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A 10 character code in the form YYYY-MM-DD. This technical representation of the publication date of the comic is used to allow chronological sorting and searching of issues, but is normally not shown in searches on the website. The keydate primarily depends on the publication date, and can be made more detailed by available on-sale date information.


  • The YYYY represents the four-digit year the issue was published. For comics dated only by year, the keydate is YYYY-00-00. If the publication date spans two years (e.g. December 1968-January 1969), use the first year.
  • The MM represents the month. For bimonthly or quarterly publications that list more than one month in their indicia (e.g. January-February 1955), the Keydate should be based on the first month. For quarterly publications, "Spring" issues should be indexed as "04", "Summer" issues should be indexed as "07", "Fall" issues should be indexed as "10", and "Winter" or "Holiday" issues should be indexed as "01" or "12", depending on whether they were published early or late in the year. If the month of publication is not known, either "00" or "13" may be used for MM. "00" is used for an issue published before issues for which a month is known, "13" is used for an issue published after issues for which a month is known.
  • The DD represents the day. If the exact day of publication is known, it should be included here. Otherwise, DD is represented as a standard value of "00".
  • Some series such as Classics Illustrated have the keydates entered in by pattern, since the months of the individual issues are generally unknown. If the keydate for an issue is already filled in and doesn't match the published date for the comic, the indexer should contact an editor to investigate whether it is one of these special patterns.
  • Trying to get the keydate as close as possible to the actual printed publication date of a comic makes searching across series by date more likely to be correct. Therefore, the keydate shall primarily depend on the publication date as printed in the comic, but can be made more detailed by other available on-sale date information. For example, if the comic prints only a year, but the month for the on-sale date is found in other information, that date can be added to the printed information.
  • Examples:
* 1980-02-00 (for February 1980)
* 1945-01-00 (for January 1945)
* 2002-06-09 (for June 9, 2002 or 9 June 2002)
* 1960-00-00 (for unknown date in 1960 or unknown date in the 1960s)
* 1953-04-00 (for April-June 1953)
* 1941-01-00 (for Winter or Holiday 1940-1941, published in 1941)
* 1941-04-00 (for Spring 1941)
* 1941-10-00 (for Fall or Autumn 1941)
* 1941-12-00 (for Winter or Holiday 1941-1942, published in 1941)
* 1960-00-00 (for 1960 or [circa 1960] or [circa 1960s])
* 1960-13-00 (for 1960 or [circa 1960] published after a 1960 issue with a known date)

(end of definition)

Policy Votes Affecting This Topic

Comments from the discussion on the Editor's list after this was released: "Books of a series that list only the year are not mentioned. I know that I am in the minority but our rule of we should be able to index the issue in hand makes using the issue number very effective for sorting and would only affect the most anal of chronologists. This is how I do Femforce. I have no desire to look up dates that really do not matter.", "Maybe the wording could be tweaked a bit to make clear that the key date is always based on the publication date, rather than the shipping or on-sale date. Recently discussed exceptions (not mentioned in this summary) can occur with books that give a publication year only (such as annuals or books); where I believe it was agreed that we could(*) add a publication month if known. (*)I don't recall if we discussed whether this was simply an option (could be done) or a desire (should be done). I also don't recall if a consensus was reached on whether "enhanced" publication dates should reflect shipping month or same publishing month as monthly books from the same publisher released at the same time. I would assume that if you "enhance" the publication month, then the key date should be based on your enhanced publication month."

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