User talk:RMS

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Hello, RMS, and welcome to the ISFDB Wiki! I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

Note: Image uploading isn't entirely automated. You're uploading the files to the wiki which will then have to be linked to the database by editing the publication record.

Please be careful in editing publications that have been primary verified by other editors. See Help:How to verify data#Making changes to verified pubs. But if you have a copy of an unverified publication, verifying it can be quite helpful. See Help:How to verify data for detailed information.

I hope you enjoy editing here! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will insert your name and the date. If you need help, check out the community portal, or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome! Mhhutchins 15:31, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Dating standards for ISFDB records

When the database was first created, it wasn't possible to give variant titles a different publication date. For example, if a work was first published in 1950 and then reprinted under a different name in 1960, it would retain the 1950 date because in the publication's content display there wasn't a way to indicate the two dates. It would have been deceptive to give it the new date without displaying the fact that it was a variant title of a work previously published. Well, the software was eventually changed so that the dates of both the new title and the original title could be displayed in the publication record's content section. In the meantime, many of the early variant title records still retained the date they were first given. These records would have to be updated manually. Unless someone is very interested in a particular author's bibliography, you'll find many records which haven't been corrected. Thanks for going through the A. E. van Vogt records to make the corrections.

Some of your submissions were rejected because you wanted to change the date of the title record which has become the "canonical" title, even though the work was first published under a different title. In these cases, this canonical title must retain the date the work was first published. 90% of the time, the canonical title is the first publication, but not always. For example, the magazine editor changed the author's preferred title, and when the author had a chance to reprint the story, his title was used. Other times, a work becomes more popular under a reprint title that it becomes the canonical title. So we make the record for the original title into a variant of the reprint (now canonical) title. We date the canonical title the date of the work's publication, not necessarily the date of the title's first publication.

Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 17:30, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Concerning the dating of novels which had previously appeared as a serial in a magazine publication: it is ISFDB policy to give the date of the novel as the date of its first book publication. If you disagree with this policy, please start a discussion on the Rules & Standards discussion page. Mhhutchins 20:00, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for these interesting explanations. I must confess though that I have trouble understanding what the criteria are for determining the 10% of cases when a later title becomes the "canonical" title for a work published earlier with a different name (because it is more popular? because the author approved the use of the later title? because we have evidence that the editor changed the initial title contrary to the author's wishes?). Would this be a valid topic for the Rules & Standards Discussion Page? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by RMS (talkcontribs) .
Yes, feel free to start a discussion there. (And yes, those are three of several reasons why a later title could be considered the canonical title.) Also, don't forget to end each post with four tildes (~~~~) which automatically signs and dates each one. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:55, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

"The Shadow Men"

I'm misunderstanding the purpose of the submission to "edit" this title record. There was no change in the record, only the Note to the Moderator that "this novella should appear in the Shortfiction section of the A.E. van Vogt Summary Bibliography, but seems to be missing". It's there. Do a CTRL+F search on the van Vogt's page, and you'll find it. Or go to the Shortfiction section and look down to 1950. Mhhutchins 18:05, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Sorry about that - my mistake. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by RMS (talkcontribs) .
Adding a colon to the number in the previous post will indent it and make it easier to follow the discussion. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:56, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Starting discussions on other pages

I've just learned that the Wiki restricts those who can edit certain pages based on the number of edits they've made to the entire Wiki. I don't know what that "magic number" is, so I suggest that you make any number of small edits on the pages you're allowed, such as this talk page, and other editors' talk pages (like mine), until you've reached that number. In the meantime, if you can tell me what you'd like to post on the Rules & Discussion page concerning the dating of title records, I can start the discussion there. You should be able to join in once the number of require edits have been reached. (Hint: nothing's can stop you from editing this page or your user page as many times as you like.) Mhhutchins 00:39, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Empire of the Atom

Hello, RMS! I rejected your submission to change the year of this title to 1956, even if the Shasta edition has "©1956" on the copyright page. The year of copyright is just the year the copyright was assigned. We assign the year of a given title by its first publication. Thanks, Stonecreek 13:53, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

And I rejected the second submission that tried to do the same thing. We do not use copyright as date of publication unless there is no other confirmed way to date a publication. Otherwise all publications of this 1956 copyrighted work would be dated 1956, even those published in 2013! Mhhutchins 21:24, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Author credit

It is ISFDB policy that we credit the authorship in publication records EXACTLY as they are credited in the publication, regardless of who actually wrote the work. The work (as opposed to the publication of the work) is credited to the author as it was first published, or if subsequently confirmed information comes to light and there is proof that another person wrote it or co-wrote it.

You should not make submissions that change the author credit for publication records which have been primary verified without first consulting with the editor who verified the publication. Mhhutchins 21:22, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Editing primary verified records

Do not make submissions to change vital data in primary verified records. That policy is explained here. Mhhutchins 21:28, 4 October 2013 (UTC)


I accepted this submission, but the proper way to indicate a translation to variant the translation record to the original language record. I have done that for this record and it now shows up as a translation. Ideally we would list the translator in the translation record's title notes. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:22, 29 December 2023 (EST)

Famous Western, February 1951


Apologies for the very long delay in getting to your submission. I approved the submission of the A. E. van Vogt story but had to change the record a bit. The result is here. Let me know if you have any questions. Annie (talk) 12:33, 8 February 2024 (EST)