Contributors' Charter

IMDb's mission is to be the world's most trusted and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content and to make that content available to the widest audience possible.

IMDb is always growing, changing, evolving, as it has done throughout every year of its existence. As the amount of data contributed increases, the number of visitors to the site and levels of engagement with IMDb continue to grow. The more people vote, add movies and other titles to lists and comment on the site, the higher the chance that they will become data contributors. IMDb is the #1 movie website in the world. In fact, your contributions are being consumed by more than 110 million monthly unique users of IMDb world-wide. IMDb users rely on the data you submit to help them make informed choices about what to see, to discover titles they might not have otherwise found, and to enrich their viewing experiences by providing fascinating extra information and context.

This charter is intended to explain the role of contributors, the role of the contributors help board and how IMDb values and supports the contributor community.

The Role of Contributors

IMDb relies on and welcomes all contributors - new and experienced alike.

The role of contributors in the continued success and growth of IMDb is vital and greatly appreciated. The sheer volume of data contributed is simply incredible, as can be seen on the Statistics page. It is the depth, quality and variety of this data that attracts both contributors and users and keeps them coming back. Quite simply, without you IMDb would not exist.

We rely on the credits as they appear in movies and TV episodes to be the final arbiter of credit based data on the site. Most contributors take great pains to ensure the accuracy of their submitted data. Data submitted with comments, explanations and links to sources will be verified and published faster.

IMDb tracks each contributor’s accuracy over time such that if any individual contributor repeatedly submits data which is inaccurate, plagiarized or violates our policies, their submissions will require increasing levels of additional proof in order to be processed.

We have room for titles and data of all types; however, we don’t expect all contributors to appreciate all data sections and titles covered by IMDb. If you do not approve of a class of title or class of data then our advice is simply to ignore it.

The Contributors Help Board

The Contributors Help Board is intended to help serve and support our community. There is a wealth of knowledge amongst our contributors, both in terms of the data expertise and IMDb processes for submitting data. This forum should encourage, welcome and help all contributors, whether they are new or experienced.

The board is a forum where users can come to get answers to contribution issues they are facing. In most instances other contributors are able to answer your questions. Where this is not the case, IMDb staff are available to help. This board is proactively managed by data managers so that we respond to issues that the wider community has been unable to resolve.

When posting on the board, we ask that you are respectful to other contributors and IMDb staff. Please do not use it to criticize others or engage in negative debates that will discourage other users from realising just what a valuable resource this board is. This does not mean we do not take or expect criticism; we welcome constructive criticism based on facts that will help us to continue to improve all aspects of IMDb. We do not claim to be perfect or to have all the answers. We may not always be able to address your exact complaint immediately, but we care and we listen. We share your frustration when bugs appear that take longer to fix than any of us would like.

For general terms and conditions, please see Terms and Conditions. Where urgent attention is needed, please send your query through the Help Desk.

Our Commitment to You

IMDb staff are respectful of submitters and their submissions. We cannot emphasize enough how much we appreciate your dedication to the world of movies, TV and to IMDb itself, and your willingness to share this dedication. The data managers who process your data all feel very privileged to work here, having been contributors themselves before joining the staff.

The primary goal of the data management team is the timely and accurate processing of submitted data so that we can get it to site as quickly as possible. We do apply a priority to different types of data, with different service level agreements (SLAs). These SLAs are based on the page types most frequently visited by users, rather than any individual preferences. These can be reviewed on the Processing Times page. This page is updated weekly so that we can let contributors know about any delays and backlogs.

We always notify submitters if a new title submission is rejected or held pending further information to help us validate it. Ideally we would like to provide feedback on each and every submission. Although this is not currently possible, we hope to be able to do so in future. We will always endeavor to respond to issues raised by our contributors and users and strive to improve contribution experience. We always want to make it easier to submit data and to get approved data to the site as rapidly as possible. We will engage with our submitters to provide an atmosphere that is equally welcoming, positive and accessible and that encourages participation from both new and experienced submitters.

We are proud of where IMDb is today and hope you share in this pride. We realize that our policies can always be improved and we strive to do so on an on-going basis. The question we challenge ourselves with every day is “are we moving forward and getting better?” Inevitably there will be times when this is not as apparent as it should be and there will even be times we actually slip back a step, hopefully only a temporary situation. Above all, we ask that you would bear with us and trust us, remembering the primary purpose outlined above, which we hope you share with us.

In the past year we have grown both the data management and software development teams that are responsible for supporting the database content. This team is now bigger and more seasoned than at any time in IMDb’s 21-year history. In May 2012, the software development team completed a major upgrade of the new title processing tools. IMDb is a title based database and this is the key place to start. As a result of this work we will be able to deliver a much better service to all contributors. Even if you do not submit new titles, the resulting efficiency and accuracy improvements there mean that the team have more time available to process other types of data which you may be contributing.

The IMDb Data Team

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