|Synonyms:||Ep guide, series index|
|See also:||reference book, concordance, credit zine|
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An episode guide is a document that contains a list of the episodes of a given tv show. Guides usually contain some or all of the following: episode titles, original airdates, production order (where this differs from airdates), and episode descriptions. Many also include cast lists, screencaps, or commentary about the episodes, and may include or link to transcripts of episodes.
Currently, the term 'episode guide' is often associated with web pages, but in the past, it was common for guides to be plaintext documents circulated through e-mail or posted to usenet. Some episode guide zines also exist.
The prevalence of reruns, DVDs, and episodes available online (either through legitimate streaming services or through piracy) and the tendency for sites like Wikipedia and the IMDB to have extensive episode lists has rendered the purely fan-produced episode guide less important to fans. In the past, however, these were often the only source of information about tv shows once they went off the air, and this remains the case for many older series that have yet to be put in syndication or released on DVD.
Also in fandoms with more complicated and spread out canon, such as certain comics, similar indices are very important to even track down all the source material. Some of the largest collaborative fan efforts of Donaldism has been to compile complete indices of Carl Barks' work and of some other Disney artists whose work was often originally uncredited in the publications and most reprints. These indices have been published in zines since the late 1960s, more recently on CD, and now also in wikis.