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FAQ: Contributions

4.3 - What are acceptable sources?

Acceptable sources are those considered "official" - that is, authoritative because of their proximity to the people to whom the information pertains. These include the band's or label's websites, Facebook profiles, Bandcamp pages, and any other social media or online platforms directly administrated by the band members, the record label, or someone similar. Liner notes and other physical elements of a release may be as authoritative as it gets, but we need to be able to verify your edits remotely, so unless you feel like uploading a scan of your album cover so that we can double-check your accuracy, just try to find an online source that is reasonably definitive; Discogs is acceptable as a reliable source and can be used to stand in for these physical sources.

Wikipedia, the Metal Archives, AllMusic, RateYourMusic, Metal Kingdom, Spirit of Metal, and other similar websites are NOT acceptable sources. They are unofficial, third-party compilers of information, and their own standards for sourcing will differ from ours. While these sites can be useful as a starting place if information is not readily available elsewhere, they should not be taken at their word and any information found therein should be verified through the use of an official source. In short, these websites should never be the source you cite when making an edit.

Streaming services occupy a tenuous position between "official" and "unofficial"; be very wary when resorting to Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. as references. These days, streaming platforms are frequently the only places to find information about digital-only releases, which means that sometimes we have no choice but to accept them, but quite often they list incorrect release dates or track orders, and they won't often contain everything that would be useful or necessary to know about an album. You may use a streaming service as a source to add a new release if you cannot find the release referenced through more official means, but please do not use them as sources to edit existing releases; we've had many users attempt to change a correct release year or track listing because Spotify featured a recent remaster with different information or YouTube just put the songs in a different order.

In general, cross-check your data. If a name or date seems wrong, it very well could be; different platforms tend to be unreliable about different things, and even musicians themselves can be cagey or forgetful or simply misleading about certain information. In the end, we just want to be as accurate as we possibly can be.