What is the community opinion of how we should name entries for similarly named people.

The discogs approach (2.4.1) is to number subsequent entries, e.g. Colin Hay, then Colin Hay (2) etc.

An alternative approach would be to add more informative qualifications to duplicates, e.g. Colin Hay (Illustrator).

For full disclosure, I have up until today used the second approach here and the first approach at discogs and I personally think it adds more to the submissions.

I would like the second approach with the role specifier like in wikipedia, but the convention here seems strong like discogs with the serial number of an entry.

I think this would just lead to confusion. Who is to say that the Credit generated is always linked to a particular role. For example, I have seen book designers that have had a career change and become authors. If say, Joe Blog (Book Designer) was generated, it is quite possible that this would be overlooked by a user that has a publication listing the same person credited as an author. IMO the system you are suggesting is too rigid. The Profile field adequately caters for listing the roles.

The current system is not perfect, but at least it allows for flexibility.

We have an opportunity to change conventions in bookogs as we did for changing the "Capitalize Every Word In The Title" convention.

Agreed, but if a change is deemed then it needs to be better than the current system.

I've been using (2), (3) etc because that's the way I saw it being done and how it's done at discogs, so I assumed it was the right way. Didn't know it was up for debate!

If you're going to change to a new system though it'd be better formalising it and doing it right - and that would need developer input. Ideally I like to see an explicit database field for 'name index'. Sticking a number as part of the name is ugly and I've never liked it at discogs, but it's the way it works so not my call.

A good idea (and easier for a dev to do than rework the system right off) would be to list the roles used for a credit wherever looking one up. That way you could see what roles a person had attributed and see much easier which to pick.

IMO. The numbering system serves no real purpose... stay with me for a minute.

On discogs when entering credits for some names I often have to open 4 or 5 different pages to decide whether I have found the right person. If I was presented a list of all people with the same name (without the numbers) I would still need to perform the same task.

As an experienced user I might remember that Joe Bloggs (5) is the one I want, but as these can be renamed at any point, I can't really guarantee this after any appreciable time has passed.

I would think that the main reason we have to have unique names is to satisfy programming constraints (I speak as a software developer) rather than make things easier for users.

xceque, +1 for your suggestion... this would be much better user experience.

A few months back we we're not getting much developer attention here... I see things are beginning to change and bugs are getting fixed so many thanks to the dev team too!

In a prefect world, the user creating the Credit should be adding profile details. I know this is not always possible where there is little information on the internet about the particular entity. Personally, if I can't find any further information, then I just add what the entity is credited for in the book I am submitting.

I hope in the near future, that when you type the name of an entity in the Credit field a list of alternatives will be provided in a drop down menu. The ability to hover on these alternatives and obtain the profile details would then assist in identification. Fingers crossed.

Just on the Joe Blog example, I look at it from the point of view of someone encountering Joe Blog for the first time, I do feel that a definite role in the title could lead to a duplicate being created. And what if a person has multiple roles, you could end up with Joe Blog (Actor, Horse Whisperer, Adventurer, Author).

Perfect world (not everything is perfect).

I don't need to use the mythical Joe Blog any longer as I have just encountered R. J. Palacio: author and graphic designer.

And it just occurred to me. What happens if you have two people with the same name that do exactly the same thing. How do you differentiate them? Joe Blog (Author, Wears A Bow Tie), Joe Blog (Author, Doesn't Wear A Bow Tie).

Anaideia, +100 for the effort you have taken since joining to update credits... It's usually a thankless task.

Many thanks. Please send booze and cash as a sign of your gratitude.

Has this issue been resolved or was it discussed and decided in another thread?
This thread only has input from two users.

Well as far I am concerned it was done and dusted. Discogs has had a bracketed variation number system in place for many years because in the main it works very well.

As I previously pointed out, using a description such as (band) limits your options the next time you need to add a band by that name. It is impossible without resorting to all sorts of weird and wonderful descriptive variations: e.g. Medicine (English band, recorded two songs before breaking up in 1974), Medicine (American band, had one hit then faded into obscurity). A bracketed variation number is the simplest way of dealing with multiple variations of the same name.

Using the example of the band Medicine: a search on Discogs returns eight groups by that name: https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=medicine&type;=artist&strict;=true

So conceivably, each of these groups would require an additional description to the bracketed term "band" to differentiate each group. You could either do that by describing the band in detail or better still just add a number.

Discogs has had a bracketed variation number system in place for many years because in the main it works very well.

I'm not sure if that's the reason why it's still around... It was a functioning way to separate entities with the same name back in the days (there were no 'entity numbers' in the URL, so to separate the entities, something needed to be added). It is a legacy system, and not necessarily the most advanced system, and it does have its problems as well.

Quite a few Discogs users don't like the system, there has been several discussions about it, but it has been around so long that it's probably difficult to get rid of at this point.

And, there are exceptions. For example studios use the location:
https://www.discogs.com/label/267544-RCA-Studios

Since Bookogs entries do have each a unique number in the URL, why do we need to add anything after the name? Why does the system automatch the entity even when you choose to "create" one?

I don't see the need for an additional arbitrary number added to the end of an entry that is already serialized by the database.

And my experience on Discogs, the additional number at the end has never helped me find the correct entry without opening each entry.

At least with a description at the end, like (band) you can quickly discern the entry, even if is (American band) or (Electronic group), etc.
As with your example of Medicine on Discogs, only 3 profiles have pics and 2 have a bio, so the others with a number at the end do nothing to help my choice without opening each page for investigation.

Looking at Wikipedia, you can type in Medicine and you will see a short description and possibly an image to help make a choice. In my opinion, this would be a better way to select a credit, rather than relying on a number or a short description at the end.

At this time, the *ogs sites at least show the credit name with an image (if uploaded), so it makes it a little easier.
But think how more elegant the solution would be if it showed a short description as well.

Since Bookogs entries do have each a unique number in the URL

I don't regard the bracketed variation number as simply a way of creating a unique url. I would have thought it is there to help users identify one credit from another. When faced with 50+ credits with the same name how would you identify the first variation from the 45th if there wasn't a point of difference? Selecting an item from a drop down menu of 50+ names that are exactly the same would be similar to a game of chance.

In the example of RCA Studios, each of these has a locality which is the point of difference. IMO there is need for bracketed variation numbers.

What we are discussing are credits that have the exactly the same name. In the case of bands, the point of difference might be musical genre, origin, period, etc. Therefore with each successive band you would need to keep enlarging the description. Apart from being unwieldy, it would require the person generating the credit to complete a description as well. Some users can't handle numbers very well, so writing a description might be a big ask.

But think how more elegant the solution would be if it showed a short description as well.

I'm not sure what you mean, but if you are suggesting that the drop down menu displays a description, then this would be dependent on whether someone has bothered to add a profile. A bit like images.

When faced with 50+ credits with the same name how would you identify the first variation from the 45th if there wasn't a point of difference?

I can't identify any of them, with or without a number at the end, without looking at each credit page. An image might help, but a description is even better.

A number at the end is only meaningful if you already know the credit you want to select.

There is a better way to find the correct credit from the list, without having to open each numbered credit "to research" the one needed to add or create.

A description, either at the end of the credit or displayed in the list, would help alleviate this.

Do you have an example of the same named credit with 50+ credits? Curious.

Apart from being unwieldy, it would require the person generating the credit to complete a description as well. Some users can't handle numbers very well, so writing a description might be a big ask.

What incentives could be offered to help compete the credits?

Could the *ogs developers have a process that alerts the user to complete the new credit at time of creation?

This is a little out of the scope of the thread, but could be a part of getting a better description and make the credits more data rich.

I don't know how you use the system, but if I am faced with 50+ credits I open a new tab and search the database for that name. I locate the correct credit, and I copy that name (which includes the bracketed number) and paste it into my submission.

I know some users select the first Credit on the list regardless of whether it is correct or not, but I don't believe having a bracketed description as opposed to a number is going to modify their behaviour.

There are many examples on Discogs of Credits that have large numbers of variations:
John Smith: https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=John+Smith&type;=artist&strict;=true
Atlas: https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=Atlas&type;=artist&strict;=true

Personally, I don't see adding a written description to each of those respective 74 or 60 credits is going to make the process of finding the correct credit much easier than a bracketed number. Unfortunately, that is the reality of dealing with credits that have the same name.

I have no interest in discussing what the developers might be able to implement, my only concern is working with the system we have at present.

I will just iterate that if you added a descriptor to the 60 Atlas variations, some of those descriptions would need to be quite lengthy to differentiate each band. You might as well paste the profile into the brackets!

this would be dependent on whether someone has bothered to add a profile

Having to write a profile can be a big step, especially if you're insecure about your English skills. I know I wasn't confident doing it in the beginning. Having some dedicated fields w/ dropdowns could be a solution, I know it works at some other websites. Standardized data like that is also easier to use.

What we are discussing are credits that have the exactly the same name.

I know, that's what I was talking about too. We started entering studios with the number system as well, but it was agreed on that they would use locations instead, as it was seen more useful.

this would be dependent on whether someone has bothered to add a profile

I just want to make it clear that my comment was in no way judgemental of users who don't complete profiles. Bother simply means: take the trouble to do something, it doesn't imply the person is lazy or disrespectful.

The point I was really trying to make is that a drop down menu or a hover bubble that displays the profile only works if the data is present.

Some information can be useful, however the thing I have noticed is when there is a simple description such as "photographer", users will attribute everything to that Credit regardless of whether it is the correct person or not. The next thing you know you have John Smith photographer who has been alive for the last two hundred years, taking photographs of every known subject across 7 continents.

I agree that the studio teamed with the location seems more logical than using bracketed numbers in that situation. Although, I don't see how this could be applied to bands or individuals unless their feet are nailed to the floor.

I agree that the studio teamed with the location seems more logical than using bracketed numbers in that situation. Although, I don't see how this could be applied to bands or individuals unless their feet are nailed to the floor.

The point was that even in Discogs it was decided to deviate from the number system. The studios are a relatively new addition to the database, so the burden to fix the entries was not that big.

While bands and individuals (or companies, etc.) are not necessarily nailed to the floor, they do often live somewhere, or are based somewhere. There is also some other data that could be used/displayed.

I'm not saying that we should start including this data after the name, my preference would be still not having to add anything after the name, and deal with this issue in a different way.

The point I was really trying to make is that a drop down menu or a hover bubble that displays the profile only works if the data is present.

Of course. And the usefulness depends on what data is presented in the drop down or bubble. Looking at other databases, common ones are: occupation, nationality/location, and dates (birth/death).

@AgathaCrustie: as my latest reply was erased from the thread (!?), I just wanted to let you know, that I did not interpret your comment as judgemental.

As you've said in the photographer example, some users will credit everything to a matching profile (maybe I would too) or even to the first matching name (a few days ago, I've found an American photographer on Discogs, who was also credited for playing accordion on an Irish recording).

That's interesting because I noticed that foxmulder commented on something in another thread and that disappeared as well. Maybe you guys are using cheap ink.

I will repeat, I am not judgemental of anyone that contributes to this site. We all have different abilities, language skills, and the amount of time that people can devote to the site varies. Not everyone is retired like me. Sometimes I get disappointed if I see a minimal submission, but that's life.

an American photographer on Discogs, who was also credited for playing accordion on an Irish recording

My time spent on Discogs revealed the first variation of a name is usually an extremely multi-skilled individual who has a worked tirelessly in many countries and sometimes for several centuries.

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