The Bibliography of Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Web Publishing Center

Center for the Bibliography of Science Fiction and Fantasy

The bibliographic control of science fiction and fantasy has a long and storied history, from its beginnings in the 1930s to the online tools of today.  The works range from superb productions that serve as best practice standards to quick-and-dirty listings.  Virtually all of them add a bit to the coverage of the field. 

The last decade of the twentieth century ushered in changes in the bibliographic world, as publishing outlets for such works disappeared or became highly selective.  Borgo Press, a key outlet and standard setter, closed its doors, and other publishers recognized the impact of the World Wide Web on the viability of printed bibliographic tools in the genre.  Presses like Scarecrow, Greenwood, and McFarland became highly selective, or withdrew entirely.  One press cited the World Wide Web as an insurmountable obstacle to the economical publication of bibliographic work.  Specialty presses and publish-on-demand presses offer an outlet but at the cost of low volume and marginal marketing.  They also suffer from their own version of poor bibliographic control.

Magazines such as Extrapolation, Science Fiction Studies and Foundation are occasional outlets for shorter bibliographies. However, their primary mission is the presentation of scholarship, not bibliographies.  Other outlets include some of the professional science fiction magazines and some E-zines.  Even the well-known presses like Greenwood or McFarland share the problem of low distribution volume and lack of scholarly access.  This is compounded by the increasing demands faced by libraries, with resulting reallocation of acquisition funds to electronic resources, and decreasing funding for the purchase of highly specialized bibliographies, and of genre materials in general.

These factors combine to leave a void in bibliographic publishing, and, perhaps, in the creation of scholarly bibliographies.  It is this void that the Center for the Bibliographic Control of Science Fiction is proposed to fill.

Purpose

The Center for the Bibliographic Control of Science Fiction provides an online repository for bibliographic works on science fiction and fantasy.  Bibliographies included in the Center are created and formatted following an established set of content and style guidelines.  The bibliographic content can include single author bibliographies, thematic bibliographies, indexes to magazines, and other bibliographic works.

Sponsorship and Management

To meet the various needs of the field, and to ensure quality content, the Bibliography of Science Fiction and Fantasy is proposed as a joint venture, sponsored by the Science Fiction Research Association, The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, Extrapolation magazine, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection, Cushing Library, Texas A&M University.   The Editorial Board of Extrapolation is proposed as the initial review board of submissions, following their established reviewing mechanisms.  Should a need for a separate board develop, the sponsoring organizations would jointly name such a board.

Format 

Bibliographic work would be submitted in accordance with an established set of guidelines.  The guidelines will be developed drawing on the best practice examples in the science fiction bibliography field and the principles of good bibliographic control.  The format, instructions, and examples will appear on the web site.

Submissions for the Web Center will be accepted only in electronic format, with Microsoft Word or FrontPage as the preferred formats.  Contributors should inquire about the use of other computer programs.  The Cushing Library will edit the submissions to the final format for web presentation. 

Rights and Permissions

A key reason for The Bibliography of Science Fiction and Fantasy is the provision of wide, reliable distribution of the bibliographic work.  Presentation of the work on the Bibliography of Science Fiction and Fantasy site constitutes “publication”, refereed and accepted by a qualified editorial board.  This aspect of the Center offers the editorial expertise to evaluate submissions for accuracy and completeness, with subsequent increased value to the field, and to support the scholarly review process under which faculty members operate. 

Works remain on the site indefinitely, with the following provisions:  The compiler may use the work in any way they choose without permission.  The compiler owns the copyright to the work, for any use outside the web center.  The compiler may update or modify the content of the work published on the Center web pages at any time, by submission to the site director.  Previous versions, clearly identified by version number or date, will reside in the site’s electronic archive.  One paper copy of each bibliography and version will be maintained as a permanent printed archive in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection, Cushing Library, Texas A&M University.

Host

The Bibliography of Science Fiction and Fantasy will be hosted by the Cushing Library.  If the Cushing Library requests relief of hosting duties, the other sponsors will jointly determine a new host site, or make such decisions as are necessary at the time.

The Bibliographies 

 

CONTACTS

Hal W. Hall,
Curator, Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection
Cushing Library, Texas A&M University
5000 TAMU
College Station  TX  77843-5000
979-862-1840 
hal-hall@tamu.edu

Please request contact information for individual authors from Hal W. Hall.

SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL


Proposals for new or revised bibliographies are welcome.  Please use the following outline for your proposal.

Name:

Address:

E-mail Address:

Phone:
Subject of proposed bibliography:

Title of bibliography:

Brief description of the importance of your subject, and the need for the bibliography: 

Proposed beginning date:

Proposed completion date:

Other comments:

 
  The Bibliography of Science Fiction and Fantasy site is sponsored by The Science Fiction Research Association,
The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, Extrapolation Magazine, and The Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection, Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University.