ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard/Archive 25

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This is an archive page for the Moderator noticeboard. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from January - June 2019.

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Archives of old discussions from the Moderator noticeboard.


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Expanded archive listing



Megan E. O'Keefe

I entered Megan E. O'Keefe's name incorrectly on this submission. I left off her middle initial. Could someone fix this instead of creating a new author? Thanks Tom TAWeiss 21:53, 2 January 2019 (EST)

Approved the submission & then edited the title record to have the correct name. -- JLaTondre (talk) 22:45, 2 January 2019 (EST)

Bob Van Laerhoven

The canonical name of Bob van Laerhoven should be with a capital 'V' (being Flemish). Can someone correct this? Thank you! MagicUnk 03:20, 5 January 2019 (EST)

Corrected. --Willem 05:48, 5 January 2019 (EST)

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January-February 2019

I just entered this issue into the databank for approval. However I accidentally hit the enter button and so, if my submission is accepted, I'll add the book reviews and cover image. MLB 01:19, 6 January 2019 (EST)

Got it. Approved, fixed a typo on Douglas F. Dluzen, Ph.D.'s name and all yours to add the missing pieces. Annie 01:41, 6 January 2019 (EST)

Capital Letters

I normally don't bother to look at my rejected edits, but I recently did do. Anniemod rejected a correction I made to one of my own entries, where I tied to correct "Light from Her Eyes" to "Light From Her Eyes" to conform to the title of the artwork given in the publication. I have been under the impression that the contents should conform to what is given in the pub, even is the pub misspells or commits a grammar error. What irritated me about Anniemod's rejection was that she then lectured me about rules for capitalization; obviously, I made the error in the first place out of habit when I typed the entry as correct grammar would demand. I would have sent this message via Anniemod's messages, but there doesn't seem to be anyplace to do so, only archives. If I'm wrong about typing titles for artwork as presented in the pub, please let me know. Bob 14:52, 8 January 2019 (EST)

For most aspeects of titles, you're right that we'd follow what's in the publication. But there are exceptions, and one of them is that we standardize capitalization. Help:Screen:NewPub#Title gives an overview of current policies on how to enter English-language titles. I hope that helps ... (P.S. Yes, Annie does reply to messages on her talk page.) --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 15:09, 8 January 2019 (EST)
Hi Bob, I do not remember lecturing you anywhere? If I had quoted the rule in the rejection (and that's what you mean), I usually do that so that it is clear why I rejected it...
For capitalization, we do regularize titles: see the list, regardless of how the publication has the title. The rule in this case is "all later words are capitalized except for "and", "or", "the", "a", "an", "for", "of", "in", "on", "by", "at", "from", "with", and "to". This means that "from" should not be capitalized here unless it is a cartoon caption (it does not seem to be one). We do not correct grammar OR misspellings but we do change the capitalization.
You can add a note on my page by pressing the "plus" sign on the User:Talk page as always - being the beginning of the year, the old messages got archived for easier loading time so the page is a bit barren but it is still there. Annie 15:12, 8 January 2019 (EST)
PS: Yep, found the edit :) Yep, this is the usual "this is not one of the words we capitalize messages, with a copied list from the help page for easier reference". Annie 15:15, 8 January 2019 (EST)
Annie, I couldn't find any "+" on your user page. Sorry. Somewhere along the way to my PhD, I did learn about the proper grammar for capitalizing titles. I looked at the Help Screen Vasha indicated above, so I will from now on correct the publication editor's errors in capitalizing titles. Sometimes I think the capitalization "errors" are deliberate, but I'll ignore that in the future. Should I also correct spelling errors by the editors? Bob 16:35, 8 January 2019 (EST)
The plus should be visible after the Edit link here. Or you can just press the edit and post whatever is needed at the bottom. :) Don't think of the capitalization chnange as a correction but as a regularization - we make sure that we do not create a variant just because a magazine chose to use a special capitalization format. There are always special cases where the rules just need to be ignored (when it is clear that a word is capitalized for a reason in a story name for example even if it does not look like a name from the title (I tend to add notes in such cases so it is clear why)). And yeah - we do not use any of usually accepted standards - we have our own, ISFDB standard.
Nope, spelling mistakes are recorded as they are in the publication - the changes are strictly for the capitalization. :) Annie 16:46, 8 January 2019 (EST)

(unindent) It's probably easier to remember the general rules, rather than a list of words. In most guides they say to capitalize the first and last word, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjuctions, and not to capitalize articles, coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions. Except for the capitalization of the last word, that pretty much covers our rules.--Rkihara 17:13, 8 January 2019 (EST)

"After, before, without, onto, into, up, out" (to name a few) are also prepositions though :) And we do capitalize "but" and "nor" which are a coordinating conjunctions (or so I had been taught). Annie 17:24, 8 January 2019 (EST)
I agree with Rkihara, on the grounds that strict adherence to the list sometimes gives incorrect results -- after all, words in English have multiple functions, and capitalization depends on function.
However, this is a long-standing argument in these forums (Annie will give you the other side of it). Back in archived discussions are a long conversation (and several shorter ones) where I proposed several.possible alternatives to the current standard. Annie was vehemently opposed to changing (and some other people weren't in agreement either), so since decisions here are by consensus, nothing whatsoever was changed (not even the minor matter of adding "as" to the list). I hardly expect things to be resolved now either (but people are going to keep bringing it up, Annie ...).
For people who are interested in the past debates, this is a place to start. My main proposal was to suggest using an external standard instead of trying to agree on our own, and the Chicago Manual of Style is a good one to choose because it explains the principles at length with examples. Rkihara's summary is essentially accurate but hard to understand, even for educated Americans (our schools are not good at teaching grammatical terminology); the CMoS both explains and shows which words in titles should be capitalized. Here are excerpts, without the examples. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 17:26, 8 January 2019 (EST)
I missed the earlier discussion or maybe I avoided it( ;>)? I like the suggestion of programming the capitalization function in. Maybe a checkbox for capitalization could be added with "ISFDB standard" as the default and "Other" for special cases, such as acronyms, non-English languages, etc?--Rkihara 19:19, 8 January 2019 (EST)
That's a recipe for trouble: having a computer mindlessly enforce seriously oversimplified capitalization rules would, in truth, make the ISFDB look like it was capitalized by computer, and that is never a professional look. And programming something like the CMoS rules is a very big project. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 19:48, 8 January 2019 (EST)
If there is a difference between how a computer and human being capitalizes titles, then it means that the rules of capitalization are too open to interpretation and no one could be totally satisfied with the result. I just found a site that offers a tool to do this in any choice of five styles, so it's not impossible, though maybe very hard to do as you say.--Rkihara 22:49, 8 January 2019 (EST)
Yes, I wish there was a computer tool available to do the capitalization, and maybe there is—but that site isn't it. Try it with a phrase like "Putting In the Bathtub" and it'll give you "Putting in the Bathtub": it fails to recognize that "In" isn't a preposition here, and thinks that instead of installing your bathroom fixture, you are golfing inside it! --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 23:01, 8 January 2019 (EST)
I agree that it would be exceedingly hard to enforce our capitalization standards programmatically. However, we could easily create a cleanup report or two to look for " Of ", " For " [note the spaces], etc in English titles and related pubs.
Of course, it would take a long time to do a thorough cleanup. At the moment we have:
  • 17,139 "A"
  • 4,515 "An"
  • 785 "And"
  • 414 "At"
  • 518 "By"
  • 1,033 "From"
  • 1,483 "In"
  • 750 "Of"
  • 1,087 "On"
  • 337 "Or"
  • 29,967 "The"
  • 950 "To"
  • 1,315 "With"
Ahasuerus 11:18, 9 January 2019 (EST)
Do these numbers exclude first letter after ": "? The number of "A" does not make sense unless we have subtitles not excluded... We kinda started the discussion around that last month (so we can put it in plain text in the rules) but someone derailed it as always by trying to over-complicate instead or covering the easy cases first :) And we can always start slowly - start with the smaller sets and keep adding when these are done. Of course, before we even tackle the prepositions, we need to deal with phrasal verbs - the current rules clearly state that "Go on" gets its "on" in small letters; the practice of half of the editors is different... Annie 11:38, 9 January 2019 (EST)
Oh, right, I forgot to account for subtitles. Without them, the numbers look much more manageable, e.g.:
  • "A": 1,876 instead of 17,139
  • "The": 9,501 instead of 29,967
On the other hand, there are additional, less common, scenarios that also need to be reviewed, e.g we have 73 "THE"s.
We could start with something simple like "By" or "At" and see where it gets us. Alternatively, we could start with "A", which would avoid the issue of phrasal verbs and postpositions for now. One step at a time and all that. Ahasuerus 11:52, 9 January 2019 (EST)
Exclude all Interior Art that starts with Cartoon or has the cartoon's format (with quotes and what's not)? A lot of the funny cases will be because of this exception :) Although it may not be as clear cut...
And probably exclude poems (for now)? Although we do need to talk about them.
The numbers of "The" still looks very high to me - although considering what I had been finding while cleaning, that may be actually normal...
So how about a plan such as:
  • Discuss the change in the formal rules to specify that subtitles are getting a first capital letter (for the "Title:Subtitle format and the "X, or, Y" formats) and discuss other options for formats. Annie 12:08, 9 January 2019 (EST)
  • That unlocks "and, or, the, a, an". So start with them
  • Start a discussion to decide how we handle phrasal verbs and then work through the prepositions based on that.
Annie 12:08, 9 January 2019 (EST)
The reason why we have so many titles with embedded " The " is that subtitles are not necessarily delimited in a consistent way. Here are the first 10 titles that my updated query found:
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| The Chess Garden, or, The Twilight Letters of Gustav Uyterhoeven       |
| Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death |
| Roderick or The Education of a Young Machine                           |
| Nerilka's Story & The Coelura                                          |
| Marianne, The Magus, and the Manticore                                 |
| Marianne, The Madame, and the Momentary Gods                           |
| Lycanthia, or The Children of Wolves                                   |
| Gloriana, or, The Unfulfill'd Queen                                    |
| Listen! The Stars!                                                     |
| Sabella or The Blood Stone                                             |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
If we decide to create a cleanup report, I should be able to fine-tune the query based on whatever standards we agree on on the Rules and Standard page. Ahasuerus 12:22, 9 January 2019 (EST)
These examples reminded me of another topic we need to also make sure we do not forget - the double titles (omnibuses for example) (where two titles are connected with & or "and" and so on -- and how we want to handle them. But that highlights the fact that if we will be doing cleanup, we first need to agree how we handle these cases. :) And that will also be very subjective - this will require a human to decide if "Title and the Title" is just a title or two titles in an omnibus ("Nerilka's Story & The Coelura" (two stories in one book) vs "The Boy and the Magical Forest" (one story) for example. Annie 12:31, 9 January 2019 (EST)

Web API/Fixer enhancements

As per FR 1239, the Web API, which is used by Fixer, has been enhanced. It now lets the submitter (me) include the name of the "holding" moderator in the submission.

This functionality should make certain tasks easier. For example, suppose a moderator wants to work on the ISBNs associated with a certain publisher or author(s). He or she can now ask me to leverage Fixer's internal databases to create submissions for the related ISBNs and put them on hold on behalf of the requesting moderator. (Requests are more than welcome!)

I am also using the new functionality to create new remote submissions on Fixer's behalf and immediately put them on hold on my behalf. I can then review them at my leisure and decide whether to work on them or whether to release the hold. Ahasuerus 14:00, 13 January 2019 (EST)

James Swallow

Hello I found a short story by this author called "Ashes & Iron" with an illustration by Dave Gibbons in a publication called "Adventures in No Man's Sky" issued with the collector's edition of the PS4 game "No Man's Sky". Can anyone advise how this can be added - the publication itself is comprised of the short story text and a graphic short called "Cargo" by Gibbons illustrated by Angus McKie - only the text pages are numbered--Mavmaramis 14:26, 21 January 2019 (EST)

As they are both shorts, it should be entered as an anthology. Enter each story as a separate entry within the anthology. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:06, 22 January 2019 (EST)

HarperVoyager and Harper Voyager (UK)

Per the notes in Harper Voyager (UK), HarperVoyager is the same publisher. Since Harper Voyager (UK) has more pubs to its name, can someone easily update all HarperVoyager pubs to Harper Voyager (UK)? Thanks! MagicUnk 10:02, 31 January 2019 (EST)

You mean this one and this one, right? Ignore the number of publications - we can merge the publishers if needed so that is the easy part:) Let me ping a few verifiers from the HarperVoyager titles and see what they think and why the two records are split. I do not disagree with the proposal but we need to be a bit more careful when dealing with verified publications. Annie 13:29, 31 January 2019 (EST)
Sure thing, Annie! The reason for asking is that all HarperVoyager ISBN's have the form 978-0-00-, as do the Harper Voyager (UK) pubs. Well, almost all. There are a few with 978-00-06-, which is the Harper Voyager (the US one) ISBN range) MagicUnk 14:36, 31 January 2019 (EST)
Yeah, I know. And I saw at least one UK ISBN with Australian price which is... interesting. :) As I said - I think we should do some merging here, just want to do some more due diligence before we do. Annie 14:41, 31 January 2019 (EST)

Partial Submissions

Is it okay to submit a new magazine issue but only include the fiction titles? I can easily fill in the data for the fiction in Apex's June and August 2015 issues, for example, but it's a chore for me to find the rest of the information. Is it helpful for me to fill in what I can and maybe leave a note or something? Or is it bad form to submit an incomplete magazine? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Greg_Hullender (talkcontribs) .

Just add a "Contents incomplete; only fiction titles included" in the notes of the publication (or something aling these lines); this way it is clear what we had included and someone can add more if they can/want (especially when someone has the magazine at hand). However - if you are verifying the magazine, adding the complete contents is kinda expected - I know it takes time but if you have the magazine in your hands, just bite the bullet and all that :) Annie 19:28, 31 January 2019 (EST)

Erroneous secondary verifications

There are a few publications were all the secondary verifications are set to "Verified" (example: DOA III). This user was last active on 2018-08-08. The only possible solutions would be to wait for an indefinite time or to clone the publication and delete the existing one. Or is there any other way to get rid of those verifications? Stonecreek 09:15, 2 February 2019 (EST)

At this time the software doesn't support removing secondary verifications by other editors. The reason is that in the past some editors were concerned about other editors overwriting them.
It would be possible to create a one-time script to remove these particular verifications. However, as you know, I am hesitant to rely on one-time scripts. They are time-consuming to implement and error-prone. We may want to consider a permanent software solution, e.g. letting moderators remove secondary verifications. Ahasuerus 09:47, 2 February 2019 (EST)
Thanks! Thus I tend towards cloning & deleting the publication and informing the editor. This seems to be the best way to clear this problem without the danger of forgetting about it. Stonecreek 10:14, 2 February 2019 (EST)
Cloning and then deleting the original publication would get rid of the erroneous secondary verifications. However, it would also delete the primary verification(s). In the case of this verifier, all 4 of whose primary-verified publications have invalid secondary verifications, it's a tempting option. However, consider this publication. It was primary-verified both by User:Michael Flores1 and by Darrah Chavey. If we were to delete it, we would lose Darrah's verification. Ahasuerus 10:22, 2 February 2019 (EST)
Okay, then I shall only clone & delete the ones only PVed by User:Michael Flores1. Stonecreek 10:35, 2 February 2019 (EST)

Currey book check

Please someone with Reference:Currey (book not website) at hand, check whether that source clearly specifies the UK or US (= The Macmillan Company) edition of H.G. Wells The Research Magnificent 1915 (non-genre novel?).

We have publication record P304326 that may be equivocal --both before and after the submitted PubUpdate is approved. The cited WorldCat record states "New York : Macmillan Company, 1915".

Later I will update that publication record again, and also create a new publication record of the other edition.

P.S. The cited WorldCat record OCLC 283946 also gives the puzzling report:

Contents: V.l.- Science and technology; assistant editors K. R. Rider and F. R. Taylor.-v.2. Philosophy & psychology, religion, social sciences, geography, biography & history; assistant editors A. L. Smyth and C. A. Toase.

--Pwendt|talk 18:07, 4 February 2019 (EST)

Currey lists the publisher as "London: Macmillan and Co., Limited" for that book. He doesn't mention anything about the content, though I don't believe he generally includes non-genre works, except for some non-fiction which is noted. On checking, I can find plenty of examples of non-genre fiction throughout Currey. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 19:18, 4 February 2019 (EST)

Ebook publication mixes Gutenberg and Amazon

Publication record 632173 needs attention by someone who knows both Project Gutenberg and Amazon Digital Services. (When do we want the latter's Kindle editions in the database? If that were routine, our holdings might be 194,000 rather than 194 ADS publications. Right?)

This record now reports the original 1891 publisher. Wrong. Otherwise it mixes data for Gutenberg Ebook 55457 and Amazon ebook ASIN B0758ZGDG3. (Those may share one publication date. Does Amazon now release Kindle ebooks at $3.99 or $2.99 on the day of Gutenberg's release?) --Pwendt|talk 15:52, 17 February 2019 (EST)

I've deleted it. Someone took the Project Gutenberg work and put it on Amazon for sale. They didn't even bother to remove the Project Gutenberg copyright statement. From our perspective, it's just a re-sale of the Project Gutenberg version. Amazon as a company doesn't sell Project Gutenberg works. However, there are unscrupulous sellers that use Amazon to sell them. Typically, they will at least re-package under their own name (in which case it would be a valid record for the ISFDB). This is the first time I've seen one not even bother to do that (but sure it happens quite frequently). -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:57, 17 February 2019 (EST)

Brandon Q. Morris

Fixer has found and entered the English versions of a recent series and a couple of standalone novels by Brandon Q. Morris. I could try and enter the German originals, but it would be safer if someone better familiar with the current German scene tackled them. Calling for volunteers! Ahasuerus 15:47, 17 March 2019 (EDT)

I'll give it a try! Stonecreek 04:20, 19 March 2019 (EDT)
Looks good, thanks! Ahasuerus 07:13, 19 March 2019 (EDT)

The Day the Electricals Ended

Response to STONECREEK regarding THE DAY the Electricals Ended' I guess I would call it a digest as it is a paperback the same size as previous publications that Alban Lake has done that featured or used my father's writings. The ISBN number is stated as being the ISBN number on the back of the book above the bar code but there is no ISBN number on the copyright page where it normally should be, so I guess you should just state that there is no ISBN number. Liz Elizabeth Hardy 16:49, 17 March 2019 (EDT)

Since EAN (bar code) and ISBN these days are the same, please just cite this 13 digit here. Thanks, Stonecreek 04:17, 19 March 2019 (EDT)

Short Stories Duplicated

Hello, ISFDB Moderators. Recently, when my collection Transmutations was added, all of my short stories were duplicated rather than linked into the new collection. You can view the problem here: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?261630. How can this be corrected? --Mbuscemi 13:46, 18 March 2019 (EDT)

When you’d just type a title, the DB will not connect it to a preexisting record with the same name - you need to tell it that it is the same. That is why we have Clone (so you can clone a whole book with its content) and import (allowing content from one book to be imported into another or individual works to be added - very useful for omnibuses and previously published stories). When it is added anyway as in that case, you need to merge them manually one by one. I’ve done this for that collection now. Annie 15:00, 18 March 2019 (EDT)
Wonderful! Thank you! --Mbuscemi 07:23, 19 March 2019 (EDT)

Effectively stuck submission

Since Chavey isn't going to be available for a few more months, does something need to be done about this submission from the beginning of February? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:13, 29 March 2019 (EDT)

It's been 8 weeks, so I have rejected the submission and left a note on Darrah's Talk page. Hopefully he is OK and will revisit this pub once he is back. Ahasuerus 11:37, 29 March 2019 (EDT)
I went ahead and redid the changes since they seemed straightforward. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 11:50, 30 March 2019 (EDT)