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Topic: question for book edit team

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Subject: question for book edit team
Date Posted: 3/3/2010 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,090
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Is there a way to request that 2 different versions of an authors name be linked together? Somehow? Or, do you put both names in each book?

For example, "Iain Banks" and "Iain M Banks" are the same author, with different books listed under both names.

"Michelle West" and "Michelle Sagara" and "Michelle Sagara West" are also the same person.

There is a few more I can think of offhand.

What to do?

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 11:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I submit an edit with the stated reason being to index the name in one way.  But I'm not on the book edit team.

Iain M Banks and Iain M. Banks index as seperate authors.  Arghh.  There is a author clean up project.  But it has been moved from the main page to under Member Tools. 

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 914
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It usually depends on how the author is listed on the indivual book. Do all of these books show Iain Banks, Iain M. Banks or a mix of the two? A lot of times the database PBS uses sends in the different names. If the books shows Iain Banks but the title line on PBS shows Iain M. Banks you can change it to the first one or vice versa.

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 2:04 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,090
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Some of the books are printed with "Iain Banks" on the cover and some are printed with "Iain M. Banks" on the cover.

But the point is that people who click on "Iain Banks" would probably want to see all the books by that author ... not just the ones that happened to be printed on the cover without his middle initial.

Is there a way to do that? Or request that it be done somehow?

I've been submitting edits for some authors just so that the name always matches ... even if it doesn't match the cover exactly (I'm talking about the middle initial here, absense or presence of). But I don't know what the official policy is on that.

And, I would like to know if there is some "right" way to handle something like the "Michelle West", "Michelle Sagara" and "Michelle Sagara West" books, for example.

Another example ... "Gail Martin" and "Gail Z. Martin" are the same person ... she is writing a series of books where some of the series have had a cover author of "Gail Martin" and some of the other books in the same series have had a cover author of "Gail Z. Martin".

In PBS land, that is 2 separate and distinct author listings. Unless someone goes in and makes some of the listed author names not match the cover exactly (which I've done because it makes complete sense to me that books in the same series with the same author ought to be able to be pulled up under the same author listing.).

Last Edited on: 3/4/10 2:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 3:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I would also like it if PBS would have a page of the standards for entering (and editing) names.  We are to use both a period after initials and a space?  Are middle names or initials preferred?  Or does that vary based on common use by the author?  If PBS does have a standard, then it isn't easy to find.  It should be under help.

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 4:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,349
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Yes on the period after initials, and a space between initials.


Here are the relevant sections from the guidelines:

  • Aim for consistency in the author's name.
    • Edward E. Smith, E. E. Smith, E. E. (Doc) Smith are all the same person!
    • If you click one name, you will not always get books listed with the other names.
    • Choose the most prevelant.
    • Focus on that author.
    • Edit as many books as you can. Get enough done to make a difference in the uniformity.
  • If an author has initials. There is to be a space between them. "J period space R period space R period space"
    • J. R. R. Tolkien   Not   J.R.R. Tolkien --- T. H. White  NOT  T.H. White


And you can find guidelines in this thread:

Want to help with Data & Images? Find help here


Date Posted: 3/4/2010 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,386
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It took me a while, but I finally figured out that this is what messes up the alphabetical order in my TBR - for some reason some authors are appropriately categorized by their last names but some (and often the same authors but only for certain books) are categorized by their middle initial.  So for example, on my TBR I find a grouping of books by Laurell K. Hamilton under the Hs and also a group under the Ks.  Is this part of the same problem?

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Christine, this is a glitch in the system, and we are not sure why it occurs.  However, usually we will submit a data edit on the books appearing alphabetically under the K's in your example, revising the author (even if it is just retyping the same name in the space).  Sometimes, just the edit/approval process will fix this glitch for some of the affected books.