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Beta participation

Welcome to the beta release of public editing of the ISFDB database.

With this release, the ISFDB is available for anyone to edit. If you have sf or fantasy books or magazines on your shelves, and a few minutes to spare, you can help expand and improve our coverage of the field.

In summary, the ISFDB has two main parts.

  1. The bibliographic database itself is accessed via You do not need to create an account or log in to view the database. To add or correct ISFDB entries though you will need to log in. Please see Help:Getting Started about this.
  2. The ISFDB database is supported by a wiki (this site) The ISFDB database is great for very structured information and the wiki supports free text. The wiki has sections for
    • General purposes pages about ISFDB such as this one.
    • Help pages for the ISFDB database editing screens such as add or edit publication. Each of the database editing screens has a link to a corresponding help page on the wiki.
    • Author biographic pages. It is preferred that biographic data be kept on the Wikipedia but many author's are not "noteworthy" enough to warrant a Wikipedia page and so you can use ISFDB's wiki for this.
    • Author bibliographic pages where editors can keep notes on bibliographic issues regarding an author's works.
    • Publication bibliographic pages where editors can keep notes on bibliographic issues regarding a publication.
    • ISFDB community support/talk pages. These include
      • Community Portal: General purpose discussion.
      • Help desk: for questions about how to do something, either in the ISFDB or the ISFDB Wiki. This includes both questions about how to do a specific task, and also more general questions about what should be done about particular situations where the information is clearly wrong and the solution is not obvious.
      • Rules and standards discussions: for discussions about the rules and standards, such as whether certain kinds of publications belong in the ISFDB, or whether the help text defining capitalization should be modified. It also includes questions about interpretation, such as whether a SERIAL type can be used for sequences of short stories subsequently republished as a novel.
      • Verification requests: for asking help with bibliographic problems concerning specific publications which require a physical check.
      • Moderator noticeboard: for when you are trying to get the attention of one or more ISFDB moderators.
    • ISFDB user pages. Each ISFDB user gets his or own page with the talk section being the most frequently used part. ISFDB editors are encouraged to check the wiki from time to time while because if there are issues with their submissions the moderators will leave messages on the editor's talk page.

The following links may be useful to you.

The rest of this page is devoted to the beta itself; its goals and any current issues. Please feel free to contribute and ask questions anywhere on the ISFDB Wiki.


Note: Since we are not planning to limit editor activity, there are no recruitment goals for number of editors. We will simply open up for editing, and will remain in beta until we meet the exit criteria.

  • Find outstanding software bugs
  • Get confidence there are no dataloss bugs left
  • Understand how editors are actually going to focus. For example, are the project pages what they need to manage their data? Will they need something like a watchlist?
  • Get input on prioritizing next features
  • Prove that data really does (a) get added, (b) gets cleaned up, and (c) stays cleaned up

Exit Criteria

For the beta to conclude, there must be no known dataloss bugs, and no known bugs that cause software crashes.

In addition, consensus must be reached among editors that the software provides sufficient support for editors to be interested in contributing. The criteria the editors will use are to be determined by them, but are likely to include:

  • The interface is sufficiently easy to use
  • Help files and support are available to answer questions about how to achieve certain tasks
  • The system is sufficiently reliable
  • They are confident that the work they do is stable against vandalism, and incorrect edits.

"Sufficiently" in the criteria above means that the system is good enough that editors are not discouraged from being active by any flaws.

Bugs to fix before beta exit

This section lists bugs which must be fixed before the beta can be completed.

Showstopper Bug Fixes

  • None.


The following tasks within the wiki should be completed before we go live on the beta.


Remaining features

There are no features remaining to be implemented prior to the beta.


Review and clean up our Policy statement to see if there are any major outstanding issues that may result in new editors trying to add "wrong" data to the database. Ahasuerus 11:05, 30 Nov 2006 (CST)