Data Format
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Book Note Records

Each Book Record may be followed by one or more Book Note Records that provide further information about the book. The basic form is as follows:

  1. Record Type

    Dn, where n is a single digit in the range 1 to 9, or A to Z (for 10 to 36). In US files these records had to be in ascending, contiguous, order of 'n' starting at 1, and the total number had to match the value in the Book Record; in UK files n must be a single digit/letter, but is otherwise ignored.

  2. Free Format Note Text

    Each line can contain up to 100 characters and should be broken at a word break. If the text refers to a book then the name should be enclosed in <>; if the text refers to a magazine then the name should be enclosed in {}; if the text refers to a series then the series should be enclosed in double quotes; if the text refers to a film then the film should be enclosed in <{}>; if the text refers to a short story then the short story should be enclosed in double quotes. Note that if a cross-reference is required to another part of the index then the special cross-reference record format should be used.

    If the text contains multiple sentences, punctuated by periods, then only a single space should follow each period.

    If the text includes the trigraph ^\\ then this designates a line break in the output (and a doubled trigraph will produce a blank line). In US files (only) an embedded "tab" character may also be used to cause a new line and an indent.

    Embedded hyperlinks may be included in the note text (e.g. to point to a magazine website) as discussed below.

There are also a number of special-purpose Book Note Records that are only used in UK files, either to support a feature that was not available in the US format at the time (such as cover artists) or to facilitate data mining. These currently include:

Cross-Reference Records

These records have the same format as a normal Book Note Record but the note text must start with "--- see under " followed by a link reference of the form:

{PubDet} or {Name} for a link to a magazine (issue)
<PubDet{|Text}> for a link to a book
(Name) for a link to an author


Some examples might include:

D1~--- see under {The Saint Mystery Library}.~
D1~--- see under {1959SML# 1}.~
D1~--- see under (A. F. Kidd).~
D1~--- see under <2016*2113Rsh|Kevin J. Anderson>.~
D1~--- see under <$AHPBkDz>.~

Note that, currently, these records should be the only book note records for a book/issue.

Embedding Hyperlinks

Text that is to be linked to a particular URL may be embedded in note text using the format:



In addition, text may be linked to the entry for a particular name in the Author Index using the format:

[%Author Name{|Text}]


Cover Artist Record Layout

These were originally invented because the US files did not support identification of cover artists. This omission was subsequently corrected by extending the Book Records to include a cover artist field, but the use of a separate record has been retained in UK files for clarity and simplicity of use. It has between two and four fields:

  1. Record Type (DC)

  2. Cover Artist Names

    These are in standard internal format. If this field is omitted then it indicates that there is cover art, but the artist is unidentified.

  3. Cover Art Title
  4. Covert Art Title Additional

    If the cover art has a formal title then it can be recorded in these fields in the usual way.

In UK files this record should immediately follow the An record.

Cover Photo Record Layout

These were originally invented because, even when the US files did support identification of cover artists, Locus dictated that photographic covers should be excluded. It has fallen into disuse in recent years, although it is unclear if this is a deliberate change in policy or not. It has two fields:

  1. Record Type (DD)

  2. Cover Artist Names

    These are in standard internal format.

This record is treated as being identical to a DC record with a "Cover Art Title" of "[photo]"..

Previous Edition Record Layout

These were created as a way of recording any information given in a book on previous printings of a book (other than the first edition). It has three fields:

  1. Record Type (DE)

  2. Publisher Name

    This is the name/imprint of the publisher as for First Edition Records.

  3. Date

    This is the date specified for the previous edition (in the form YYYYMM).

This record is currently ignored by the index programs.

Alternate Edition Record Layout

This is used when multiple editions appear simultaneously from the same printer's plates. The main entry should contain the most common edition (typically a trade paperback) while this should be used for secondary editions (typically hardcover and/or limited editions). It has up to five fields:

  1. Record Type (DH)

  2. Type of alternate edition

    This specified the type of the alternate edition, and defaults to 'hardcover' if omitted.

  3. ISBN of alternate edition

    If this has the same prefix as the main entry then the prefix (but not the hyphen after the prefix) may be omitted.

  4. Price of alternate edition

    This is in the same format as for Book Records.

  5. Flag

    This is specified as '%' if the edition has been seen, and omitted otherwise. If the edition has been seen the associated text will be generated as "A xxx edition is also available"; if not it will be "A xxx edition was announced but not seen.

This record is translated to the equivalent note text by the Index Programs.

First Edition/Description Record Layout

This record provides a formal way of defining the first edition of a book (for data mining and validation purposes) and can also be used to generate a standard, brief, description for the book. It has four fields:

  1. Record Type (DP)

  2. Publisher Name

    This is the name or imprint of the publisher who published the first edition of this book. If there were multiple simultaneous first editions then the publisher names are separated by a ";" and are listed in the order discussed under the discussions of first editions. This field is omitted if the book being described is itself the first edition, or if the original publisher is unknown. If only the country of first publication is known then this may be specified as 'UK', 'USA' or similar.

  3. Date

    This is date when the first edition was published (in the form YYYYMM) plus any details of variant titles or authors for the first edition in the form "YYYY as <title>" or "YYYY as by author" (or combination of the two). Note that this generally only refers to the first edition of the book in its current form - earlier editions with a different text or in a different language are mentioned in the notes text (although there is little consistency on this). This field is omitted if the book being described is itself the first edition, or if the original date is unknown.

  4. First line of the description for the book

    If specified this should start with a lower-case letter (which will be converted to upper case as necessary); if it is omitted then a description is constructed from the book type and classification fields on the Book Record.

This record is translated to the appropriate note text by the index programs.

Series/Sequel Record Layout

This record was originally invented as a formal mechanism for defining the series a book belonged to prior to the invention of a field on the Book Record in the US files for this purpose. It has been retained in UK files to provide additional information and to document "informal" series. It has up to 4 fields:

  1. Record Type (DS)

  2. Volume number

    This should hold the volume number in the series in the form nn (or ??? if not known); if the series is unnumbered then the field should be left empty. If the book is just a sequel then the field contains just the letter 'S'.

  3. Series title (if a series entry) or previous book title

    If the current book is a sequel to a previous book then this contains the name of the previous book (in external format); otherwise it should contain the name of the series to which the book belongs. If the series name has already been included as part of the title then a "*" may be entered here to generate a reference to "the series"; if the series has not yet been named then the field should be left empty to generate a reference to "a new series".

  4. Series type

    This is used (for series entries only) to over-ride the keyword 'series' with 'trilogy' or similar. As a special case, if the series name is self-contained then '*' can be entered here to generate 'Volume nn in "name"' rather than "Volume nn in the "name" series'.

This record is translated by the index programs to a note along the lines of "Volume nn in the xxx series".

Note that the series title must not duplicate a series defined in SERIES.CVT - these series must be specified on the Book Record. It may be used to indicate numbering in such a series (in which case the series title is "*") or to document a series that is not to be included in the series index (e.g. the "Weird Works of Robert E. Howard" series from Wildside & Cosmos).

Special Control Records

This record group was invented as a mechanism for allowing functionality in the UK files that was either not supported by the Version 1 programs or was supported in a different way. As the data format is also used for Phil's personal book catalogue, there are some record types that are used solely therein and hence lie outside the remit of this documentation (these are flagged as "not used in indexes" below). All these records has a third alphanumeric character that defines their purpose, as follows: