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Old 09-09-2008, 09:19 PM   #1
Xenophon
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Calibre and Multiple Authors

Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal
Regarding the multiple author stuff, can someone start a new thread for it and we can discuss it and come up with the best solution.
Here's the thread!

The question at hand is "What's the right way to represent multiple authors in the author field in Calibre?" (... although 'right way' might be better written as 'least bad way' given all the issues)

Here's my try at enumerating cases -- with the caveat that I am not trying to show anything about how they should be represented in Calibre or in the user-visible view; I'm only trying to list 'em!
  • Single author, with or without titles, suffixes, epithets (e.g."The Great") and so on
  • multiple unrelated authors (w or w/o titles... as before)
  • Editors
  • Author (or multiple authors) along with editor who should be shown
  • Author or authors plus translator
  • Multiple related authors (e.g. Dr. George and Dr. Joan Smith)
  • Author(s) and Illustrator
  • Possibly arbitrary combinations of the above

I suggested that it might be worth asking a librarian if there is a standard for how to do this. Now that I think of it, I'll forward this post to a friend who is a Prof. of Library Science and see what she has to say.

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Old 09-09-2008, 09:46 PM   #2
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The way calibre currently does it is leave it largely up to each user. So what I typically do, for e.g. for translated books is:

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Pevear (translator)

and in author sort

Dostoevsy; Fyodor

So the general scheme is:

The author field should contain a comma separated list of names. Each name should be the "display name" with an optional role in brackets after the name.

The sort field should be of the format last name; first name of the primary author.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:31 AM   #3
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Sorry to be slow getting back to this thread, but life has intervened. Anyway, after some discussion with my library science professor friend, I have the following information:

To deal with multiple authors in a single sort field, where the goal is to make lexicographic sorting 'do the right thing' you have two separate issues:
  1. Individual names, with titles and epithets and such. A good, non-controversial set of rules for this is http://imagecat1.princeton.edu/ECC/cardhelp.html
  2. Placing multiple authors or editors or whatever so that the entire combination sorts correctly. For this purpose, place each in the line or field 'most important' first (thus authors ahead of editors). It's considered good form to make the line/field human readable by separating either with 'and' or '&', but this is not strictly required. However, don't use any other separator (assuming an English language catalog). Note, of course, that the presence or absence of a human-readable separator has no impact on sorting as long as you are consistent about it.
I observe that '&' has the lovely feature that it is highly unlikely to be part of any ordinary name (where commas may appear in names like 'John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster' and periods may appear in names like 'New Jersey. Civil Service Commission.') so it would make a lovely choice for Calibre.

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Old 09-25-2008, 12:06 PM   #4
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What about the separator for lastname; first name? Any standards for that?
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:17 PM   #5
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As best I can tell, for single-line and single-field entries, they like the 'and' or '&' separator between authors. You can probably also get away with a ',' but then you must beware of individuals with names like:
Ivan IV "The Terrible", Tsar of Russia
or
Tsar Ivan IV "The Terrible", of Russia
either of which could show up in a plain old author field. Basically, you may have commas and periods within the names of authors and editors. They seem to have settled on expanding multiple family members into separate listings, though, so my copy of "Tales from Shakespeare" whose title page says "by Charles & Mary Lamb" would be catalogued with authors "Charles Lamb & Mary Lamb."

It is interesting to note that the whole thing is ambiguous -- even using & or and as a separator, you can still run into either of those as a part of a name. Consider corporate publications as a possible example.

After kicking it around for a bit and reading through the various resources she pointed me at, I'd recommend just separating individual authors (and editors/illustrators/etc.) with '&' in both fields.

Xenophon

P.S.: Your example above would thus look like:

Fyodor Dostoevsky & Richard Pevear (translator)

and in author sort

Dostoevsy, Fyodor & Pevear, Richard, (translator)

Last edited by Xenophon; 09-25-2008 at 02:18 PM. Reason: added P.S.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:57 PM   #6
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can you open a ticket with this information and if/when my todo stack winds down low enough, I'll get around to it.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:04 AM   #7
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Ticket opened. I hope that this is a sufficiently minor change to be done soonish.

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