Summary of Guideline changes – 17th November 2008

We have recently completed the forth stage of the Guideline review, which involved trying to sort out most of the issues that were not resolved during the previous stages, or that had come up since the last major revision.

The most important changes in this review are to the label / catalog number section. For label names, there is now a section outlining when to enter the information as on release, and when to adjust the label name. This is important as we move further toward an ‘as on release’ method for label names (particularly major labels / companies). Regarding catalog numbers, it should be noted that all catalog number variations should now all be entered in the catalog number fields, and should not be entered into the notes section as previously. For the complete text of this guideline section, please check

If you are interested in how the changes came about, you should be able to find details on the wiki pages and / or the development forum pages

This concludes the Discogs Guideline Review 2007/08. However, this does not mean that the guidelines will not be further improved. A new structure for proposing, discussing, and implementing guidelines will be worked out and put into place very soon.

The full summary of the changes are as follows:

[b]1. General Rules For Adding Information To Discogs (inc submission notes)[/b]
*  Unique releases - made a rule regarding when represses reissues etc are identical -  Reissues that cannot be told apart from the original issue cannot be entered as a unique release - unique releases must have a means of identifying them as such. - second paragraph

* Caps rule for abbreviations and initalisims -

* Caps rule for intentional capitalization of abstract titles -

* Manufacturing variations in (for example) label paper color should not be a unique release. Different stampers / matrix numbers for the same edition do not constitute a unique release. - paragraph 5

* Unofficial Releases - Uncleared recordings, Bootlegs, Pirates, and Counterfeits - section added regarding these items at

* Releases should be submitted in the language used on them, they should not be translated or transliterated. -

* Formatting, Unicode, and HTML Code guidelines created at

* Full physical format descriptions are always required, for example Vinyl, 12".
[b]2. Artist (inc ANV and joins)[/b]
*  ANVs should not be used for any fundamental name changes, such as surname changes. In these cases, an Alias is more appropriate.

* How to for artist + generic band -

* How to add a new artist, when the link goes live etc

* Added "Crediting Unnamed Groups" guidelines
[b]3. Title[/b]
*  Guideline for subtitles - paragraph 3

Added four new ‘how to’ type sections dealing with some trickier release types and how we can arive at a workable title for them:

* Explain what to do with inconsistent titles - "In rare cases, it may be necessary to make up a compound title from the various versions of the title on the cover, spine, label etc." paragraph 2

* How To Enter Releases Of Combined Titles section added -

* Clarified the double A side guidelines and exactly when to use both / all track titles for a release title, as opposed to just the A side.

* How To Interpret Track Titles As Release Titles When Listed On The Cover -
[b]4. Label / Catalog Number[/b]
* Revised whole Label section to be clearer regarding how to enter label names and the difference between major and independent labels. Added a section about legacy label names.

* Reworded Not On Label section to be clearer -

* Unofficial Release Label Names guidelines added -

* Outline when a label should be an unique entry, and when it should be altered to match an existing entry- "The responsibility is on the user wishing to combine label or company names to provide proof that the entity they are trying to combine is indeed one and the same." -

* Describe DIDX and DIDP mastering labelcodes, and how to avoid their use as primary cat#s.

* If the catalog number appears in different formats on the release (for example "ABC-001" and "abc1"), enter all the versions of the catalog number in separate catalog number fields.

*  Made a new section, with some diagrams, outlining various different release models, from major labels to artists direct sales.
[b]5. Format[/b]
*  Clarify the special packaging guideline: "The free text field should be used to describe; 1) the color of the item, 2) any notable packaging (for example gatefold sleeves, Digipak etc), or 3)text that isn't part of the title but distinguishes the specific release from others. section 4.1

* Packaging - clarify when and where to state the packaging of a release. - "unless the item is also released using different packaging (like a slimline jewel case or digipack) that text should not be added to Format, but remain in Notes as additional info about the release in question." "The format description field should remain as small and precise as possible, it's of no use to add every detail in this field. The main use of the format field should be the brief description of the release in order to distinguish it from other similar releases at first sight." section 4.2

* Added in guidelines for the use of Quantity and Format fields section 1 and 2

* Bitrates should be entered as "kbps" (note all lower case). This info can go in the free text field. paragraph 3

* Descriptions - what is required information? - added to General Guidelines.
[b]9. Credits[/b]
*  'copy to draft' guidelines stated for credits - 3rd paragraph
[b]10. Release Notes[/b]
* URLs printed on a release are valid for the notes section. Links are forbidden.
[b]11. Tracklisting (inc all tracklisting field rules)[/b]
*  Explained how to list items that have the exact same audio on both sides -

* Added a guideline forbidding for:  Prefixing "CD1." in front of a release that only contains one CD, Prefixing with zeros or punctuation, and Suffixing with punctuation - near the end

* Remember that if you use position numbering in the main credit section, it must be identical to the position numbering scheme in the tracklisting. - near the end

* When bonus tracks / bonus content is identified on the release itself as a separate section of the release content, an index track can be used. However, when bonus tracks are identified with an asterisk, with a bonus track mention appended to the track title, a footnote or such like, do not use an index track, enter this in the release notes instead.

* Titles for whole sides of releases are eligible for use as index tracks -

* Added "How to list Non-audio content of releases" section -

* Some file-based download stores (such as Beatport) place the phrases "Original Mix" and "Original" on the end of any track title without a mix name. These phrases should be ignored unless specifically appropriate to the release (for example - by the physical counterpart or cover). -

* How to list megamix and medleys -

* Updated guidelines for multi-disc or multi-format releases, any position numbering scheme which differentiates each item is acceptable. -

* Describe how to list the various styles of hidden tracks:
[b]12. Images[/b]
*  Added 'Uploading Images' section to the image guidelines to explain the upload procedures, accepted file formats etc.

* Label image guidelines -

* Add link on the word "watermark".
[b]15. Reviews[/b]
*  FAQ - how do I remove a review I wrote?

* FAQ - how to I correct a review I wrote?

* Be careful with capitalization (don't use A.B.C, use ABC) and ellipses (don't use three periods in a row ..., use the proper ellipse character …).  -

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