Help

Database Guidelines 2. Artist

Adding Artists

2.1.1. Entering an artist name that is not in Discogs will create a new artist page. It is important that we try to keep artist names as organized as possible, so please use the search function for all of the artist names you enter on your submission. As soon as the 'submit' button is pressed, the artist will have a page created listing the release. It helps to fill out the artists profile with the basic details of the artist straight away (for example; "Saxophone player from New York.")

2.1.2. Names are entered as they appear on the release. Use the join field to link multiple artists as they are linked on the release, with a comma between them if there is no joiner on the release itself. Use the ANV function for name variations. Abbreviations follow the usual rules.

Artist Fields

2.2.1. The artist field at the top of the submission form is where we put the main artist for the release. This is considered to be the artist or artists named on the front cover of the release, or otherwise billed as such.

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2.2.2. More than one main artist can be entered by adding another artist field. This is done by clicking the 'Add artist' button (the large 'X' button removes the field). When you add another artist field this way, you will see that another field is added beside the existing artist field, this is called the join field, and is for adding words or symbols that join the two artists together, for example 'And', 'Featuring', '/', ',' etc. Please don't leave the join field empty, if there is no join used on the release, just enter a comma.

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The 'Add ANV' button is for the Artist Name Variation function, which is explained further down this page.

Special Artists

2.3.1. The following artist names are used as generic pages when the credit isn't for a specific artist:

  • Various should be used when there are several different artists on a release, and no one is billed as the main artist.
  • Unknown Artist is to be used for music releases which are not credited to an artist.
  • No Artist should be used as an artist on releases where there is no musical artist performing, such as radio / TV advertisements, movie samples, blank tracks, sound effects, and so on.
  • Traditional - Used for traditional songs that are credited as such on the release. Only to be used for composition type credits.
  • Folk - Used for folk songs that are credited as such on the release. Only to be used for composition type credits.
  • Anonymous - Used for artists who are credited as 'anonymous' on the release.

Artist Naming Conventions

2.4.1. Different Artists 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 artists. If you need to create a third, use (3) and so on. (0) and (1) are never used. Never swap about the suffixes, once an artist is designated a numerical suffix, the artist must remain with that suffix. The suffix has no relation to popularity or historical order.

Artist Name Variation (ANV)

2.5.1. In order to link variations of an artists name, but keep the same artist profile, Discogs uses a system called Artist Name Variation, or ANV. The ANV is set directly on the submission form, click the small plus sign beside the artist field to open the ANV field. Please see the Quick Start ANV guide for an example of how ANVs are created. At Discogs we call the main artist name (the root name without an ANV) the 'Primary Artist Name', or PAN. For example, discogs.com/artist/David+Bowie is the PAN for David Bowie.

2.5.2. ANVs should be used for variations in an artist name such as changes to nicknames, language based differences (translations), abbreviations, different initials etc. The existing Artist Name MUST be entered as it currently appears in the database as well, with any variation on the release added as the ANV (the ANV cannot exist on its own).

2.5.3. ANVs should not be used if the artist uses the name to differentiate their work, in this case an Alias is more appropriate.

2.5.4. ANVs should not be used for any fundamental name changes, such as surname changes. In these cases, an Alias is more appropriate. If in doubt, do not create an ANV.

2.5.5. Do not use the ANV field on unlinked credits

2.5.6. The Primary Artist Name should be the most relevant version of the Artists Name. For example, when the artist has a "recording name" it should be the Primary name, and the variations found in the releases fine print should be the ANV.

2.5.7. Normal capitalization rules apply. ANV's should NOT be created for variations in capitalization.

2.5.8. If there is a case whereby there are two Artist Name Variations present on a release for the same credit (for example there is D. Bowie on the cover for a vocal credit, and D. H. Bowie on the label for the vocal credit), only one can be entered. The submitter should choose one based on such things as viability of the names, clarity and fullness of the data, and existing names already used in the database.

2.5.9. Typography and punctuation - ANV's can be entered to reflect what is on the release. Variations in punctuation, spelling, spacing, etc., are allowed, providing they exist on the release. Variations in accents are allowed. However, using Cyrillic and other such Unicode fonts to reflect graphic design decisions such as reverse letters should not be done.

2.5.11. You can use ANVs on Special Artists (Various, Traditional, Anonymous etc) as long as the ANV is a variation or translation of it, and the ANV is printed on the release.

ANV F.A.Q.

Q - Is John Smith an ANV of John Smith (3) - i.e. do we add in an ANV just so that the release page displays without the suffixed number applied to differentiate artists with the same names in Discogs?

A – No, please don't use the ANV function for this.

Q - If John Smith and John Smith (2) both use the ANV John Smith Jr., must a suffix be applied to one of the ANVs to show John Smith Jr. (2)?

A - No, this is not necessary as the 2 instances of John Smith Jr. create 2 different URLs based on the main Discogs artist entries. Searches and artist indexes will be adapted to show the main artist that an ANV is connected to.

Q - Does ANV replace Aliases?

A - No, aliases remain as a way of identifying totally different names used by an artist.

Q - Should an ANV be used for a one-off alias that is not a variation upon an existing artist name?

A - No, an Alias is appropriate here.

Q - Are ANV's to be used for misspellings, punctuation, typos etc?

A - ANV's can be entered to reflect what is on the release. Variations in punctuation, spelling etc are allowed, providing they exist on the release. Variations in accents are allowed. However, using Cyrillic and other such Unicode fonts to reflect graphic design decisions such as reverse letters should not be done.

Q - What else needs to be done when ANV is being used?

A - As with all submissions, users should provide full submission notes justifying why they have added the information in a certain way. Voters will seek confirmation of the validity of an ANV via these comments, so please provide this information up front to ensure your submissions are processed as quickly as possible.

The Join Field and Artist Collaboration

2.6.1. The join field is used for the words that link two or more artist names together, such as 'Vs.', 'Meets', 'And', '&', 'W/', and 'With' . Abbreviations are accepted if they appear that way on the release. The join field can also be used to enter separators (such as commas or slashes), if they appear on the release. Please don't leave the join field empty. If there is no join used on the release, use a comma, or for 'split' type releases where the artists aren't collaborating, use a forward slash "/". See 1.8.2.b regarding entering translations.

2.6.2. Collaborative artists should be split into their individual names except when the combined name was intended and can be verified as the group name (for example Simon & Garfunkel), legal songwriting entity (for example Lennon-McCartney), or production partnership (for example, Stock, Aitken & Waterman). Verification can be found, for example, in official external websites, biographies, and discographies.

2.6.3. Artist collaborations which are one-off recordings should be listed as separate artists. If this one-off collaboration becomes an ongoing recording team then they can be updated to one artist entry later.

2.6.4. Never create or credit a collaborative artist in any credit field, with the exception that some collaborative artists have already been created and used solely on writing or production credits. Please continue to use them, please do not attempt to split these unless there has been extensive agreement from other users in the forums. In the case of multiple artist / collaborative artist combinations in the credits, always split them into all their individual artists unless there is clear evidence that a combined artist name was intended to be legally credited for the role.

Main Artist Credits

2.7.1. When a main artist or track based main artist is credited on a release for the following, a credit must also be added into the credit section:

  • DJ Mix
  • Compiled By
  • Presenting Artist (Presenter)

Eponymous Artists

2.8.1. Artists with the same name as their groups, bands, or projects should be listed in the database as separate artists - (for example Marilyn Manson and Marilyn Manson (2), Alice Cooper and Alice Cooper (2)). Solo artists with backing bands (for example Ozzy Osbourne or Frank Sinatra) should not be treated as bands, 'In Groups' for the backing musicians should not be applied to them.

Crediting Unnamed Groups

2.9.1. Sometimes, a release will credit a group of people or performers involved in the release, such as Chorus, Choir, Orchestra, Ensemble, Cast, Company etc, 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 release , film, show, etc title, and added to the front of the group, for example; the Chorus from the musical Paint Your Wagon should be credited like this:

"Paint Your Wagon" Chorus When entering the details on the release, it is acceptable to use the ANV function to display the original performer credit, so for example it can be like this:

"Paint Your Wagon" Chorus ANV Chorus

Since an artist is created by doing this, the original submitter of the release should try to add at least a brief description of the group in the Artist Profile. For example, for the above example, this would be an acceptable description: "An unidentified group of chorus singers that appear in the "Paint Your Wagon" movie and subsequent soundtrack recordings."

This method should not be used when the group is used in conjunction with a named artist, this should be added as one artist, for example Count Basie And His Orchestra

Crediting Non-Specific Groups

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

"Discogs notice: This artist does not refer to a specific group of named individuals (such as a band or musical group) but rather defines the collective term for [details of group].

Please use this artist name (or any language variation thereof, via an ANV) for the [group name]."

2.10.2. The 'In Groups' function can be used if the non-specific group is a subset of a larger non-specific group, but specific artists and groups cannot be linked as part of a non-specific group.

Solo Artist Plus A Generic Band Of Musicians

2.11.1. A Solo Artist + Generic Band Of Musicians is entered as a new group with the solo artist as a member, for example:

Please make sure to add the solo artist as a member of that group using the In Groups function on the solo artists page.

Choosing The Primary Artist Name - Transliteration And Different Languages

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

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

2.12.3. If the native spelling of an artist's name 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 Artist Name (PAN).

2.12.4. 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 of Discogs.

Compound Artist Names

2.13.1. When an artist 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 - do not use an ANV for these situations.

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 Artists

2.14.1. You must edit each release if one artist is being represented by two or more artist pages. Make sure your edits are correct and reflect the name that is is printed on the release, using Artist Name Variations if needed. Never swap about the suffixes, once an artist is designated a numerical suffix, the artist must remain with that suffix. The suffix has no relation to popularity or historical order. If in doubt, ask in the forum database topic.

2.14.2. Only duplicate artists should be merged. Make sure you explain in the Submission Notes what you are trying to achieve.

2.14.3. If your edits are going to remove all entries from an artist page, please make sure to update that page to remove all 'in groups', 'aliases', the profile, real name, and the links before editing the last release. Please make sure to transfer any relevant information over to the remaining profile.

Renaming Artists

2.15.1. You must edit each release to rename an artist. Make sure your edits are correct and reflect what is printed on the release, using Artist Name Variations if needed. Never swap about the suffixes, once an artist is designated a numerical suffix, the artist must remain with that suffix. The suffix has no relation to popularity or historical order. If in doubt, ask in the forum database topic.

2.15.2. If your edits are going to remove all entries from an artist page, please make sure to update that page to remove all 'in groups', 'aliases', the profile, real name, and the links before editing the last release. Please make sure to transfer any relevant information over to the remaining profile.

Artist Page Sorting

Sections

  • Releases
  • Tracks Appear On
  • Unofficial Releases
  • Credits

Sub-Sections

Releases are sorted in the the sub-sections by looking to see if the release fits into a sub-section, working from the top to the bottom of a list. Note that the order of the list is not the same as the final order as displayed on the artist page - for example, the artist page list start of with albums, whereas we look at whether the release fits into the videos section first when we are deciding which sub-section to sort it into.

Master Releases

On the Artist Pages, we extract a format summary for every MR (this is currently hidden). This format summary is extracted from all the contained releases. We use this summary to place the entire MR in the correct subsection.

For Releases and Unofficial Releases

  • Videos - For releases where every format/description line (apart from lines starting Box Set or All Media) contains one or more of the following tags: format names; DVD, DVDr, HD DVD, HD DVDr, Blu-ray, Blu-ray-R, CDV, Betamax, VHS, Video 2000, Laserdisc, SelectaVision. Format descriptions; Video, VCD, SVCD, DVD-Vid. Must NOT contain format descriptions DVD-Audio, DVD-Data, Audio.

  • DJ Mixes - Tagged as Mixed AND main artist has DJ Mix credit

  • Compilations - Tagged as Compilation, all releases in a MR must be tagged as 'Compilation'

  • Albums;

    • Tagged with Album or Mini-album
    • Items tagged with LP but not with Single, Maxi-Single, or EP
    • IF format = (all analog formts) AND (number_tracks >= 7 AND total_tracktime if available >= 30 minutes), OR (total_tracktime >= 30 minutes), AND format does not include EP, Maxi-Single, or Single.
    • IF format = (all digital formats) (number_tracks >= 8 AND total_tracktime if available >= 44 minutes), OR (total_tracktime >= 44 minutes), AND format does not include EP, Maxi-Single, or Single.
  • Singles & EPs - Tagged with Single, Maxi-Single, EP, 12", 7", 10", Mini, Minimax

  • Miscellaneous - For everything else.

For Tracks Appear On

  • Videos - For releases where every format/description line (apart from lines starting Box Set or All Media) contains one or more of the following tags: format names; DVD, DVDr, HD DVD, HD DVDr, Blu-ray, Blu-ray-R, CDV, Betamax, VHS, Video 2000, Laserdisc, SelectaVision. Format descriptions; Video, VCD, SVCD, DVD-Vid. Must NOT contain format descriptions DVD-Audio, DVD-Data, Audio.

  • Mixes - Tagged as Mixed.

  • Compilations - Tagged as Compilation, all releases in a MR must be tagged as 'Compilation'

  • Albums;

    • Tagged with Album or Mini-album
    • Items tagged with LP but not with Single, Maxi-Single, or EP
    • IF format = (all analog formts) AND (number_tracks >= 7 AND total_tracktime if available >= 30 minutes), OR (total_tracktime >= 30 minutes), AND format does not include EP, Maxi-Single, or Single.
    • IF format = (all digital formats) (number_tracks >= 8 AND total_tracktime if available >= 44 minutes), OR (total_tracktime >= 44 minutes), AND format does not include EP, Maxi-Single, or Single.
  • Singles & EPs - Tagged with Single, Maxi-Single, EP, 12", 7", 10", Mini, Minimax

  • Miscellaneous - For everything else.

For Credits

The sub-sections are taken from the headings as listed at the credits list

  • Remix
  • Vocal
  • Instruments & Performance
  • Writing and Arrangement
  • Featuring & Presenting
  • Conducting & Leading
  • Production
  • DJ Mix
  • Technical
  • Visual
  • Acting, Literary & Spoken
  • Management

Analog and Digital Formats

For the album section, we use the following lists:

Analog Formats

  • Vinyl
  • Acetate
  • Flexi-disc
  • Lathe Cut
  • Shellac
  • Edison Disc
  • Cylinder
  • 8-Track Cartridge
  • Cassette
  • Microcassette
  • Reel-To-Reel

Digital / Video Formats

  • CD
  • CDr
  • CDV
  • DVD
  • DVDr
  • HD DVD
  • HD DVD-R
  • Blu-ray
  • Blu-ray-R
  • Betamax
  • VHS
  • Video 2000
  • Laserdisc
  • SelectaVision
  • Minidisc
  • MVD
  • UMD
  • Datassette
  • Floppy Disk
  • File
  • Memory Stick
  • Hybrid
  • All Media
  • Box Set
  • DAT
  • DCC