Some of our Michael Flynns are missing
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Not sure whether this is a bug or a combination issue, but here goes.
The author disambiguation page: http://www.librarything.com/author/flynnmichael lists only Flynns (2) and (unknown).
The disambiguation notice lists 5 + unknown.
I have books (e.g. Eifelheim) by Flynn (1).
And I've just realised that he appears as Michael F. Flynn, which is all very well, but when I click the author link on any of his books, I'm taken to the Michael Flynn disambig page (as an aside, I've never seen him credited on a book cover with the middle initial, but perhaps that's by the by).
So, what gives?
Flynn (1) does sort of exist thusly, with no works, but I had to mung the URL: http://www.librarything.com/author/flynnmichael-1
Should/can Flynn (1) be combined with Michael F. Flynn? Or something?
Is the disambiguation page supposed to look like that (can't be bothered looking into no.s 3-5 right now)?
Thanks for any shedding of light - it's been a long day and I'm feeling a bit dim...
#1 My guess is the wrongly attibuted authors' books finally migrated to the correct page. Michael Flynn that wrote Eifelheim is listed at LC as:
Flynn, Michael (Michael F.)
so it is possible that he wrote some items with the middle initial. Someone may have decided to use the Michael F. and used the change author feature to do so. I would have left on the Michael Flynn page.
To fix the diambiguation notice takes manual intervention. I can work on this later tonight if no one else steps forward before that time.
Also you may want to post these kind of things in the Combiners group. Someone there is always ready to help.
Also closing as this is not a bug.
Since the original splitting of Michael Flynn, some of the books have been aliased to their correct author and then combined with the same work on that author page. When this is done and the split author no longer has a work on the split page, s/he eventually disappears from the split author page.
MF #1 still had two works listed as unknown - I have just aliased them to Michael F. Flynn. One of these cannot be combined with any work on the Michael F. Flynn page (at least, not without an inordinate amount of fiddling around) so MF #1 is again present on the split author page.
As fdholt says, the disambiguation notice is part of the split page and needs editing there to remove it. In fact, I think it is quite helpful to leave it, as it makes it easier to deal with further Michael Flynn books that may appear in the 'unknown' category.
#3 Thanks for working on this. I finished before seeing your reply. I usually do not leave dangling names as it just confuses the issue, especially for trivial names like John Jones where there may be 40 or so split authors. And there are many, many Michael Flynn's listed in the LC authority file so more will pop up.
If your book doesn't show up on the page for the author you have picked, go back to figure out which author the work has ended up on. You can find this:
in the bottom line in the box on the main page
on the work details page
under Work: Title and author in your catalogue (which is why I have that in the view I usually use.)
BTW I think these have been changed using other author. I wonder if a few of them ought to be changed back. Look at the editions page for Eifelheim. The first 4 editions adding up to over 500 copies all use Michael Flynn. That's a lot of people to confuse when the aliasing connnects things without causing this confusion.
>5 I agree about (mis)use of 'other author' editing. As a rule I'd rather see books listed under the author name on the cover and put up with split author pages. Do you know if is it possible to view the history of edits to 'other author'?
You can see the last seven days worth of edits on the Helpers log. There is no CK style history of author edits attached to the work.
What happened to Michael Flynn #1 who was Michael F. Flynn? Yesterday he was there and today, not!
Collectorator edited the primary author of In the The Lion's Mouth so the work is on Michael F. Flynn's page (Thanks, eromsted!)
#9 I'm not going to fix the disambiguation notice for Flynn as his books just might get back to the "without initial" page and we won't have to reinvent the statement.
I am going to second your "phooey."
Thanks for the help everyone, though I'm not really happy with where this leaves it. I.e., I still can't click the author name in my books page and get to the chap I'm after (though thanks MarthaJeanne for pointing out how to get to him round the houses).
AFAIK Michael Flynn (1) is in no sense at all Michael F. Flynn, other than having a middle name that starts with "F", if you see what I mean, so I'm rather baffled by the "other author" business - has someone really gone though all of his works and set this? Would it be wrong to set them all back again, i.e. is there a danger of an edit war?
>11 Would it be wrong to set them all back again?
In my opinion, no.
is there a danger of an edit war?
I wouldn't be at all surprised ;-(
Hrm. It should be the case (I think, and hope) that mart1n's author links in his catalog re-route to http://www.librarything.com/author/flynnmichaelf since that's the author listed as the primary author for the books in his catalog. I want to talk to Tim and see why it's not working this way. It may be the case that it hasn't worked right ever since we introduced the whole "other authors" feature ...
In the meantime, I'm going to be looking around for some other examples where this is happening - if anyone finds one, please send it to me.
Thanks for looking into this Jeremy.
This doesn't seem to be what happens in general. E.g. links for Robert Reed in my catalogue take to me the specific and correct page for that author (i.e. not even the disambiguation page for that name).
If it seems that someone's used other authors to make these links wrong (and you can "officially" confirm that this is wrong), then I'll change them back at some point.
>14 - well, it should (I think) be the case that the author name routes correctly to whatever the primary author has been set to. That's what happens with aliases, for example. But, more soon.
Okay, I've just had a chance to chat with Tim about this. Basically the catalog entries are working as intended (they're linking to the author page as you have it in your catalog).
More generally, see http://www.librarything.com/topic/134109#3418116 for a (new) basic principle on the use of the "primary author" feature. As I note there, we had not laid down this general guideline until now, so previously-made edits and use of the primary author feature weren't wrong in any way. Going forward, though, we think it makes more sense to use aliasing when it works to do so.
#11 Unfortunately, the only way for LC to designate this author is to put a qualifier in his string in MARC:
$a Flynn, Michael $q (Michael F.)
Whether the author ever uses the Michael F. isn't the point for LC - separating this Michael Flynn from the multitudes of other Michael Flynns is.
This being said, I would have rather left the Michael Flynn #1's where they belonged and aliased to Michael F. Flynn just in case he wrote a book or two under that name.
I think, if you look at the editions page for most of the Michael F. Flynn's, you will find that they are entered as Michael Flynn and they probably should be returned to that form of name. Recalculating won't work (I think) since the name has been set in the "other authors" feature.
And #12, yes, this probably would end up being an edit war.
#16 Thanks for the official word on setting primary author.
Edited for typos and clarity
And a question: I combined the works for this title and added that the "authors" were in fact editors. This has been removed. Why?
Because the editing war has already started? Seriously though - clueless.
I will occasionally use the feature for combining. For example just today I found a Dutch edition of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" attributed to Hector Malot. Am I messing things up by using it this way?
>21 - You mean the "primary author" feature? No, the example you describe is an excellent example of when it's fine to use that.
This thread points to something about aliasing that doesn't work very well. Basically, when you alias author A to author B, all the works on author A's page will also show up on author B's page, but not vice versa. So, the author A page contains only works where the A version of the name is the winning author, while the author B contains all the works where B wins out plus the ones where A wins out. Since so much is random about which version of an author's name wins out on a particular work, wouldn't it make sense for aliasing to make *all* the works show up in both places? I think this would solve a lot of the "why isn't my book on the author page"/"why does this author have no works" problems.
I think, though I'm not 100% sure, that when aliasing was 1st introduced, all the books showed up on both pages. At any rate, this is something that's been an issue for a while, and I think I brought it up once before to Tim, though probably in a different context.
ETA: yes, here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/126077#3020250
It is often the case that the more ambiguous versions of an author's name is also the more commonly used version. My desired result is to see the list of all of the author's works on a page headed by the name by which the author is most commonly known.
I don't know if it's technically feasible, but here's my idea. When Author A (1) is aliased to Author B I would like to see the automated calculation of the name for Author B's page include the aliased works as well as the works directly on the page. That way the calculated author name would be the most common name on all of the author's works.
This will may result in Author A and Author B having the same name. To avoid confusion I would like one of three things: a block on combining two authors if one has been divided and aliased into the other; the option to truly prevent the combination of two authors; or at least a disambiguation warning on author combination similar to the one for work combination.
It would be good to have, if not a block, then some obstacles put in the way of combining any split page with any other page. "Are you sure you want to do this? Page X contains more than one author. Pages with more than one author shouldn't be combined with a page that refers only to a single author."
That way the calculated author name would be the most common name on all of the author's works.
But the most common or winning name based on copies may not necessarily be the conventional name: think about authors with multiple pseudonyms, for instance, or cases where LT members happen to have more books cataloged under a certain version of the author's name, which isn't the one by which s/he is commonly known.
Doesn't the canonical name already give us a (neater/easier) way to have the books on a page with the most commonly known name of the author? We can even set the CN on both the A(1) page and on the B page to reflect the most common name, if need be.
We can even set the CN on both the A(1) page and on the B page to reflect the most common name, if need be.
I don't like setting the canonical name on a split and aliased author page. For example, if Michael Flynn (1) had the canonical name set to "Michael F. Flynn" before aliasing, you'd end up with Michael F. Flynn's page saying that Michael F. Flynn "Also includes: Michael F. Flynn (1)" which doesn't really tell you anything. I'd much rather see "Also includes: Michael Flynn (1)" and on Michael Flynn's page "Michael Flynn (1) has been aliased into Michael F. Flynn.". You don't need the Canonical Name on MF(1) to tell you who he is.
Also, in a sense it's more correct to leave MF(1) as just "Michael Flynn" -- that's what it says on the books, and that's why they're on that page instead of the Michael F. Flynn page.
#6: The "author name on the cover" does not necessarily exist; depending on which era, you can find the same book written by "Paul French" and "Isaac Asimov", by "J. D. Robb" and "Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb", and for Russian and other non-Latin-script authors, any number of transliterations.
True,though I would go for title page instead of cover. But anyway, the problem would remain much the same - I think. If we are talking about anthologies and such, books/works get attributed all over the place.
>31 You are splitting hairs, I fear. Very few of the books on my shelves do not have an author name on the cover (or title page pace BarkingMatt) which has, at the very least, been accepted, if not approved, by the author. In the real world, you do not find books by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse or John Graham Ballard, no matter how accurate those names may be.
Of course you can find books where the author or publisher, for whatever reason, has put out a book under a variety of names. This does complicate the issue, but does not change my view that books are ideally catalogued under the name the author actually uses rather than something off his or her birth certificate.
#33: In the real world, of course, you find books by П.Г.Вудхауз (aka P. G. Wodehouse) all the time. Any author notable enough to be translated is going to have their name written in various scripts, and they're going to be lucky to have a consistent transliteration. Also in the real world, we have Joanne Rowling whose books in Germany are labeled Joanne K. Rowling (because that's her name) and whose books in English are labeled J. K. Rowling (because women can't write boys' books, or apparently so she was told).
This does complicate the issue, but does not change my view that books are ideally catalogued under the name the author actually uses rather than something off his or her birth certificate.
Again, that only works so long as you don't read Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean or Arabic works. Muammar Qaddafi is known to have written his last name in the Latin script as El-Gadhafi and put Al-Gathafi on his passport. Even modulo the Al- issue, neither one is what LT or LoC or the British press or many other people use.
And in many cases, that's not an issue. People aren't discussing calling Nora Roberts Eleanor Marie Robertson Aufdem-Brinke Wilder, they're talking about calling her Nora Roberts consistently. If another Sean Reynolds pops up, it would be simplest to move the old books to Sean K Reynolds, since that is the name he uses on most of his books.
I would prefer to alias them, rather than move them, so that those who only remember and/or have catalogued them Sean Reynolds can find them.
Yes, I have sometimes changed my author to match where the book ended up, but when the majority of those owning the book have catalogued it based on the way it is shown on the book, our present tools allow us to have both author forms recognized.
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