Name Authority Control

By Janifer Gatenby and Karen Smith-Yoshimura

Note: This book chapter is an entry in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences published by CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group and requires paid access to read.

The purpose of name authority control is to facilitate searching and browsing by 1) ensuring retrieval of all the works of a person, personal identity such as a pseudonym, family name, or organization where they may be published under different name versions over time and in different places; 2) enabling other works by the same identity to be retrieved from any one work; 3) by eliminating works of other identities with the same name; and 4) by concise name indexes that ensure efficient browsing. Authority records may include name variants, and these are distinguished from related names of other identities of the same person. Records also contain differentiating information and, most importantly, identifiers that are the key elements facilitating linking. Differentiating information differs for personal and organization names. The creation of authority records is a labor-intensive process, and the trend is toward creating locally and sharing internationally. Consolidated sources are important for facilitating reuse and as key resources in linked data. Input data are accepted from a variety of sources, including biographical sources, encyclopedias, institution records, and crowdsourced systems. Different models and encoding systems are detailed.

Suggested citation:Gatenby, Janifer, and Karen Smith-Yoshimura. Name Authority Control. McDonald, J. (Ed.), Levine-Clark, M. (Ed.). (2017). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences Fourth Edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press. DOI: 10.1081/E-ELIS4-120050533.