The Ripple Effect of Women’s Name Changes in Indexing, Citation, and Authority Control

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Kappmeyer, Lori
Associate Professor Emeritus
Pellack, Lorraine
Assistant Dean
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Reference and Instruction
Subject librarians in the Reference & Instruction Division select books, journals, and other information resources for the Library's collections; provide general and specialized reference services; and provide instruction in the use of libraries and information. The Associate Dean for Reference & Instruction administers Library 160, a required, undergraduate course that helps students identify, locate, and use information resources in a variety of formats
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This study investigated name changes of women authors to determine how they were represented in indexes and cited references, and identify problem areas. A secondary purpose of the study was to investigate whether or not indexing services were using authority control and how this influenced the search results. The works of eight library science authors who had published under multiple names were examined. The researchers compared author names as they appeared on title pages of publications versus in four online databases and in bibliographies, by checking 380 publications and 1159 citations. Author names were correctly provided 81.22% of the time in indexing services and 90.94% in citation lists. The lowest accuracy (54.55%) occurred when limiting to publications found in Library Literature. The highest accuracy (94.18%) occurred with works published before a surname changed. Author names in indexes and citations correctly matched names on journal articles more often than for any other type of publication. Indexes and citation style manuals treated author names in multiple ways, often altering names substantially from how they appear on the title page. Recommendations were made for changes in editorial styles, by indexing services and by the authors themselves to help alleviate future confusion in author name searching.


This is a post-print of an article originally published in Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 62, no. 3 (March 2011): 440–448, by the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011