Rules and standards discussions/Archive/Archive04

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This is an archive page for the Rules and standards discussions page. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from May 2006 - April 2008.
Note: Threads in this archive originally appeared on the talk page, which was then being used in basically the same way as the current discussion page.‎

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Expanded archive listing


Omnibus discussion

I have been labeling single books containing multiple stories with the one common author and one common theme.

If I understand the sentence correctly, you are following the dictionary.doc definition: "A printed anthology of the works of one author or of writings on related subjects". Genre bibliographers, however, usually follow a more specific definition, namely definition B2 in the Oxford English Dictionary: "several previously printed works by the same author, sometimes on the same theme, published in one large volume". That's the definition used by Clute/Nicholls' Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: "omnibus is a book that assemles previously published volumes" (p. xxxiii of the 1993 edition). Ahasuerus 19:55, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Data Verification

Possible of book sources I would list would "Library of Congress" catalog, Other library catalogs (Univ. of California(?) has a large SF collection), publisher or authors website, and last but not least Suspect/unconfirmed.

Well, www.sigla.ru is already present in the list of Sources of Bibliographic Information and it searches 1,600 online catalogs simultaneously, including the LoC catalog (Locis) and the UC catalog (Melvyl) mentioned above. The interface is not very user friendly even if you find the tiny button that changes the default language to English (and make sure to deselect the Boston library, which is not configured correctly and sends a truckload of records back), but it's very powerful. You have to be especially careful with Locis because the Library of Congress gets advance publication information and doesn't always purge its catalog of the books that were never published. So if a small press announces 4 books and sends their descriptions and ISBNs to LoC, there is a good chance that at least some of the records may be still there even though that small press went under shortly thereafter.
Going back to Sigla, I am not sure that we want to have a single checkbox for it. What you get back is not necessarily a recreatable set of records: some Z39.50 servers may be down at random times and, besides, if you get 2,000 records back for a popular title, you may not be able to do meaningful verification. On the other hand, a search of 1600 libraries can be extremely useful when dealing with truly obscure authors or titles, the kind where there are just a few copies surviving worldwide. We may wanr to have a special verification dropdown box for library catalogs with all the major suspects listed up front and then an "Other Catalogs" choice with a free text expalantion. But we are still in the early phases of the verification subsystem design, so anything may happen :-) Ahasuerus 19:55, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

For website sources it would be nice to include the link to the source[,] not necessary for the standard sites.

That's another interesting question. I try to give the URLs for the sources of especially obscure titles, e.g. see the Notes section of the following Kris Neville title. We may be able to come up with a way of putting this information in the database in a more structured way, but there will always be that obscure stuff that requires a free text field. Fodo fro thought :-) Ahasuerus 19:55, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Some method of marking a data point closed. Two different(separate and complete) reliable sources by two different contributors (total of 2 not 4) mark the point closed. Additional verifications can be added. This would allow contributors to concentrate on missing data.

Actually, Al had an even cleverer idea a little while back: Use the verification data already entered to calculate a "confidence level" number for all publications and works. We just need to assign weights to different sources, e.g. a singel physical verification when an editor had the book in his or her hands may judged to be 80% confidence level, but an Amazon.com entry may be only 30% since Amazon's data is often dirty. Ahasuerus 20:06, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Bibliographic Category Definitions

Are these for "long works" or "short works"? For Shortworks I would think of adopting Locus's categories would help keep thing consistent.

Oh, you mean the stuff that can be found on this page, e.g. "short story (4-20 pages, 1,000-7,499 words)" or "novelette (21-45 pages, 7,500-17,499 words)"? That's pretty much the definitions that Al proposed on the main page. In my response, I pointed out that these boundaries mostly come from the current rules for Hugo/Nebula/etc voting (which are actually much more complicated, but we don't need to go there now), but it helps to remember that these definitions have changed over time. What Don Wollheim used to publish as "two full length novels!" 45 years ago may be barely considered a novelette now. Hence the potential for editor confusion. Ahasuerus 20:06, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Proposed Scope of the Project

Speculative fiction or NOT? Past Science Fiction - Written in the distant past referring to a future date but the date has already come and gone.

That's a good and perfectly non-controversial point. I will add it to the main page shortly. Ahasuerus 20:18, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Series creators

Tricky. My database has a "Creator" role for authors mentioned on cover but no contribution to the writing. Like Keith Laumer's Bolo series. Laumer is mentioned on the cover but has no works in the book sometimes.

This publishing trick has become popular lately. Philip Jose Farmer's The Dungeon, Robert Silverberg's Time Tours, etc. Sometimes the series creator will have a Work in the Publication, but more often he won't. We probably want to have a way of capturing his contribution, but it's not clear what the best approach would be. We don't have a standard way of capturing the editors' names for single author books (novels/collections) either, and in some cases they can be important. For example, one of the Publication records of Avram Davidson's Work The Avram Davidson Treasury: A Tribute Collection has the following Note: "Edited by Robert Silverberg and Grania Davis" while the other Publication simply lists Silverberg and Davis as co-authors. We will need a way to standardize this mess. Ahasuerus 20:18, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Pseudonyms

I somewhat of like ISFDB idea of listing "published as" (abbreviated) names as pseudonyms but it gets confusing. Pseudonym to some people would mean an addition names used to publish where the author has already publish under another name. OR A name used by several author (house name).

The whole pseudonym-handling section of the database is currently undergoing a facelift -- or so Al is telling me :) As luck would have it, he is currently in the process of writing a Help page for pseudonyms -- see Editing - Titles. Ahasuerus 20:49, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

So saying all that maybe splitting it into several sub categories.

Pseudonym-PA (Published As) Covers different printings of the name and names always used versus legal name or first last combination or first MI last combination.

Pseudonym-H (House) Common name used by several authors.

Pseudonym Name used versus existing published name.

Unfortunately, this isn't as simple as it may appear :-( There are house names that, over time, become personal pseudonyms. There are even Publications published "as by" <author's real name> and <author's pseudonym> Yes, it sounds really bizarre, I know, but see John Wyndham's bibliography. There are individuals who write as multiple people and there are co-authors who write as multiple people, etc. It gets really complicated, that's why the current version of the database is trying to dissociate the "Working Name" field that is associated with Works from the "Published As [by]" field that is associated with Publications. There is much more on it on the Help page that Al is writing as we speak :-) Ahasuerus 20:49, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Series

Something I found out. Series names change. So a Series AKA is needed.

Oh, sure, there can be multiple names for a series. It can be known as X in one country and Y in another country (see Douglass' biblio) or it may be that different readers or publishers have different names for it, etc. I am not sure it makes a whole lot of sense to start adding programmatic support for multiple series names -- already a complicated area with support for an unlimited number of nested series -- though, since we can simply use a slash to concatenate two names together. Thankfully, there aren't that many series out there (yet), so a search on either series name should pull up the correct series. At this point, Series searches return individual Works and not Series names, which may not be the best of handling this problem. More discussion will probably be needed. Ahasuerus 20:49, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Series names also are duplicated. I seen library catalog list series names with either an author name or main character suffixed to it.

Yes, it's a known issue, which is currently being handled by convention, e.g. Mars and Mars [2]. Not perfect, by any means, and something to look into in the foreseeable future. We may need more programming muscle first, though, since this is an all volunteer effort and most of us need sleep from time to time. Ahasuerus 20:49, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Some stories have more than one series. Retief and Bolo series have connection points.

Well, Laumer is a special case. He had a habit of throwing references around that made some works appear interconnected. However, there are definitely some series that have important crossover books and we may want to beef up support for them at some point. For now, if there are, say, 10 books in Series A, 12 books in Series B and 3 books in the crossover series, we can make the whole 25 book mostrosity a superseries encompassing three subseries: A, B, and the 3 crossover books. Not perfect, but it should tie us over for now. Ahasuerus 20:49, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

I think treating "universes" (what I call a set of stories set in a common setting) (like Connan, Start Trek, Star Wars) as a series would be helpful and then allow more than one series to be attached to a story.

That's pretty much the current SOP, e.g. see Star Wars Universe, Star Trek Universe, etc. Ahasuerus 20:49, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

The order(s) in a series should be down played.

Well, series order is something that many lances have been broken over, but let's not overlook the forest for the trees. Many, probably most, series have a perfectly straightforward series order: 1,2,3,4,5, etc. If a potential reader is considering giving Xanth or Dray Prescot a try, there is a great deal of value in informing her where to start. Having said, there are certainly thorny areas here, which we may want to add enhanced support for in future versions of the software, but usually it all comes down to the manhours that we have available. It's easy for us to say "Hey, Al, wouldn't XYZ be a great feature to add to the system!", but he is the one who gets to stay up late coding it :-) Ahasuerus 20:49, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Also a series order that is missing is "Title Order" What is stated on the cover. Published order I think would cause more problems confusing is with the title order or different publication / printings.

For now, we just have one field for "Series order", so the most logical number goes there, presumably the number on the cover. I would argue that "reading order" (when it diverges from the "official" and/or chronological order) is something that could be of value to prospective readers, but it's highly subjective, what with prequels and such. A free text "Note" field associated with each Series where editors could add their comments would be probably the easiest and most flexible thing to implement. Ahasuerus 20:49, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

--Ray 12:26, 10 May 2006 (CDT)

Sorry if this not the correct spot for this. Very new to contributing to a Wiki

No problem, these are all good points and I will move them to the main Bibliographic Rules page shortly. Some of the issues/ideas are new and will likely be added to the list of proposed features. Others are known deficiencies that we haven't had time to address yet. Yet another class consists of things we have gone over many times in the past but were unable to find an implementable solution. Perhaps we need a FAQ explaining why certain things are the way they are. Anyway, I and perhaps Al will respond to your points later today -- thanks for contributing :) Ahasuerus 12:45, 10 May 2006 (CDT)
I will leave this discussion here for now and will eventually move whatever conclusions we arrive at to the main page. Ahasuerus 20:49, 10 May 2006 (CDT)
I'll stir the pot a little more, since short stories are pretty much all that I work on. Why is it that Non Fiction Series, Fiction Series, and Anthology Series, all have separate headings on an Author's Bibliography page, yet Collection Series are lumped in with Fiction Series, ala Fafhrd and Gray Mouser by Fritz Leiber, and Short Stories, very few of which are marked as being in a Series, also get pushed into Fiction Series. Would it be possible to move Collections and Short Stories that are part of series have their own header.CoachPaul 09:06, 20 May 2007 (CDT)
I believe part of the problem is there are several conflicting ideas on how things should be organized. Al has shifted how short stories vis-à-vis series get handled a couple of times and so far has not come up with a system that makes everyone happy. In the past we did have separate sections for anthology series, short stories, etc. Note - that while it's dormant at the moment Requirements:Author_Display is a page dedicated to how the bibliographies should be displayed. Marc Kupper (talk) 15:57, 20 May 2007 (CDT)

Publisher Series

Here's something I've never seen discussed before. How do we handle publishers' series? i.e., the only thing a series of books have in common is an over-arching title which the publisher uses to market the publications. While verifying a few items by Philip Jose Farmer I looked under COLLECTIONS to find the "Best of" volumes published by Crown in 1984. They weren't there, so I was seconds away from adding them when I noticed a listing for them at the top of the page under FICTION SERIES: Classics of Modern Science Fiction. I've got most of the books published in the series so I thought about going through the db and putting them into this series. But then I thought again. Wouldn't that confuse people (like me) who go to an author's page looking for a novel or collection and not find it? And what about novels that are part of both an author's series and a publisher's series? And what if novels are reprinted by different publishers under different series names (like the Avon/Equinox SF Rediscovery Series, or the Garland Library of SF, or the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series)? I've come to the conclusion that publishers' series should be totally ignored. Is there a rule already established about such a thing? Mhhutchins 21:07, 19 May 2007 (CDT)

Unless a book can be in multiple series there are enough that fall into a author/universe series and into a publisher series that publishers series are not worth using the series field for. A note with a link to a wiki page on the publishers series is probably best. Dana Carson 21:46, 19 May 2007 (CDT)
I'll second Dana on that and have been using the series wiki at times to try to explain the various permutations on how a series has been organized. It's pretty frustrating because nearly every day I'll run across a book that seems to conflict with something related to a series. Over on wikipedia there are regular edit-wars over Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover for example. I thought I could solve part of the problem for myself by adding a column to the DAW list that contains exactly what's stated in each publication about the publication's series membership. It turns out even there it's fuzzy because DAW would sometimes not state series membership on the cover and title page but instead may bury a comment on the flyleaf or will have a list of books by the author broken down into what look like series.
As for what the main ISFDB display should use - I'm not aware of any rules for or against using a publisher's series. It has resulted in confusion when I see that some books got entered under one series and others under another. Before the find-duplicates thing was added this was much worse as there would be a random mix of title records under both series and often times publications were duplicated. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:24, 20 May 2007 (CDT)

Rules concerning personal notes?

I verified this publication awhile back. In the meantime, someone has place a note "Mine is misbound, with pages 16-30 coming first." I'm afraid that someone will think that since I verified the edition that the note was mine. In the case of personalized notes such as this, wouldn't it be a good idea of the person identified themselves? And while saying that, there have been instances where I've verified editions with personal notes without identifying myself, usually along the lines as "The verified copy was price-clipped." or "The verified copy had no cover". These are added to explain why there is no cover artist or price for a verified copy. Is there a standard procedure, and if not, could it be considered? Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:27, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Signing an entry seems like a good idea but I don't want it to be a "rule." If the note reflects something that's not in your copy of of a publication then could update the note explaining that the issue mentioned was not observed in your copy. It's your choice on if you want to sign or nor sign the updated note. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:25, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I think that's my note: I don't recall adding it to a verified edition though. Were the interior artwork entries on there when you verified it, or are those new additions too? I recall finding them a pain to do as they're not all spelt the way I would naturally spell them. Anyway, I don't own the book any more (well, it might be still in my "to dispose of pile", but if so it WILL be gone soon) so don't really want to add my name to the note, I'm not going to be able to answer any further questions about it. Feel free to change it to a note that says something like "at least one misbound printing has been seen, with pages 16-30 coming first", or just delete it, I'm not that bothered. I remember it being a very annoying publication, poorly printed, and wasn't impressed with the art either. :-/ BLongley 17:45, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)
My apologies to you if I did stomp all over a verified pub without the courtesy of a note to you at least. It worried me enough to check the local database backup I have to see when I added the note, but all I can tell from that is that it's note 69713 and we were up to 82725 as of 12th June - do we add 6000 notes a month? BLongley 17:45, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Anyway, back to the actual discussion: Yes, it's probably wise to sign your name to a confusing pub note like that, whether or not it's verified, if you're going to hang on to the pub. If you're NOT going to hang on to it, it's probably best to add a neutral note that won't make someone else hesitate from verifying it. I recall mentioning the idea of another level of verification somewhere (all it would take, I think, is another entry in the "Bibliographic References" table, which any Mod can do) for "Verified a Physical copy but am not keeping it for further questioning" or something like that. We're currently working on a "The verifier is the one that gets questioned/notified" basis, and I'm not terribly comfortable with that as I WANT to get rid of about a hundred books that I've verified, but until we get multiple verifications sorted it seems "Verification=Expert Adviser on that pub". I know I don't want notifications when someone adds the price to my (often) price-obscured pubs, I think I usually add enough notes to make it clear what edition I have: but I'm interested when someone tells me where the Cover Artist credit I missed can actually be found, or how to read a particular publisher's copyright page and fill in the blanks about which were hardcovers, which are likely to be the same ISBN or retain the same page count, etc. I'm constantly learning things about publishers, imprints, magazines, etc: and I still have a major learning curve on the Wiki side of things here, but I'd like to separate the books I physically still own and can answer penetrating questions on from the "books I had, entered, verified, and disposed of". BLongley 17:45, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)
This discussion has brought me to a decision to identify myself in the notes if I make changes or additions to a verified edition. This adds an extra dimension to the original verification. As for Bill's comments about a standard definition of verification, perhaps there is a need for clarification of the responsibilites of declaring oneself to be a pub's VERIFIER (caps intentional). I don't plan on selling any of the books that I verified, but who knows what the future may hold. It reminds me of those wonderful bibliographies published by Underwood-Miller in which the bibliographer identified all pubs that he had physically examined. It didn't mean that he owned it or intended to keep it ad infinitum. What keeps someone from verifying a library book and then returning it?
And, Bill, you're right about Pictures at an Exhibition, which has to be perhaps the worst example of bookcraft that I have in my collection. But it does contain the first appearance of a Michael Bishop story, and adding to that the expense of being an imported publication, it remains in my collection. Mhhutchins 20:08, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Well, I've tried adding a signature to notes here but it doesn't look very satisfactory. :-/ I'm reluctant to accredit the EXISTING notes. BLongley 17:15, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Kraang's had another go at it now, how does it look to you all? BLongley 14:27, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
But I'm definitely tired of asking questions of verifiers too, e.g. 6 questions here! Oh, and Mike, I haven't found my misprint of "Pictures at an Exhibition" but if I do, you can have it as a prize for reaching the official 1500 verifications first. (I can't keep up, too many pesky kids have verified my stuff already, go beat them to 2000 and beyond! Watch our for Don Erikson though....) BLongley 17:15, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)
re: What keeps someone from verifying a library book and then returning it?
While the bulk of my verifications are from my own collection I regularly verify books from the library, book stores, book sales, etc. I have my own book database where I note the source so that if needed I can hopefully dig the book up again. So far there's only been one instance of someone asking me about a publication where it turned out to no longer be available in the store. I sure wish I had tons of spare time as a local book store lost their lease and will be converting to Internet sales. If I had the time I'd volunteer to enter their specfict collection giving me a crack at a few thousand titles.. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:53, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Verification seems to be forever. :-/ I could probably rely on my local library to have a book for a year or so, but I never visit there since I started earning enough to BUY enough books. Relying on local second-hand bookstores is far worse - I've had to buy duplicates and check later rather than check whether I've got it and go back next weekend, good stuff goes too fast. I can't even rely on the STORE being there now, e.g. http://www.patonbooks.co.uk/ :-( (OK, I've got everything I want from there already, but it's a shame they won't be there to get more). BLongley 14:27, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
In the last two years Toronto has lost four major used book dealers and a couple of smaller ones. One other dealer with two locations opened a third much larger one in the downtown core. We hope he survives. The primary reason/excuse is the lack of walkin trade and the internet. But as a fellow dealer in the same trade as me who also deals in books put it "the book dealers of this city are among the worlds worst business men". Most of them pay nothing for the books and charge the moon, and if you bring twenty books to the counter and ask for a discount(even a token 10%) they would rather have you put them back on the shelf to collect even more dust. Although i've done well from the the closures, when they get desperate to clear the shelves i pickup a lot of cheap books. If they had of been more reasonable they could have gotten more money out of me earlier :-)Kraang 18:54, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)

British pricing from pre-decimal conversion

I've started verifying publications listed by Donald Tuck in his encyclopedia, and using the book to update or add missing information. Most British publications show prices such as 3/6 or 18/-. Should I list these exactly as shown or should we add a pound/shilling symbol? The prices on covers that I've seen don't have any symbols like this one. Mhhutchins 16:06, 20 Jul 2007 (CDT)

For pre-decimal, I wouldn't add a "£" symbol unless it was actually present on the publication, but I've been happy to regularise the shillings with the "/" between shillings and pence, and indicate 0 pence with a "-", as per current help. There's a special value "21s" that I'd change to "21/-" even though it's over one pound - that's "a guinea" and has special connotations. The few times I've seen prices higher than that the common format seems to go back to "£X Ys (Zd)" - never a slash between pounds and shillings. But we surely don't have many of those? Those would be very special editions. As would anything in the "X guineas" league. BLongley 18:06, 20 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Collections of art

Today I entered my two Frank Kelly Freas collections: Frank Kelly Freas: The Art of Science Fiction and A Separate Star. I pretty much made up the rules as I entered, since I don't think this is covered in the Help pages (but then again, I've yet to figure out how to search the Help pages). I only indexed the full-page works, and titled them, e.g.: "Cover: Astounding Science Fiction, November 1957" for magazine covers, and "Cover: From This Day Forward (by John Brunner)" for book covers. I could not link these with the original records because then I'd be forced to choose either COVERART or INTERIORART. And in the case of these collections, all of the work is INTERIORART. Any suggestions or ideas about how to handle this? Or should I just not worry about the records being merged? Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:24, 30 Dec 2007 (CST)

Looks great to me. I came aware of the potential nightmares of merging artwork when going through the run of Fantastic. I had the reproduced pieces of artwork in hand but still knew it would be a disaster to attempt it at this time.--swfritter 15:05, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)
Looks good! I didn't go into that much effort on my Josh Kirby and Paul Kidby collections. Maybe later. One thing you might want to add - the cover of that first collection is also the cover of Martians, Go Home!. BLongley 15:51, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)
It strikes me that it is dead easy (via SQL) to generate a page of all the artwork we have links to for a given Cover Artist: e.g. I knocked up this page as an example (even that is just a subset to keep it loadable). I think 1) Someone needs to teach me how to resize offsite URLS to thumbnail size (feel free to do it there if anyone already knows, then tell me how here) and 2) we all need to decide when we want such pages, if we ever actually do. I know some nice publication series that would look good presented that way, for instance. But it is heavy on the bandwidth, so maybe we only want temporary pages for identifying common covers for naming purposes or suchlike? BLongley 17:13, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)
This would be an example of a short Publication Series, by Cover Artist. BLongley 17:59, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)

People credited by initials

User:AndyHat has a magazine where the editors are credited at the head/title of columns, reviews, etc. by their initials, STJ and JMH. The magazine also discloses the full names, S._T._Joshi and Jack_M._Haringa, in the masthead and at the end of columns/reviews.

Template:AuthorFields:CanonicalName, Template:TitleFields:Author and Template:PublicationFields:Author are silent on the use of initials and if they would be entered as STJ or if they should be regularized to "S. T. J."

A scan for existing initial-only names shows that opinion is split with 37 record using XXX and and 29 with X.X.X.:

FWIW - The help is silent on middle initials and if you would enter Robert A. Heinlein or Robert A Heinlein though the example show the use of a period and do state that they should not be kerned; Use "H. P. Lovecraft", not "H.P. Lovecraft". I suspect the period should be mentioned as 7190 author records use middle initials with periods but 73 don't. Marc Kupper (talk) 21:50, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the developing standard has been to use the actual name rather than the initials when the identity of the author is obvious. In the case of editors their name will be on the masthead. In the case of artists more flexibility is required and determination of the artist may be dependent upon editor knowledge. As far as the periods go - not using a period is sometimes an author idiosyncrasy - in the above example Bjo (actually more of a contraction for Betty Jo) is a primary example of initials that have actually become a name. People who sign with initials usually are consistent in their use. I would say "What you see is what you enter" still applies. None of the no initial people above seem to be in the initial list.--swfritter 22:08, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Some of the links seem to go to publishers we are not fond of (e.g. Viz). Sorting out Publishers misused in author/artist credits looks good to me. Having said that, I know I've met an artist called "SMS" on SF-related works and convention-membership listings that MAY be the one we have here. If he wants to be called that, fine by me, I won't demand regularisation. Checking how he signed my copy of whatever-zine-it-was is low priority though unless people point me to actual art rather than credits of such. "Smuss" was a good guy to chat with over a beer or several though. BLongley 23:17, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I always push for adherence to the rules of English usage and orthography, so the middle initial should have a period. In the case of the signature of an artist or the initials used by an editor, these are often meant to be interpreted differently, i.e., as a graphic identifying mark, which takes it out of the realm of text. In such cases, the textual equivalent should be substituted, e.g., RAP > R. A. P. > Raymond A. Palmer.--Rkihara 23:51, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
We really could do with a library of such marks for artists, as we could also do with publisher logos. Such SHOULD take a lot less bandwidth than I have used on examples on my talkpage so far, for instance. Time to bug Al again about hosting images? BLongley 00:18, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Storage space for images may be doable as Al's thinking of keeping the Dreamhost account for its storage. As a web/image server it should be fine. It did not work well as a MySQL server.
Thank you for the feedback. When I get a chance I'll update the help to have middle initials regularized to have a period unless it's known that a particular author or artist consistently does not use the period. I'll also add a thing that if someone is only credited by their initials that we'd enter the credit as it was stated. Both ABC and A. B. C. are valid. A name of the "A. B. C." format should normally not be kerned to "A.B.C." but there are some exceptions such as W.i.t.c.h. and N.A.S.A.. Marc Kupper (talk) 06:27, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
If someone is credited only by initals in a particular publication, but the name is known and the initals are not the cannonical name, would we register the initals as a pesudonym? Personally I would like to argue for expanding the initals where the name is known (stated anywhere in the publication or unquestionably clear. The main reason for doing so, in my view, is the much higher likelyhood of collision. Or perhaps we could register a pesud in the form of INITALS (Name) for example "R. A. H. (Robert A. Heinlein)" or "JRRT (J. R. R. Tolkien)" and expand to that, to avoid collision. What do peiople think of this idea? -DES Talk 15:22, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm for converting the initials when known, which is what I've been doing with the artwork, and occasionally with essays. As I've noted earlier, many of these are meant to be interpreted iconically, and not textually.--Rkihara 15:58, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
If it's initials on artwork then I will add a note and expand. For example I've done this a few times; "The frontispiece is signed 'JG' which is assumed to be Jack Gaughan." If it's initials at the end of an introduction I'll usually expand and add a note. If a story or article is credited on the title page by initials then that gets entered into the db and you then variant-title to the canonical name. I believe collisions are ok as the use of initials is rare and ISFDB allows for collisions for both variant titles and pseudonyms. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:37, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Another example arrived today. The Primal Urge has a "B. W. A." signature for the Author's Note. All fine except that the Author is Brian Aldiss with no "W". As there's a "W." in the abbreviation I've left it in the expansion too, but if this confuses I'm open to persuasion to change just that essay. BLongley 17:53, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Generally if the credit for an introduction, afterword, or author's note is in the signature I'll expand it for the credit entered into ISFDB and add a note rather than entering the ISFDB credit as signed. I know I've done this for Aldiss works as he often signs off with a date and place too meaning I can document where/when he was at the time. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:57, 23 April 2008 (UTC)