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Online general-interest book databases are bibliographic databases intended primarily for general rather than academic use, and are often constructed in a way resembling social networking sites. Some of the most important ones are discussed below.


Internet Book Database

The Internet Book Database (IBookDB) is an online database with information about books and authors with an added social networking component. It was started as an effort to be the IMDb equivalent for books. It currently contains information on over 300,000 books (over 910,000 ISBNs), 92,000 authors and 4,000 series[1] making it one of the largest online databases of author and book information. Unique features include finding historical publication information for books using their 'Other Versions' feature on every book page. They also provide price comparisons, news from various news sites, new release information, bestsellers from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can browse books in English, French or German[2] (the site is still in English).

Registered users can catalog and manage their book collections online, find users with similar books, authors or series' and discuss books on the forums. They can also rate and review books in addition to Tagging them. iBookDb recently introduced a recommendation system that recommends books based on users ratings and favorites. Users can also rate and tag authors and series'. Other features offered include showing random books from users catalogs on their websites, blogs or on their pages on social networking sites, and search web sites of various bookstores. IBookDB also holds a monthly giveaway in which they giveaway around 10 books each month to users of the site, most of which are signed by the authors.[3] Users can request editor status which currently allows them to enter and correct series related information.

IBookDB is currently beta testing allowing users to login to iBookDB with their Facebook, Myspace or Twitter accounts.[4]

IBookDB also offers services to authors such as hosting their official forums for free, getting their books listed, updating their Biography and other book publicity services including posting their Book Trailers, providing a platform for authors and readers to connect. Currently IBookDB hosts the Official Forums for several authors, including Paul Levine, Susan McBride, Becky Garrison, Kristina O'Donnelly and Danielle Girard.

Some pages on IBookDB[5] recently started pointing to a new sister site - The Internet Adult Book Database - which seems to be a database of books that are primarily erotica. The Internet Adult Book Database claims to be "completely integrated" with the Internet Book Database and is currently inviting publishers to get their books listed. It currently contains information on over 7000 books by over 1400 authors[6] and holds a separate giveaway.[7]

Internet Book Database of Fiction

The Internet Book Database of Fiction (IBDoF) is an online database for books, mostly works of fiction. The site also hosts a message board specifically geared to the discussion of books. The Database currently holds information for over 35800 books and 4730 authors, the community consists of roughly 1330 active members who have made 123500 forum posts in over 6400 topics.

Members of the IBDoF are able to and encouraged to add books and authors to the database as well as rate and write reviews on existing books. The message board, which is now shared with the Internet Book List, includes discussion areas on some of the more popular authors in the database and also hosts official discussion boards for several authors including: Charles Pellegrino, L. E. Modesitt, Jack McDevitt, Lois McMaster Bujold, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (joint board), Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald (joint board), Heather Gladney, John Dalmas, Elizabeth Bear and David B. Coe.

Internet Book List

The Internet Book List (IBList) is an online database with information about books, authors, and short stories.

The site is entirely volunteer-based and contains information on over 65,000 works including short stories (55,000 books), 20,000 authors, 4800 series, 85,000 user ratings as well as over 4600 user reviews. Registered users may rate and review books they have read, as well as submit books for inclusion that don't yet appear in the database. Users can also request Editor status which allows them to enter information directly into the database.

The message board, which is now shared with the Internet Book Database of Fiction, includes discussion areas on some of the more popular authors in the database and also hosts official discussion boards for several authors.

Internet Speculative Fiction Database

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) is a database of bibliographic information on science fiction and related genres such as fantasy fiction and horror fiction.[8][9] The ISFDB is a volunteer effort with both the database and wiki being open for editing and user contributions. The ISFDB database and code are available under Creative Commons licensing[10] and there is support within both Wikipedia and ISFDB for interlinking.[11] The data is reused by other organizations, such as Freebase, under the creative commons license.[12] While the ISFDB is primarily a bibliographic research database it also contains biographic data for books, authors, series, and publishers that do not meet Wikipedia's notability standards.

The ISFDB database indexes authors, novels, short stories, publishers, awards, and magazines. Additionally, it supports author pseudonyms, series, awards, and cover art plus interior illustration credits which is combined into integrated author, artist, and publisher bibliographies. An ongoing effort is verification of publication contents and secondary bibliographic sources against the database with the goals being data accuracy and to improve the coverage of speculative fiction to 100%. The current database statistics are available on line.[13] ISFDB was the winner of the 2005 Wooden Rocket Award in the Best Directory Site category.[14]

In 1998 Cory Doctorow wrote in Science Fiction Age: "The best all-round guide to things science-fictional remains the Internet Speculative Fiction Database".[9] In April 2009, Zenkat wrote on Freebase " is widely considered one of the most authoritative sources about Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror literature available on the Internet."[12]

As of May 2009, Quantcast estimates that the ISFDB is visited by over 32,000 people monthly.[15]

Major alternatives to the ISFDB for speculative fiction research include:



Several speculative fiction author bibliographies were posted to the USENET newsgroup rec.arts.sf.written from 1984 to 1994 by Jerry Boyajian, Gregory J. E. Rawlins and John Wenn. A more or less standard bibliographic format was developed for these postings.[16] Many of these bibliographies can still be found at The Linköping Science Fiction Archive.[17] In 1993, a searchable database of awards information was developed by Al von Ruff.[16] In 1994, John R. R. Leavitt created the Speculative Fiction Clearing House (SFCH). In late 1994, he asked for help in-displaying awards information, and vonn Ruff offered his database tools. Leavitt declined, because he wanted code that could interact with other aspects of the site. In 1995, Al von Ruff and Ahasuerus (a prolific rec.arts.sf.written author) started to construct the ISFDB, based on experience with the SFCH and the bibliographic format finalized by John Wenn. The ISFDB went live in September 1995, and a URL was published in January 1996.[16][18]

The ISDFB was first located at an ISP in Champaign Illinois, but it suffered from constrained resources in disk space and database support, which limited its growth.[16] In October 1997 the ISFDB moved to SF Site, a major SF portal and review site.[9][16] Due to the rising costs of remaining with SF Site, the ISFDB moved to its own domain in December 2002. The site was quickly shut down by the hosting ISP due to high resource usage.[16][19]

In March 2003, after having been offline since January, the ISFDB began to be hosted by The Cushing Library Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection and Institute for Scientific Computation at Texas A&M University.[16][20][21]

In 2007, after resource allocation problems with Texas A&M, the ISFDB became independently hosted on a hired server.

The ISFDB was originally edited by a limited number of people, principally Al von Ruff and "Ahasuerus".[22] However, in 2006 editing was opened to the general public on an Open Content basis. Changed content must be approved by one of a limited number of moderators, in an attempt to protect the accuracy of the content.[23]

Both the source code and content of the ISFDB are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.[10] This was done on 27 February 2005.[16][24]

See also

  • Uchronia: The Alternate History List


  1. ^ iBookDB Statistics.
  2. ^ Browsing Books in Multiple Languages at iBookDB.
  3. ^ iBookDB Giveaway.
  4. ^ Login to iBookDB with Facebook, Myspace or Twitter.
  5. ^ Example Page pointing to The Internet Adult Book Database.
  6. ^ iBookDB Adult Statistics.
  7. ^ iBookDB Adult Giveaway.
  8. ^ "Link Sites". SF Site. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  9. ^ a b c Cory Doctorow (September 1998). "Internet Column from Science Fiction Age". Science Fiction Age. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "The best all-round guide to things science-fictional remains the Internet Speculative Fiction Database." 
  10. ^ a b "General disclaimer". ISFDB Wiki. ISFDB. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  11. ^ See Template:isfdb name, Template:isfdb title, and Template:isfdb series. See also the "Wikipedia link" field when editing title or author data at the ISFDB. Documentation at "Help:Screen:EditTitle". ISFDB Help. 
  12. ^ a b "zenkat" (April 14, 2009). "Our latest mass data load: science fiction books". Freebase. Retrieved 2009-07-30. " is widely considered one of the most authoritative sources about Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror literature available on the Internet." 
  13. ^ ISFDB Statistics.
  14. ^ "2005 winners: Wooden Rocket Awards". SF Crowsnest. Retrieved 2009-02-08. "14 Best Directory Site. Directories, online databases or search engines with a worthy SFF section. Winner: Internet Speculative Fiction Database" 
  15. ^ "Site Statistics". Quantcast. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h "Internet Speculative Fiction Database". onpedia. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  17. ^ "The Link√∂ping Science Fiction & Fantasy Archive". Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  18. ^ "What's New". ISFDB. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  19. ^ Cory Doctorow (January 25, 2003). "Literary treasure needs new home". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  20. ^ "ISFDB finds new home at Texas A&M". SFWA News. Science Fiction Writers of America. April 5, 2003. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  21. ^ Cory Doctorow (March 25, 2003). "ISFDB rises from the grave". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  22. ^ "Major Contributors". ISFDB. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  23. ^ Gandalara (December 23, 2006). "Changes to the ISFDB". Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily. Other*Worlds*Cafe. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  24. ^ "What's New - 27 Feb 2005". ISFDB What's New. ISFDB. 27 February 2005. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 

External links


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