Best Practices from Your Peers: Displaying Information for Multiple Authors

A question that many repository admins encounter but may not yet have an established library policy on is what information to include when displaying multiple author lists for an article, particularly if one or more of those authors are not affiliated with the institution. After one Digital Commons client who was facing this problem wrote into the DC user group wondering if anyone would be willing to share best practices, a number of knowledgeable admins responded with interesting answers about how their library addresses the issue.

We’ve included a few of them here, with permission.

Franny Gaede of Butler University wrote:
“We include the names of all of the article’s authors, but only list institutions and/or email addresses for those associated with Butler. I think it’s important to preserve that information to ensure the generated citation is accurate and also for SEO purposes—if only one author’s name is searched, I want to make sure my pre/post/publisher’s print shows up too!”

April Younglove from the Rochester Institute of Technology shared her library’s policy:
“We list the first 5 authors only, regardless of affiliation. If they are affiliated with RIT, we note it and add a contact address.”

And Paul Royster of the University of Nebraska Lincoln offered up another solution:
“I do hunt down and enter emails for authors from other institutions, but I do not ask my student assistants to go that far. But if the email is in the article, we use it.”  When another user asked Paul if he ever got emails from outside authors wondering why they were receiving notifications about an article, he responded:
“Maybe twice a year or so, and occasionally they ask to opt out of emails or remove address—perhaps 4 or 5 in 8 years. Most often they enquire about hosting other stuff, especially conference participants, independent scholars, and emeritus faculty. And they are almost universally (99.995%) grateful to get download reports.”

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