Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The structure of author/editor names in publications

As many of you have noticed, BibSonomy stores author (and editor) names in the order "First Last", e.g., "Donald E. Knuth".
For most names that is no problem, but there are also names that get broken by this "feature". For example, for the name of our colleague Beate Navarro Bullock the first name is erronously detected to be "Beate Navarro" but it really is only "Beate".

Such names can be handled correctly by storing them in the "Last, First" order, e.g., "Navarro Bullock, Beate" as it is understood by BibTeX and many other publication management systems.

Therefore, we plan to change BibSonomy's person name handling to always store author and editor names in the "Last, First" format.

For you as our users this has the following consequences:
  • Regardless of whether you enter your names in the "First Last" or "Last, First" format, they are always stored as "Last, First".
  • The post publication form and the BibTeX import will support both "First, Last" and "Last, First".
  • BibSonomy's BibTeX export will contain names in "Last, First" form.
  • All input and output of the "REST-API" will be in "Last, First" form.

There are certainly other things that might change and problems that we might find - we will post them in this blog.

We plan to introduce this change in our after-summer relase in September. We would be very glad to hear your comments or problems you expect.

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