Jump to navigation Jump to search
- Author - The name of the author of the work. For novel, anthology, collection and omnibus works, this will be the same as what's entered in the publication author field. The name should be entered exactly as it actually appeared in the publication. This includes pseudonyms, abbreviated names ("I. Asimov" instead of "Isaac Asimov", "Robert Heinlein" instead of "Robert A. Heinlein"), etc. Take the author credit from the title page rather than the book's cover or spine. If the publication contains multiple works, use the author credit given at the beginning of each work. If an individual work doesn't have an author credit, which is common in single-author collections, use the form of the author's name stated on the publication's main title page. If necessary, a variant title record linking the work to its canonical author should be created after the submission has been accepted. There is a special rule for in-universe essays, which are written as if by a character in the story, often as an introduction or afterword. Even if these are signed by the fictional character, they should be recorded as by the stated author of the work. Note that if you are cloning a publication, this field is not editable for existing content records.
- Anonymous or uncredited works. If a work is credited to "Anonymous", then put "Anonymous" in the author field. The same applies for any obviously similar pseudonym, such as "Noname". If the work is not credited at all, use "uncredited". If you are working from a secondary source which does not specify the author, but does not explicitly state that no author is credited in the publication, use "unknown" rather than "uncredited". The intent is that the ISFDB record should reflect what is stated in the publication. This applies to stories and essays that are not credited (often the case for short announcements in magazines, for example), and artwork that is not attributed and for which no signature can be identified. Letter columns with embedded editorial responses should be credited to whoever writes the responses, or to "uncredited" if this is not obvious. If a work is attributed to a role, e.g. "Editor" or "Publisher", then use that name as the author, even if you have clear evidence as to who the author really is. For example, editorials in magazines were frequently uncredited, or credited to "The Editor"; these should be entered with the Author field set to "The Editor". If there is a publicly available source which identifies the uncredited title's author, it will be later turned into a variant title using the author's canonical name.
- Case. Case should be regularized. A few magazines and books had typographical conventions that include, for example, printing an author's name in all lower case, or all upper case. These should be converted to leading capitals. If a name includes an element that typically is not capitalized, it should be uncapitalized regardless of how it is presented in the publication. For example, if a magazine gives a story as by "L. Sprague De Camp", the name should be entered as "L. Sprague de Camp". Author names that vary only in capitalization are not tracked as variants.
- Initials. Initials should normally be entered followed by a period and a space as "Gordon R. Dickson" or "K. D. Wentworth", even if the period or space is omitted in the publication. However, when it is clearly the author's choice to omit the period, or when the author has a single letter name that is not an initial (e.g. "Harry S Truman") the period should be omitted. In the rare case where an author prefers two (or more) initials as if they were a name (such as "TG Theodore"), without a period or space, and is so credited, we follow the author's preference. A possible clue to such cases occurs when most authors have initials shown with period and space, but a particular author is handled differently in a magazine or anthology. Checking other sources, such as a Wikipedia article or the author's web site, is a good idea. Such non-standard forms should be mentioned in a publication or title note.
- Spaces in Names: Spaces within a name should be regularized. If a name differs from a canonical name or existing alternate name only by the lack of, or addition of, blank spaces, it should be entered as the existing name or alternate name. For example, a book credited to "Ursula LeGuin", "Lester DelRey", or "A. E. VanVogt" should be listed by including the missing space, e.g. "Lester del Rey". Conversely, if a book were credited to "John De Chancie", the extra space should be removed, and the book credited to "John DeChancie". One effect of this rule is to avoid subjective judgements when there appears to be a "partial space" in a name.
- Short stories and artwork. For short stories that appear in magazines and anthologies, the author's name should be taken from the story heading, rather than from the table of contents, if there is one. However, as with titles, this is not particularly important, and if they differ, and one is the generally used canonical form of an author's name, take the canonical one -- e.g. if the story heading says "P.J. Farmer" but the table of contents has "Philip Jose Farmer" then use the latter. Similarly, if you are entering the artist for interior illustrations, and the artist is credited as "Emsh", enter "Emsh", but if the contents page says "Illustrations by Ed Emshwiller", feel free to enter "Ed Emshwiller" as the artist even if the individual stories assign them to "Emsh". In tables of contents, magazines sometimes abbreviated long names (e.g. collaborations) to fit into the available space, but used longer forms of the names on the story titles. In these cases the longer form of the names should be used.
- Alternate Names. If you know that a particular author's name is an alternate name, enter that alternate name rather than changing it to the canonical name. If the title page shows both an original and a subsequent name, use the original name. For example, Isaac Asimov's "Lucky Starr" books were originally published under the pseudonym of Paul French, but later reprints were given both names: "by Isaac Asimov, writing as Paul French". In these cases you should still enter Paul French as the author and record the dual credit in the notes. If the cover shows both names but the title page shows only one name, use the name from the title page -- no matter which it is -- and record the discrepancy with the cover credit in the notes. When a book is known to be ghost-written, this should be treated as an alternate name; the ghost-writer will eventually show up as having an alternate name of the well-known author, but that data is not entered via this field.
- Non-English characters. Non-English characters, including accented Latin characters and all other Unicode characters, should be entered exactly as they appear in the publication. See the ISFDB FAQ for more information on accented characters.
- Collaborations. If a work has multiple authors, it doesn't matter in which order you enter them. The ISFDB does not record author order regardless of how the authors are entered.
- Writers "with" other writers. In some cases a writer is credited as writing a story "with" another author. If both names appear on the title page, both names should be recorded in the ISFDB. Although the "with" convention can indicate that the co-authors' contributions were not equal (often the more famous author did little more than lend their name to a project which was written almost entirely by the lesser known author), the "Author" field treats them as regular co-authors. A note can be added to the record explaining how the work is credited and giving additional information about the nature of the collaboration if publicly available.
- Ranks, suffixes, prefixes. If an author is given as "Captain Robert L. Stone" then that should be entered in the database. Abbreviated versions of the rank should be entered as given, rather than expanded. For example, during World War II, on at least one occasion Amazing Stories printed an issue of stories from active service members, giving their ranks as part of the author attribution. These ranks should be included in the author names, and made into alternate names for the relevant authors . Suffixes such as "Jr" should follow a comma and space, and be followed by a period if they are abbreviations. This should be regularized if they are not presented this way in the publication, e.g. "Sam Merwin Jr" should be entered as "Sam Merwin, Jr."; similarly, it's "Edward Elmer Smith, Ph.D."; "Frederick C. Durant, III"; and so on.
- Duplicate Names. See Help:How to enter duplicate record names