Data Format
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Author Field Format

This section discusses some of the more complex issues and formats to be considered when specifying aan author or artist name, particularly on an Item Record. In particular it considers:

Basic Format

Internally each author name has the form:

Last Name{,␢First Name(s){,␢Extras}}

where '␢' (here and elsewhere) represents a space and "Extras" refers to qualifications of the name, such as professional qualifications or qualifiers like ", Jr." or ", IV". This is typically referred to as the internal format in contrast to the way in which names are usually specified which is known as the external format.

If an author has multiple first names, or initials, then the names or initials should be separated one from another by a space. Each initial should also have a trailing period (except in special cases such as Forrest J Ackerman where the 'J' is really a middle name rather than the initial of anything).

If there are multiple authors using the same name, then the author name should have "␢#n" appended to it, where "n" is a number in the range 1 to 9, a to z. Each such name should be defined in pseud.cvt together with a record for the "core" author name clarifying the ambiguity.

If the attribution to an author is uncertain (e.g. for an artist or the real name behind a house pseudonym), then the names should have "␢,[?]" appended to it.

Primary author names are separated by '/'.

Thus, some examples might be:

Campbell, John W., Jr. (i.e. Campbell,␢John W.,␢Jr.)
Lowndes, Robert A. W. (i.e. Lowndes,␢Robert␢A.␢W.)
Doolin, Joseph ,[?] (i.e. Doolin,␢Joseph␢,[?])
Mallory, Michael #2 (i.e. Mallory,␢Michael␢#2)
Oliver, Chad/Beaumont, Charles (i.e. Oliver,␢Chad/Beaumont,␢Charles)

Nobility and Royalty

When identifying a member of the nobility, their full "normal" name should normally be used, with their title specified in the description field of the 00 record, as in:

Wellesley, Arthur~00~ Wellesley, Arthur, 1st Duke of Wellington~~(1769-1852)~

When indexing an item, if only the rank and title is known then the name should be specified as the title followed by the rank, as in:

E 112A0~Argyll, The Duke of~Sheaf of Ghost Stories~ms|RYL|1903|Dec|(v11)|(#62)|~A ~

In PSEUD.CVT this should then be converted to the appropriate name, with a 25 record to link the two, as in:

Argyll, The Duke of~04~converts to: ~Campbell, John #7~
Argyll, The Duke of~25~see under~Campbell, John #7~
Campbell, John #7~00~ Campbell, John, 9th Duke of Argyll~~(1845-1914)~

Royalty should be handled somewhat differently. British monarchs are usually referred to simply as "King George V" or just "George V" so in this case just the Christian name and numeric suffix should be specified, optionally with a following title, with their full names given in the description field, as in:

George V~00~[i.e., George Frederick Ernest Albert]~~(1865-1936)~
Victoria, Queen~00~~~(1819-1901)~

This approach can then be extended to other monarchs by appending the relevant county to the Christian name and numeric suffix, as in:

Alexander of Serbia, King~00~[i.e., Aleksandar Obrenovi^c']~~(1876-1903)~
Sophia of Sweden and Norway, Queen~00~[i.e., Sophia Wilhelmine Marianne Henriette]~~(1836-1913)~

In cases where the name of the monarch is unknown and is simply given as "The Queen of Spain" or similar then this should be listed as "Queen of Spain, The" and so on, although this form should be avoided if at all possible because of the inherent ambiguity.

Authors with a Title before Their Name

If an author has a title before their names (e.g. Sir Harold Acton or Mrs. D.T. Aiken) then we want to sort them in order of their first name rather than their title, so an 04 record should be used to convert the name into the relevant format for sorting, and an 00 record used to put the title back again (if needed), as in:

Acton, Harold~00~ Acton, [Sir] Harold (Mario Mitchell)~~(1904-1994)~RR; ESF; Hubin; ESFX~
Acton, Sir Harold~04~converts to: ~Acton, Harold~
Aiken, D. T., Mrs.~00~ Aiken, Mrs. D. T.~
Aiken, Mrs. D. T.~04~converts to: ~Aiken, D. T., Mrs.~

If the author has no first name then the convention is that the names should appear before other names with the same surname and in this case two spaces should be used between the surname and title, as in:

Armstrong,␢␢Captain~00~ Armstrong,␢Captain~~(fl. 1890s)~
Armstrong,␢Captain~04~converts to: ~Armstrong,␢␢Captain~

Handling Descriptive Author Names

One problem that is occasionally encountered with author names (but more commonly with series IDs) is when the author has a title and a Christian name (such as Father Hugh) which raises the question of whether the author should be listed under 'F' or 'H'. The current rule is that the series author appear under the prefix in the following cases

In addition, if an author name is a descriptive field preceded by the definite or indefinite articles (e.g. "A New York Reporter" or "The Author of "xxx"") then the article alone follows the first comma (e.g. "New York Reporter, A" or "Author of "xxx", The").

Author names in quotes

If an author's name is specified entirely in quotes, then the internal format used in the data files inverts the name inside the quotes (if necessary) but leaves the quotes on the "outside" of the name, as in:

E 111A0~"Hand, Pat"~Alibi~ss1944EQMNov~The ~
E 308A0~"Sapper"~Hidden Witness~nv1928SNDDec~The ~

However, when such names are referenced in PSEUD.CVT the leading quote character is moved to the end of the name, as in:

Hand, Pat""~12~pseudonym of~Costain, Thomas B.~
Sapper""~04~converts to: ~Sapper~

If a quoted name is disambiguated, then the disambiguation follows the trailing quote character in both cases:

E 273A0~"Miles" #1~Exeter Hall vs. The Army Medical Service~ar1897+AntiPJul15~
Miles"" #1~00~~~(fl. 1890s)~

Note that the above only applies if the whole name is in quotes - if only part of the name is in quotes then they are treated as part of the name in the usual way:

E 72A0~"Strand" Science Writer, The~Plotting a Storm~ar1946SNDJul~
"Strand" Science Writer, The~04~converts to: ~[The {Strand} Science Writer]~

Secondary Names

There may also be a number of secondary names associated with an item such as translators, uncredited co-authors or ghost writers, and these may be specified in one of two ways:

In most cases either form may be used interchangeably, but there are a number of cases where only the prefix form is supported as well as a single case where the suffix form is preferred.

Secondary names may also be classified as either "positional" or "global" – the former are always associated with an individual author (such as the real name(s) behind a house pseudonym) and must be specified using the prefix format immediately after the primary name concerned; "global" names are names (such as translators, ghost writers and uncredited co-authors) that relate to the whole item, no matter how many authors it has.

Positional types currently supported (prefix format only) include:

For example:

Anon. ,(by:Claffey, Anne|Kavanagh, Linda)!ed. – no editor was listed for this book but it was edited by Anne Claffey & Linda Kavanagh
Jones, G. Wayman ,(hp:Ellsworth, Whitney ,[?]) – the item is listed under the house name "G. Wayman Jones" but the real author is thought to be "Whitney Ellsworth"

Global types currently supported include:

For example:

Kita, Morio/Tsuruta, Kinya ,trans./Merril, Judith ,trans. – Morio Kita wrote a story that was translated by Kinya Tsuruta and Judith Merril
Kita, Morio ,(tr:Tsuruta, Kinya|Merril, Judith) – the same in prefix format
Shute, George ,as told to – the item is credited "as told to George Shute"

Note that the prefix form is only used on a secondary name if there is at least one primary name. If there is no primary name then the suffix form should be used. For example:

There are also some obsolete types that may be found in older files but which have now been superseded:


If the entire author string discussed above represents the editor(s) of an anthology or magazine, then a modifier of "!ed." or "!eds." should be appended to the end of the string. Note that this should not be confused with cases where a book or item by a single author has been edited for publication by another author, in which case a secondary type of "ed" should be used as discussed above. Examples might include:

Asimov, Isaac/Conklin, Groff!eds.
Hitchcock, Alfred ,(gho:Haining, Peter)!ed.

Uncredited Items

There are many cases, particularly in 19th century publications, where an item is uncredited but the author is known (e.g. because the item has been reprinted under their real name). In this case, unless it is a translation, the real author name(s) should be specified via a by: prefix, as in:

E  77A0~Anon., (by:Harwood, John Berwick)~Horror~nv1861BLWJan~

This format should be used both for the initial appearance (when anonymous) and for any reprints that do not specify the author's real name.

If the reprinted item is credited, but the original was not, then the clause [anonymously] should be added after the title:

E   4A0~Harwood, John Berwick~Horror [anonymously]~nv1861BLWJan~

Conversely, if a reprinted item is uncredited but the original was credited, then the name should be specified on as [as by xxx] clause after the title:

E   4A0~Anon.~Horror [as by John Berwick Harwood]~nv1861BLWJan~

Note that this latter format may also be used where the original appearance was under a personal pseudonym of the author concerned as, again, this uniquely identifies the author concerned. However, if the original appearance was under a house or joint pseudonym (where the author was known) or was ghost-written, and is then reprinted anonymously, then the author name must be specified explicitly. Thus we might have:

Original appearance: E  71A0~Jorgensen, Ivar ,(hp:Fairman, Paul W.)~Deadly City~nv1953IFSMar~
Anonymous reprint: E 140A0~Anon. ,(by:Fairman, Paul W.)~Deadly City [as by Ivar Jorgensen]~nv1953IFSMar~

Original appearance: E 199A0~Bishop, Zealia B. ,(gho:Lovecraft, H. P.)~Medusa's Coil~nv1939WRTJan~
Anonymous reprint: E  47A0~Anon. ,(by:Lovecraft, H. P.)~Medusa's Coil [as by Zealia B. Bishop]~nv1939WRTJan~

Note that a problem arises with an author who has used multiple alternate names during their career, or who are better known under a pseudonym, as it is necessary for all instances of the same item to use the same name. Thus, for example:

E 8A0~Anon., (by:Eliot, George)~Romola||-001: Chapter I.| Shipwrecked Stranger [anonymously]~sl|CNH|1862|Jul|(v6)|#31|~~The ~
E 383A0~Author of "Adam Bede", The ,(by:Evans, Mary Ann)~Romola||-001: Chapter I.| Shipwrecked Stranger [anonymously]~sl1862CNHJul~~The ~~Leighton, Frederic ,after~

will not match up even though they are the same items. This could be resolved if pseudonymous entries were also listed under the main author, but this is currently not possible so it is necessary to ensure that the same name is used for all such items.

Indirectly Credited Items

Similarly, also most commonly in 19th century publications, there are cases where an item is indirectly credited by specifying the author's initials, or by referring to them as "The Author of XXX", and the author's real name is known (for example, most of Robert Louis Stevenson's early work was simply bylined "R.L.S."). In this case, a similar approach to that discussed for uncredited items may be used, i.e. the author's real name is specified on a by: prefix:

E 413A0~Author of "First and Last", The ,(by:Mudford, William)~Iron Shroud~ss1830BLWAug~The ~
E 144A0~R., J. E. ,(by:Russell, John Edgar)~Somebody Said^--~ms1915NSTMay~

Note that the latter is not needed if the author is obvious from the context (e.g. when an editorial item is signed "G.V.G." in a magazine where the editor is credited as Gordon Van Gelder) or when identifying a known artist who has signed their artwork with their initials: in such cases the full name may be specified on its own.

Note also that these formats are handled automatically by the index generation programs without the need to create entries in the names control file. This is particularly useful for initials as the same initials may be used by many different people in many different circumstances and it would be a significant overhead to create "ambiguous name" records for all such variants.

If an indirectly credited item is reprinted anonymously, then the author's real name should again be specified on a ", by:" clause, as in:

E 173A0~Anon. ,(by:Mudford, William)~Iron Shroud [as by The Author of "First and Last"]~ss1830BLWAug~The ~
E 223A0~Anon. ,(by:Russell, John Edgar)~Somebody Said^-- [as by J. E. R.]~ms1915NSTMay~

Mismatches in Author Names

There are occasional cases where the credit on a reprint is different to that on the original appearance. Thus, for example, many of the stories in Ghost Stories were listed as "by X, as told to Y" but were then reprinted in Hutchinson's Adventure-Story Magazine simply under the byline X. In this case the original byline should be used, with an item appearance note used to indicate the actual byline, as in:

E 42A1~Fitzgerald, Anita ,(as told to:Mellen, Mark)~In the Grip of Edgar the Great~ss1926GHSAug~
E 42B1~given as by Anita Fitzgerald alone.~

A similar approach may be used if, for example, the original appearance is credited to two authors and the reprint lists only one of those authors. This doesn't work so well where more authors are listed in the reprint than in the original. Thus, for instance, many of Hazel Heald's stories were partially written by H.P. Lovecraft, who was uncredited at the time, as in:

E 596A0~Heald, Hazel ,(with:Lovecraft, H. P.)~Horror in the Burying-Ground~ss|WRT|1937|May|(v29:5)|~The ~

Later reprints tended to reprint the stories as a collaboration between the two authors and it would be inaccurate to continue to list Lovecraft as an uncredited co-author while we still need to show the first appearance credited Heald alone. As such, the reprint would be coded as:

E 11A0~Heald, Hazel/Lovecraft, H. P.~Horror in the Burying-Ground [as by Hazel Heald]~ss1937WRTMay~The ~

Note that this is currently not fully supported by the listing programs as discussed under known problems.

Author names containing commas or slashes, or author names with last name and extras but no first name

As discussed above, the first two commas in an author name are treated as dividers, and slash characters are used to divide multiple authors in a string. This presents problems if the author name itself contains a comma or a slash. In such cases the non-breaking trigraph equivalents (^␢, for commas and ^␢/ for slashes) should be used, as in:

Tennyson, Alfred, Lord~00~ Tennyson, Alfred^␢, Lord~~(1809-1892)~CGL; EF~

E 283A0~"CR^␢/2^␢/11"~Woman Spy~ar1928+CpDtNNov~The ~

A similar approach can be used if a name is encountered that has a last name and some qualifications or similar, but has no first name, as in:

Hawkins, USN which should be coded as Hawkins^␢, USN
Prescott, MD which should be coded as Prescott^␢, MD
Smythe, Jr. which should be coded as Smythe^␢, Jr.