Formatting Documentation

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The Formatting Documents are a set of the top-most documents in the hierarchy of documents about The Grand Comics Database™. If anything written anywhere else contradicts this document, the Formatting Documents are deemed to have the correct information. (And please let us know if you do find any contradictions). Older records in the database may not match what is documented here. The Editors are working on correcting the records, but it is a slow process. These rules are currently being reviewed and updated on the gcd-policy mailing list. Please feel free to join if you are interested in the discussions.

The Formatting Documents are written to provide indexers, editors and tech people a common language on what should be entered into the database, where it should be entered and how it should be entered. As such, they apply to both the Online Interface (OI) and the Flat-File format.

Information on adding Cover scans is at the Cover FAQ and Adding Covers.

Note: You may see notes about a rule being "approved" or "unapproved" or "under consideration by the Sr. Editors". These notes are from an earlier project and should be disregarded. We are in the process of removing them but you may still see some around.

General Indexing Format Rules

  • In the interests of preserving information, Indexers are free to add information to existing indexes and update them with missing or corrected information. However, indexers should not rewrite the content of an index merely to suit their own personal style, nor should they remove any factually correct information from an index as long as that information is pertinent to the person or object being indexed. Per vote of 2016-01-05.
  • Some fields in the GCD may be filled out in one of several different ways, all of which are considered correct. When editing an existing index, please try to follow its existing style and respect the decisions made by the original indexer. In return, other indexers will respect your stylistic choices when they edit your work in the future. Please note that adding more detail is always allowed and encouraged, and correcting incorrect or outdated formats is also encouraged.
  • Credits that are not applicable to the story in question (colorist for black & white stories, writer or letterer for pinups) should have the No checkbox checked (previously we entered "none" in the field)
  • Fields where information is required but not known should not be left blank, but should be filled with "?" unless there is an "uncertain" checkbox like "Page count uncertain"
  • Multiple entries in the same field (such as stories with more than one penciller) should be separated with a semi-colon (";") not a comma.
  • Square brackets are used for "also known as" or other information that is not in the actual comic, such as ("[as Joe King] ").
  • Round brackets are used for further detail, such as describing a contributors exact contribution ("(co-plotter)") or information about a character ("(introduction)").
  • A September 2012 clarification of when to use capitalization has resulted in a slight modification of the formatting rules. Genres, credit clarifications (such as "painting" or "typeset"), etc. are not to be capitalized.
  • By long-standing convention, the preferred entry method for all text-based information is to use the language the comic was published in. English can always be used as an alternate.

NOTE: If you want to see links to more information about each data field, while you are indexing, you can. Simply check the "Wiki Links in OI" box near the bottom of your Profile page, and a link to the appropriate topic will appear as a small [?] at the top of each data entry field.

Fields available to Indexers

1.0: Edit Issue Fields Screen

 1.1: Issue Number
 1.2: Issue Title
 1.3: Variant_Name
 1.4: Volume
 1.4.1: Display Volume with Issue Number
 1.5: Indicia/Colophon Publisher
 1.6: Brand
 1.7: Publication Date
 1.8: Keydate
 1.9: On-sale Date
 1.10: Indicia frequency
 1.11: Price
 1.12: Page Count
 1.13: Editing
 1.14: ISBN
 1.15: Barcode
 1.16: Publisher's Age Guidelines
 1.17: Notes (issue)
 1.18: Keywords
 1.19: Comments

2.0: Sequence/Story Screen

 2.1: Sequence Number
 2.2: Title
 2.3: Type
 2.4: Feature
 2.5: Feature Logo
 2.6: Page Count
 2.7: Credits
  2.7.1: Script
  2.7.2: Pencils
  2.7.3: Inks
  2.7.4: Colors
  2.7.5: Letters
  2.7.6: Editing
 2.8: Genre
   * Official Genres List
 2.9: Character Appearances
   * Indexing multiple versions of the same character
 2.10: Job Number
 2.11: Reprint Notes
 2.12: Synopsis
 2.13: Notes
 2.14: Keywords
 2.15: Comments

3.0: Series

3.1: Series Name
   * Definition of Series (when to create a new series)
3.2: Format
3.3: Publication Type
3.4: Is Singleton
3.5: Years of Publication
3.6: Country
3.7: Language
3.8: Barcode
3.9: Indicia frequency
3.10: ISBN
3.11: Issue Title
3.12: Volume
3.13: Comics Publication
3.14: Publisher's Age Guidelines
3.15: Tracking
3.16: Series Notes
3.17: Keywords
3.18: Imprint - (all are now deleted)
3.19: Comments

4.0: Publisher

4.1: Publisher Name
   * Definition of Publisher (when to create a new publisher)
4.2: Years of Operation
4.3: Country
4.4: URL
4.5: Notes (on Publisher Screen)
4.6: Keywords
4.7: Comments

5.0: Brand

5.1: Brand Group
5.2: Brand Emblem
5.3: Brand Use
5.4: Years of Use (Brand)
5.5: URL (Brand)
5.6: Notes (Brand)
5.7: Keywords
5.8: Comments

6.0: Indicia/Colophon Publisher

6.1: Indicia Name
6.2: Years of Use (Indicia/Colophon Publisher)
6.3: Surrogate
6.4: Country (Indicia/Colophon Publisher)
6.5: URL (Indicia/Colophon Publisher)
6.6: Notes (Indicia/Colophon Publisher)
6.7: Keywords
6.8: Comments

7.0: Adding/Editing Creator Screen

NOTE: This screen is currently still in beta testing ( These instructions and rules are not yet final, and all edits made and data entered at this page will be deleted.

7.1: GCD Official Name
7.2: Creator Names
7.3: Name Type
7.4: Sources Fields
7.5: Relation Type Fields
7.6: Year / Month / Date Fields
7.7: Year / Month / Date Fields
7.8: Who's Who
7.9: Country / Province / City Fields
7.10: Bio
7.11: Notes (Creators)
7.12: School Details (Add Schools button)
7.13: Degree Details (Add Degrees button)

8.0: Adding Creator Influence Screen NOTE: This screen is currently still in beta testing (see for example). These instructions and rules are not yet final, and all edits made and data entered at this page will be deleted.

All creator influences must be self-identified by the named creator. Sources for this self-identified influence must be cited.

8.1: Influence Name
8.2: Influence Link
8.3: Notes (Creator Influences)
8.4: Sources Fields

(end of definitions)

Policy Votes Affecting This Topic