Talk:Internet Speculative Fiction Database

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Templates available[edit]

The message templates documented here are usually placed in the External links or References section of a speculative fiction author or artist's Wikipedia article, or articles about their works, to link the article to that person's bibliography on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). The templates are intended to inform people that detailed bibliographic data is available on ISFDB as a support reference for the article.


Use {{isfdb name}} to link to the ISFDB entry for a particular author, editor, or artist. This template is modeled after {{imdb name}}. If the Wikipedia article's title is the same as that of the person's name on ISFDB then you can use {{isfdb name}} with no parameters. For example, you could use that form on the Wikipedia articles for Ray Bradbury, Mary Shelley, etc. The template would produce results like:

Ray Bradbury at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
Mary Shelley at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

If a Wikipedia article's title is not the same as the person's name, for example, Charles Williams (British writer), then the template needs to be used with the id, and name parameters. For example {{isfdb name|id=255|name=Charles Williams}} will produce

Charles Williams at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

ISFDB's id number is displayed in the upper-right corner of each page.

To see all pages using the template; look here.


To link to the ISFDB entry for a specific title, use {{isfdb title}}. For example {{isfdb title | id=2485 | title=2001: A Space Odyssey}} . Again the ID parameter must be extactly correct, verify it at the ISFDB first.


To link to the ISFDB entry for a series (when a series has an entry as such in the ISFDB), use {{isfdb series}}. For example {{isfdb series | id=576 | title=The Stainless Steel Rat}} . The ID number to use is displayed in the upper-right corner of a series listing on ISFDB. For example "Series Record # 576" would be entered as id=576. The title parameter is simply the text to display in the link on Wikipedia. If the title parameter is omitted then the template uses the Wikipedia article's title.

The Stainless Steel Rat series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database


Use the {{isfdb contents}} template to link to an ISFDB publication record. This is the record for a single printing or issue of a book or magazine. The record also displays the publication's contents.

To summarize, use {{isfdb title}} to link to a story. The ISFDB record shows the list of publications where that story is available. {{isfdb contents}} to links to a specific printing or issue of a book or magazine that can contain one or more stories.

  • Initial documentation. grendel|khan 04:19, 2005 Mar 3 (UTC)
  • Cleaned up and updated to add {{isfdb contents}} and to document current conventions as the id number is now available in the upper-right corner. --Marc Kupper|talk 17:23, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Now includes links to Wikipedia[edit]

I notice that alvonruff has been doing sterling work adding ISFDB links to huge numbers of articles. What might be less obvious is that ISFDB now includes explicit Wikipedia links for each author. Kewl or what? --Phil | Talk 09:16, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

Specifically, to handle author bios and novel synopses. The ISFDB had always had a place for these, but they were never widely filled in (according to this ISFDB Blog entry). Here he says that A lot of people have been entering author biographies into Wikipedia, and some people have brought up the fact that some duplication of effort will be going on, trying to maintain biographies in both the ISFDB and in Wikipedia. As such, I plan on moving author bios out of the ISFDB and into Wikipedia, and adding direct links from the author's summary bibliography to their Wikipedia entry. We should consider a similar linkage for book synopsis, as many books have entries on Wikipedia as well This task is now (as of 2005-06-24) well underway. DES 14:43, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've moved the target author and titles lists over to Portal:Speculative fiction/Article announcements, since they already have a Wikipedia hit list there. Alvonruff 12:50, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Portal:Speculative fiction/Article announcements created[edit]

FYI, Portal:Speculative fiction/Article announcements has been created to document new and significantly changed speculative fiction articles. If the ISFDB enables user submissions in the foreseeable future, then there may be a certain degree of synergy to be realized. For example, somebody who uploads biblio data in the ISFDB can then request that a Wikipedia article be created for the newly cataloged author and vice versa. Ahasuerus 21:33, 4 April 2006 (UTC)


Does this website really meet the Notability criteria listed at WP:WEB? If it doesn't, it should be nominated for deletion; if it does, the way it meets the criteria should be explicitly listed in the article. Pruneau 08:24, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Let's see if the ISFDB meets one or more of the three WP:WEB criteria:
  • "The content is distributed via a site which is both well known and independent of the creators". The ISFDB is hosted by The Cushing Library Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection and Institute for Scientific Computation at Texas A&M University.
  • "The website or content has won a well known and independent award, either from a publication or organisation." The ISFDB won the 2005 Wooden Rockets Award ("a fannish-voted award") in the "Best Directory Site" category.
  • "The content itself has been the subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the site itself". The ISFDB is listed as one of "the main resources for keeping track of short fiction" in Year's Best SF 9, eds. David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, EOS/HarperCollins, ISBN 006057559X, 2004, p. xi.
I think that should be enough for our purposes, unless Al von Ruff has additional reviews handy, e.g. from Locus. Ahasuerus 17:09, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
This isn't really one of the criteria, but all those {{isfdb title}} links would look awful funny if they suddenly went red. Wikipedia makes considerable use of the ISFDB, so it's certainly notable in that it's the definitive reference for online SF bibliography. grendel|khan 17:54, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Why is ISFDB a redirect?[edit]

Why is the "Internet Speculative Fiction Database" article a redirect to the "Online general-interest book database" article? ISFDB seems worthy of an article of its own, with a link to the "Online general-interest book database" article. Not having an article on it individually makes about as much sense as having the article on "Nigeria" consist of a redirect to "Nations in Africa". Geoffrey.landis 18:11, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

As the result of an extensive WP:AfD discussion about many such articles on internet sites, we decided to delete them all and make them redirects to a generic article on such databases that could mention each one. None passed the notability test on their own. Nigeria, on the other hand, has not had its notability challenged. Dicklyon 18:38, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Apparently we have gone full circle on this. The article content was first moved to Bibliographic database which then started to bloat into a list of databases. The sections for on-line databases were then split off to Online general-interest book databases. That article started to bloat and so someone dealt with it by redirecting the entire article to Bibliographic database which deleted all of the detailed content about the databases. ISFDB seems marginally notable (minor award wins), plus this article is also linked to by nearly 3,000 other WP articles and so I have restored the most recent content to this article. Thus if you are looking for the edit history for the ISFDB article and/or relevant talk page content you will need to visit both the Bibliographic database and Online general-interest book databases articles. --Marc Kupper|talk 02:13, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Biographies on the iSFDB[edit]

At one time the ISFB attempted to host biography articles for every author, artist, and editor in its database. Then they discovered that Wikipedia was much better at handling such articles, adn many were copied here, and ISFDB users were encouraged to contribute here for biographies. Links to relevant Wikipedia articles were built into the ISFDB, and EL-templates for the ISFDB were deployed here. But it turned out that a fair number of the authors were not considered notable here, anrfe their bios were deleted. So the ISFDB now hosts many of those bios. This is how Wikipedia policies are relevant to the actions of the ISFDB. DES (talk) 22:12, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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