A book record is required for each
separate publication, whether it be a book or magazine. It contains up to 17
fields, although only the first 14 are used in the UK files:
- Record Type
An, where n is a count of the book note
records to follow. The 'n' is only meaningful for US files (if there)
and is 1-9 or A-Z.
- Author or Author(s) of the book
/ title of the magazine
For a book this contains the author (or authors) of the book, as defined on
the title page, in the standard internal format.
In addition, if the book is edited, the editor name(s) should have '!ed.'
or '!eds.' appended to the very end of the entry.
Note that, for historic reasons, when documenting a magazine the first field
actually contains the magazine title and the second field contains
the magazine editor(s) - this reversal of fields is identifed by a
Book Type field of "mg". Formatting of this record for magazines
is discussed in more detail in a separate section.
- Book Title
This contains the title of the book with all leading articles, spaces and
special characters removed and stored in the "Title Additional Information"
field. If the title starts with numbers or abbreviations that may cause it
to be sorted into an undesirable order, then the title may be specified in
the form "sort title^\\real title" (e.g. "Sixty-Six Rose St.^\\66
Rose St.) to ensure the correct ordering. More discussion on general protocol
on specifying titles can be found in the section on title
Exactly what the title of a book is can be the subject of some debate
- this is discussed in more detail in the style
If the title is lengthy, and it seems appropriate that only the first portion
should appear in cross-reference lists, then a '|' should be inserted at the
appropriate point. Note that this is simply ignored when listing the full
title so should be used in addition to any existing title punctuation.
For a discussion of the format of magazine names see the section on magazine
- Date the book was published
This corresponds to the "official publication date" of the book
or magazine - i.e. the date announced by the publisher for books or the date
listed on the magazine (if one exist) rather than the date the book/magazine
"first went on sale" (see the discussion of book editions for a
further discussion of this field for books; and the section on magazine
indexes for a further discussion of this field for magazines).
The date is specified in the format CCYYMMDD where the DD or MMDD may be omitted
completely if not know. If any part of the year isn't known than ? characters
should be used instead. For single digit months, a leading zero should be
specified; for single digit days a leading space should be specified.
Note that, for forthcoming books (in UK files only) the month may be 13 -
16 corresponding to Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Note also that in some
older files the century part of the date was omitted, so the 20th century
is assumed if the first two digits are 30 or higher.
- Date the book was first seen
This corresponds to the date that the book was first seen, and was originally
used to indicate when a book appeared some time before (or after) the official
publication date. Currently it is used in the magazine
indexes to identify issues added, or significantly revised, between versions
of the index.
- Book edition
For the Locus listings, this is a single digit that distinguishes between
first editions, first US editions, reprints and reissues where:
- 1 = First Edition
- 2/3 also First Edition but
used to ensure books are listed in the desired order
- 4 = First US edition
- 5 = First UK edition (UK files
only; translated to 6 for US files)
- 6 = Reprint (i.e. first appearance
from a given publisher, but not first edition)
- 8 = Reissue (i.e. second
or subsequence appearance from a given publisher)
Note that the definition of a first edition is extremely problematic and is
discussed further in the notes.
For magazines this is typically always set to "1" even if the magazine
is a British Reprint Edition (or similar).
This contains the publisher of the book or magazine concerned. The precise
format varies from file to file, but some points worth noting include:
- For books this should be the
specific imprint under which the book is published, but this is often
qualified with the "parent" company such that, for example,
a book published by Del Rey (an imprint of Ballantine books) may be specified
as being published by "Del Rey", by "Ballantine Del Rey",
by "Ballantine/Del Rey" or by "Ballantine".
- An attempt is sometimes made
to distinguish between US & UK imprints with the same name by suffixing
the name with "␢US" or "␢UK" as appropriate.
- For a period the US files
stored publisher names in an inverted format similar to that used for
author names, e.g. with "W.H. Allen"
specified as "Allen, W.H." or even as "Allen!W.H."
but this was discontinued in Sep-2014 and any such instances should be
corrected when found.
- In some files the publisher
is prefixed with the town and state/country in which the publisher is
based in the format "Town(,␢State/Country):Publisher"
- In some files the publisher
is suffixed with the town and state/country in which the publisher is
based in the format "Publisher;␢Town(,␢State/Country)"
- ISBN or Book Number
This field typically contains the ISBN for the item concerned, or ISSN if
it is a magazine. For pre-ISBN books an SSN or publisher book number may be
used. Failing that a Library of Congress code (prefixed by "LC:")
may be specified. For DAW books in selected UK files, the ISBN may be followed
by the DAW "Collector Number" in the format "ISBN␢(#nn)".
This field contains the price of the item concerned, in one of the following
- for US items: $nn.nn, $nn,
or nn^c/ (or nnc in UK files only)
- for UK (pre-decimal) items:
nn/- or nn/nd
- for UK (decimal items) ^##n.nn
(or \n.nn in UK files only) or nnp
- for Australian items: A$nn.nn
- for Canadian items: C$nn.nn.
If no price given then 'no price' is entered.
where, in each case, a leading "nn" may consist of 1 or 2 (or, in
extreme cases, 3 or 4) digits.
- Length in pages
This is typically in the format 'nnn' (with no trailing 'pp'). If the book
contains separately numbered sections then the format 'nnn+nnn', 'nnn␢+␢nnn'
(etc.) may be used, where one or more of the numbers may be specified as Roman
numerals. If the pages are not numbered then 'unpaginated' may be used. Note
that magazines may have a trailing '+' to indicate that the covers are not
included in the page count.
- Binding type
For books this is typically one of: hc = hardback; pb = rack-size paperback;
tp = trade paperback; lp = large paperback (UK files only); ph = pamphlet.
For magazines this can take a huge range of values (see the section on magazine
sizes for some examples): some of the more common are A4 (UK magazines
only); A5 (UK magazines only); quarto (US magazines only); digest; large;
pulp and trimmed pulp. In some cases magazines also take additional modifiers
(after a space) of: c/b = comb-bound; e/s = edge-stapled; s/s = saddle-stapled;
s/b = square-bound. (e.g. "digest s/s"). Odd sizes may be given
as 'nn.m␢x␢pp.q' where the measurements are in centimetres,
or as 'nn.m"␢x␢pp.q"' where the measurements are in
- Book type
This is one of the item types discussed here.
- Book Classification + Flags +
Book ID + Editor/Referenced Author
This is a very complex field that has grown to contain all manner of different
The first part is the book classification which is a combination of the following
|a = associational
||h = horror
||o = occult/supernatural
||w = western
|b = biography
||i = art/illustrated/graphic
||p = private investigator
||x = novelization
|c = critical study
||j = juvenile/young adult
||r = reference
||y = mystery
|d = crime/police procedural
||k = true crime
||s = science fiction
||z = espionage/techno-thriller
|e = first English translation
||l = 'literary'
||t = thriller
||& = romance
|f = fantasy
||m = myths and legends
||u = humorous
||1 = a first novel
|g = ghost
||n = non-fiction
||v = gothic/romantic suspense
|A = adventure fiction
||H = historical fiction
||M = mainstream fiction
||P = post holocaust adventure
(where the last row is only used internally by a small number of UK files).
The classification was originally designed for use in the Locus files,
but has been de-emphasized in recent years.
The classification is followed by the book flags which consist of:
- + = First UK edition (US only)
- * = Header Record (used in
there are also three obsolete flags which are no longer used but which may
appear in older files:
- % = Seen (UK) or Not Seen
- # = don't list in indexes
- @ reserved for internal usage
If the book contains original
content then this should be followed by a book
abbreviation for the book which should be specified here in square brackets
as [YYYY*XXXXXXX]. If the book type is 'ss', 'nv', 'pm' or similar, then the
source of the story should be located here in place of the book abbreviation.
If this is the first publication then the format is [YYYYxxx] where xxx is
the publisher. If it is a reprint then the format is <YYYY*XXXXXXX>
or similar (i.e. standard story publication details in angle brackets.
If the book is about a particular author (or authors) then recent files include
the author name(s) in this field inside curved brackets; in this case, if
multiple author names are specified then they are separated by '/' as usual.
Similarly, if the book is not an anthology (or magazine) but has a designated
editor then the editor name(s) may be specified in this field inside curved
brackets and preceded by "ed:". If the record already contains a
book abbreviation or equivalent then that should precede the author/editor
Note that, as a special case in magazine files, if this field only
contains a single * and the magazine title field does
not contain "␢␢␢[features]" then it
indicates that the following entries should not appear in the
issue index. This is typically used in special Additional
Entries files but may also be used in ordinary magazine files where the
issue date is not known for a particular item.
- Additional title information
This contains any bits of the title that were removed from the start of field
3 (including any trailing spaces).
- Cover Artist(s)
These are specified in the same format as standard author name(s). This field
is only used in US files as the separate Cover
Artist Record is used in UK files.
- Series ID
This may contain the series ID of a series the book belongs to.
- Index/Validation Control Flag
In recent US files, this may contain a flag to indicate how the associated
book/magazine should be handled by particular indexes or, if specified on
a "[features]" record, how it should be validated. This field only
exists in US files as special DQE Book Note records are used in UK files.
The field may contain multiple flags (where appropriate) separated by "/"
Possible values for the flag on a normal book record are:
Possible values for the flag in
a "[features]" record are:
- NOTOC: A placeholder for the
book or magazine issue should be generated but the contents should not
be listed. This is typically used where the contents are known for a subset
of the issues of a magazine but are not (currently) available for general
- NOLIST: The book/magazine
should not be listed in the index at all. This is typically used where
the bulk of the data for a given magazine comes from another source but
we have been asked not to add it to the online indexes.
- MYS_ONLY: The book may only
be listed in Bill Contento's Index to Crime and Mystery Anthologies.
- MYS: The book should be listed
in Bill Contento's Index to Crime and Mystery Anthologies but may
also be listed in the online indexes.
The book may only be listed in Mike Ashley's Supernatural Index.
The book should be listed in Mike Ashley's Supernatural Index but
may also be listed in the online indexes.
- LOCUS: The book should be
listed in the Locus Index to Science Fiction but may also be listed
in the online indexes.
- VALSERIAL: Check that there
are no missing parts in any serials. Should only be used for magazines
where the majority of issues (or a large contiguous batch) have been indexed.
- VALPSEUD: Check for any authors
that are not specified in PSEUD.CVT or which need dates adjusted.
- VALFULL: All of the above
plus other, minor, validations that apply only to "fully validated"
- VALREPRINT: As for VALFULL
but supresses serial checks and checks of the size of items labelled as
- VALNOABB: Suppress validation
of magazine name against abbreviation.
- VALNOSEQ: Suppress check for
page numbers in order (used for omnibuses).
- VALNOPMCAP: Suppress capitalisation
checks for poetry.
- VALNOMISAUT: Do not report
authors without entries in PSEUD.CVT.
- VALNOSIZ: Suppress check for
size of items labelled as "ss" (used for partially-indexed magazines
and magazines with non-contiguous items)
- VALNODATE: Suppress check
for two adjacent issues with the same date.
- VALNOIMAGE: Suppress check
for missing images for this file.
Note that if a file does not
contain a "[features]" record, the validation defaults to VALFULL
except that the VALSERIAL checks do not apply; otherwise if no flags are
specified explicitly, none of the optional validation is performed.