|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.
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When displaying an author, there is a link in the left navigation bar labeled "Add/Remove an Alternate Name". Clicking on this link displays the "Add/Remove an Alternate name" page, which allows you to specify that the author in question is an alternate name of another author or authors.
An author is an alternate name of another author if they are in fact the same person. In the ISFDB, an alternate name means that the author wrote a work under a name different than their canonical name. This leads to a few rules:
- An author can have more than one alternate name.
- An alternate name can represent a group of authors collaborating with each other.
- An alternate name can be used by more than one person. House names like Alexander Blade may be used by dozens of authors.
- An author who is widely known within the genre by an alternate name, e.g. Mark Twain or Cordwainer Smith, will have a canonical ISFDB name which is technically a pseudonym. This can create odd situations where a person's legal name is listed as an alternate name.
Removing existing alternate names
If the currently displayed author name is already set up as an alternate name of one or more authors, these alternate name associations will be listed at the top of the page with a "Remove" button next to each alternate name. If one of the alternate name associations is in error, click on the Remove button next to the erroneous alternate name. The resulting "Remove Alternate Name" submission will need to be approved by a moderator before the incorrect alternate name is deleted.
- Make sure that the author name about to be marked as an alternate name is in fact the secondary/alternate name and not the primary/canonical name of the person in question. The name being made an alternate name is shown in bold in the upper right of the screen.
- Enter the canonical name of which this name is to be a alternate name in the box labeled "Parent Name". Be sure that the name is exactly correct, with spelling and spacing matching the proper parent record. It is best to copy the name from the correct author bibliography page and paste it here to avoid typos. The system won't let you create an alternate name association for authors that do not exist in the database, but if you mistype the name and it happens to exist, an incorrect association will be created.
- Alternatively, if you know the author record number for the canonical name, you may instead enter it into the box labeled "Parent Record #".
- Once you are sure that you have entered the correct information, click "Submit Data".
- The change must be approved by a moderator in the usual way.