you'll just have to wait. If the pv editor is inactive (more than a few months), post a message on the Moderator noticeboard before preceding to make the change. If you're only adding a publication series, adding a note, etc (i.e. not changing data), then post a message on the pv's talk page and make the submission. The moderator should accept it without your having discussed it with the pv editor. Most of the suggested changes to Don's verified records appear to be just adding a publication to a series, note field links, or months of publication. If so, make the edits, and I'll accept them. Mhhutchins|talk 23:54, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, short of the title updates (which seem obvious as his own uploaded cover scans contradict the record titles), they are all adds to a pub series, date month additions, and note additions for Latin title transliteration, translator credits and links to references (meaning mostly additional information not actual changes). I would sort of like to hold off on the other additions until I can get the title changes incorporated as in some cases there are dependencies (e.g., I am not sure how useful a comment stating what the Latin transliteration is, when the main title is wrong). Also if the record titles are in fact correct (which according to my research seem highly unlikely) then it is possible I have the wrong data, which I would then not want to add. Uzume 03:18, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
OK, my request to make changes to these PV records is now more than six week old with no response. At what point does the status of an editor change from active to inactive? According to Special:Contributions/Don Erikson, his last update here was February 11th which is more than eight weeks ago. I am willing to wait longer but I would really like to clean these titles up (many are obviously just wrong). Thanks. Uzume 18:24, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Wrong headers in pseudonym tables

I just happen to notice that the headers of the table when we click in view all titles by this pseudonym are wrong. The tags header, the Parent title header and the Parent Authors header are in the wrong places. See here. I don't know if it is already a known issue, and even it isn't a major problem, i felt i should report it here, and maybe someone can eventually fix it. Thanks. Wolland 00:12, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, I messed up when I added these columns last week. Thanks for reporting the problem, I will fix it shortly. Ahasuerus 00:35, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
Fixed. Ahasuerus 01:23, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
One thing to note is that "view all titles" link and the "find dups" links have a quite different format (I am sure there are plans to update such). See here for comparison with the originally given link. I believe the title note field is useful for merging (especially since that is currently the main way to determine translator credits). Uzume 03:26, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

Chesley Bonestell/Conquest of Space

I just cloned a pub of this title and noticed that it seems to be adding a cover image, which isn't appropriate as the copy I have doesn't have a dj. Could whoever approves it delete the cover image? Thanks. Mike Christie (talk) 00:43, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Moderators can't delete the cover image link until after the submission has been accepted. And you could do that as well. (We can't pick and choose which part of a submission to accept. It's all or nothing.) You had the option when cloning to remove the cover image link and the cover artist credit. I just accepted the submission, so now I'll remove the cover image link. Mhhutchins|talk 03:45, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Are you certain of the price? Why would the book club edition be the same price as the retail edition? Or did you forget to remove it when you cloned the record? Also, is the publisher given in the record the same as that stated on the book's title page? Mhhutchins|talk 03:47, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
I thought I had removed the cover artist on the checkboxes when cloning but evidently I didn't; Mike Christie (talk) 11:30, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Actually, you most likely did. However, the software makes a distinction between COVERART records (which are "title records" using our terminology) and image URLs, which are publication-specific. In the past you had to remove the image URL manually even if you unchecked the COVERART check-box on the first cloning page. It was rather misleading and some editors considered it a bug.
The cloning logic was changed a few minutes ago to handle COVERART titles and image URLs more consistently. The check-box was renamed to say "Reuse COVERART title(s) and image URL?" and the software behavior was adjusted accordingly. Ahasuerus 17:54, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
thank you for taking care of that. I forgot to remove the price but have now submitted an edit to do so. Not sure what your question is about the publisher -- the publisher I entered, "Readers Union with Sidgwick and Jackson", is what appears on the title page. The verso of the title page doesn't have a full copyright statement; it starts "This Readers Union edition was produced ..." so I took the longer form of the publisher name. Mike Christie (talk) 11:30, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Forthcoming titles/publications cleanup reports enhancements

The twin "forthcoming titles/pubs" cleanup reports have been enhanced to identify title/pub records projected to be published 3+ months in the future. The data will be available in about 8 hours. Ahasuerus 22:00, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't see this message and posted a question about it on your talk page. Mhhutchins|talk 18:34, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

Changes to verified The Enchantment Emporium

I have made changes to the verified The Enchantment Emporium and the original verifier's page says he is no longer active. I'm posting a notice here per note on that page.

I have changed the pages to 473 per last printed page # in actual book and Help:Screen:EditPub#Pages. Does this count as a major change?

I have added to Notes about the cover image. I think this counts as a minor change. I was not able to find an exact match to the cover out on the Web, and the book I have in hand is a library copy with lots of stickers on it, so it's not suitable for scanning. BungalowBarbara 23:43, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

I have accepted the submission. For future reference, changing the page count of a verified publication is a major change. Adding notes to a verified publication is considered a minor change. Changing any field other than the note field is considered a major change and should be discussed with the PV editor before making the submission. For inactive editors, post a message here and then make the submission. Thanks. Mhhutchins|talk 01:51, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Publisher names need editing

These are some publishers which need to be edited:

Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:32, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

Also, ASCII needs to be changed to アスキー. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:34, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
I can do this, but need some guidance. Do the Japanese characters go in the "Publisher Name" field? (I see that the "Transliterated Name" fields are already filled.) Mhhutchins|talk 21:20, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that's exactly right. Ahasuerus 21:25, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
First one (中央公論新社) already exists in the database, so I wasn't able to change the publisher name. I can't figure out how to get both names to show up in a search in order to merge them. Believe me, I tried. Not even in advanced search was I able to bring up two publishers that have different names in order to merge them. So I'm going to pass on this. Mhhutchins|talk 21:44, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
There is a trick to it. First I changed Chuokoron-Shinsha's name to 中央公論新社1 (note the "1" at the end), then I searched on "中央公論新社" and merged "中央公論新社1" with "中央公論新社". Ahasuerus 21:55, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Doh! I should have been able to figure that out on my own, but let my frustration get the best of me. Thanks. Mhhutchins|talk 22:07, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Hey, we are all learning new things here! The cursive issue discovered by Jens took me by surprise even though it shouldn't have. And I had been completely unaware of the "Han unification" controversy that Uzume mentioned the other day. Ahasuerus 22:31, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Another way to do this instead of having to change to an intermediate name is to just make sure both entries have at least one transliterated name the same and then search by that. Uzume 02:00, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. I didn't know that using the basic search for "Publisher" that it would search for the transliterated fields as well. Is that documented anywhere in the help section? 04:11, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
It was mentioned in the patch notes, but I don't think we have a separate Help page for the main search box, do we? There is a short Help page for Advanced Searches, which I updated a minute ago. Ahasuerus 14:12, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't think any of the others have existing entries. I checked all of them when making the list (Chuokoron-Shinsha had some other things going on, so it must have slipped through). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 23:19, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
I copied and pasted. Please check to make sure they're all correct. Mhhutchins|talk 23:38, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
They all look good. Is there a way to mark Haikasoru so it doesn't appear on that list? It doesn't need to be on the list. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:02, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Except for ASCII, which needs to be changed to アスキー. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:03, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
ASCII has been changed. Also, Haikasoru is no longer listed by "Publishers with Latin Names and Non-Latin Titles". Ahasuerus 16:47, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Is there a reason JTBパブリッシング is still listed there (S-F資料研究会, too)? Is it because they have a mix of Latin and Japanese in the publisher name? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:40, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
That's right, the names were tagged "suspicious" because of the Latin characters. Gone now. Ahasuerus 18:55, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:10, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Just noticed Nippon2007/JASFIC. They should probably be removed, too. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:11, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Done. Ahasuerus 19:25, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Talk Page Header

Hello, may I ask how the yellow heading 'this contributor is no longer active ' be removed or otherwise amended off my talkpage?

Also, can I add my contact email in some way to get notified when another contributor or moderator adds to my own talkpage?
Apologies if the method to do this is given elsewhere, I searched but could not see it. Thomas conneely 19:57, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
You just edit your talk page and remove it. Go to your talk page, click the 'edit' button, and remove the {{Inactive user}} from the top. You can add your email address using the "my preferences' link at the top of any page. However, there is no way to get automated emails when your talk page is edited. Our version of the wiki software is too far behind for that. Adding your email does allow other editors to use the 'E-mail this user' option. You can add your own note to the top of your page requesting people email you when they edit your page if you want. It will be up tpo them though if they wish to do so. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:08, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Photos of covers

The thread User talk:Hauck#Cover image with watermark got my attention as the moderator added a note "We probably shouldn't be hosting an image with another website's watermark." That note is true but I wanted to give moderators a heads up that we also should not be hosting any images that are photographs of covers. It's ok to add a cover photo that's hosted by Amazon or other sites that we have image-use permission from.

A scan of a cover is considered a "slavish copy" in copyright law. They are more or less exact copies of the original. The copyright for slavish copies belong to the original artist or the publisher. We use those on ISFDB via fair-use statements.

Book sellers that had scanned copies of books they had for sale noticed other other booksellers were using the covers they had scanned. This bothered some sellers and so they are now taking photographs of the item for sale. These photographs have an "artistic composition and lighting" (another element in copyright law) and the photographer (the bookseller) owns the copyright to the image. This allows the bookseller to both issue a demand for royalty payments for using their licensed material and also to issue DCMA takedown notices against competitors and others that use their images. Booksellers who sue for royalty payments will win, pretty much automatically, in court unless the defendant's use of the image was as part of commentary about the artistic composition and lighting chosen in that specific image.

For us to fair-use a photograph we would need to have commentary about the artistic composition and lighting that the photographer chose to use of the book that's the primary subject and another fair-use statement about the book cover that's a principal element of that photograph. The first part is something you can't boiler-plate. It's too much pain and so I'd suggest we never have photographs of covers unless it's one taken by an ISFDB editor who puts the image in either public domain or a with a Creative Commons ShareAlike license with no restrictions.

Sometimes you'll see a slavish scan of a cover that has a watermark. While you generally can't copyright a watermark you can trademark them. If a watermark-free image can't be found then I'd remove the watermark prior to uploading to ISFDB. Our intent is fair-use of the cover which is copyright by the artist or publisher. Someone else sticking their watermark (trademarked or not) on a slavish copy does not change the copyright associated with the cover meaning we are free to remove the watermarks. --Marc Kupper|talk 21:08, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

I agree with Marc. The only photographs of books hosted by the ISFDB server should be by those ISFDB editors who don't have access to a scanner, and have granted us permission to host their photograph with the proper license attached. I've seen such photos that have been copied from other websites and then uploaded to our server, and more often than not, without acknowledging the source.
I also feel we shouldn't be linking to photographs hosted by other websites (even when permitted to do so), not for legal reasons, but for aesthetic ones. They just don't fit visually into the ISFDB's overall design. Mhhutchins|talk 21:47, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with linking to allowed sites for photos unless it's a primary verified pub. Then, we should try to get our own copy of the cover rather than using other's covers. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:05, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Fixer and Author/Publisher-specific requests

As many of you know, Fixer maintains a separate database of "lower priority" ISBNs. It includes:

  • public domain reprints by the mushrooming cottage industry
  • the vast majority of self-published books by authors who have not been published otherwise
  • books published by relatively minor publishers which we don't have the bandwidth to process, e.g. ISFDB has only limited subsets of books published by Permuted Press (414 ISBNs in Fixer's database) and Samhain Publishing (1,297 ISBNs)

With 468,599 ISBNs in Fixer's database (and growing), the primary limiting factor is the availability of moderators willing and able to process new books, put them in series, validate the data, etc. If we have volunteers interested in working on certain areas, Fixer will be happy to submit ISBNs by selected authors and/or publishers. Ahasuerus 16:36, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

Can fixer take submissions for individual ISBNs? Often I'll see a record on Amazon that I want to add to ISFDB. At present I do the work manually but it would be great if there was a way to start fixer or some other app with an ISBN that should be added to ISFDB. I'd then take over and deal with any details that fixer missed. --Marc Kupper|talk 03:01, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
Fixer will be happy to take lists of ISBNs and create NewPub/AddPub submissions for them. However, keep in mind that Fixer resides on my development server. The software uses obscure technologies with Windows-based prerequisites, so there is no way to migrate it to the main (Linux) server. In retrospect, it was a bad idea, but Fixer was originally supposed to be a simple proof-of-concept project, which grew and grew and then grew some more. At this point there are more than 33,000 lines of code with dozens of supporting database tables, which would make any kind of rewrite a daunting proposition.
In any event, what this means is that all requests would have to go through me. All editors are more than welcome to post them on my Talk page and I will try to address them ASAP. Ahasuerus 03:25, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

A. E. vs Æ

Re submission to update this author's data: I'm not sure why you want to change his legal name to "Æ", but even more so to change his Transliterated Legal Name to "Russell, George William". That last field is used for the Latinized names of persons whose legal name is in a non-Latin alphabet. Mhhutchins|talk 01:08, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

He is entered into the database as A. E., but (mostly) used Æ himself. You can't search our database for Æ at present.--Dirk P Broer 08:02, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, actually you can, but you won't find this author there.--Dirk P Broer 08:06, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
I think we should at least enter the pseudonym "Æ" for him.--Dirk P Broer 08:07, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Please read my comment again. I said nothing about the Canonical Name field. It's about the Legal Name and the Transliterated Legal Name fields. I'm rejecting the submission since from your response you didn't intend to change those fields. Mhhutchins|talk 17:37, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Please read my archive, we've had this discussion before. I want the name "Æ" to be searchable. You yourself did forbid the use of "Æ" in the Canonical Name field for this author.--Dirk P Broer 19:34, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Please read my original comment. Please. Again, your submission didn't change the Canonical Name. It changed the Legal Name to "Æ" and the Transliterated Legal Name to "Russell, George William". You clearly placed the data in the wrong fields. Below you'll find a screenshot of your submission. If you believe I was wrong to reject the submission, please appeal it on the ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard. This is all I'm going to say about the matter. Mhhutchins|talk 20:44, 11 April 2016 (UTC)


I know I did all this -including using the wrong fields- and it was just to point out that you cannot find this author under his most used pseudonym, just because of past and present typographic shortcomings -either here in this database (entering the man as A. E.) or with his former publishers, biographers and bibliographers, who could not properly typeset the character "Æ". How can we make this author to be found in a query for "Æ"? Changing the canonical name is out, read here--Dirk P Broer 21:00, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Let's go back to what you wrote in 2013, Dirk:
  • A tour via Goodreads and Librarything leads me to believe that every possible variant at one time has been used for this author, especially after his works became free of copyright
If so, then all we have to do is find a publication that used "Æ" as his name, enter it into the database, create a variant and a pseudonym, and then we'll be all set, right?
That said, it occurs to me that there are cases where it may be desirable to have support for multiple forms of author names. For example, take L A Taylor and L R Squirrell. Our rules state that:
  • Initials should normally be entered followed by a period and a space as "Gordon R. Dickson" or "K. D. Wentworth", even if period or space is omitted in the publication. However, when it is clearly the author's choice to omit the period, or when the author has a single letter name that is not an initial (e.g. "Harry S Truman") the period should be omitted. In the very rare case where an author prefers two (or more) initials as if they were a name (such as "TG Theodore"), without period or space, and is so credited, we follow the author's preference.
which means that L A Taylor and L R Squirrell are legal. However, it's possible that a "naive" user may search for "L. A. Taylor" or "L. R. Squirrell" and, of course, their searches won't find anything.
It would in my eyes be better -for the sake of consistency- when "L. A. Taylor" and "L. R. Squirrell" were included into the database and "L A Taylor" and "L R Squirrell" would be variants of them. BTW: L.A. Taylor is how he names himself on Goodreads, Leonard Russell Squirrell is dead since 1979, so we can't hear his objections against two periods in his Canonical name.--Dirk P Broer 22:14, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Another scenario that I run into on a regular basis is authors who use one pseudonym for their SF and a different one for mysteries/romances/etc. If the author is "above the threshold", then it's not a problem because we enter all of their works into the database and create variants/pseudonyms. On the other hand, if the author is not "above the threshold", then his/her pseudonym(s) do not get recorded, which is unfortunate.
Perhaps we should consider adding another repeating field to author records, something like "alternative name", to address these types of cases. It would require some tweaks to the search logic, but nothing insurmountable. Ahasuerus 23:49, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
I like this idea. It would be especially helpful for Japanese (and other non-Latin) names. Right now, we can't submit the kanji for a Japanese canonical name if the legal name is different. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:53, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Transliterated canonical names are a different kettle of fish. We will be adding support for them in the near future. Ahasuerus 22:04, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't see how an "alternative" name field would help in this situation. If we ever get a record into the database that credits "Æ", wouldn't it be handled as a variant like any other author's? I personally checked every title by this author in the database, and all sources credit the works to "A. E." And this isn't about the secondary sources inability to create the character. I'm looking at the scans of the title pages, like this one. I'd go for a field for "alternative" names, if we can use it for credited misspellings and typos that are obviously not true pseudonyms. Mhhutchins|talk 20:24, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

The Annotated X novels without distinct Title records, or without variant status

These three two NOVEL publication records do not have distinct NOVEL title records in the database, maybe. At least they lack variant status.

  • The New Annotated Dracula P295412
  • The Annotated Wizard of Oz P281974
  • The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth P360225

Note re the latter, we do have NOVEL title The Annotated Wizard of Oz T726557 (1973), as variant of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with one publication in a book The Annotated Wizard of Oz: A Centennial Edition.

And we do have NOVEL title L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with Annotations T1182890 (2002) as variant of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with two publications in books The Historian's Wizard of Oz: Reading L. Frank Baum's Classic as a Political and Monetary Allegory.

--Pwendt|talk 01:06, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

You should direct the two primary verifiers of those publications to this discussion (or perhaps have posted this message on their talk page.) I have fixed Tha Annotated Phantom Tollbooth. Mhhutchins|talk 01:57, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I directed both JLaTondre and Rtrace here. --Pwendt|talk 19:13, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
The New Annotated Dracula did contain a novel record varianted to Dracula. However, it was titled The Text of Dracula matching the page title vs. the book title. I renamed it so the container title and the publication title match per ISFDB standards. Another option would have been to convert it to a collection since it also contains a single short story, but that seems unneeded. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:20, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I've made much the same edit to the Baum, with the same concern. In this case the title page at the start of the novel has "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" which also appears on the title page of the book under "The Annotated Wizard of Oz" but in a slightly smaller and italicized type. This may just be a limitation of having a novel as both a container and content type. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 23:36, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
These cases are rare enough that we must have some leeway to make exceptions. I believe the records for both the Dracula and Oz books are sufficiently clear in explaining the choice of titling the books' contents so that no changes should be made to make them "conform" to a standard for which they would awkwardly "fit". Mhhutchins|talk 02:58, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Holdup on submission

Just curious if there is a specific reason why this submission has been held up (not specifically put on hold) in the queue. I've had other submissions entered after this one that have already been approved. I need to variant one of the works to the canonical name of the author, and I don't want to forget to do it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:42, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

AFAIC, I didn't touch it because my first impulse would be to reject it because of the NNN rule ("No Nonfiction in Non-genre"). As I'm always the extremist but detest to delete other people's work, I'm probably waiting for a more lenient moderator (or one with a different interpretation).Hauck 09:05, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I accepted it. While I freely and publicly admit to having inclusionist tendencies, the two pieces in this seem covered by RoA #3: "IN - Works about speculative fiction." --MartyD 10:46, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
So (to take Michael's usual example) it means that an article on Asimov in TV Guide is covered by the ROA and thus should be included. Some fun to come. Hauck 11:56, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd argue that example is not about SF, it's about Isaac Asimov. So maybe I'm a fence-straddler instead of a pure-blood inclusionist. :-) That said, I don't care much for RoA #3. I won't be heartbroken if the collective moderatorship, or the ISFDB community at large, disagrees with the inclusion and decides to delete it. --MartyD 13:22, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, let's hypothetize an artice about Space Opera in TV Guide ;-) ? Hauck 16:18, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
What with shows like The Expanse starting to appear, it may not be that far-fetched. Thanks to MartyD for accepting the submission. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:13, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I didn't handle the submission because I don't believe the publication is eligible. (I didn't reject it either since I'm tired of playing the role of bad cop.) Creating publication records for non-genre publications just to enter one or two nonfiction contents that are associational at best only dilutes the purpose of the database, as well as setting precedents for the examples given above. How can we respond to someone who wants to create a record, for example, for an issue of Starlog that contains an interview with Gene Roddenberry when they can always point to records like this? Mhhutchins|talk 18:38, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
If the purpose of the database is to catalog all speculative fiction content (including fiction and non-fiction related to that fiction or the fiction creators), I don't see why there is a concern. It doesn't dilute the purpose of the database. In this case, the non-genre content is only in the note, and therefore doesn't "dilute" the actual content in the database. The two items I included were academic presentations about written speculative fiction. Both of them were by authors who have a decent amount of speculative fiction already in the database. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:57, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

(unindent) Back in 2006 when ISFDB 2.0 was being tested, our stand on academic magazines was ambiguous, hence the following paragraph in the ROA:

  • Debatable - Academia-produced magazines. Can we realistically compete with, say, the SF[F]RD?

In late 2011 I suggested expanding our Rules of Acquisition to explicitly include academic papers and dissertations. There was a discussion on the Rules and Standards page and the majority was against it, mostly because it was felt that:

  • we wouldn't be in a position to do the field justice, and
  • the field is already adequately covered by the SFFRD.

Based on the outcome of that discussion, we updated the RoA as follows:

10. Out - Dissertations (note: excluded as per late 2011 consensus)

It's been almost 5 years, so perhaps the consensus has evolved. Please feel free to revisit the issue on the Rules and Standard page. Ahasuerus 20:20, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

My sense is that the prime goal is to index speculative fiction. Anything else indexed (non-fiction or art) is here only secondarily. And thus while we should be completests with respect to fiction, all other material should be included only if it's reasonably important, and quite directly connected to the fiction. For example, we wouldn't (AFAIK) include art that is fantastical if it has never appeared in a genre book. (Would you include an art history book because it had a few pictures with fairies in them?) Chavey 03:44, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
No, and I'm not saying to do that. A paper is more significant than a single image, however, especially when it's by someone who has already published a fair amount of fiction (as was the case with both of the authors in the submission in question). Sure, they aren't Asimov or Bradbury, but that's only because they haven't been around nearly as long. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:39, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Finnish Books

I added a Finnish book, Lordi Tyger [[4]], to the database. I used the full name of the publisher, Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö, which is as such on the title page. The publisher uses the intitials WSOY on the cover, spine, back cover and on the copyright page. Only after adding the book, I had checked before for the (full) publisher's name, I discovered that already several titles from this publisher were in the database, all with WSOY as publisher. I thought the use of WSOY is the same as Ballantine Books did with their BB logo/name on the cover and spine. The pv of these books, Jorssi, referred to the moderators page if and how to solve this. Make one a variant of the other, or correct the name of the publisher.
I also gave as name of the series 'Fantasiaa Kauhua Scifiä', which I thought to be the full name of the series. The publisher gives this at the end of the book with the titles of all their publications in the series. But it seems that the capitals FAN is the actual name of the series.
How to correct this? --Rias Zlan52 22:04, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Responded on Jorssi's talk page, since he primary verified most of these records. Mhhutchins|talk 22:40, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

George Ebey

I added an anthology to this site and one of the story writers was George Ebey, and if you go to here you'll see that there is clearly two different Ebays listed as one author. Don't know how to correct this. MLB 03:32, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

It was just a matter of disambiguating the authors by adding "(I)" to one of them. I chose the 1940s letter writer, since it's possible that the 21st century author may publisher again. Thanks for finding this. Mhhutchins|talk 04:09, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Titles: "The Reaver Road" and "The Hunters’ Haunt" (series: Omar)

Hello, I've added the seriesnumbers 1 and 2 to these titles--Wolfram.winkler 08:59, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Damon Za/Damonza/

It would appear that our "artists" Damon Za, Damonza and are the design agency Damonza Book Cover Design. They state that they "have designed well over 2000 covers, built a team of incredibly talented designers, formatters and support staff", but make no claim re: producing original art. Only one of their books has been verified and the verification is transient. Should we move this information from the Cover Art fields to the Note fields of the affected records? Ahasuerus 15:03, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I guess that'd be the right thing to do. Stonecreek 15:50, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Il distruttore

Would like to add the cover artist for this book. It is the same cover as the original from G.P. Putnam's Sons (1981), a cover by Artifact (or Val Lakey, who signed the illustration as can be seen on the paperbacks). PV1, Pips55, isn't active anymore it seems. -- Zlan52 14:40, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

I have added the credit for Artifact based on the American edition's cover art, noted the source in the record, and then varianted it to the original title record. Thanks for finding this. Mhhutchins|talk 18:15, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Glanzman, Lou Louis Louis S.

Our author page as Lou 27150 carries some biographical data as the others do not. It links website with domain name Louis 135430 but homepage and biography as Louis S. 200846.

At the Library of Congress his canonical name is Louis S. LCCN n50-29876 but there are several credits for Louis as well as Louis S. in 23 catalogue records, and one for Lou (search report, may be transient). LC credits interior illustrations, not book covers. Glanzman is Louis S. as 1950s illustrator of the three Pippi Longstocking novel(la)s in English translation, two of which I submitted to the database in their first editions a few minutes ago.

--Pwendt|talk 20:40, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Only one of the titles currently credited to Louis S. Glanzman in the ISFDB is actually credited to him as such. All of the others are uncredited in the work itself and the ISFDB credit is based on a secondary source. Having said that, I think it should be the canonical name in the ISFDB. I will make the pseudonyms and variants. Thanks. Mhhutchins|talk 21:38, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Now for all three Pippi Longstocking novels 1st US eds. we link LCCN and OCLC records that credit him as Louis S. Glanzman (whose link I fixed in the preceding paragraph). --Pwendt|talk 21:47, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Half of the submission made it through

On this submission, it cut off everything after page 46. Any idea why? Am I going to have to resubmit the rest of it? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:27, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

I am afraid so. Every month approximately 5-10 submissions do not make it all the way through. It's a very low number compared to where things stood even a year ago, but it can happen. The two known causes are conflicts with the daily backups and an elusive memory leak in one of our library modules. For now, there is no remedy aside from manually adding the missing data. Ahasuerus 19:46, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:52, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Richard Kennedy

Our record Richard Kennedy A5506 conflates two people, an American writer and a British illustrator. Yesterday I added vital data and two webpages for the American writer and I have assembled most of same for the British illustrator.

All of our titles except the Cover Art and Interior Art belong to the writer so the art titles should be assigned to a new person. I don't know that all those belong to the one British illustrator but it seems likely, for he was productive from the 1950s (mainly non-genre children's books). There is no Wikipedia biography for him but he is named in some writer and book articles, eg Rosemary Sutcliff Simon and Outcast. He illustrated British editions of Pippi Longstocking Series 32003, which are not yet in the database (but I have some info to add them).

  • LCCN 79-11109, Richard Kennedy 1910-1989 (Richard Pitt Kennedy) --credited always as Richard Kennedy it appears to me

--Pwendt|talk 19:02, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

You have the option to disambiguate authors/artists by adding "(I)" in the name of one of them. I'll do that for the artist. Mhhutchins|talk 22:01, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. The illustrator is now Richard Kennedy (I) A229183. The titles were in the database as by "Richard Kennedy" before I arrived. Do you mean that a non-moderator can/may split a Richard Kennedy by opening the appropriate title records one-by-one and appending "(I)" to their Author fields? --Pwendt|talk 21:55, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes. When I said "You", I meant you or any other editor. Just leave a note to the moderator in the submission to let them know what you're doing. Mhhutchins|talk 03:38, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Change to shortstory

Can someone edit this title to be a short story. I can't find any way I can do it myself. Thanks. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:50, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Done. Hauck 10:36, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:09, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

"The Day of the Triffids" cover scan

I accidentally uploaded a new cover scan for "The Day of the Triffids", this image: Image:THDFTHTRFN0000.jpg. Could a moderator please delete that file and the wiki page? I then uploaded the same cover scan as a new version of this image Image:THDFTHTRFF1988.jpg. There now are two two files associated with that wiki page, I guess the older version file can also be deleted. Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 16:04, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Done. Hauck 16:45, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Conflicting information

I have acquired another copy of I Will Fear No Evil. However my copy contradicts the copy documented by Mhhutchins. All aspects of the books are identical except for printing dates. The copyright page of my book states:

  • 2nd Printing, November, 1971
  • 3rd Printing, December, 1971
  • 4th Printing, February, 1972
  • 5th Printing, September, 1972
  • 6th Printing, November, 1972

Could someone lend some direction on the correct way to either edit Mhhutchins submission or am I to add my copy as a standard submission?

Thank you! Blargg 04:43, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

As Michael is unresponsive for the time being, it seems best to enter your copy as it is (6th printing 1972-11 which is a "new" date for us). For the differences with Michael's copy, either it's a simple mistake or Berkley decided that from November 1972 on their printings were a "new" edition. As this seems incoherent with this pub, I suspect the former. Hauck 08:00, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick response. I will add this book. Blargg 16:30, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Aliens in Space

I was about to leave a message with Mhhutchins but see he's taking a break. The issue is

  • Aliens in Space dated 1979-00-00 and verified 2015-11-06 by Mhhutchins versus
  • Aliens in Space dated 0000-00-00 and verified 2015-11-05 by Don Erikson. Yes, the verifications are one day apart and per the pub record numbers they were created about a day apart too.

The copyright notice (which is at the bottom of the last page in the book) has:

First English edition published 1979 by Intercontinental Book Productions, Berkshire House, Queen Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire
Copyright © MCMLXXIX by Intercontinental Book Productions
All Rights Reserved
This edition is published by Crescent Books, a division of Crown Publishers, Inc. by arrangement with Intercontinental Book Productions

There is also a Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data block for 79-52716 which is for the Intercontinental Book Productions edition.

I flipped through the book and there are no dating clues. I would have classified this as a 0000-00-00 book. reports December 12, 1988 and so I'd use 1988-12-12 citing Amazon as the source.

I sure wish there was a way to merge publication records. What I'd like to do is:

  • Move Mhhutchins' detailed notes to the record created by Don Erikson. I'd just overwrite Don's notes as Mhhutchins covered everything except he missed the detail about the date.
  • Delete the Mhhutchins' publication record.
  • Update Don Erikson's record to add the 1988-12-12 and citation notes.

Is there a way to move Mhhutchins' primary verification to Don's record? --Marc Kupper|talk 22:55, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

See the User talk:Don_Erikson#Aliens in Space discussion (about 3/4 of the way down the page) they had at the time the pubs were created. It's possible they misunderstood each other, but Mhhutchins appears to believe he had a different publication than Don. -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:07, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I'd missed that Mhhutchins/Don Erikson thread. I think I'll shift this one back over to Don's talk page as it now looks like Mhhutchins and Don had the same publication. is the copyright page they were working from. The title page has "Crescent" over "New York". At first glance it's a 0000-00-00 date publication. Mhhutchins dug a little deeper and decided to call it 1979 based on the LOC data block and 79-52716 contents. He should have added a note explaining the source for the 1979-00-00 date.
I made a mistake in that I had looked at the LOC data on-line and thought the page shown was for the Intercontinental edition as it had some long words, illustrated and inhabited, that started with the letter I... That's the only explanation I can think of as I recall looking at that page, seeing "Published: New York : Crescent Books, c1979." and thinking "it's the record for Intercontinental" and that it said nothing about the date.
The December 12, 1988 date on Amazon comes from the publisher. I suspect that's either a later printing or a publisher error.
I have the same book as Mhhutchins and believe Don has a copy too. Don's notes are brief but nothing in them contradicts what I have in hand. If that's the case I'd still like a way to shift a verification from one publication to another. --Marc Kupper|talk 06:02, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

"Authors with Invalid Birthplaces" updated

As per the recent discussion re: the name of the Russian Empire/Russia/USSR, the nightly cleanup report "Authors with Invalid Birthplaces" has been updated. The new data (5 author records) will be available tomorrow morning. Ahasuerus 01:13, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

I fixed three of them, but I'm not sure what to do with the two remaining ones. These both have place names of the form "Kiiskilä, Viipuri, Finland, Russian Empire [now Vyborg, Russia]". I don't like discarding the information that tells the reader what the location currently corresponds to, but such a name does violate our standards. Chavey 06:10, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
I agree that losing information is unfortunate, but then we would have to add "[now Lviv, Ukraine]" to these authors' birth places, "[now Kaliningrad, Russia]" to these authors' records, etc. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the current name will remain the same -- "Dnipropetrovsk", which used to be known as "Ekaterinoslav", became "Dnipro" just 3 weeks ago. If we were to use the "[now ...]" convention, we would have to update these 4 authors' birth places and ... Well, I am sure you see where this is going :-) Ahasuerus 22:26, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
Point taken. I removed that information from the author's birthplace, and moved it (with some additional detail) into the biographical pages for Aino Kallas and Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. Chavey 16:20, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

Madame Crowl's Ghost

I feel it's not my place to change anything, yet, but could somebody check out Madam Crowl's Ghost and Other Stories? I think that somebody has entered the wrong publishing dates and the problem has been compounded through these stories being imported to other collections. I have made the same mistake. Is there a definite publishing date for most of these stories? MLB 18:26, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Which dates are you questioning? I will point out that the publication that you linked to is not under the author's canonical name (Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu) but is instead under "J. Sheridan Le Fanu". Thus the date displayed in that collection is not necessarily the first appearance of each story, but rather the first appearance of that story published as by "J. Sheridan Le Fanu". With this in mind, the title story first appeared in December, 1870 (published anonymously), however the first time it appeared as by "J. Sheridan Le Fanu" was in 1945. The parent title record of each story will have the earliest date of publication regardless of what name it was first published with. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 20:40, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, for instance, the publication date of The Child That Went with the Fairies is listed as 1971, which is way later than the date of the collection that it is included in. How can a publication date be later than the collection that it has been published in? MLB 00:19, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
The 1971 date for "The Child That Went with the Fairies" is for the variant of that title that was published as by "J. Sheridan Le Fanu", and it first (see note below) appeared under that name in the 1971 Books for Libraries edition of Madam Crowl's Ghost and Other Tales of Mystery. The original story was published anonymously in February 1870, but was not published with the name "J. Sheridan Le Fanu" until 1971/ That variant is not listed in any publications prior to 1971. This is perhaps more clear if you look at the variant title record which lists only those publications that contain the story as by "J. Sheridan Le Fanu". None of these are before 1971.
Note: We actually have two publications in 1971 that contain the variant title, One of these has a more precise publication date (November). Since we don't know which of those was published first in 1971, we've left the date for the variant title of this story with the less precise date.
--Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:10, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, it just sounds overly complicated to me. First publication date should trumps all other dates, and this way of dating a publication is just confusing. And trust me, it doesn't take much to confuse me. But, thanks for the explanation. MLB 14:24, 20 June 2016 (UTC)