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Revision as of 11:10, 18 January 2022 by MartyD (talk | contribs) (proposed publication date help text)
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Here is proposed help text for publication dating, to replace xxx. See yyy for background.

  • Date - The date of publication, in the form YYYY-MM-DD. See below for how to determine the date. DO NOT GUESS. If the day or month are not known, use 00 in its place. Examples:
   1956-00-00  - "Published 1956"
   1956-11-00  - "Published November, 1956"
   1956-11-26  - "Published November 26, 1956"
    • No Publication Date - When a publication's date is unknown or unavailable, use one of these special date values:
      • 0000-00-00 - the publication date is unknown
      • 8888-00-00 - the publication was announced, but was not published. New publications announced for the near future (within the next two months) should be given the future publication date instead of 8888-00-00. Do not create records for newly announced publications scheduled for release more than two months into the future, as these plans often change.
    • Dating Periodicals - Except for reprints (see below), the ISFDB uses the issue's "cover date", which usually appears on the cover or web page, regardless of when the issue became available. If more than one month appears on the cover, use the earliest year and month, e.g. "December 1959/January 1960" should be entered as "1959-12-00". For magazine cover dates which cannot be assigned to a specific month, use the year only, e.g. "Spring 1943" should be entered as "1943-00-00".
      • If a more specific publication date consistent with the cover date is available, that may be used, as long as its source is documented in the publication notes.
      • Reprints should be given the date of the publication of the reprinting, with the source of the date documented in the publication notes.
      • Discrepancies between the cover date and any other source of date should be documented in the publication notes.
    • Dating Books - The ISFDB uses the book's stated publication date, using secondary sources to supply missing dates and date details. See below for more information about other sources of dates. A source used that is not the publication itself must be documented in the publication notes, and recording of the book's actual statement (or lack thereof) is strongly encouraged.
      • The publication date stated in the book should be used unless known to be/demonstrably for another printing. Try to find a statement (often on the verso of the title page) that says something like "Published in June 2001"; the copyright date is often misleading, since works can be reprinted. Look out for signs that this is a reprint; indications often include a series of numbers (e.g. "3 4 5 6 7 8 9") at the bottom of the verso of the title page; this particular string indicates that this is a third printing. If you know you are holding a reprint, and there is no way to date that particular publication, leave the year field as 0000-00-00. Note that we are interested in recording each different reprint of a publication, since there can be some significant differences between them, such as cover art, or price.
      • If a more specific publication date consistent with the stated date is available, that may be used.
      • If the book's statement of publication date is missing or for another printing, a date from another source may be used.
    • Discrepancies Between Stated Date and Reality - Publication date does not always perfectly match the calendar date. For example, a January issue of a magazine is usually available in December of the previous year, and often earlier than that. Books with a January publication date may often be bought in the closing weeks of the prior year; they will show the later year's copyright date, even though that year has not yet started. In these cases, the convention is to use the official publication date rather than to try to identify when a book actually first became available. If there is a large discrepancy -- for example if a book was printed but unexpectedly delayed before release -- then this can be noted in the notes field.
    • Sources of Dates - Dates, and date details, may be obtained from any of the following sources, as long as the source is documented. This list is roughly in descending order of how authoritative ISFDB considers them. Editors are strongly encouraged to seek independent corroboration of dates from sources lower in the list.
  1. The publication itself; this includes direct statements as well as dates encoded in number/date lines.
  2. The publisher's website/catalog
  3. The main editor or author's website/blog
  4. Historical publication statement in a later printing/edition.
  5. The ISFDB bibliographic Verification Sources (list and [[Reference:Verification_Sources|details)
  6. A contributor's website/blog (author of a contained story, cover artist, interior artist)
  7. A new book seller's website/catalog
  8. A contemporaneous review or announcement in a periodical
  9. Calculation based on codes, known announcement + publication timings, etc. (e.g., for book clubs)
  10. References by parties involved with the publication in non-announcement/review settings, such as interviews.
  11. A used book seller's website/catalog