- 2.1.1. Adding Artists
- 2.2.1. Artist Fields
- 2.3.1. Special Artists
- 2.4.1. Artist Naming Conventions
- 2.5.1. Artist Name Variation (ANV)
- 2.6.1. The Join Field and Artist Collaboration
- 2.7.1. Special Artist Credits
- 2.8.1. Eponymous Artists
- 2.9.1. Crediting Unnamed Groups
- 2.10.1. Crediting Non-Specific Groups
- 2.11.1. Solo Artist Plus A Generic Band Of Musicians
- 2.13.1. Compound Artist Names
- 2.14.1. Merging Artists
- 2.15.1. Renaming Artists
- Artist Page Sorting
2.1.1. On Discogs, the credits entered in the Artist and Credits fields (on the submission form) are assigned to Artist Profiles. The name used on the artist profile is the “Primary Artist Name” or PAN (the root name without any variation). It is important to 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, any new artist will have a page created listing the release. It helps to fill out a new artist profile with the basic details of the artist straight away (for example, "Saxophone player from New York.").
2.1.2. The Primary Artist Name (PAN) for stage names should be the most relevant version of the artist's name. Preference should be given to the accuracy of the database, with consideration to how the majority of releases indicate the name, or which primary name would accommodate the most variations.
2.1.3. The Primary Artist Name (PAN) for artists without stage names should be the name as presented on the majority of releases. However, when consistently credited with initials, symbols, or a mononym, the full complete name should be the PAN if reliable sources are provided.
2.1.4. An artist's Primary Artist Name (PAN) should be the Latin transliteration of their name if a Latin transliteration exists and is used on the majority of their releases.
2.1.5. When an artist is billed as [Artist Name] of [Band] only the artist name is credited. The band may be mentioned in the Release Notes.
2.1.6. An Artist Name Variation (ANV) is the way the PAN is presented on the release itself. (see RSG §2.5.1)
2.1.7. A single individual, group, or other entity can have multiple names (PANS) which are not related to each other. These can be linked as Aliases (see RSG §18.4.1). Aliases are created when an artist is credited with different names that do not reference each other (stage name, surname or the mononym if that is the name by which the artist is known). If in doubt; please ask in the forum as there may be “edge” cases.
Richard Starkey = Ringo Starr
Dr. Winston O'Boogie = John Lennon
U2 = The Dalton Brothers
Davey Dream = David Robert Jones = The Actor (2) = The Rebels (12) = Ziggy (32) = David Bowie
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.
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.
The 'Add ANV' button is for the Artist Name Variation function, which is explained further down this page.
2.2.3. There is no limit to the number of artists that can be listed as 'Main Artist', but the release itself must show the intention that the artists are to be taken as the main artists on the release (or to list the artists in a way that doesn't allow us to differentiate). See §2.3.1 for special use cases for when no specific artist is credited on a release.
2.2.4. Artist honored on tribute releases
A. When the honored artist name is the release title or part of the release title, this artist is not a main artist, instead you may use an appropriate credit.
Examples: Sarah Vaughan – Songs Of The Beatles; Unknown Artist - The Bee Gees; Various - Bob Dylan - The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration.
B. When the honored artist name is credited on the cover separate from the title, this artist is a main artist (as well as any others using the join field).
Example: Lee Scratch Perry – Arkology
C. Releases of classical music or soundtracks where only the name of the composer is mentioned on the cover and the release has no other title are not to be treated as Tribute / Cover type releases but as eponymous / self titled albums/compilations as per §3.2.1.
Examples: Ludwig Van Beethoven - Ludwig Van Beethoven, Andrew Lloyd Webber - Andrew Lloyd Webber,John Williams (4) - John Williams
If in doubt; please ask in the forums.
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. (Please also review §2.2.3.)
Example: Various - 100% Reggae 3
Unknown Artist should be used for releases and tracks for which an artist is not credited and cannot be otherwise determined.
Example: Unknown Artist - Untitled
No Artist should be used for releases and tracks where there is no artist performing, such as radio / TV advertisements, movie samples, blank tracks, sound effects, field recordings, etc., and for which an artist is not credited and cannot be otherwise determined.
Example: No Artist - Sound Effects No. 1
Traditional should be used for traditional songs that are credited as such on the release. Remember that this should only to be used for composition type credits.
Example: Leslie Sarony - The Old Sow / On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘At
Folk should be used for folk songs that are credited as such on the release. Remember that this should only to be used for composition type credits.
Example: Comedy Harmonists* – How Can It Be / Must I Then
Anonymous should be used for artists who are credited as 'anonymous' on the release.
Example: Anonymous - Ophiolatreia
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 around 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 "Add ANV" button 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, https://www.discogs.com/artist/10263-David-Bowie is the PAN for David Bowie.
2.5.2. ANVs should be used for variations in an artist name such as different nicknames, language-based differences (translations), Initials, acronyms, abbreviations, diminutives and corruptions. An ANV must be directly related or recognizable as derived from the artist's name (stage, full, composite, surname or a mononym by which the artist is known). The existing Primary Artist Name (PAN) MUST be entered as it currently appears in the Database, with any name variation on the release added as the ANV (the ANV cannot exist on its own).
ANV: Francis Albert Sinatra = PAN: Frank Sinatra
ANV: W.S. Bruford = PAN: Bill Bruford
ANV: Antoine Domino = PAN: Fats Domino
ANV: Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde = PAN: Chad & Jeremy
ANV: Elvis = PAN: Elvis Presley
ANV: You Two = PAN: U2
2.5.3. ANVs should not be used for any intentional name change or surname change by an artist. In this case an Alias is more appropriate. If in doubt, please ask in the Forum.
2.5.4. Do not use the ANV field on unlinked credits.
2.5.5. Normal capitalization rules apply. ANV's should NOT be created for variations in capitalization.
2.5.6. If there is a case where 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 things such as viability of the names, clarity and fullness of the data, and existing names already used in the Database.
2.5.7. 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.
2.5.8. 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.
2.5.12. This list of frequently asked questions covers most use cases. Additional questions about how to use ANV's should be asked in the Database Help Forums:
Q - Is John Smith an ANV of John Smith (3) - i.e. do we add an ANV just so that the Release page displays without the suffixed number that was 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 but 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)
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 title of the release / film / show / etc. and added to the front of the group. For example, the Chorus from the musical Paint Your Wagon should be credited like this:
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.
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 Release Notes.
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 around 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.
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 around 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.
2.15.3. Swapping or changing existing PANs must be presented with solid evidence and agreed upon with a clear consensus in the Forum (on a case-by-case basis) before any updates are made. A need for corrections can include:
A. The existing PAN is assigned to multiple artists.
B. There are multiple profiles for a single artist that should be merged.
C. Artists' names were created with wrong spelling, abbreviations, typos, incomplete name, missing accents or diacritics.
Preference should be given to the accuracy of the database, with consideration to how the majority of releases indicate the name, what will be easiest for all users of Discogs, and which primary name would accommodate the most variations.
These PANs can be corrected observing the guidance of §14.1.2 regarding mass-edits.
Artist Page Sorting
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. Please make sure to review our Database Guidelines 18. Updating An Artist Profile for more information about updating the artist profile.
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 or SelectaVision. Format descriptions; Video, VCD, SVCD, DVD-Vid. Must NOT contain format descriptions DVD-Audio, DVD-Data or 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'.
- Tagged with Album or Mini-album.
- Items tagged with LP but not with Single, Maxi-Single, or EP.
- IF format = (all analog formats) 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 or 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'
- Tagged with Album or Mini-album
- Items tagged with LP but not with Single, Maxi-Single, or EP
- IF format = (all analog formats) 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 or Minimax.
Miscellaneous - For everything else.
The sub-sections are taken from the headings as listed on the credits list:
- Instruments & Performance
- Writing and Arrangement
- Featuring & Presenting
- Conducting & Leading
- DJ Mix
- Acting, Literary & Spoken
Analog and Digital Formats
For the album section, we use the following lists:
- Lathe Cut
- Edison Disc
- 8-Track Cartridge
Digital / Video Formats
- HD DVD
- HD DVD-R
- Video 2000
- Floppy Disk
- Memory Stick
- All Media
- Box Set