RE: bibliographic issues

From: Matthew Cockerill <>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 15:43:22 +0100

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bruce D'Arcus []
> Sent: 02 August 2005 15:32
> To:
> Subject: Re: bibliographic issues

> Yes, you outline the problem well. "Middle name" isn't
> general enough
> to cover even many Western names (J. Edgar Hoover, F. Scott
> Fitzgerald,
> etc.).
> There was an undergrad thesis out of the UK (by Richard
> Lennox) that I
> gave some advice on where he settled on a very complex naming schema
> based in part on the FOAF proposal and the discussion in the
> FRBR. For
> this issue, he had a secondaryGivenname property IIRC.

Yep, that would work too.
This would even let you deal with the likes of AJP Taylor who would be deemed to *only* have secondary given names :-)

> > (2) suffixes (Jr, III)
> Yup.
> > (3) the fact that both the given name (in the case of reference
> > lists), and the middle names (in most cases) will only be
> available in
> > the source data as initials.
> In my case, I actually manually track down full names for my
> authors if
> possible. I'm not in the sciences, though, so the articles I
> cite are
> typically single-authored.

Many/most journals (in the sciences) have a standardized bibliographic format for the reference list which will only include initials.
(i.e. if any author includes full given names, they will be stripped down to initials). So I do think coping well with this level of 'partial knowledge' is important.

> > Assuming that all upper case letters are initials lets you
> get away
> > without having a separate tag for initials compared to names, but
> > would be ambiguous in any culture that has single letter names.
> > Might be better to express clearly whether something is
> being asserted
> > to be a name, or one or more initials.
> Yes also. In citeproc (my XSLT-based citation processing system), I
> make the pragmatic assumption that a given name structure
> with a single
> character is an initial. It works, but is less-than-ideal.

That doesn't quite work since people will often list 2 middle initials together:
e.g. David TR Smith
so capitalisation is needed to disambiguate.
[if all you have is DAVID TR SMITH, you're stuffed]
This email has been scanned by Postini.
For more information please visit

Received on Tue Aug 02 2005 - 14:50:03 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Thu Aug 09 2012 - 16:39:18 EDT