“I cannot tell what the dickens his name is”: Name Disambiguation in Institutional Repositories

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Walker, Lizzy
Armstrong, Michelle

INTRODUCTION Authors who publish under more than one form of their name, multiple authors with the same name, and incomplete author information can all create challenges for repository staff when entering metadata. Unless properly addressed, these variations and duplications can result in search and retrieval errors for users. Name disambiguation, the process of identifying, merging, and making names accessible in one standard form, is a vital process repository staff should incorporate into their workflow to address these issues. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM Staff working with ScholarWorks, Boise State’s institutional repository, are exploring the use of disambiguation tools to solve the issue of name duplication. Systems explored include ORCID, ResearcherID, Scopus, Google Scholar Citations, Names Project, and the Digital Commons’ Author Merge Tool. NEXT STEPS Based on this initial assessment, ScholarWorks staff will continue to use the Author Merge Tool on a regular basis and explore ways to document and retain information discovered during the analysis phase. Additionally, they will continue to experiment with emerging name authority tools, such as ORCID. Finally, metadata specialists are encouraged to advocate for international standards that will provide prescribed rules for how metadata is entered into a repository system.

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© 2014 Walker & Armstrong. This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License, which allows unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.