The Formatting Documents are the set of top-most documents in The Grand Comics Database™ document hierarchy. If anything elsewhere contradicts this set of documents, the Formatting Documents take precedence. (And please let us know if you do find any contradictions.) Older records in the database may not match what is documented here. Editors work to correct the records, but it is a slow process. These rules are reviewed and updated on the gcd-policy mailing list. Please review the Policy Procedures and 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 in the Covers 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.
General Indexing Format Rules
- In the interests of preserving information, Indexers are free to update existing indexes with missing information or corrections; however, do not rewrite the content of an index to suit a personal style, nor remove any factually correct information 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, follow its existing style and respect the decisions made by the original indexer. Please note that adding more detail is always allowed and encouraged, and correcting incorrect or outdated formats is also encouraged.
- If credits are not applicable to a sequence (colorist for black & white stories, writer or letterer for pinups), check the No script (or No pencils, No inks, etc.) checkbox (previously "none" was entered in the field).
- For fields where information is required but not known, enter "?" rather than leaving it blank, unless there is an "uncertain" checkbox, such as "Page count uncertain".
- Separate multiple entries in the same field (such as stories with more than one penciller) with a semicolon (";") not a comma.
- Use square brackets for a creator's pseudonym such as "[as Joe King]" per Credits or for information that is not actually in the comic.
- Use round brackets (parentheses) for further detail, such as describing a creator's contribution with "(co-plotter)" per Credits or information about a character such as "(introduction)" per Character Appearances.
- Do not capitalize genres, credit clarifications (such as "painting" or "typeset"), etc. per a September 2012 clarification of when to use capitalization.
- Use the language the comic was published in for all text-based information, by long-standing convention. English may always be used as an alternate.
- See also the GCD Style Guide for general information on the style of data entries.
Note: To see links to more information about each data field while you are indexing, 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 [?] near each data field.
Fields available to Indexers
1.0: Issue 1.1: Issue Number 1.2: Issue Title 1.3: Variant Name 1.4: Variant Cover Status 1.5: Volume 1.5.1: Display Volume with Issue Number 1.6: Indicia/Colophon Publisher 1.7: Brand 1.8: Publication Date 1.9: Keydate 1.10: On-sale Date 1.11: Indicia frequency 1.12: Price 1.13: Page Count 1.14: Editing 1.15: ISBN 1.16: Barcode 1.17: Indicia Printer 1.18: Publisher's Age Guidelines 1.19: Publisher Code Numbers 1.20: Issue Awards 1.21: Cover Stock 1.22: Notes (issue) 1.23: Keywords 1.24: Comments
2.0: Sequence/Story 2.1: Sequence Number 2.2: Title 2.2.1: First Line 2.3: Type 2.4: Feature 2.5: Feature Logo 2.6: Genre * Official Genres List 2.7: Job Number 2.8: Creator Credits 2.8.1: Script 2.8.2: Pencils 2.8.3: Inks 2.8.4: Colors 2.7.5: Letters 2.8.6: Editing 2.9: Page Count 2.10: Character Appearances * Indexing multiple versions of the same character 2.11: Synopsis 2.12: Reprint Notes 2.13: Story Awards 2.14: Notes 2.15: Keywords 2.16: Comments 2.17: Abstract (only for About Comics sequences) 2.18: DOI (only for About Comics sequences)
3.0: Series 3.1: Series Name * 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: Indicia Printer 3.11: ISBN 3.12: Issue Title 3.13: Volume 3.14: Publisher's Age Guidelines 3:15: Publisher Code Numbers 3.16: Comics Publication 3.17: About Comics 3.18: Series Awards 3.19: Tracking 3.20: Series Notes 3.21: Keywords 3.22: Comments
4.0: Publisher 4.1: Publisher Name * When to create a New Publisher 4.2: Years of Operation 4.3: Country 4.4: URL 4.5: Publisher Awards 4.6: Notes (on Publisher Screen) 4.7: Keywords 4.8: 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: Creator 7.1: GCD Official Name 7.2: Creator Names 7.3: Name Type 7.4: Additional Creator Names 7.5: Sources Fields 7.6: Relation Type 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) 7.14: Creator Disambiguation
8.0: Creator Influence * All creator influences must be self-identified by the named creator. Sources for this self-identified influence must be cited. 8.1: Influence Name and Link 8.2: Sources Fields 8.3: Notes (Creator Influences)
9.0: Creator Membership 9.1: Organization name 9.2: Membership type 9.3: Year fields 9.4: Sources Fields 9.5: Notes (Creator Memberships)
10.0: Creator Award 10.1: Award name 10.2: Year fields 10.3: Sources Fields 10.4: Notes (Creator Awards)
11.0: Creator Non-Comic Work 11.1: Work Type 11.2: Publication Title 11.3: Employer Name 11.4: Work Title 11.5: Work Role 11.6: Sources Fields 11.7: Work Notes (Non Comic Work)
12.0: Creator School 12.1: School Details (Add Schools button) 12.2: Year fields 12.3: Sources Fields 12.4: Notes (Schools)
13.0: Creator School Degree 13.1: Degree Details (Add Degrees button) 13.2: Year fields 13.3: Sources Fields 13.4: Notes (Degrees)
14.0: Creator Images
15.0: Characters 15.1: Year first published 15.2: Description (Characters) 15.3: Notes (Characters)