A note on names

Writing about the catalog in these pages, I noted that one issue moving forward is how the controlled approaches that we use in catalog data (e.g. for subjects and personal names) might play with approaches in other areas. An obvious example arises if you want to mix catalog data and article data. There will be issues bringing author names together. We are likely to see a variety of approaches which try to associate different forms of a name, or ascertain whether identical names refer to the same person.

I have also spoken aboutt Community of Science in this context:

I remember looking at this a couple of years ago. My interest was quite narrow. COS claims to have details of 500,000 researchers across 1,600 institutions. At the time we were having discussions with Dspace folks at MIT about Thom's name authority web service. One issue was that many people depositing materials in an institutional repository would not be represented in library name authority files, becaues they had not produced books or orther materials which had been catalogued. Will these files need to extend what they include to remain valuable? In any case, it seemed to me that if you wanted to move upstream with the authority control process Community of Science would be a good place to experiment - given the number of registered and profiled researchers it has. [Lorcan Dempsey's weblog: Research support: COS and CSA]

In this context, a couple of interesting things:

  • STLQ reports the Scopus Author Identifier, an initiative aiming to bring together various names for the same person, and distinguish between people with similar names. Unfortunately, the resources listed seem to be restricted to authorized users, of which group I am not one.
  • Thom reports on some recent work we have been doing to match names, in the context of our simple name lookup web service.

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