OCLC Research Library Partnership: Registering Researchers in Authority Files
A number of approaches have emerged to address uniquely identifying all researchers, including those only partially represented in national name authority files because they primarily write journal articles or do not publish, but contribute to data sets or other research activities. Authority databases, researcher identifier registries and researcher profile networks potentially overlap, and have created uncertainly in the library community regarding the challenges, benefits, and trade-offs of each approach. The OCLC Research's Registering Researchers in Authority Files Task Group comprises specialists from the US, the UK, and the Netherlands who are engaged in uniquely identifying academic authors and researchers. Our goal is to identify: the benefits, needs, and challenges for integrated author identification; approaches to effectively integrate multiple author identifier systems and to reconcile information from multiple sources; models and workflows for registering and maintaining integrated author and researcher information.
Karen Smith-Yoshimura is a program officer in OCLC Research and is based in OCLC's San Mateo office. She has been working with research institutions affiliated with the trans-national OCLC Research Library Partnership for over twenty years. She focuses on issues related to the metadata needed to describe and provide access to the resources managed by libraries, archives, museums and other cultural heritage organizations.