Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Novels/InfoboxCode

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This is a WikiProject article pattern belonging to Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels. It is to be used as a starting block for new Template:Infobox book inclusions and as aid to restyle existing inclusions.


The layout for this infobox can be seen on the Master and Commander page (note that it may differ in details from the state shown here due to independent editing).

{{Infobox book 
  | name           = Master and Commander
  | image          = NonFreeImageRemoved.svg
  | caption = Cover by Geoff Hunt for ''Master and Commander''
  | author         = [[Patrick O'Brian]]
  | illustrator    = 
  | cover_artist   = Geoff Hunt  
  | country        = [[United Kingdom]]
  | language       = [[English language|English]]
  | series         = [[Aubrey-Maturin series]]
  | genre          = [[Historical novel]]
  | publisher      = [[Harper Collins]] (UK) 
  | release_date   = [[1 September]] [[1970]]
  | media_type     = Print ([[Hardcover]] & [[Paperback]]) & Audio Book ([[Compact audio cassette|Cassette]], [[Compact Disc|CD]])
  | pages          = 352 pp (2000s UK hardcover & paperback)
  | isbn           =
  | preceded_by    = 
  | followed_by    = [[Post Captain (novel)|]]
Master and Commander
Cover by Geoff Hunt for Master and Commander
Author Patrick O'Brian
Cover artist Geoff Hunt
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Aubrey-Maturin series
Genre Historical novel
Publisher Harper Collins (UK)
Publication date
1 September 1970
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback) & Audio Book (Cassette, CD)
Pages 352 pp (2000s UK hardcover & paperback)
Followed by Post Captain

The code above produces the template seen on the right.

Discussion of the Infobox Book code pattern template[edit]

Edit out the example if you think it isn't needed. Figured it would be quite helpful for Novel project people to see an example of the Novel project style. Note: Actual book uses Hardback, and only has the year for release date. Example changed to fit complete format.MikeBriggs 15:53, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Media type[edit]

When we list the media type, should we be listing all the versions that are out, or the 1st edition type? Currently I'm only listing hardcover and paperback for most novels and not including ebook types. Are we only trying to list first edition details or something more? Grey Shadow 13:06, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

I would say, All (or at least all major) and that is what I have been adding. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:22, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Mandatory use of the problematic "fair use" material[edit]

The infobox includes the requirement to include cover image which almost never has the appropriate license. The cover images are marked as a "fair use". While it may be possible to tolerate this, probably we should not enforce uploading and using such images, as the author may decide, at any time, that the use is not so fair. In some cases, the supporters of the free information have designed they own alternative illustrations, but the legally problematic material was returned back motivating that the "infobox is incomplete", and the proprietary book image is the only image having right to be in the info box. Mind that some portals like German do not accept the "fair use" at all. I suggest at least clearly state that the book image is optional and can be replaced by the appropriate alternative illustration, if available. Audriusa 07:59, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I will change the documentation to respond to the spirit of this! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:22, 13 September 2006 (UTC)


I've encountered some confusion regarding the country designation in the infobox. Some contributors believe it is supposed to indicate the nationality of the author, while others think it is meant to reflect the country in which the work was first published. An example would be, Generation X, a book by a Canadian author (Douglas Coupland), published in the United States (by St. Martin's Press- indeed, there has never been a Canadian edition of the novel). I've not been able to uncover any discussion about this matter. Any assistance would be appreciated. Victoriagirl 16:44, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Good point, I would belive this relates to "where" the novel comes from. I.e. the nationality of the author being foremost in that. However if there is any doubt about this issue the nation of 1st publication would suit. However this does need to be discussed and clarified. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:02, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
This has arisen in Ulysses (novel), authored by James Joyce, a true son of the Auld Sod, but first published in France. France is what was decided on in discussion, but it periodically is changed to Ireland for this most Irish of authors. The instructions support use of France as the country of publication. Kablammo 01:31, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Preceded_by and Followed_by (again)[edit]

I've noticed that a great deal of infoboxes put novels by chronological order of publication in these fields, rather than by series. I was under the impression that these were supposed to be by series (that's what it says on the template page, at any rate, and that's what I thought we concluded in this archived discussion - but then, I was involved in those, so maybe I just acted on my own (I really hope not). So... am I right or should I stop changing these boxes so that they're by series? A lot of Robert A. Heinlein's books seem to be following this chronological pattern, or at least the ones I've seen have been doing so. If I am right, then perhaps we should include a note about it here, since it seems to be a point of some confusion (and I guess people aren't looking at the actual template's notes, possibly because this version is much easier to find and use). -Elizabennet | talk 15:28, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Actually, on that note, perhaps we should include an explanation of all the fields here (or under the blank template on the WikiProject Novels/InfoboxCode page). Thoughts? -Elizabennet | talk 15:28, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Try mocking something up - and yes your recollection is correct and yes you should be changing to fit that agreement. We just need that agreement to part of the full documentation. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 13:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

ISBN in the Infobox[edit]

I've got two separate queries.

(1) What's the point of having an ISBN for The Great Gatsby (and maybe other works as well?) which is not even listed in the Library of Congress catalogue? (Or is it just a typo in this particular case?)

(2) Recently, the ISBN part seems to have changed. The Believers (novel) and Portobello (novel) are just two examples: an ungainly chunk of text appears obviously wherever more than just one ISBN is referenced (say, hardcover and trade paperback) which includes [[ and other things and also part of the text which should remain hidden. What's wrong? Has anything been changed? <KF> 21:41, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Publication date and series[edit]

The use of "date" suggests that the day and month should be included. Generally, however, just the year is given (I tend to substitute "published" here). There is also confusion about the use of the word "series", because some editors erroneously interpret this to include serialization. See Talk for Great Expectations[1]. Rwood128 (talk) 13:20, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

The actual suggestion is that a field titled serialisaztion should be added to the infobox to allow for explanation of how the works of authors like Charles Dickens and Jules Verne's works were published. MarnetteD|Talk 11:50, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I have contended that this addition to the template isn't needed, because it can be d/w under "Published" (which can be used in the "release_date " spot, without changing the template). See [2] for an excessively long discussion of this. I have been arguing, supported by another editor, that "Series" only refers to a sequence of novels. The example, above, for Master and Commander, would seem to support that interpretation. Rwood128 (talk) 12:10, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Example: this is an edit, forGreat Expectations by me that was reverted: "Published Serialized 1860-1; book form 1861"

Rwood128 (talk) 12:26, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

I have just done a very thorough survey of novels that were serialized and found that the space "series" is never used, unless the novel was one of a sequence of novels, which was rare (i.e. Jules Verne, In Search of the Castaways). Serialization details are often omitted, but where they are given it is under "Publication date" (Alexander Dumas Three Musketeers). Rwood128 (talk) 10:23, 26 March 2015 (UTC)