Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Name Authority in I&A Databases

Name Authority Challenges for Indexing and Abstracting Databases by Denise Beaubien Bennett and Priscilla Williams appears in the first issue of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice.
The traditional objective of name authority files is to determine precisely when name variations belong to the same individual. Manually?maintained authority files have served library catalogues reasonably well, but the burden of upkeep has made them ill?suited to managing the volume of items and authors in all but the smallest I&A databases. To meet the access needs of the 21st Century, both catalogues and I&A databases may need to implement options that present a high degree of probability that items have been authored by the same individual, rather than options that provide high precision with the expense of manual maintenance. Striving for name disambiguation rather than name authority control may become an attractive option for catalogues, I&A databases, and digital library collections.

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