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Topic: What to do when 2 authors with the same name are combined on 1 author page?

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Subject: What to do when 2 authors with the same name are combined on 1 author page?
Date Posted: 6/1/2011 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,378
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I just noticed 2 authors named John Peel are combined on 1 author page.  Do I just send feedback to TPTB?  Or do I need to send proof or something?  Or do TPTB do all the research?  I've been in email contact with 1 of the authors, so I guess I could include his email address in case they need help figuring out which is which.

Date Posted: 6/1/2011 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,727
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I do not think they can separate them.

I have noticed the same with a few other authors.

Date Posted: 6/1/2011 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,378
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Oh no!  Well if they can't now, I hope they'll work on that for the future.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 6/2/2011 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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If there is no distinguishing information (such as a middle name or initial) and both authors use the same spelling and same names, the system cannot tell them apart and there is no way to separate them out.

If there is a unique factor that can differentiate them, then one could add that factor to the appropriate author listings and the system would then think of them separately instead of combining them.

Date Posted: 6/2/2011 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Most libraries resolve this issue by using the birth year of the author after their name. Because there are many authors with the same name and are even in the same genre.

Date Posted: 6/3/2011 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,378
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Yeah, I know there's a way to do it, I just wish it was already done.  I saw on another site - maybe the one where you can keep track of series - that they've done more to separate them out recently.  The 2 John Peel's use the exact same name w/no middle initial.  At least one of them has several aliases.  They write very different books.  I have no idea which biography is being used, but I'd think at the very least they could post 2 different biographies there so that people would know the books listed there are for 2 different authors.

Date Posted: 6/3/2011 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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That might not be possible with the programming. The PBS programming is creating those lists.  It's not someone going in to each individual book and author and verifying who wrote what.

Date Posted: 6/3/2011 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,378
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I realize that, but there's a way to do anything with programming.

Date Posted: 6/3/2011 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,727
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sassy is right, it would be very, very easy to imagine how they could store the database records so that they could differentiate between authors of the same name. Very easy, in fact.

But, doing the programming so that it is all supported for searching, displaying, etc could range from pretty easy to overwhelmingly time consuming to execute  the change.

But it would be doable for all the existing book records.

The real issue in the programming is, how do you assign a new book by John Peel automatically to one out of the multiple "John Peel" author records that you now have in the system? First, you would have to assume that Amazon has some way to differentiate authors of the same name from each other, Amazon woudl have to be able to transmit that info to PBS, and PBS woudl either have to use the same differentiation scheme, or they would have to translate or have a mapping table between Amazon's differentiation and their own, so that the new book listing gets assigned to the right "John Peel". And that is only if the book info comes from Amazon. They would have to do the same for every other source of info, as well. That part (coordination between many multiple sets of incoming data, where we are assumming that the information about author differentiation even exists in the first place) is that part that would be very difficult.

I love programming.