ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard/Archive 25

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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 - June 2019.

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Expanded archive listing

Megan E. O'Keefe

I entered Megan E. O'Keefe's name incorrectly on this submission. I left off her middle initial. Could someone fix this instead of creating a new author? Thanks Tom TAWeiss 21:53, 2 January 2019 (EST)

Approved the submission & then edited the title record to have the correct name. -- JLaTondre (talk) 22:45, 2 January 2019 (EST)

Bob Van Laerhoven

The canonical name of Bob van Laerhoven should be with a capital 'V' (being Flemish). Can someone correct this? Thank you! MagicUnk 03:20, 5 January 2019 (EST)

Corrected. --Willem 05:48, 5 January 2019 (EST)

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January-February 2019

I just entered this issue into the databank for approval. However I accidentally hit the enter button and so, if my submission is accepted, I'll add the book reviews and cover image. MLB 01:19, 6 January 2019 (EST)

Got it. Approved, fixed a typo on Douglas F. Dluzen, Ph.D.'s name and all yours to add the missing pieces. Annie 01:41, 6 January 2019 (EST)

Capital Letters

I normally don't bother to look at my rejected edits, but I recently did do. Anniemod rejected a correction I made to one of my own entries, where I tied to correct "Light from Her Eyes" to "Light From Her Eyes" to conform to the title of the artwork given in the publication. I have been under the impression that the contents should conform to what is given in the pub, even is the pub misspells or commits a grammar error. What irritated me about Anniemod's rejection was that she then lectured me about rules for capitalization; obviously, I made the error in the first place out of habit when I typed the entry as correct grammar would demand. I would have sent this message via Anniemod's messages, but there doesn't seem to be anyplace to do so, only archives. If I'm wrong about typing titles for artwork as presented in the pub, please let me know. Bob 14:52, 8 January 2019 (EST)

For most aspeects of titles, you're right that we'd follow what's in the publication. But there are exceptions, and one of them is that we standardize capitalization. Help:Screen:NewPub#Title gives an overview of current policies on how to enter English-language titles. I hope that helps ... (P.S. Yes, Annie does reply to messages on her talk page.) --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 15:09, 8 January 2019 (EST)
Hi Bob, I do not remember lecturing you anywhere? If I had quoted the rule in the rejection (and that's what you mean), I usually do that so that it is clear why I rejected it...
For capitalization, we do regularize titles: see the list, regardless of how the publication has the title. The rule in this case is "all later words are capitalized except for "and", "or", "the", "a", "an", "for", "of", "in", "on", "by", "at", "from", "with", and "to". This means that "from" should not be capitalized here unless it is a cartoon caption (it does not seem to be one). We do not correct grammar OR misspellings but we do change the capitalization.
You can add a note on my page by pressing the "plus" sign on the User:Talk page as always - being the beginning of the year, the old messages got archived for easier loading time so the page is a bit barren but it is still there. Annie 15:12, 8 January 2019 (EST)
PS: Yep, found the edit :) Yep, this is the usual "this is not one of the words we capitalize messages, with a copied list from the help page for easier reference". Annie 15:15, 8 January 2019 (EST)
Annie, I couldn't find any "+" on your user page. Sorry. Somewhere along the way to my PhD, I did learn about the proper grammar for capitalizing titles. I looked at the Help Screen Vasha indicated above, so I will from now on correct the publication editor's errors in capitalizing titles. Sometimes I think the capitalization "errors" are deliberate, but I'll ignore that in the future. Should I also correct spelling errors by the editors? Bob 16:35, 8 January 2019 (EST)
The plus should be visible after the Edit link here. Or you can just press the edit and post whatever is needed at the bottom. :) Don't think of the capitalization chnange as a correction but as a regularization - we make sure that we do not create a variant just because a magazine chose to use a special capitalization format. There are always special cases where the rules just need to be ignored (when it is clear that a word is capitalized for a reason in a story name for example even if it does not look like a name from the title (I tend to add notes in such cases so it is clear why)). And yeah - we do not use any of usually accepted standards - we have our own, ISFDB standard.
Nope, spelling mistakes are recorded as they are in the publication - the changes are strictly for the capitalization. :) Annie 16:46, 8 January 2019 (EST)

(unindent) It's probably easier to remember the general rules, rather than a list of words. In most guides they say to capitalize the first and last word, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjuctions, and not to capitalize articles, coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions. Except for the capitalization of the last word, that pretty much covers our rules.--Rkihara 17:13, 8 January 2019 (EST)

"After, before, without, onto, into, up, out" (to name a few) are also prepositions though :) And we do capitalize "but" and "nor" which are a coordinating conjunctions (or so I had been taught). Annie 17:24, 8 January 2019 (EST)
I agree with Rkihara, on the grounds that strict adherence to the list sometimes gives incorrect results -- after all, words in English have multiple functions, and capitalization depends on function.
However, this is a long-standing argument in these forums (Annie will give you the other side of it). Back in archived discussions are a long conversation (and several shorter ones) where I proposed several.possible alternatives to the current standard. Annie was vehemently opposed to changing (and some other people weren't in agreement either), so since decisions here are by consensus, nothing whatsoever was changed (not even the minor matter of adding "as" to the list). I hardly expect things to be resolved now either (but people are going to keep bringing it up, Annie ...).
For people who are interested in the past debates, this is a place to start. My main proposal was to suggest using an external standard instead of trying to agree on our own, and the Chicago Manual of Style is a good one to choose because it explains the principles at length with examples. Rkihara's summary is essentially accurate but hard to understand, even for educated Americans (our schools are not good at teaching grammatical terminology); the CMoS both explains and shows which words in titles should be capitalized. Here are excerpts, without the examples. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 17:26, 8 January 2019 (EST)
I missed the earlier discussion or maybe I avoided it( ;>)? I like the suggestion of programming the capitalization function in. Maybe a checkbox for capitalization could be added with "ISFDB standard" as the default and "Other" for special cases, such as acronyms, non-English languages, etc?--Rkihara 19:19, 8 January 2019 (EST)
That's a recipe for trouble: having a computer mindlessly enforce seriously oversimplified capitalization rules would, in truth, make the ISFDB look like it was capitalized by computer, and that is never a professional look. And programming something like the CMoS rules is a very big project. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 19:48, 8 January 2019 (EST)
If there is a difference between how a computer and human being capitalizes titles, then it means that the rules of capitalization are too open to interpretation and no one could be totally satisfied with the result. I just found a site that offers a tool to do this in any choice of five styles, so it's not impossible, though maybe very hard to do as you say.--Rkihara 22:49, 8 January 2019 (EST)
Yes, I wish there was a computer tool available to do the capitalization, and maybe there is—but that site isn't it. Try it with a phrase like "Putting In the Bathtub" and it'll give you "Putting in the Bathtub": it fails to recognize that "In" isn't a preposition here, and thinks that instead of installing your bathroom fixture, you are golfing inside it! --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 23:01, 8 January 2019 (EST)
I agree that it would be exceedingly hard to enforce our capitalization standards programmatically. However, we could easily create a cleanup report or two to look for " Of ", " For " [note the spaces], etc in English titles and related pubs.
Of course, it would take a long time to do a thorough cleanup. At the moment we have:
  • 17,139 "A"
  • 4,515 "An"
  • 785 "And"
  • 414 "At"
  • 518 "By"
  • 1,033 "From"
  • 1,483 "In"
  • 750 "Of"
  • 1,087 "On"
  • 337 "Or"
  • 29,967 "The"
  • 950 "To"
  • 1,315 "With"
Ahasuerus 11:18, 9 January 2019 (EST)
Do these numbers exclude first letter after ": "? The number of "A" does not make sense unless we have subtitles not excluded... We kinda started the discussion around that last month (so we can put it in plain text in the rules) but someone derailed it as always by trying to over-complicate instead or covering the easy cases first :) And we can always start slowly - start with the smaller sets and keep adding when these are done. Of course, before we even tackle the prepositions, we need to deal with phrasal verbs - the current rules clearly state that "Go on" gets its "on" in small letters; the practice of half of the editors is different... Annie 11:38, 9 January 2019 (EST)
Oh, right, I forgot to account for subtitles. Without them, the numbers look much more manageable, e.g.:
  • "A": 1,876 instead of 17,139
  • "The": 9,501 instead of 29,967
On the other hand, there are additional, less common, scenarios that also need to be reviewed, e.g we have 73 "THE"s.
We could start with something simple like "By" or "At" and see where it gets us. Alternatively, we could start with "A", which would avoid the issue of phrasal verbs and postpositions for now. One step at a time and all that. Ahasuerus 11:52, 9 January 2019 (EST)
Exclude all Interior Art that starts with Cartoon or has the cartoon's format (with quotes and what's not)? A lot of the funny cases will be because of this exception :) Although it may not be as clear cut...
And probably exclude poems (for now)? Although we do need to talk about them.
The numbers of "The" still looks very high to me - although considering what I had been finding while cleaning, that may be actually normal...
So how about a plan such as:
  • Discuss the change in the formal rules to specify that subtitles are getting a first capital letter (for the "Title:Subtitle format and the "X, or, Y" formats) and discuss other options for formats. Annie 12:08, 9 January 2019 (EST)
  • That unlocks "and, or, the, a, an". So start with them
  • Start a discussion to decide how we handle phrasal verbs and then work through the prepositions based on that.
Annie 12:08, 9 January 2019 (EST)
The reason why we have so many titles with embedded " The " is that subtitles are not necessarily delimited in a consistent way. Here are the first 10 titles that my updated query found:
| The Chess Garden, or, The Twilight Letters of Gustav Uyterhoeven       |
| Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death |
| Roderick or The Education of a Young Machine                           |
| Nerilka's Story & The Coelura                                          |
| Marianne, The Magus, and the Manticore                                 |
| Marianne, The Madame, and the Momentary Gods                           |
| Lycanthia, or The Children of Wolves                                   |
| Gloriana, or, The Unfulfill'd Queen                                    |
| Listen! The Stars!                                                     |
| Sabella or The Blood Stone                                             |
If we decide to create a cleanup report, I should be able to fine-tune the query based on whatever standards we agree on on the Rules and Standard page. Ahasuerus 12:22, 9 January 2019 (EST)
These examples reminded me of another topic we need to also make sure we do not forget - the double titles (omnibuses for example) (where two titles are connected with & or "and" and so on -- and how we want to handle them. But that highlights the fact that if we will be doing cleanup, we first need to agree how we handle these cases. :) And that will also be very subjective - this will require a human to decide if "Title and the Title" is just a title or two titles in an omnibus ("Nerilka's Story & The Coelura" (two stories in one book) vs "The Boy and the Magical Forest" (one story) for example. Annie 12:31, 9 January 2019 (EST)

Web API/Fixer enhancements

As per FR 1239, the Web API, which is used by Fixer, has been enhanced. It now lets the submitter (me) include the name of the "holding" moderator in the submission.

This functionality should make certain tasks easier. For example, suppose a moderator wants to work on the ISBNs associated with a certain publisher or author(s). He or she can now ask me to leverage Fixer's internal databases to create submissions for the related ISBNs and put them on hold on behalf of the requesting moderator. (Requests are more than welcome!)

I am also using the new functionality to create new remote submissions on Fixer's behalf and immediately put them on hold on my behalf. I can then review them at my leisure and decide whether to work on them or whether to release the hold. Ahasuerus 14:00, 13 January 2019 (EST)

James Swallow

Hello I found a short story by this author called "Ashes & Iron" with an illustration by Dave Gibbons in a publication called "Adventures in No Man's Sky" issued with the collector's edition of the PS4 game "No Man's Sky". Can anyone advise how this can be added - the publication itself is comprised of the short story text and a graphic short called "Cargo" by Gibbons illustrated by Angus McKie - only the text pages are numbered--Mavmaramis 14:26, 21 January 2019 (EST)

As they are both shorts, it should be entered as an anthology. Enter each story as a separate entry within the anthology. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:06, 22 January 2019 (EST)

HarperVoyager and Harper Voyager (UK)

Per the notes in Harper Voyager (UK), HarperVoyager is the same publisher. Since Harper Voyager (UK) has more pubs to its name, can someone easily update all HarperVoyager pubs to Harper Voyager (UK)? Thanks! MagicUnk 10:02, 31 January 2019 (EST)

You mean this one and this one, right? Ignore the number of publications - we can merge the publishers if needed so that is the easy part:) Let me ping a few verifiers from the HarperVoyager titles and see what they think and why the two records are split. I do not disagree with the proposal but we need to be a bit more careful when dealing with verified publications. Annie 13:29, 31 January 2019 (EST)
Sure thing, Annie! The reason for asking is that all HarperVoyager ISBN's have the form 978-0-00-, as do the Harper Voyager (UK) pubs. Well, almost all. There are a few with 978-00-06-, which is the Harper Voyager (the US one) ISBN range) MagicUnk 14:36, 31 January 2019 (EST)
Yeah, I know. And I saw at least one UK ISBN with Australian price which is... interesting. :) As I said - I think we should do some merging here, just want to do some more due diligence before we do. Annie 14:41, 31 January 2019 (EST)

Partial Submissions

Is it okay to submit a new magazine issue but only include the fiction titles? I can easily fill in the data for the fiction in Apex's June and August 2015 issues, for example, but it's a chore for me to find the rest of the information. Is it helpful for me to fill in what I can and maybe leave a note or something? Or is it bad form to submit an incomplete magazine? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Greg_Hullender (talkcontribs) .

Just add a "Contents incomplete; only fiction titles included" in the notes of the publication (or something aling these lines); this way it is clear what we had included and someone can add more if they can/want (especially when someone has the magazine at hand). However - if you are verifying the magazine, adding the complete contents is kinda expected - I know it takes time but if you have the magazine in your hands, just bite the bullet and all that :) Annie 19:28, 31 January 2019 (EST)

Erroneous secondary verifications

There are a few publications were all the secondary verifications are set to "Verified" (example: DOA III). This user was last active on 2018-08-08. The only possible solutions would be to wait for an indefinite time or to clone the publication and delete the existing one. Or is there any other way to get rid of those verifications? Stonecreek 09:15, 2 February 2019 (EST)

At this time the software doesn't support removing secondary verifications by other editors. The reason is that in the past some editors were concerned about other editors overwriting them.
It would be possible to create a one-time script to remove these particular verifications. However, as you know, I am hesitant to rely on one-time scripts. They are time-consuming to implement and error-prone. We may want to consider a permanent software solution, e.g. letting moderators remove secondary verifications. Ahasuerus 09:47, 2 February 2019 (EST)
Thanks! Thus I tend towards cloning & deleting the publication and informing the editor. This seems to be the best way to clear this problem without the danger of forgetting about it. Stonecreek 10:14, 2 February 2019 (EST)
Cloning and then deleting the original publication would get rid of the erroneous secondary verifications. However, it would also delete the primary verification(s). In the case of this verifier, all 4 of whose primary-verified publications have invalid secondary verifications, it's a tempting option. However, consider this publication. It was primary-verified both by User:Michael Flores1 and by Darrah Chavey. If we were to delete it, we would lose Darrah's verification. Ahasuerus 10:22, 2 February 2019 (EST)
Okay, then I shall only clone & delete the ones only PVed by User:Michael Flores1. Stonecreek 10:35, 2 February 2019 (EST)

Currey book check

Please someone with Reference:Currey (book not website) at hand, check whether that source clearly specifies the UK or US (= The Macmillan Company) edition of H.G. Wells The Research Magnificent 1915 (non-genre novel?).

We have publication record P304326 that may be equivocal --both before and after the submitted PubUpdate is approved. The cited WorldCat record states "New York : Macmillan Company, 1915".

Later I will update that publication record again, and also create a new publication record of the other edition.

P.S. The cited WorldCat record OCLC 283946 also gives the puzzling report:

Contents: V.l.- Science and technology; assistant editors K. R. Rider and F. R. Taylor.-v.2. Philosophy & psychology, religion, social sciences, geography, biography & history; assistant editors A. L. Smyth and C. A. Toase.

--Pwendt|talk 18:07, 4 February 2019 (EST)

Currey lists the publisher as "London: Macmillan and Co., Limited" for that book. He doesn't mention anything about the content, though I don't believe he generally includes non-genre works, except for some non-fiction which is noted. On checking, I can find plenty of examples of non-genre fiction throughout Currey. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 19:18, 4 February 2019 (EST)

Ebook publication mixes Gutenberg and Amazon

Publication record 632173 needs attention by someone who knows both Project Gutenberg and Amazon Digital Services. (When do we want the latter's Kindle editions in the database? If that were routine, our holdings might be 194,000 rather than 194 ADS publications. Right?)

This record now reports the original 1891 publisher. Wrong. Otherwise it mixes data for Gutenberg Ebook 55457 and Amazon ebook ASIN B0758ZGDG3. (Those may share one publication date. Does Amazon now release Kindle ebooks at $3.99 or $2.99 on the day of Gutenberg's release?) --Pwendt|talk 15:52, 17 February 2019 (EST)

I've deleted it. Someone took the Project Gutenberg work and put it on Amazon for sale. They didn't even bother to remove the Project Gutenberg copyright statement. From our perspective, it's just a re-sale of the Project Gutenberg version. Amazon as a company doesn't sell Project Gutenberg works. However, there are unscrupulous sellers that use Amazon to sell them. Typically, they will at least re-package under their own name (in which case it would be a valid record for the ISFDB). This is the first time I've seen one not even bother to do that (but sure it happens quite frequently). -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:57, 17 February 2019 (EST)

Brandon Q. Morris

Fixer has found and entered the English versions of a recent series and a couple of standalone novels by Brandon Q. Morris. I could try and enter the German originals, but it would be safer if someone better familiar with the current German scene tackled them. Calling for volunteers! Ahasuerus 15:47, 17 March 2019 (EDT)

I'll give it a try! Stonecreek 04:20, 19 March 2019 (EDT)
Looks good, thanks! Ahasuerus 07:13, 19 March 2019 (EDT)

The Day the Electricals Ended

Response to STONECREEK regarding THE DAY the Electricals Ended' I guess I would call it a digest as it is a paperback the same size as previous publications that Alban Lake has done that featured or used my father's writings. The ISBN number is stated as being the ISBN number on the back of the book above the bar code but there is no ISBN number on the copyright page where it normally should be, so I guess you should just state that there is no ISBN number. Liz Elizabeth Hardy 16:49, 17 March 2019 (EDT)

Since EAN (bar code) and ISBN these days are the same, please just cite this 13 digit here. Thanks, Stonecreek 04:17, 19 March 2019 (EDT)

Short Stories Duplicated

Hello, ISFDB Moderators. Recently, when my collection Transmutations was added, all of my short stories were duplicated rather than linked into the new collection. You can view the problem here: How can this be corrected? --Mbuscemi 13:46, 18 March 2019 (EDT)

When you’d just type a title, the DB will not connect it to a preexisting record with the same name - you need to tell it that it is the same. That is why we have Clone (so you can clone a whole book with its content) and import (allowing content from one book to be imported into another or individual works to be added - very useful for omnibuses and previously published stories). When it is added anyway as in that case, you need to merge them manually one by one. I’ve done this for that collection now. Annie 15:00, 18 March 2019 (EDT)
Wonderful! Thank you! --Mbuscemi 07:23, 19 March 2019 (EDT)

Effectively stuck submission

Since Chavey isn't going to be available for a few more months, does something need to be done about this submission from the beginning of February? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:13, 29 March 2019 (EDT)

It's been 8 weeks, so I have rejected the submission and left a note on Darrah's Talk page. Hopefully he is OK and will revisit this pub once he is back. Ahasuerus 11:37, 29 March 2019 (EDT)
I went ahead and redid the changes since they seemed straightforward. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 11:50, 30 March 2019 (EDT)

Merge Author records

Authors Ran Cartwright and R. S. Cartwright are the same person. Confirmed on Additionally, some of the stories referenced in the Gretchen's Wood collection appear in my own A Cthulhu Mythos Bibliography and Concordance as under R. S. Cartwright. R. S. Cartwright should be the Alternate Name. Cjearkham 07:40, 10 April 2019 (EDT)Cjearkham

Working on it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:22, 10 April 2019 (EDT)
Okay, all done. Everything is under Ran Cartwright. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:34, 10 April 2019 (EDT)

The S. S. McClure Co., publisher

Hi. This publisher is in the database with unspaced initials, The S.S. McClure Co. and does not now appear in the Publisher field with the space. A space should be inserted. In publisher records I have numerous unlinked mentions and several {publisher} template links {publisher|The S. S. McClure Co.}, approved yesterday or submitted last hour. Some submissions now in the queue do insert the vital word "The ".

(All publications in the database are magazines. McClure, Phillips & Co. published books.) --Pwendt|talk 13:45, 11 April 2019 (EDT)

I've fixed The S. S. McClure Co. to have a space between the initials. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:14, 11 April 2019 (EDT)

Varying strategies

Some texts by Matheson have seen their translations revised (mostly by Jacqies Chambon) for the publication in the author's complete works by Flammrion. As per rules, textual revisions are not considered as "new" texts and therefore do not have a separate record. That's why I've merged the original translation with the Chambon revised one, resulting in records like this one (original translation in Miasmes de mort, revised one in Derrière l'écran) with the notes explaining the case. These submissions that seems to be perfectly legit were accepted by a moderator and are now massively rejected by Dirk P Broer without any discussion or notification. I'm not against rules and guidelines but it's not tolerable for me to see my correct submissions and the work they entailed be rejected (and without communication) depending on who moderates them. If adding data to the database is a kind of lottery that depends on blind luck, it does not interest me. I hope that you'll clean your act. SA-N-3 Goblet 05:51, 20 April 2019 (EDT)

It looks like there are two separate issues here. The first one is procedural: how should moderators communicate with submitting editors regarding rejected submissions? There are two ways a moderator can do it. The first one is to leave a message on the submitter's Talk page. The second one is to enter an explanation in the "Rejection Reason" field when rejecting the submission. The explanation is then displayed in the "Reason" field when the submitter views his or her list of My Rejected Edits, which is linked in the navigation bar on the left. Reviewing the master list of recent rejections, I see that Dirk used the second method.
The second issue is substantive: how should we enter revised translations? The basic rule is that "Translations done by different translators are entered as different Variant Titles" (Help:How to enter translations.) The question then is whether a revised translation counts as a "translation done by a different translator", especially if the changes were minor. I don't think there is anything in Help re: this topic, so we may want to discuss it on the Rules and standards discussions page. Ahasuerus 11:12, 20 April 2019 (EDT)
Ahasuerus and I cross-posted. He covered the key points much more succinctly than I did, but despite the redundancy, here's my response. Hopefully he and I agree. :-) --MartyD 12:25, 20 April 2019 (EDT)
Hi, and welcome. Sorry you ran into some trouble. We are always happy to have new contributors, and we moderators are here to help. And thank you for raising your concerns here instead of suffering in silence. Not to excuse anything, but keep in mind both that moderators are volunteers and that the ISFDB's policies, rules, and practices can be complicated and are sometimes shades-of-grey. Interpreting and applying them is part science but also part art. So seemingly similar submissions might get different treatment from different moderators. Everyone wants to do "the right thing", but sometimes that takes more work than it should. --MartyD 12:25, 20 April 2019 (EDT)
To your specific points:
  • There is nothing linking your new submissions to your previously accepted submissions. A moderator handling a current submission does not have any practical way to know that what the moderator decides should be done with it is different from how previous submissions were handled.
  • When differences arise, it's important to question the difference (as you did here) so we can clarify the situation for everyone -- contributors and moderators alike -- and work toward getting more consistent treatment.
Rejection Communication
  • I assume you found this, but for the record: You can find a list of edits you submitted that were rejected using the My Rejected Edits link that appears in the "Logged In As" section of the main ISFDB page immediately under the Search box. That view shows you a summary list of rejections, including the moderator who did the rejecting and the reason the moderator gave. You can click on the submission number in that view and see the full submission as the moderator would have seen it.
  • Some moderators always leave talk page notes about rejections, while others only leave additional notes if they believe the reason for the rejection isn't clear from the note provided in the rejection. Clarity is also in the eye of the beholder, of course. We do rely on contributors to ask if something is unclear in whatever feedback is given.
  • If the submission queue is long and the number of available moderators is small, a moderator may be rushing to get the submissions processed and might not take the extra time needed to leave follow-up notes or might forget to leave an intended follow-up note. I know that has happened to me on more than one occasion. Again, it helps us if a contributor asks about our handling of the submission.
Variants, merged/separate Titles, and Translations
In working with translations, you've stumbled into one of the trickier/messier bits of ISFDB data management. To try to summarize:
  1. A "work", as represented by a TITLE record, is the unique combination of exact label ("Title"), exact text/content, and exact author credit.
  2. We only merge TITLEs -- treating multiple appearances as publication of the same work -- if all three of those things are identical. But see Note 1.
  3. If the exact labels/titles or exact author credit differ, but the exact text/content is the same (again, see Note 1), we maintain two TITLE records -- one for each of the two combinations -- but then make one of those a variant of the other.
  4. If the text/content differs due to translation from the one (original) TITLE's language to another language, we maintain two TITLE records and make the TITLE for the translated-to work a VARIANT of the TITLE for the translated-from work.
  5. We assume that translation of the same original-language work by different translators produces different results, even if the translated-to language is the same. Thus, we make each of the translations have its own TITLE, but then we make each a variant of the original-language title as in #4.
Translations and sub-division of a single work into multiple pieces are the only two forms of derivative works for which we use the variant mechanism. Re-writes, adaptations, re-tellings, etc. are considered different works, and we do not link these to the original using a variant. That derivation information has to go in the TITLE's notes. Note 1: In the case of a "minor" revision, we relax the exact text/content requirement. The idea is that a re-publication with corrections or cosmetic changes, such as use of a different city name, does not constitute publication of a different work. There is no precise definition of "minor", so we rely on contributors to judge within the spirit of the above.
So where you have an earlier translation by a single translator that has been later revised by a second translator, unless that revision were purely cosmetic, we would consider the revised translation a separate work from the earlier translation -- we would treat them as two translations of the original work. Rather than merging the two and noting that later appearances were revised by the second translator, we would unmerge the appearances of the revised translation from the appearances of the earlier translation. If there were multiple appearances of the revised translation, unmerge will have created one TITLE for each, and we'd merge those to produce a single TITLE record representing that revised translation, and we would then make that a variant of the original TITLE. Then if we go to the original TITLE's page, we'd see one variant for the earlier translation and another for the later translation.
I don't know the details, but it looks like acceptance of the edit that resulted in your Frère de la machine example was a mistake, unless we determined that the "revision" by the second translator was minor -- more like an editor's pass instead of any re-translation. And if that determination were the case, we would want to record that in the notes.
I hope this helps a little. Apologies once more for the inconsistent treatment. I hope you will continue to contribute, and I encourage you to leave notes for moderator(s) handling your submissions if something seems amiss or is inconsistent, or unclear. --MartyD 12:25, 20 April 2019 (EDT)

Just for the pure fun of it, please note that the merging of two short stories by Matheson where the translation have been revised for the Flammarion/Imagine seems to be allowed again now. So if I correctly understand your mysterious ways, this prefectly legit action is allowed when performed by myself and moderated by Rudam, forbidden when performed by myself and moderated by Dirk P Broer and again authorized when performed by a moderator (see the last texts of this record). Note also that I particularly resent Linguist's comment here that evokes "sloppy editing", I personally would have used "crappy moderating" which was the cause of my complaint. SA-N-3 Goblet 11:11, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

Revised translations are tricky in general -- where do you draw a line? Sometimes the revision is just a few words or typos being fixed, sometimes you can consider it a new translation altogether because the old ones was turned on its head. And in a lot of cases, a moderator will put some trust into the editor doing the change (a bit of a trust but verify situation). As a result, sometimes things slip and mistakes can be made (and fixed) - we are all human. And in a lot of cases, it really comes down to a decision at the moment - based on research, what an editor is saying and gut feeling. Does it end up wrongly sometimes? Sure. More often than not, it is not. But still - we are not mind-readers, we do not have access to every book in the world and we do the best we can.
So let's talk about that Matheson text. Just how revised is it? Are we talking "you would not know it is the same translation" or are we talking "you can see it is the same one but some words and expressions were changed"? Once we know that, we can discuss how to handle - and take it from there. Once we know what we are facing, adding notes to the texts will help the next editor to make an informed decision. If you are telling me that all of those revisions for this edition are considerable, I will split them again and add notes to make sure they are not merged again.
Do we have mistakes in the DB? Yes - probably a lot more than anyone imagines. We are fixing them when we find them :) So let's figure out of this case needs intervention. Annie 13:23, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

Joan Vicent CantA Roig

The canonical name of Joan Vicent Cantó Roig is in error. Can someone correct this please (A->ó)? Thanks! MagicUnk 11:41, 1 May 2019 (EDT)

Done. I guess the next issue is determining who is responsible for the two COVERART titles associated with her. Ahasuerus 07:05, 2 May 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! She's not in my copy, but I would remove Sophie Burdess as my guess is she's the designer, not artist. And Shutterstock too (not very useful). We could then merge, as the only artist here is Joan Vincent Cantó Roig. I've left a note on ClarkMCI's talk page :) MagicUnk 10:19, 2 May 2019 (EDT)


Re this publication.

I contacvted Horzel (the PV for this copy).

It relates to the notes "signatures sewn in gatherings of 8s" which I have no clue what it means. Horzel stated that they were not his notes and did not know what that meant either.

Also the note "credits on [A2] verso" he assumed referred to the front flap of the dustwrapper - again uncertain.

Could someone clarify what these two notes actually mean ?

My copy is substantially different - being priced at 18/-, having no cover art credit on either flap of dustwrapper, being brown boards/gold lettering (not "reddish brown boards" as Horzel stated).Has "mcmlviii" as first publication date but no other printing history.

I have no idea whether the 18/- price (as opposed to the 15/- of Horzel's PV copy) is an earlier or later edition.

What's the best way to enter my publication please ?--Mavmaramis 13:31, 3 May 2019 (EDT)

"signatures sewn in gatherings of 8s" likely refers to the size of the signatures (see Wikipedia for details on signatures). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:58, 3 May 2019 (EDT)
Regarding how to enter yours, use the Clone this pub link on the left side under "Editing Tools", then change anything that isn't correct for your copy. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:00, 3 May 2019 (EDT)
Thanks. I'll do that.--Mavmaramis 15:59, 3 May 2019 (EDT)

Rename Gallery / Saga Press

As Saga Press is now an imprint of Gallery Publishing Group (see here), can a kind moderator rename the publisher record Gallery / Saga Press to Saga Press / Gallery instead? (ie the imprint / publisher format standard). Thanks! MagicUnk 07:20, 22 May 2019 (EDT)

Shouldn't that just be for anything starting now? The previous releases shouldn't be changed. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:38, 22 October 2019 (EDT)
Well, no. All records that have Gallery/Saga Press have to change into Saga Press/Gallery. If it's only one of the two, they'll stay unchanged. MagicUnk 00:21, 23 October 2019 (EDT)
Are all of the books published after Saga became an imprint of Gallery - looking at the list the time matches to the effective date but still let’s make sure. I think the March ones are technically before that but will look at them again in the morning - Look inside may be a good friend. :) Other from that, yes - the format of that name is wrong. Annie 02:58, 23 October 2019 (EDT)
I'm starting to develop a love-hate relationship with LookInside ...:) but I agree, we can do spotchecks, especially the early ones. MagicUnk 16:09, 23 October 2019 (EDT)
I've checked quite a few LookInsides, and there's literally not a single one that mentions Gallery as publisher on its copyright page. Amazon has all of these books listed either as published by Simon & Schuster, or by Gallery/Saga Press (sic). In hindsight this is to be expected as these publications were all prepared and sent to the printer in tempore non suspecto (well before the March acquisition of Saga Press by Gallery). So it would be a while before we'd see Saga Press / Gallery popping up on the copyright pages of new publications. I've left a note on PeteYoung's talk page to check the copyright page of the single PV'd pub.
The question is, what do we do about it? Revert all back from Gallery/Saga Press to Saga Press to be in line with what's printed on the copyright page?
And we still need to switch Gallery/Saga Press irrespective... MagicUnk 12:39, 24 October 2019 (EDT)
This "Gallery/Saga Press" is directly from Amazon (they do Publisher/Imprint most of the time when they use this syntax. Looking at Saga Press, it seems like someone messed up the order in the imprint one or renamed later for some reason - the link in Saga has them in the correct order. Unless someone disagrees, I will just replace it back to Saga Press / Gallery, as it is supposed to be and then we can sort out if some books need to be moved elsewhere. "Gallery / Saga Press" is just nonsense in our naming standards. Annie 13:13, 24 October 2019 (EDT)
Could we already have the name switched around while we figure out what to do with the current records? MagicUnk 00:08, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
I knew I was planning to do something and was forgetting it. Done. And the note was updated :) Annie 00:13, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
Thanks Annie! MagicUnk 01:11, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
Nope, no mention of Gallery anywhere in the hardcover edition of This Is How You Lose the Time War. The copyright page is headed with a Saga Press logo that includes within it "An imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.", so clearly "Saga Press / Simon & Schuster" is how the publisher should appear. As one of the PVs I'll make the change. PeteYoung 18:44, 1 November 2019 (EDT)
I wonder if we should not just decide to use Saga Press for both iterations and stop the splitting of the records based on where the imprint ended... Alternatively - the old Saga Press, pre-merger should always be "Saga Press / Simon & Schuster" I guess - it was always an imprint. Imprints give me headache! Annie 18:46, 1 November 2019 (EDT)

(Unindent) Evidence strongly suggests all Gallery / Saga Press to date needs to be changed to Saga Press (or Saga Press / Simon & Schuster if that would be preferred - but do note that we do shorten well-established imprints to just their names), at least until Gallery starts appearing on the copyright pages of Saga pubs. Even if that means Amazon will give fixer a headache... MagicUnk 23:31, 1 November 2019 (EDT)

Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror Pulp Tales Facsimile

I accidentally put the wrong cover in the submission for the facsimile of Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror, January 1932. If accepted I will correct. MLB 00:03, 23 May 2019 (EDT)


Could somebody provide the underlying dataset? I need it for a survey. Merci —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ricciflows123‎ (talkcontribs) .

Which dataset do you mean? Please, sign your posts with four tildes (~), just to let know who posted. Thanks, Stonecreek 05:56, 28 May 2019 (EDT)
The ISFDB backups are publicly available -- see ISFDB Downloads for the location of the files and the installation instructions. Ahasuerus 10:14, 28 May 2019 (EDT)

Jayel Wylie / Lucy Blue

Would it make sense to change Jayel Wylie's canonical name to Lucy Blue? She published a trilogy as "Jayel Wylie" in 2001-2003, but everything that has appeared since 2004 -- 4 novels and 2 collections that we know of -- has been as by "Lucy Blue". Ahasuerus 10:31, 30 May 2019 (EDT)

I'd say yes. Annie 15:24, 30 May 2019 (EDT)
Me too. Stonecreek 05:52, 6 June 2019 (EDT)
Done. Ahasuerus 08:12, 6 June 2019 (EDT)

Ein Dämon macht noch keinen Sommer

Hello, please delete the old cover. Many thanks Henna 16:19, 5 June 2019 (EDT)

Is there a new cover to replace it? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:32, 5 June 2019 (EDT)
Hello Joe, I uploaded the cover two times, cause I cut the edges. Thanks Henna 04:22, 6 June 2019 (EDT)
I have deleted the surplus image. Stonecreek 05:52, 6 June 2019 (EDT)

Major revision of Primary Verified publication record, submitted

Hi, all. As I must depart, perhaps for the weekend, I submit a long publication Note for one publication record PV by DESiegel60 ten years ago. Submission 4298858

It's one that I used for linked illustration yesterday at ISFDB:Community Portal#Project Gutenberg publication records. I expect next week to add an "Abridged edition" note to a few more publication records for the novel, and to notify PG of its clerical error. Now I must run. --Pwendt|talk 19:52, 6 June 2019 (EDT)

Cover Artists Pages

Hi, I just wanted to say how much I love this whole site. What a great resource for SF fans!!

I find especially valuable all the information on cover artists, which is lacking elsewhere. I note that when you bring up a specific book, it shows below all the covers for that book. Also, you can see all the actual covers a publisher issued in a specific year.

Is it possible, to enable a cover artist's page, to have the option to show all their actual covers too? It'd be great to see all their work at once, rather than clicking on each separate title. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Adele1967 (talkcontribs) .

Welcome to the ISFDB! Glad to hear that you find the resource useful. Re: your question, there is an outstanding feature request to show all cover images for an author/artist, which describes the same functionality. Ahasuerus 10:03, 10 June 2019 (EDT)

Adding my novels to the database

Hi, I am Lee Barckmann. I have published two novels, with a third set to be published by August 1, 2019.

All three of the novels might be labeled, Speculative fiction. My first, "Farewell the Dragon" is set in Beijing and is an espionage, murder mystery, whodonit about the search for a Chinese tablet carved 2500 years ago that resonates today.

My 2nd novel, "Digging Up New Business: The SwiftPad Takeover" is set in Portland Oregon about 2015. It describes the creation of "SwiftPad" the ultimate social media app, and of a multinational computer company's (and a deranged psychotic businessman's) attempts to take it over.

My most recent, (to be published in August 2019) is the sequel to "The SwiftPad Takeover" and is titled "Digging the Golden Fungus: SwiftPad 2020". It is set in 2020 and recounts the US's fall into a dystopic nightmare and of the attempts by the national government to destroy Portland Oregon and SwiftPad.

A third on is planned for next year. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lbarckmann (talkcontribs) . 10:21, 16 June 2019 (EDT)

You can submit them on your own. :) Here is the guide on how to add novels, a moderator will then approve (and work with you if something is needed). Keep in mind that we need a real speculative element - the falling into dystopia one sounds like something that fits; a novel about a virus that had been awaken when the glaciers died needs something more than just that (for the most part). The first one of yours does not sound speculative to me unless you missed to add something (but then the approving moderator may decide differently). See the rules of inclusion - it sounds like your first falls under the exclusion: "Techno-thriller, political thriller and satire works set in a future indistinguishable from the present". It may be a thin line sometimes... Annie 18:13, 20 June 2019 (EDT)

"Pink Fox Publications" publisher merge request

Thank you, Uzume 16:31, 20 June 2019 (EDT)

Done. And the verifier whose book got changed was notified. Annie 18:06, 20 June 2019 (EDT)

Super Science Fiction June 1958: Looking for the Kelly Freas cover

Working on an oversized coffee table book on the history of fantasy art for TASCHEN Publishing and trying with no success so far to find an original copy of Super Science Fiction June 1958 with the phenomenal Kelly Freas cover. You have the best scan so far, making me think someone actually has this mag. Even Freas wife had never seen it and had to reach out to fans to find the actual title, month and date. We will pay for a high quality scan if you have this magazine! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dianhanson (talkcontribs) .

The cover scan that we display is actually hosted by Galactic Central -- note the URL of the image: . The site administrator, Phil Stephensen-Payne, may be in a better position to find a high-quality image. His e-mail is displayed at the bottom of the Galactic Central home page. Ahasuerus 15:18, 24 June 2019 (EDT)

Access rights for WebAPI

I did a lot of cleanup in the database fixing broken or wrong image links lately. As the data for this is based on automated tools I'd also like to submit the relevant modifications automatically where possible, saving a lot of manual work. I'd thus would like to use the /cgi-bin/rest/submission.cgi interface. Please give me access to it. --Stoecker 04:13, 27 June 2019 (EDT)

While updating the Web API page, I realized that Data Submission Formats is badly out of date. Let me update the instructions for core submission types like EditPub and MakeVariant and then I will add you to the list of authorized submitters. Ahasuerus 10:00, 27 June 2019 (EDT)
Ah, didn't look at that page. I based my tests on a manual submission of the same type before. That's easier, as in any case for me an automatic submission will be for a single type of problem and I can always make the first few entries manual and then test automatic submission in my own instance. --Stoecker 12:02, 27 June 2019 (EDT)
OK, I have added you to the list of authorized submitters.
I have updated XML:PubUpdate, but there are many other pages that need to be updated. We probably ought to create templates to handle commonly occurring components like Authors, Web Pages, etc. Ahasuerus 17:52, 27 June 2019 (EDT)