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This document is intended to be a generic set of rules and guidelines that can be applied to any database. It is intended to achieve accuracy,consistency, and ease of data entry between databases. It is divided into two main section – rules, and guidelines. Rules must be followed, guidelines are best practices that should be worked towards. It is derived from the Discogs guidelines. The number in parentheses after the text is the Discogs guideline numbers the text is derived from. It is a work in progress. Please feel free to amend it if you can see an area for improvement to these ends. Thanks!


  • As long as the rules are followed, the data is valid to be entered. Subsequent edits must improve the data, following the guidelines (best practices).

  • Valid Information - You must have the exact object, or an official document describing the object in enough detail, or a set of high quality images that gives enough detail of the object, in your possession when you make a submission. Basing your submission only on third hand information from websites, low quality images, or anywhere else is forbidden, as is entering information for planned object that haven't been manufactured. Objects can be submitted before the public release date, but the object must already be manufactured. (1.1.1.)

  • Sources of information external to the object itself may be added, but the physical object must always be the main source. External sources of the information (for example websites, word of mouth, books etc) must be declared in the submission notes, explained in the object notes, and be verifiable as far as possible. Unsubstantiated information may be removed or rejected. External information should only be entered where it adds to the object information (1.1.2.)

  • Any object described on the formats list page is potentially eligible for inclusion to the ogs database. ogs only catalogs objects that have been made available to to the general public, either as commercially sold objects, or as free give-aways. (1.1.3.)

  • List any objects that were initially sold as a package (by the company) as one object, no matter what the packaging. Packaged objects that are also made available individually are treated as separate objects. Objects where we are uncertain if they were sold as a package can be entered as separate objects. Objects that are obtained after the sale via a coupon or other method should be entered as individual objects. (1.1.4.)

  • Required Fields For A New Submission - Objects cannot be submitted to the database unless they contain a certain minimum of information. This is indicated by an asterisks on the submission form. The information cannot be submitted until these fields are completed. (1.3.1.)

  • Unique Objects - The databases allow the entering of all versions of a object. In order for these to be accepted, you must provide enough information to distinguish the different versions of a object. It may be important to provide as much information as possible, and any identifiable marks. Note that some differences may not necessarily mean that a separate object should be entered, please ask in the forum if in doubt. (1.4.1.)

  • Unique Objects - If the difference is subtle, you must explain the difference in the notes, or with images, or by any other effective means, in order that future users can tell their versions apart by referring to the entry. (1.4.2.)

  • Conduct Whilst Using The Database - Please be helpful and polite to other people. Do your best to submit according to the guidelines. Take care when altering the data, explain your edits when needed, respect the database, be open to discussion, and ask in the forums regarding any difficult areas if necessary. (1.10.1.)

  • Never submit false objects and updates, objects from memory etc. Do not curse, lose your temper, call names, or otherwise cause the submission process to be unpleasant or frustrating for others. You should never continue submitting a object or update that you have been advised is incorrect, or flood the site with incorrect or malicious submissions, updates, comments, spam etc., or otherwise attempt to corrupt the data, or cause obstruction to the submission and review processes. ogs reserves the right to take whatever action necessary to protect the database and the general ogs community from such behavior. (1.10.2.)

  • Please don't do updates just to change the order of data (such as in the format or credit fields). Only do updates to correct or add information. (1.10.3.)

Guidelines (Best Practices)

Capitalization & Grammar

  • The standard *ogs rule for text that is not a complete sentence is the First Letter Of Each Word Is Capitalized. All other text (notes, comments etc) should follow standard English capitalization rules. (1.2.1.)

  • Exceptions;

  • Names which have consistently unique letter-casing will be accepted with proof that the artist uses that spelling consistently and intentionally. This also applies to artist name particles (e.g. van, von, di, de, la, etc.), which can be in lower case if the artist spells it that way consistently. (1.2.2.a.)

  • Acronyms, and initialisms should follow what is written on the object, including any punctuation if used. (1.2.2.b.)

  • Abbreviations, contractions and hyphenations should start with a capital letter. The rest of the words capitalization should follow as on the object, except where all caps have been used, which should be turned to lower case. (1.2.2.c.)

  • Intentional capitalization of abstract object or track titles can be entered as on the object. An abstract title is defined as a word or series of characters that doesn't have a meaning in any language. (1.2.2.d.)

  • Roman numerals should be entered using standard upper-case letters I, V, X, L, C, D, M (1.2.2.e.)

  • When using a slash between two words, please use a space on either side of it, for example: ABC / XYZ. (1.2.3.)

  • Please explain in the Submission Notes field if your submission lacks required information, or some aspect of the object might bring up questions for someone who doesn't know the object. (1.3.3.)

  • Unique Objects - Objects that have been marked or altered after leaving manufacturing, differences in objects with hand-made artwork that are part of the same edition, and individual numbering on otherwise identical copies will not be allowed as unique objects. (1.4.3.)

  • Manufacturing variations should not be counted as a unique object. (1.4.4.)

  • Splitting objects already in the database into unique objects

  • If an object contains multiple versions (for example, different colored vinyl versions, reissues, or different country or region versions), the most common version should remain as the existing object, and the less common versions should be split off into new objects. (1.5.2.)

  • If there are multiple different versions of a object, and you only have one of them, only submit the one you have. (1.5.3.)

  • The existing object should be updated after a new version is accepted to the database to make it clear it does not represent the newly added version. (1.5.4.)

  • Do not keep names that are not present on the version of the object you are submitting. (1.5.5.)

  • Be careful with the object date, as promotional objects are almost always available before the retail versions, and should not keep the original object date. If no object date information is present on a object variation, or you cannot find reliable information elsewhere, you could assume that the year would be the same. If the retail version came out at the beginning of a calendar year, you could assume the promo came out the year prior. But if you are uncertain, do not include a object date. (1.5.7.)

  • Submission Notes - This section must be used to describe your submission or update. For example, on new submissions, you could disclose the source of the information, say you have checked all the links, and describe or explain anything out of the ordinary etc. For edits, please provide a brief description of the edit, and note the source of the information. Please describe anything that may be potentially confusing about your submission. You may also use this section to respond to comments from other users when resubmitting a rejected object, or to clarify information. Good submission notes help greatly in both verifying the information was added or updated correctly, and for the future when reviewing the object history. (1.6.)

Errors, Missing, and Conflicting Information

  • The general principle of entering information into *ogs is to reflect what is written on the object as much as possible. When the information printed on the object does not match the actuality of the object, we enter the actuality, and outline the error in the object notes. It is important at all times to communicate the errors and nature of the correction with other users, using the object notes and the submission notes. Any doubts should be discussed in the forum. If the doubt remains, the object should not be updated, but the doubt can be noted in the object notes. (1.7.1.)

  • Names, if the credited name is totally incorrect, should be changed to the correct name, and the correction explained in the object notes. Any suspected artist name spelling error can be explained in the object notes, but this isn't mandatory. (1.7.2.)

  • Titles must be entered as they appear on the object, except where there is a proven error that deviates from the intent of the creator. Reasonable proof must be provided for the error correction to be accepted (for example, that you hold the object, and have checked it). (1.7.3.)

  • Incorrect lists should be changed to reflect what is really on or in the object, the errors that have been corrected must be entered into the notes. (1.7.4.)

  • For conflicting information printed on different parts of the object, the most complete and correct version should be chosen. If it is not apparent which is the most complete and correct, the boldest version should be chosen (for example, the name on the front of the object etc). Again, any differences must be explained in the object notes. (1.7.5.)

  • Missing or damaged parts - A submission can be made when the submitter possess a object with missing or damaged parts. The submitter must have enough of the object in their possession to reasonably guarantee the basis of the submission is correct. There must be clear object notes and submission notes left stating the missing parts that were not available at the time of submission. External information can be used to fill in missing information in this case, but the submitter must state what information has been externally sourced, and cite the source. The information must be reasonably seen to be accurate; if there is doubt or disagreement, please ask in the Forum. (1.7.6.)


  • The default language of the database is English. However, *ogs supports Unicode and allows objects in any language and character set. Objects must be submitted in the language used on them, they should not be translated or transliterated. (1.8.1.)

  • Some objects may have entire sections of text duplicated in multiple languages. For these cases, please use the following rules to decide which language to enter: (1.8.2.)

  • Use the primary language on the object (probably the same language that is used in the small print). If there is no clear primary language then… Use the English version. If there is no English version then… Use the language version that the releasing labels country uses. (1.8.2.a/b/c)

  • All text should be entered using Unicode where applicable. (1.9.1.)

  • Text formatting using HTML or other Text Formatting should not be used in any parts of the object data. (1.9.1.b.)

  • Transcribing graphic design decisions, such as reverse letters, additional punctuation, letter substitution etc, should be avoided. (1.9.3.)

  • Use the Unicode strike-through for catalog numbers and any other applicable area. There is an external site that helps you create this. (1.9.4.)



  • Use this field to enter the main title or name of the object. This is always required. (3.1.1.)

  • Enter the title as close to the way it appears on the object as possible, following the general best practices for capitalization. (3.1.2.)

  • Sometimes the title is different on on different parts of the object. It is best to use the most visually obvious title, but also consider what is going to be most useful to other users, so the most complete title is better no matter where it appears. In rare cases, it may be necessary to make up a compound title from the various versions of the title. Use the notes field to mention any important differences. (3.1.3.)

  • Subtitles should be entered into the title field. If the release doesn't have its own separators, please use parentheses brackets - Title (Subtitle). If there is doubt as to whether text on the release is a subtitle or not, try referring to other objects, the official website, etc. (3.1.4.)

  • Do not use quotation marks around the whole object title. Scare quotes can be used, but are a rare occurrence (for example, David Bowie - "Heroes"). Titles that use quotes to denote and separate the title of another object from the rest of the title (for example, Mancini Plays The Theme From "Love Story"), are acceptable. (3.1.5.)

  • Do not transcribe words that serve as an introduction and are not intended to be part of the title: Ziltoid The Omniscient (Title appears on release as: Devin Townsend Presents - Ziltoid The Omniscient ) If the form in which the title appears on the release is considered to be important for identification, please list it in the release notes. (3.1.6.)

No Obvious Title

  • If the object has no obvious title, and there is no explicit evidence of it being untitled or given a title externally, use the artist's name as the title (in other words, assume it is eponymous or self-titled). (3.2.1.)

  • If the object has constituent part/s and is commonly referred to using those name/s, use the main part as the title for the object. Do not add two or more part names as the title unless there is proof it was officially referred to as this. (3.2.2.)

  • If there is good evidence of an external title being given to the release, use that title with an explanation in the notes as to its source. (3.2.3.)

  • If there is no information, or other source of a title, or if other sources point to the object being untitled, use Untitled. (3.2.4.)



  • (“Names” is a generic description for use with entities such as artists, authors, companies, makers, brands, publishers, labels, designers, and all other such things)

  • Entering a name that has not already been entered will create a new page listing the objects that name has been listed on. It is important that we try to keep names as organized as possible, so please use the search function for all of the names you enter on your submission. (2.1.1.)

  • More than one name can be entered by adding another name field. (2.2.2.)

Special Names

  • The following names are used as generic names when the credit isn't for a specific entity:

  • Various can be used when there are several different names on an object, and no one is billed as the main name. Unknown is to be used for objects where the name is not known (2.3.1.)

Naming Conventions

  • Different entities with the same name (for example, two artists named "John B") should be entered as "John B" and "John B (2)". The (2) is not part of the name but is used to distinguish the two names. If you need to create a third, use (3) and so on. Never swap about the suffixes, once an entity is designated a numerical suffix, the entity must remain with that suffix. The suffix has no relation to popularity or historical order. (2.4.1. )

  • For artist names beginning with 'The', the name should be entered as "The Name". (2.4.2.)

  • Entities with the same name as their groups, companies, or projects should be listed in the database as separate names. (2.8.1.)

Crediting Unnamed Groups

  • Sometimes, an object will credit a group of entities involved in the object, but not give them a proper artist name. When entering such vague groups, a full artist name of the group should, if possible, be taken from the object title, and added to the front of the generic group name. (2.9.1.)

Crediting Non-Specific Groups

  • If a group of people are credited that aren't specific (for example: tribes, nations etc), credit them as a name, and place the following in the name profile: (2.10.1.)

  • “This (name) does not refer to a specific group of named individuals, but rather defines the collective term for [details of group]. Please use this artist name for the [group name]."

Choosing The Primary Name - Transliteration And Different Languages

  • Swapping about primary names should only be done as a last resort, after discussion and a clear need to do it. (2.12.1.)

  • If the entity uses a Latin transliteration of their name on most releases, that should be the Primary Name. (2.12.2.)

  • If an entities names native spelling uses non-Latin characters, but the artist is well known in countries which use Latin characters, and has a Latin transliteration of their name, there should be a preference for having that Latin transliteration as the Primary Name. (2.12.3.)

  • Borderline cases must be discussed and reasonably resolved (in the help forums) before any changes are made. Try to take into account the artists popularity in different countries, how the majority of releases indicate their name, and what will be easiest for all users. (2.12.4.)

  • Compound Names - When an entity is presented as "Name1 (Name2)" or "Name 1 AKA Name 2", the name before the brackets or 'aka' is considered the focal credit and should be credited. (2.13.1.)

  • If the name in brackets, or after 'aka', is an alias then it can optionally be credited on a separate line. If the name in brackets is not a direct alias of the artist, it cannot be added as a credit, but can be mentioned in the notes.

  • Merging Names - You must edit each object if one names being represented by two or more pages. (2.14.1.)

  • Merging Names - Only duplicate names should be merged. Make sure you explain in the Submission Notes what you are trying to achieve. (2.14.2.)

  • Renaming - You must edit each release to rename an entity. (2.15.1.)

  • Normally, listing the main name (usually the largest name, brand, or logo on the release) is sufficient for cataloguing purposes. You can optionally list other names mentioned on the release. Sometimes, the only way to describe a Unique Object is to mention one or more of these names, in this case, it becomes mandatory to add them. (4.1.2.)

  • Brand and Company Names

  • Please check (using the search function) for slight variations in the name. For example; "EMI Records Ltd" and "EMI Records Limited" are the same company and should be listed on the same page, whereas EMI Music Australia Pty Ltd is a separate company and should be entered on its own page. Note that these companies will probably appear on a release along with the brand 'EMI', which should be added separately. (4.2.1.)

  • For smaller independent companies, such a variation is usually unintentional, so you can normally adjust the label name to match the existing entry. Please make a note of any adjustments in the release notes and the submission notes. (4.2.1.a.)

  • For larger major companies, any difference may be significant, in terms of defining a separate branch, brand, or company. These should be entered as on the release, unless there is proof that it is simply a variation for the exact same brand or company. (4.2.1.b.)

  • 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. (4.2.2.)

  • For generically named locations such as "Parish Church", or for companies which share the same name, and where the location is usually listed on the release, list the location as part of the name to differentiate them. For example, "Parish Church, Portland". Generally, the town or city is enough to add to the name. For locations in the United States (and possibly other countries), The town / city and state is the standard format, and can be entered like that (for example, Firehouse Recording Studios, Pasadena, CA). Try to go by what is commonly entered on the releases where possible. (4.3.2.)

  • Locations within locations, for example, "Studio 1, Abbey Road Studios" should usually be entered into the notes. (4.3.3.)

  • Company branches that need to be differentiated, and consistently state their location, can be entered that way. (4.3.4.)

  • If there is no other way of distinguishing two different companies, then the usual (2), (3) etc suffixes should be used. (4.3.5.)

No Brand

  • Objects which have no discernible brand, such as self-released albums, limited edition tour merchandise, white labels, bootlegs, etc. can be listed under the "No Brand" meta-label. This is done by typing "No Brand" into the name field. (4.4.1.)

  • No Brand pseudo-names can be used to gather distinct set of objects without brands: “No Brand (further identifying information such as name in here)” (4.4.2.)

Names On Counterfeit Objects

  • Care should be taken with counterfeit objects, which are created to resemble the original as closely as possible. Often, they will include the original brand and company names. Enter these items using a separate name; For example, if the original brand is "BrandName", and the suspected counterfeit contains this label name, it should be entered as "BrandName (2)" - thereby creating a different brand. The profile of this brand should be filled out to explain its circumstances. (4.6.1.)


  • Role: The role should be selected from one of the standard credit roles (either from the drop-down, or listed in the wiki), and should be chosen to match the credit on the release as closely as possible. (10.1.3.)

  • Name: Only one name per field (10.1.4.)

  • In cases where there are duplicate credits for aliases of an artist, enter all the aliases. For example, for a track named "Artist & Artist's 'The Group' Remix", enter remix credits for both Artist & Artist and The Group. (10.2.4.)

  • Combined information such as 'Design by Joe at Virginart' (possibly abbreviated in some way, such as; 'Design - [email protected]') should be separated - 'Joe' gets the design credit, and 'Virginart' gets a Label / Company credit. (

  • The credits listed on some releases ('Produced By' for example) can have two distinct meanings (the musical production of the recording, and the physical manufacturing of the product in this case). In the first instance, a credit is appropriate, in the second, it is not. Please ask in the forum if you need help to decide between them. (

Adding Unlisted Credits

  • Roles that are not in the wiki and don't belong to subcategories of existing listed roles should be entered using the common name (in English if possible). If in doubt, lists and descriptions can be found on the Internet in such places as Wikipedia or by doing a Google search. When entering a role that isn't in the list, please use the submission notes to explain, and list the new credit in the wiki. If possible, please include a short description of the role, and link/s to any supporting information on other websites. (10.3.)

  • Credits that do not appear on the object or any accompanying official literature can be added only under certain circumstances. The (credible) credit source must be stated in the submission notes. (10.7.1.)

  • Credits should not be transferred between objects. (10.7.2.)

  • The 'add one like this' function duplicates the release information including the credits, so a different version of the object can be entered. Please ensure that the credits you copy across this way are correct and valid. All credits that are not written on that version of the object should be removed. (10.7.3.)

  • 'Thank you' type lists should only be added to the credits if it is clear the person/s or group/s had direct involvement with the creation of the recording. General thanks, shout outs, hello's etc should not be added to the credit section, and can be added to the notes if required. (10.8.)



  • This section allows you to enter any identifying numbers and codes such as barcodes, matrix numbers, and other such information. (5.1. )

  • Barcode

  • Model Number
  • Catalog Number
  • Matrix Number
  • ISBN
  • etc... (here shortened to 'Number')

  • Numbers should be entered directly as they appear on an object - they shouldn't be altered for conformity with other numbers listed on other objects. (4.7.1.)

  • If the number appears in different formats on the object (for example "ABC-001" and "abc1"), or there are two or more numbers, you can enter all the versions of the numbers in separate fields. Any variation in the number can be entered as an additional number, including capitalization variations. (4.7.3.)

  • Sometimes individual parts of an object will have their own numbers printed on them, separate from the main number on the object or packaging. These numbers can be entered in addition to the main number. (4.7.6.)

  • Multiple numbers should be entered for a single item intended to be sold under different numbers in different territories, regardless of whether corresponding, single number items exist for each territory. (4.7.8.)

  • A matrix number (sometimes derived from the main number) is used during manufacturing to keep track of the process. (4.9.1.)

  • If there is no apparent main number on the release, please enter the matrix number/s, barcode, or other identifiers. (4.9.2.)

  • Sometimes, a Distribution Code will appear on the object. Please don't enter these as main numbers. Label codes, distribution or price codes are sometimes prefixed with country abbreviations or indicators. Please enter these in the description field only, not as part of the code itself. (4.10.1.)

  • Barcodes can be sourced from both the barcode text (the numbers printed below the barcode) or by reading the barcode itself with a barcode scanner. If there is a discrepancy between these two sources, both barcode variations can be entered into separate barcode fields. (5.2.)

  • Usually, the human readable code will include spaces, dashes, or other characters. These characters only serve to make the barcode easier to read, they are not necessary for computers to parse. It is recommended to enter them without the spaces and dashes (for usability and searching), but the choice is exclusively up to the submitter. Ultimately, the barcode can be entered both ways on the same object, please do not delete one version in favor of the other.

  • The 'notes' field can be used to indicate the source of the barcode, for example "Scanned" and "Text". In the case of multiple barcodes on a release, they can all be entered in separate barcode fields - please use the 'notes' field to provide any further information, if possible.

  • If information is taken from stickers that have been applied after manufacture (for example by the distributor), please declare it is a sticker in the notes, and add any further information available (for example, the company name). (5.11.)



  • Format describes the physical type of the object. The same object in different formats needs to be put into the database as separate items. (6.1.1.)

  • We only catalogs objects that are or have been available to the general public, either as commercially sold items, or as free give-aways. Please include as much information as possible with the submission to establish the validity of borderline cases. (6.3.)

  • Bootleg, counterfeit, or pirated files are not eligible for submission (6.5.4.)

  • Unofficial objects - Uncleared, Bootleg, Pirate, and Counterfeit items - We catalog all publicly available objects. No matter their legal standing. (6.15.1.) The usual guidelines apply to these items. (6.15.2.)



  • No general guidelines, specific to each database.



  • This is the exact or approximate date of the public release / launch of an object. The release date can be listed as the year, month and year, or the specific day of release, or left empty. For an exact date enter in the format "YYYY-MM-DD" (02-Sept 1997 would be 1997-09-02). For an approximate release date you may enter only the year (in four-digit format, YYYY) or year and month with "00" for the day (YYYY-MM-00). Approximate release dates or conflicting information can be placed in the release notes. (8.1.1.)

  • Where available, usually, the latest copyright date that appears on the release is the one to use. If there is any doubt, consult other sources, and use common sense. Re-releases of older objects sometimes do not have updated copyright dates on the packaging, but you should do your best to find the actual date of that object, not of the original. (8.1.2. )


Categories / Sub-Categories

  • Categories (genres / subject area / function etc) describe the object in terms of a hierarchical grouping. These genres are then further broken down in sub-categories. A list of the current categories is available on the relevant database wiki page. This may be incomplete, and often the hierarchy is not scientific or universally agreed, so please ask in the forums if you need help, or want to discuss additions / updates to it. (9.1.1.)


Release Notes

  • Notes is a free text field. It is used to add any factual, objective notes about the object, or to list information that cannot be entered into other dedicated fields. (11.1.1.)

  • Notes transcribed from the object should be put into clear context and the source stated. (11.1.2.)

  • Normal English grammatical rules apply. (11.1.3.)

  • Do not remove entity names from the Notes when this information is needed to qualify other information that can only be placed into the notes (for example, dates). (11.1.4.)

  • The following items are recommended for adding to the Notes. (11.2.)

  • Note any distinguishing features of the object that may help distinguish it from other versions.

  • Anything unusual or anything that is impossible to enter (for example, different titles on different parts of the object)
  • Note any sources of information aside from the object itself
  • Additional information such as which tracks are bonus tracks.


  • The following items are forbidden from the Notes: (11.3.)

  • Any information that belongs in other specific sections of the object data. The notes can be used to expand on, or refer to, this information, however.

  • Subjective opinions or reviews of the object
  • Promotional language, hype, etc.
  • Lyrics, liner type notes, or any other material which, if republished, would reasonably be considered a copyright violation.
  • Standard copyright text (for example "Unauthorized copying prohibited" etc) should not be entered unless it differentiates one version of an object from another.



  • Accepted image formats are .jpg, .gif, .png, and .bmp. File size limit is 10mb(13.1.1.)

  • Images should be good quality, face-on, readable, correctly oriented and free of any copyright, watermark, URL, or other marks. Images should be static, no animated GIFs please. They must be of the exact object they are attached to. (13.1.4.)

  • No images of plain packaging please. For objects enclosed in or including generic artwork, this artwork can be added, but the primary image must be the main object. (13.1.5.)

  • Copyrighted or illegal images will be removed, and the user may be held accountable for their inclusion. (13.1.7.)

  • Entity images should preferably be of the entity performing, or publicly available publicity shots. Preference for the primary image goes to the most iconic and widely recognized picture of the entity at the height of their career, if possible. (13.9.1.)

  • The images should be unmanipulated. (13.9.2.)

  • 'Tabloid' type images of the entity outside of their main career (for example, James Brown's police mugshot, Britney Spears shaving her head) are not permitted. (13.9.3.)

  • Entity logos by themselves are fine to add as an image. Entity pictures with included logos are acceptable as long as the following points are observed: (13.9.4.)

  • The logo doesn't obscure the entity image to any great degree

  • The logo was officially put there e.g. no home made image mashups!
  • Images without logos are preferred

  • Company type images should usually be restricted to logos used by that company. (13.10.)