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. Please review the Policy Procedures prior to joining.
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.
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 Please note that adding more detail is always allowed and encouraged, and correcting incorrect or outdated formats is also encouraged.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.
- See also the GCD Style Guide for general information on the style of data entries.
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
1.1: 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 Indicia Printer 1.17: Publisher's Age Guidelines 1:18: Publisher Code Numbers 1.19: Cover Stock 1.20: Notes (issue) 1.21: Keywords 1.22: Comments
2.1: Sequence Number 2.2: Title 2.2a: 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: Notes 2.14: Keywords 2.15: Comments ONLY for sequences of type About Comics 2.16: Abstract 2.17: DOI
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: Indicia Printer 3.11: ISBN 3.12: Issue Title 3.13: Volume 3.14: Publisher's Age Guidelines 3:15: Publisher Code Numbers 3.14: Comics Publication 3.15: About Comics 3.16: Tracking 3.17: Series Notes 3.18: Keywords 3.19: Comments
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
5.1: 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
7.1: 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 8.3: Sources Fields 8.4: 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
(end of definitions)
Policy Votes Affecting This Topic
https://www.comics.org/voting/ballot/405/ - 2020-06-10
https://www.comics.org/voting/ballot/370/ - 2019-12-29
https://www.comics.org/voting/ballot/59/ - 2011-05-19
https://www.comics.org/voting/ballot/50/ - 2011-05-09