Creator Entity Reference


  • display_name (string, required): Full name, as will be displayed in user interfaces. Eg, "Grace Hopper"
  • given_name (string): Also known as "first name". Eg, "Grace".
  • surname (string): Also known as "last name". Eg, "Hooper".
  • orcid (string): external identifier, as registered with ORCID.
  • wikidata_qid (string): external linking identifier to a Wikidata entity.

See also "Human Names" sub-section of style guide.

extra Fields

All are optional.

  • also-known-as (list of objects): additional names that this creator may be known under. For example, previous names, aliases, or names in different scripts. Can include any or all of display_name, given_name, or surname as keys.

Human Names

Representing names of human beings in databases is a fraught subject. For some background reading, see:

Particular difficult issues in the context of a bibliographic database include:

  • the non-universal concept of "family" vs. "given" names and their relationship to first and last names
  • the inclusion of honorary titles and other suffixes and prefixes to a name
  • the distinction between "preferred", "legal", and "bibliographic" names, or other situations where a person may not wish to be known under the name they are commonly referred
  • language and character set issues
  • different conventions for sorting and indexing names
  • the sprawling world of citation styles
  • name changes
  • pseudonyms, anonymous publications, and fake personas (perhaps representing a group, like Bourbaki)

The general guidance for Fatcat is to:

  • not be a "source of truth" for representing a persona or human being; ORCID and Wikidata are better suited to this task
  • represent author personas, not necessarily 1-to-1 with human beings
  • balance the concerns of readers with those of the author
  • enable basic interoperability with external databases, file formats, schemas, and style guides
  • when possible, respect the wishes of individual authors

The data model for the creator entity has three name fields:

  • surname and given_name: needed for "aligning" with external databases, and to export metadata to many standard formats
  • display_name: the "preferred" representation for display of the entire name, in the context of international attribution of authorship of a written work

Names to not necessarily need to expressed in a Latin character set, but also does not necessarily need to be in the native language of the creator or the language of their notable works

Ideally all three fields are populated for all creators.

It seems likely that this schema and guidance will need review.