Help:How to update a publication

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This page is a help or manual page for the ISFDB database. It describes standards or methods for entering or maintaining data in the ISFDB database, or otherwise working with the database. Other help pages may be found via the category below. To discuss what should go on this page, use the talk page.

If, after exploring the Help system, you still have a question, please visit the Help desk and let us know. We probably know the answer, but we need your help to know what we left out of the help pages.

If you are new to editing the ISFDB, please see Help:Getting Started.

For more on this and other header templates, see Header templates.

Suppose you notice that a particular publication is entered incorrectly. Perhaps you have a copy of that book, and you can see that the ISFDB is missing information about the price or cover artist, or that the title is not entered accurately. To correct these mistakes, run through the following checklist first to make sure you're really updating the right record.

  • First check to make sure you're really talking about the same edition and printing of the book. Suppose the ISFDB copy say "Tor Books, 1996, $13.95", whereas your copy says 1996 also but is priced at $14.95. Is this an error? Not necessarily -- there may have been multiple printings of this edition, with different prices (and sometimes different cover art). Checking the printing indicators at the front of the book, and see if you can tell which printing yours is. Ideally each publication would list the printing and edition info in the notes, but in most cases there are not multiple printings in a year so the year is sufficient to identify the book.
  • If you decide your book is in fact different from any publications already entered, then go ahead and enter it. There is a help page for entering novels, and a help page for other books.
  • If your book is really the same publication, then the next thing to check is the Notes field displayed on the Publication page, e.g. this issue of Fantastic Universe. Examine it to see if it contains information about the discrepancies that you see.
  • If you've checked those sources, and have determined that you do indeed need to update the publication, then click on the "Edit This Pub" link in the left navbar. This will display the publication and all its contents. You can edit any or all of it or add contents, but note that you cannot delete any of the content records in this form -- you will need to use the "Remove Titles From This Pub" tool to delete contents instead. For detailed help on the fields on this screen, see the edit publication help page.
  • When editing a publication which has been primary-verified by users other than you, state what data was changed and why in the "Note to Moderator" field -- see Template:ModNote for details.
  • If editing a primary-verified publication and adding/changing data that is not from the publication itself, specify what information is from a secondary source in the "Pub Note" field. This must be phrased in a way that makes it clear what data is not a part of the primary verification, when that data was added or changed, and where that data came from. A date stamp in the format "yyyy-mm-dd" has to be appended to that data. Examples:
    • "Cover artist credit from first printing (changed 2020-01-02)"
    • "Price from publisher's website (added 2020-01-02)"
    • "Publication date from Amazon (added 2020-01-02)".
  • Once you make your changes, click Submit Data to create a submission record. When a moderator approves the submission, your changes will appear for that publication.