For Authors

This page addresses common questions and concerns from individual authors of works indexed in Fatcat, as well as the Internet Archive Scholar service built on top of it.

For help in exceptional cases, contact Internet Archive through our usual support channels.

Updating Works

A frequent request from authors is to remove outdated versions of works.

The philosophy of the catalog is to go beyond "the version of record" and instead collect "the record of versions". This means that drafts, manuscripts, working papers, and other alternative versions of works can be fully included and differentiated using metadata in the catalog. Even in the case of retractions, expressions of concern, or other serious issues with earlier versions, it is valuable to keep out-of-date versions in the catalog. Corrected or updated versions will generally be preferred and linked to publicly, for example on Outright removing content reduces context and can result in additional confusion for readers and librarians.

Because of this, it is strongly preferred to add new updated content instead of requesting the removal of old out-of-date content. Depending on the situation, this could involve creating a new post-publication release entity with the date of update, with status updated or retracted; or a new pre-publication release; or crawling an updated PDF and adding to an existing release entity.

Correcting Metadata

Sometimes the bibliographic metadata in fatcat is incorrect, incomplete, or out of date. This is a particularly sensitive subject when it comes to representing information about individuals. While we aspire to automating metadata updates and improvements as much as possible, often a human touch is best.

Any person can contribute to the catalog directly by creating an account and submitting changes for review. This includes, but is not limited to, authors or a person acting on their behalf submitting corrections. The editing quickstart is a good place to start. Please remember that corrections are considered part of the public record of the catalog and will be preserved even if a contributor later deletes their account. Editor usernames can be changed at any time.

Fatcat is in some sense a non-authoritive catalog, which means that it is usually best if corrections are made in "upstream" sources first (or at the same time) as being corrected in fatcat. For example, updating metadata in publisher databases, repositories, or ORCiD in addition to in fatcat.

Name Changes

The preferred workflow for author name changes depends on the author's sensitivity to having prior names accessible and searchable.

If "also known as" behvior is desirable, contributor names on the release record should remain unchanged (matching what the publication at the time indicated), and a linked creator entity should include the currently-preferred name for display.

If "also known as" is not acceptable, and the work has already been updated in authoritative publication catalogs, then the contributor name can be updated on release records as well.

See also the creator style guide.

Author Relation Completeness

creator records are not always generated when importing release records; the current practice is to create and/or link them if there is ORCiD metadata linking specific authors to a published work.

This means that author/work is often very incomplete or non-existent. At this time we would recommend using other services like or for more complete (but possibly less accurate) author/work metadata.

Resolving Publication Disputes

Authorship and publication ethics disputes should generally be resolved with the original publisher first, then updated in fatcat.