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  • Date - The original publication date of this title. The format of the field is "YYYY-MM-DD" (ex: 2023-02-02 is today).
    • Note that if you are cloning a publication, this field is not editable for existing Content titles.
    • If you leave this field blank for a title in the Content section, then the title's date will automatically default to the date of the publication that contains it, which is OK if this is the first publication of the title. If, however, this is not the first publication of the title, then you need to find when the title first appeared and enter that date manually. You may need to check the copyright/acknowledgments pages or other bibliographic sources to find the first publication date.
    • When entering a variant title record, enter the earliest known date when this variant record was published. This includes variant title records created for new titles, new alternate names, new translations and/or significant textual revisions. If it's not clear whether textual revisions were significant, discuss the issue on Help desk‎. If the variant title is a translation but was published before the canonical title see the remarks on How to enter translations.
    • Serializations
      • Books: If a work has been serialized in a magazine, there may be a difference in textual content between the first magazine publication and the first book publication. "Skylark of Valeron", for example, appeared as a magazine serialization in 1933-4, but was not published in book form until 1949. Therefore, record the first book publication date. A note in the title field can record the magazine serialization date, if there is one. (Note that as more fully explained in Help:Use of the SERIAL type#Date Rule, the ISFDB uses the date of first book publication even if the magazine text is known to be the same as the book text.)
      • Magazines and fanzines: Serial installments of a work, including novel length works (40,000+ words) printed as a single installment, are always given the date of the issue in which they appear even if the work has been published previously in book or serial form. See "Beyond This Horizon" for an example of a novel which was published as a multi-part serial, a book, and then as a single installment serial.
    • Excerpts. Use the date when an excerpt was first published in that form, not the date when the original text it is taken from was published.
    • Plays and Scripts. Use the date when a play or script (teleplay, screenplay, radioplay, etc) was published, not the date when it was performed or broadcast. (If a dramatic work has been performed but not published in writing, it should not be entered.) In some cases plays and scripts are not published until many years after they are first performed.
    • Sources. If you know that a book's first edition is prior to the date in the title, the best thing to do is find a copy of the first edition, and enter that publication. Then the title record can be updated to match the earlier publication. If you're unable to locate a copy of the earlier book, it is generally not a good idea to use a copyright date without further checking. Copyright dates occasionally differ by a year from the date of publication of the book they refer to. Instead, look for secondary sources, such as bibliographic reference works, and enter data from there. Record your source in the notes field.

This template supports an optional parameter to display "Year" instead of "Date". This is needed as the template is used on multiple help pages for consistency, but some forms use "Year" and others use "Date". Usage:

  • {{Template:TitleFields:Date}} -- displays "Date"
  • {{Template:TitleFields:Date|Year}} -- displays "Year"