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This section will help editors to determine whether a contained work should be entered as a separate content record in a ISFDB publication record.
Contents always included
- Fiction: All forms of fiction are always included.
- Essays: Shorter works of nonfiction (other than reviews and interviews; see below) contained in a larger work, i.e. book or magazine, are entered as ESSAY type in the "Regular Titles" section of the data entry form. These include, but are not limited to:
- Forewords, introductions, prefaces, afterwords, endnotes, etc.: These should all be included. Occasionally some pieces will be set in the fictional world of the novel; these do not get indexed separately as they are regarded as part of the novel's text.
- Editorials: These are entered as ESSAY type, not EDITOR.
- Science fact articles: Restricted to those published in a speculative fiction publication.
- Letter columns. Letter columns should be included as a separate content record. Entered as ESSAY type.
- Individual letters to the editor published in magazines: Entries may be restricted to significant letters by well-known speculative fiction personalities. Editors have the option to include other letters. All letters should be entered using the following format: "Letter (Title of Magazine, Date)". If the letter has a title, append a colon, a space, and the text of the title: "Letter (Title of Magazine, Date): Letter Title".
- Reviews: Reviews of books and short fiction that are eligible for inclusion in the database based on the Rules of Acquisition should be entered into the "Reviews" section of the data entry form. A title in this section is automatically typed as REVIEW.
- Reviews of media products (films, TV shows, games, music and dramatized recordings), stage productions, magazines and fanzines (regardless of their genre), and books that are not eligible for inclusion in the database (graphic novels, nongenre novels by authors that are below the threshold, nonassociational nonfiction works), should not be entered into the "Reviews" section of the data entry form. A record should be created in the "Regular Titles" section typed as ESSAY. If the review is not titled, this title format is suggested: Review of "Work" by Responsible Person(s). Descriptions of the type of work are also encouraged. For example: Review of the graphic novel "Agatha Heterodyne and the Clockwork Princess" by Phil & Kaja Foglio.
- Interviews: These are entered into the "Interview" section of the data entry form, crediting both the interviewee and the interviewer. A title in this section is automatically typed as INTERVIEW. An author profile, which is usually entered as ESSAY, may contain substantial direct quotes from the author, and may also be entered as INTERVIEW.
- Interior artwork: Works of art published inside the publication are entered into the "Regular Titles" section of the data entry form and typed as INTERIORART. For more information, see INTERIORART. Note: Cover art credit is entered into its own separate section of the data entry form. If there is a significant reproduction of the cover art inside the publication, it can also be entered as a separate INTERIORART record.
Contents included with exceptions
- Story introductions: In some cases, anthologies or collections include introductions (or, less often, afterwords) to individual works. If these are short and amount to blurbs, they should not be indexed separately. When they amount to critical essays or otherwise have significant content, they should be included. This is always a judgment call. Such story introductions are often unsigned and untitled. If they occur in a single-author collection without a separate editor, they can usually be safely attributed to the author. If they occur in a collection or anthology with a single editor, they can usually be safely attributed to the editor. In an anthology (or collection) with multiple editors, such introductions (if they are being entered into the database) should be attributed to "uncredited" if there is no clear indication of who actually wrote them. If untitled, such items should be listed as "Story (Introduction)" (where "Story" represents the title of the story being introduced) or some similar form. In borderline cases, signed intros are more worthy of inclusion than ones which would need to be attributed to "uncredited".
- "About the Author" and other biographical sketches: Include these when they are separate entries in the publication and are of substantial length or quality. Don't include them when they are part of a blurb or lead-in, or otherwise insignificant. Eligible works should be entered as ESSAYs.
- Forthcoming announcements: Notes about what will be in future issues can be included if they are significant; for example, a single filler line at the bottom of a page doesn't get indexed, but an article, e.g. "In Times to Come", describing future issues, should be indexed. Other pieces may fall into this category; for example, a notice that the editorship is changing, or that a key figure associated with the magazine has died. The boundary between inclusion and non-inclusion is a judgement call here, and depends on length and significance.
- Calendars: Calendar pages, such as "The Analog Calendar of Upcoming Events", should be indexed. Insubstantial listings should not.
- Acknowledgments: Generally do not include. Occasionally an acknowledgments may contain more than a simple listing of copyright dates and thank-yous to friends and researchers; if it contains material such as reminiscences, opinionation or anything else likely to interest a reader or researcher, consider including it.
- Reader polls: A clip-out coupon (or something similar) for readers to send in to vote on their favorite stories should not be included. A significant amount of text accompanying the poll coupon may be worth indexing, per the other rules. For example, a listing in the table of contents. The results of reader polls are likely to be worth recording, however; they will be entered as ESSAYs.
- Dedicatory material: Dedications, as a rule, are never included, with one exception: when work from other authors is used as dedicatory or other introductory material. For example, Denise Levertov's poem "Come into Animal Presence" appears in introductory section of Ursula Le Guin's collection Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences. It is also included in the table of contents. Such an exception warrants that the work be indexed in the publication record.
- Inserts: An item inserted into a book or magazine should be indexed under the same rules as if it were included in the main body. For example, some David Weber books include an Honorverse CD; this has its own ISBN and should be indexed as a separate title, with a note in the record that the CD is included. A poster insert in a magazine should be indexed as INTERIORART, with a mention in the Note field of the publication record that it was an insert.
- Photography: As a general rule, photographs are not indexed. But, if the photograph illustrates a work, it should be entered as INTERIORART. Author photographs are usually not indexed. This determination is left to the record's primary verifiers.
- Cartoons. Signed or significant cartoons are included; enter as INTERIORART. At the editor's discretion, incidental works may be omitted.
Contents never included
- Tables of content: Do not create a separate content record for a table of contents. The contents shown in the table are included if they meet the individual criteria as explained in other areas of this help section.
- Blurbs: Review quotes and author blurbs presented either on the back covers or dustjackets of books, or on the pages before the title page should not be indexed. Magazines often include lead-ins, or blurbs, before a story and these are also not included.
- Advertising: No advertising of any kind is indexed, including calls for subscriptions, back issues, and plugs for conventions.
- Quotations and other filler material: These are not included unless they fall within some other category, such as the table of contents rule mentioned above. For example, Analog periodically places quotes of interest to its readers in filler positions. This rule also applies to uncredited spot illustrations whose only purpose is to fill the last page of a story or essay.
- Statements of ownership: Statutory statements of ownership and circulation are not included; nor are colophons, lists of editorial positions, and similar material. Information from this statement, such as circulation figures, may optionally be included in the Note field in a record's "Metadata" section.