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Author disambiguation

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For help, advice, talk and arguments about linking or splitting author names, go to the Combiners! group.

General Principles

Terminology

Strictly speaking, "author combining" and "author separating" are misnomers: the tools and techniques are applied to gather together groups of books associated with author name-strings that apply to the same person or entity, so that the books associated with those name-strings can be subject to book combination to form the works associated with an individual author. "Author disambiguation" is perhaps the simplest description.

Aliasing

Aliasing is a method for aggregating groups of works held under differing author names which refer to the same person. For example, if an author has works listed under both Jane Smith (2) and Jane Quincy Smith, but you can't combine these names since the former is used by multiple people, you can use aliasing to "connect" the pages of Jane Smith (2) and Jane Quincy Smith. All her works will then appear on the aliased-to page. (It may be tempting to use the "Other Authors" features to change the JS works to JQS, but there are several reasons not to.)

This feature can be found on an author's split author page by clicking on "edit the division" in the right hand column, and choosing "Alias divisions to other authors" instead of the default "Assign works to authors".

You will see a field for each identified author: "Joe Bloggs (1)", "Joe Bloggs (2)" etc. For convenience the top work for each of those authors is also stated. Fill in the field with the author name-string - excluding any division identifier, so smithjohn not smithjohn-1 - found in the address of the aliased-to page. (If the work(s) that you are redirecting to the new home don't auto-combine, or don't associate to the correct author when the target is disambiguated, you will need to perform further cleansing.)

Book combination

Book combining is unchanged, but is now accessed from the Improve this author box, by clicking the author name under Combine/separate works. On disambiguated author pages, you get the choice to combine works split to that particular author, or for all uses of the author name.

Research and splitting

With great combining tools comes great responsibility for checking your work. Please research and complete the disambiguation field when splitting authors.

Common Knowledge

Page layout

Facilities to manipulate the works and names that constitute the contents of an 'author' are accessed in a box to the right of the page with the heading Improve this author. This can be jumped to using the 'organize' link in the header bar of the Works by ... section.

Single author

At the head of the page - introduced by 'Also includes:', when present - you can now also see a list of the names that have been aliased into this page, below the list of names that have been combined in.

In the Improve this author section:

  • work combination/separation is accessed by clicking the author name link below Combine/separate works
  • Author division
  • Includes
  • Combine with ...
  • Recalculate

Disambiguation page

At the head of the page - introduced by 'Also includes:', when present - you can now also see a list of the names that have been aliased into this page, below the list of names that have been combined in.

In the Improve this author section:

  • work combination/separation is accessed by clicking the author name link below Combine/separate works
  • Author division
  • Includes
  • Combine with ...
  • Recalculate

Disambiguated author

Note: Aliasing only works into the primary name, and so the list of the names that have been aliased into the author are not displayed under the disambiguated author name.

In the Improve this author section:

  • work combination/separation is accessed by clicking the author name link below Combine/separate works
  • Author division
  • Includes
  • Combine with ...
  • Recalculate

Splitting an author name

Assign works to authors

Aliasing an author name

Alias divisions to other authors

Other functions

Never

Recalculate author name

Edge cases

Works with no author name

Combining works with multiple different authors

There is a real problem with splitting out corporate bodys that change their names. They can be spilt in the author disambugation section but they will not change in the author tags on private profiles. There are problems with headings like Presbyterian Church of. This can be real problems for people cataloguing church libraries

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