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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.

Important note about award types supported by ISFDB:

ISFDB supports two different types of awards. Although they are entered and modified using the same Web pages, they are quite different and it's important to understand the difference before you start entering or editing awards. The two award types are as follows:

  • Title-based Awards (including Cover Art): Most awards are given to individual ISFDB titles, e.g. novels, non-fiction, short stories, cover art and so on. Note that these titles MUST already exist in ISFDB before you can add awards to them. If you want to add an award to a title that is not in ISFDB, then you have to enter that title first, wait for the submission to be approved and then enter the title's award(s).
  • Other awards: ISFDB also supports awards given to individuals beyond their specific works, e.g. Lifetime Achievement awards. In addition, it supports awards given to publishers, editors, title series, and non-ISFDB items such as web sites, movies, graphic novels, and never-published stories (such as runner-ups in various "new story" awards). These awards are referred to as "Untitled Awards" because they are not associated with ISFDB title records.

There are three ways to enter a new award record in the database:

  • Display the Title page of the title record that the award was given to. For awards given to variant titles or translations, make sure to have the correct variant title displayed. (If the award announcement misspelled the title, choose the closest existing title record.) Click the "Add an Award to This Title" link in the navigation bar on the left. This will put you on the Award Type Selector page, where you will see a drop-down list with all of the award types known to ISFDB. (If you want to enter an award of a type that is currently not supported by the ISFDB software, post a request on the Community Portal and it will be considered.) Select the desired award type, then click the "Proceed to the Next Page" button. It will put you on the "Award Editor for a Title" page. (Please note that ISFDB supports the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer / Astounding Award for the Best New Science Fiction Writer and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, which are two separate award types).
  • Access the Award Overview page or a year-specific page for an award type. Click the "Add Untitled Award of This Type" link. This will allow you to create an award record not associated with an ISFDB title. The page will default the value of the "Award Name" field to the name of the previously displayed award.
  • Click the "Add Untitled Award" link at the bottom of the "Add New Data" section of the navigation bar on the left. This will put you on the Award Type Selector page, where you will be able to select the award type from a drop-down list as described above in the first bullet point. After selecting the desired award type, click on the "Proceed to the Next Page" button and you will access the "Award Editor for a Title" page.

When you access the "Award Editor" page, you will see the following fields:

  • Title: This field will be pre-filled and not editable if you are adding or editing a title-based award. For untitled awards described above, the "Title" field will be editable and should be filled out as follows:
    • If the award is for an item which is not a standard kind of ISFDB title, e.g. a magazine or a non-genre reference book, enter the item's title in this field.
    • If the item has no possible title, e.g. Best Artist or Best Book Publisher, then place the word "untitled" in this field. When the award is displayed, a "----" will be displayed in the title column.
  • Author: This field will be pre-filled and not editable if you are adding or editing a title-based award. For untitled awards, find the canonical name of the person associated with the award in the ISFDB and enter it here. If the author is not in the database, then enter the name as specified in the award description. If the award was shared by multiple people, click on "Add Author" and enter as many names as needed.
  • Year: Enter the award year using the YYYY or the YYYY-00-00 format. Note that this should be the year of the award, not the year of the title's original publication. For example, for the Retro Hugo awards given in 2001, enter 2001 rather than 1950.
  • Award Name: This field displays the name of the award type for this award and is not editable.
  • Category: This is a pull-down menu which lists all award categories defined for the currently selected Award Type. When the awards are displayed for a particular year, e.g. the Hugo Awards for 1993, they will be grouped according to categories. If the drop-down list doesn't contain the category that you need, post a request on the Community Portal and a moderator will add a new award category if needed.
  • Award Level: ISFDB supports two varieties of award types: poll-based and non-poll-based. For poll-based award types, you will see a "Poll place" radio button; enter the numeric award ranking between 1 and 70. For non-poll-based award types, you will see a "Win" radio button and a "Nomination" radio button; check the appropriate button. If the nominees have been announced, but the winner is not known yet, select "Nomination", which will be changed when the winner is announced at a later date. For withdrawn, preliminary and other types of special nominees, choose the "Special" radio button and select the appropriate choice from the drop-down list. If the special award type that you are trying to enter is not listed in the drop-down list, describe the situation on the Community Portal.
  • IMDB title: When entering or editing an award given to a movie or a TV show, enter the title code used by the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), e.g. "tt0062622" for "2001: A Space Odyssey". You can find the IMDB code by searching the IMDB database for the movie/show title and copying the "tt" part from the displayed URL. For awards associated with individual episodes, link to the IMDB record for the awarded episode. For awards associated with multi-part episodes which have multiple IMDB records, link to the IMDB record for the first part of the episode. Note that this field is only displayed if you are adding or editing an untitled award.
  • Note: This field is for notes about this award or nomination. Limited HTML and templates can be used in this field -- see Help:Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields for more details.
  • Note to Moderator: An optional note to the reviewing moderator to clarify any issues that may arise when approving the submitted data. Any data entered into this field will not become a part of the permanent database record.