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Policies & Practices > When to merge author records, and when not?

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message 1: by Keith (new)

Keith (kgf0) | 315 comments (Partial comment move from "Goodreads Author profiles needing merging BY GR STAFF pt. 9" per rivka's request; partially also rewritted and expanded)

rivka wrote: "Re 375: They are all the same author, but we don't merge distinctly different author names.

What then should I do with Tibetan authors who are mostly known only by one common (often ceremonial) name, but a use slew of obscure names assigned to different texts? I had been combining those to the common, canonical record. For example:

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892): (Tib. འཇམ་དབྱངས་མཁྱེན་བརྩེའི་དབང་པོ), Pema Ösal Do-ngak Lingpa, (also: Dorje Zijitsal; Jigme Khyentse Nyugu; Kunga Tenpai Gyeltsen Pelzangpo; Osel Dorje Tukchoktsal; Osel Tulpai Dorje; Tsangse Gyepai Loden; Tsokye Lama Gyepaibang; Tsuglamawai Nyima Tsokye Shonnui Langtso).

Can I get away with ignoring this rule in this special corner case since it has little to do with publisher databases and is largely of interest only to specialists?

If not, what is the current best practice for cross-linking multiple profiles for the same author? I've seen a few cases where a pseudonym is mentioned in the real-name profile and vice-versa, sometime with both names included in the book record—as with Lauren Kelly and Joyce Carol Oates—but this would seem to be a non-starter in the Tibetan cases where it is relatively common for a single author to have upwards of six names used in print but only one name commonly known in the West.

If anyone wants to see how far this issue extends, I've been trying to compile a sort of master record here, though it remains (probably forever) woefully incomplete:

Closely related issue: we don't include honorific titles in author names, but many Tibetan teachers publish and are best know as "Rinpoche," which means "Precious [one]," for example Dudjom Rinpoche, Gelek Rimpoche, and perhaps most famously Sogyal Rinpoche. Since these are the names used by their publishers on their book covers, it is acceptable (and perhaps preferred) to retain this format in these cases, correct?

message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43570 comments Mod
I would treat the case you described like any author with many pen-names.
In some cases, a book may be originally published under a pen name, but then later reissued under the author's original name. When this happens, the author listed for any and all editions should be the author name the book was originally published under - so the reissued edition would need its primary author name changed to the originally published pen name, with the additional name added as secondary for all editions with it on the cover. Doing this will allow the various editions to be combined.

I would also add links to all pen-names to the author profile you consider canonical.

And a reminder: please do not merge author names in different languages.
Authors with books published in multiple languages should have their names dealt with similarly to those with pen names. All editions should have the primary author name as the standard or most common Roman (that is, English-language) version of the author's name. Editions published under another spelling of the name or the name in another language should have that name listed as the secondary author. Different editions of a book not having the same primary author can cause quite a few distinct problems. Please keep the primary author for all editions of a work the same.

message 3: by Keith (new)

Keith (kgf0) | 315 comments A couple of related questions, to see if I've got this down correctly now, having re-reviewed the Manual:

Charles Wentworth Upham
Charles W. Upham
Charles Upham

These appear all to be variants of the same author. As he is long dead and his work now PD, his Salem Witchcraft has been published and republished under all three variants of his name. WorldCat and LoC seem generally to list him in the fully disambiguated form ("Wentworth"); however, AFAICT he originally published this work in 1867 as "Charles Upham", and as yet no import or record of this book has been attached to that profile.

So, first question, which may moot the rest, is: should these three records simply be merged together, since they are more properly variants of one name rather than proper pen-names or translations? If so, is it more correct to resolve on Charles Wentworth Upham, or Charles Upham? (To be safe, I added bio data to both so I don't have to repeat the research if one disappears.)

If not, then I must note that I am having difficulty saving the few attempts I have made to set the primary author as Charles Wentworth Upham, and the secondary as Charles W. Upham for one that had the latter name on the cover. When I saved the record, the secondary disappeared. I'm presuming that means "don't do that," but there is a small chance that could just be a bug.

Thanks, rivka (or whoever else answers).

message 4: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43570 comments Mod
Most of the covers I am seeing all have either middle initial or no middle name at all. I'm not actually seeing many covers with his full name, except for a very few exceptions.

Merging all three is definitely fine; as you say, this is not a pen-name or a name change. I would personally vote for making the name be Charles W. Upham (after the merge, of course, to avoid losing the bio and such), as that is on quite a lot of covers and includes the shorter version. But I think an argument could be made for the full name as well.

As far as how to add two similar authors, you have to use a workaround. But I don't think that should be necessary in this case.

message 5: by Keith (last edited Sep 08, 2014 08:17PM) (new)

Keith (kgf0) | 315 comments One more that's confusing me a little bit:

Jules Levinson and Jules B. Levinson are clearly the same guy, but each of the two books I've found so far uses a different orthography. If I merge, which should I keep, or if I should not merge, do I add both names to both books, or...? (Since he's mostly a translator, I expect I'll find him as a secondary author on more books later.) This author page elsewhere uses both name forms.

Thanks again, rivka (etc.)

message 6: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43570 comments Mod
Does he use the two versions of the name in any pattern? For example, is one used for non-fiction and one for fiction? If not, then it would be fine to merge them. Into the more complete version of the name -- in this case, with the middle initial.

message 7: by Keith (new)

Keith (kgf0) | 315 comments Hard to say with only two data points so far, but if there's a pattern distinguishable from that, it looks like with the initial for contemporary translation (i.e., living authors), and without the initial for classical translation (i.e., long-dead authors).

message 8: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43570 comments Mod
His CV (easily found online) lists the middle initial and makes no distinctions among his various translation work.

message 9: by Keith (new)

Keith (kgf0) | 315 comments OK, so I'll push toward the initial. Thanks.

message 10: by S.E. (new)

S.E. Lund (selund) | 3 comments Hello: When I started my Goodreads profile, I neglected to put a space between the S. and E. of my name. Unfortunately some fans added several of my books using the name with a space between the S. and E. so there is a separate author S. E. Lund and the profile I created, S.E. Lund. Is it possible to have them amalgamated so that all my books appear under one name? I have edited my name to S. E. Lund on my profile but most of my books are still under S.E. Lund. Thanks for your help!

S. E. Lund

message 11: by Moloch (last edited Sep 19, 2014 01:29PM) (new)

Moloch | 3049 comments The correct form should be the one you have now (with NO space between S. and E.): but it is indeed possible to merge the 2 profiles and have all your books together, I have put a request on the proper thread here, and the staff will do ASAP:

message 12: by S.E. (new)

S.E. Lund (selund) | 3 comments Moloch wrote: "The correct form should be the one you have now (with NO space between S. and E.): but it is indeed possible to merge the 2 profiles and have all your books together, I have put a request on the pr..."


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