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Questions > Stephen Hawking vs. Stephen W. Hawking

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message 1: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 46 comments I went looking for the upcoming Stephen Hawking book - an ISBN search for it (0553805371) brings it up under Stephen Hawking, but it seems most of his books are under Stephen W. Hawking. Was there a policy decision to include his middle initial? There aren't any other authors using his name that he might get confused with and he doesn't include it in his bylines. Since he's on Amazon and B&N without the middle initial, new books are just going to keep getting imported under the non-initialed profile like the new one just was.


message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (last edited Jun 29, 2010 05:42PM) (new)

rivka | 44617 comments Mod
Many of his recent books have his middle initial.

E.g.: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44...


message 3: by Brooke (last edited Jun 29, 2010 05:55PM) (new)

Brooke | 46 comments But he didn't even authorize the publication of that book that you linked, Rivka. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Theo...)

His recentest book has his name without the initial quite clear on the cover.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/book...


message 4: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44617 comments Mod
Brooke wrote: "But he didn't even authorize the publication of that book that you linked, Rivka. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Theo...)"

Oh, bizarre. You've convinced me!

Just be careful not to lose his bio and other data when merging (merge to the W. version first, then edit).


message 5: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44617 comments Mod
There is no policy that we prefer the full name, unless that is listed on at least some of their published works, and/or it is how they are listed in LoC.

In most cases, neither is true. Don't ask how many times I've fixed L.M. Montgomery. :P


message 6: by Mr. F (new)

Mr. F | 2 comments I combined a bunch of Stephen Hawking books into the Stephen W. Hawking profile awhile back. My justifications were these:

(1) The Stephen W. Hawking bio was far more complete and the majority of his book were already listed under this profile.
(2) The LOC listing for him is "Hawking, S. W. (Stephen W.)", which seems to support using the W. initial
(3) Contrary to what Brooke says, both Amazon and B&N list books by 'Stephen Hawking' as well as 'Stephen W. Hawking'
(4) While many of his books do say just 'Stephen Hawking' on the cover, others do include the W, including early editions of 'A Brief History of Time,' http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17... arguably his most famous work.

Given all of this info I thought policy would support continued use of 'Stephen W. Hawking' over the shortened version. Any thoughts on this?


message 7: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44617 comments Mod
2-4 are excellent points. #1 just means that one should preserve the bio (as I said above) -- it's often not proof of much.

I really don't have an opinion.

We could settle this with pistols at dawn, but it's soooo messy.


message 8: by Brooke (last edited Jun 30, 2010 07:38PM) (new)

Brooke | 46 comments I'm not married to either option, the W. option just seems like it's extra and isn't what people look for when they look for his books. I realize that the search function on this site is wonky, but searching for "Stephen Hawking Grand" (without the "s) yesterday brought up lots of Stephen W. Hawking books but not the actual book I was looking for. So I clicked on his name (with the W.) in one of the search results and scrolled down the list looking for the new book, and finally after striking out there, I used the ISBN search. Maybe it wouldn't even matter if the search was better, but now I'm seeing a 2nd edition of the new book, with a different cover, and that cover, too, leaves off the W.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/84...


message 9: by Mr. F (new)

Mr. F | 2 comments I suppose I slightly prefer the 'W' option, but this is because it seems to follow precedent that if the author uses different names on his books, they should be combined into the 'more inclusive' version of the name. But in the end it doesn't really matter too much to me if we want to axe the initial.


message 10: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments Brooke wrote: "...the W. option just seems like it's extra and isn't what people look for when they look for his books."

I agree. Seeing the "W" added would make me think he's distinguishing himself from the well known Stephen Hawking.


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