The FictionMags Index Family is only possible thanks to the contributions of an ever-growing list of contributors (and new contributors are always welcome). As there is a wide variety of material in different magazines, and several different ways of describing any given item, this set of documentation is intended to help answer some of the most common questions that come up. It must be stressed that the guidelines discussed herein are precisely that – guidelines – not hard-and-fast rules and we welcome index information of any kind even if it doesn't precisely follow the guidelines – the last thing we want is for people to be put off contributing by a long list of rules. At the same time, if you are unsure how to represent a particular item, hopefully this will help provide some answers.
If you have any queries related to this documentation, or to the index(es) in general, please contact .
A fuller description of the entry format can be found here. There are also detailed descriptions of the different item types and the trigraphs used for coding accented and special characters.
For those who just wish to know more about using the indexes, there is also a discussion of the index structure used for each index and a section of notes looking at some of the more technical aspects of the indexes (such as variant names and pseudonym usage). For more information on any of the specific magazines indexed, a good starting point is the Fiction Magazines Database which gives a brief description of each magazine and, where relevant, links to more detailed discussions.
Currently the software used to create the indexes is under active development so there is a change log listing recent changes as well as discussing some known issues and some possible future enhancements.
Lastly, there is a small section of Frequently Asked Questions – please check these before e-mailing us with questions.
Fiction magazine table-of-contents lists may be submitted in any of the following formats, although #1 is preferred:
1. E-Mail: Send contents lists to in the format described below.
2. Scan: E-mail a readable scan of the contents page to the above address.
At its simplest, a sample entry might be just something like:
Thrilling Ranch Stories [August 1935]
* Boss of the Lazy D * Lee Bond * na
* Murder Range * Gunnison Steele * nv
* Restless Ranny * Jackson Cole * nv
* Night Riders * L. P. Holmes * nv
* Rustler Roundup * Sam Brant * ss
* Ghost Bullets * W. Ryerson Johnson * ss
* Shearing of Shasta * A. T. Locke * ss
* Blood on the Sheriff's Star * Ralph Cummins * ss
where the title and issue of the magazine is identified, followed by a list of the stories in the magazine.
Such entries are always welcome, but for those who are interested in supplying more detailed entries, a fuller description of the entry format can be found here.
Q. "I have this magazine, how much is it worth?"
A. It's worth what someone's willing to pay for it. Check the used magazines section on eBay to see what people are paying for magazines like yours. You can also check sites that have magazines for sale such as BookFinder.com and AbeBooks.com. A number of other magazine dealers are also listed here.
Q. "Where can I get a copy of the magazine/article I saw on your site?"
A. We don't have copies of the magazines indexed. To purchase magazines you can check sites that have magazines for sale such as the used magazines section on eBay, BookFinder.com and AbeBooks.com. Other magazine dealers are listed here. For copies of articles contact the reference librarian at your local public library. They can locate libraries with holdings of the requested magazine and have photocopies of articles sent to you.
Q. "I have this magazine that seems appropriate for your site, would you
like me to send you the contents?"
A. YES! Methods for sending contents information are given above. Science fiction and mystery magazines are for the most part indexed elsewhere, as are significant chunks of many other magazines, particularly pulp magazines. For the main indexes in the FictionMags Index Family a list of missing issues can be found here – for other magazines it is worth checking the entry in the Fiction Magazines Database which will indicate if the magazine has been indexed and, if so, where (and to what degree).
Q. "How can I get my stories listed on your site?"
A. Send us the table of contents from magazines printing your stories as discussed above.
Q. "Can you tell me the author and title of this story...?"
A. It's possible, particularly if it is science fiction, fantasy or similar. Your best bet is to post your question on a usenet newsgroup where many people with an interest in a given genre can see it such as rec.arts.sf.written but if all else fails feel free to send us an e-mail and we'll see what we can do.
Q. "Is it OK if I add a link to your site?"
A. Links are always welcome. If you are just referencing the index(es) then we would ask that you link to http://www.philsp.com/indexes.html which provides an introduction to the indexes to those who are unfamiliar with them. It is also possible to link directly to an individual magazine, magazine issue or name in the index(es) but this must be done carefully as discussed below.
Each time a new version of the Fictionmags Index(es) are created, all the pages are generated anew and the contents of each page will change. The same is true of the magazine pages on the Galactic Central site. As such, direct links to any parts of these pages should not be used as they will not persist across new versions of the sites. However, persistent links may be created to an individual magazine, magazine issue or name in the main Fictionmags index or to a magazine in the Galactic Central magazine pages as discussed below.
In the Index by Magazine Issue, Magazine Contents or Names Index, a  is displayed against each magazine name, magazine issue or name, as in the following examples:
Index by Magazine Issue:
Mystery Book Magazine [Vol. 2 No. 4, February 1946] (William H. Wise & Co., Inc., 25¢, 132pp, digest) 
In each case this symbol points to a link of the form:
Just copy the link and paste it into your own website or blog (or whatever) and in 99% of cases it will always link to the relevant entry in the Fictionmags Index no matter what the "physical" address is. (Note that there will be a small number of cases where the link has to change at some point in the future but these should be limited to the "less popular" areas of the index so are unlikely to affect anyone.)
If you want to add a link to a magazine, a better approach would probably be to add a link to the entry on the Galactic Central website which then potentially points to multiple indexes and can, of course, be used for magazines that have not (yet) been indexed. This uses a link of the form:
The ID to be used at the end of the string can be seen by looking at the magazine entry on the Galactic Central website and extracting the text after the "#" symbol - e.g. the entry for Abaddon can be found at http://www.philsp.com/data/data001.html#ABADDON.
Note that a similar mechanism was provided previously for linking to a magazine in the indexes - this will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future, but the approach discussed above for persistent links to the Fictionmags Index is more flexible and is to be preferred.