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Bug 6744 - Allowance for null author field
Allowance for null author field
Status: NEW
Product: OJS
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Authors
All All
: P3 normal
Assigned To: PKP Support
Depends on:
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Reported: 2011-07-08 06:04 PDT by Michael Nason
Modified: 2012-03-27 06:03 PDT (History)
3 users (show)

See Also:
Version Reported In:
Also Affects:


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Description Michael Nason 2011-07-08 06:04:55 PDT
In our workflow, it's definitely not uncommon to have items in a journal issue missing an author. The publication of a collection of abstracts, for example, is maybe curated by someone, but it's not authored by them.

Currently, our work around is to enter a single white space in the author field or maybe an non-breaking space. I think I'd prefer it if I could just remove the author option entirely and allow for the table to have a null entry instead of a fudged white-space entry. 

I'm surprised it's taken me this long to ask about this. 

And I understand that this is, probably, a side effect of the fact that we publish from print instead of doing everything electronically. There's some cruft. But I bet we're not the only ones who've asked (I took a look around but didn't recognize what I was looking for in bugzilla already)

It's quite possible that this doesn't make sense for authors to adjust. Maybe only journal managers or editors should have to capability to remove those things. 

Comment 1 Alec Smecher 2011-07-08 12:27:26 PDT
Mike, is this a submission with no authors, or a submission with a single author with a blank email? If it's the latter, see (ancient) bug #3636 -- but I'm not sure.
Comment 2 Michael Nason 2011-07-08 14:23:33 PDT
The former.
Comment 3 Alec Smecher 2011-07-08 17:32:42 PDT
That shouldn't be too difficult -- both changes (i.e. making it possible to submit without an author, and allowing author entries without emails) are good ideas. I'd suggest that both cases only be permissible for Editors, i.e. when running the QuickSubmit plugin, or doing import/export, or going through the regular submission process with an account having both Author and Editor roles. We'll have to grep through the interface and ensure that there's no code that assumes an author exists, but I don't think it'll be anything more complicated than ensuring a "---" is displayed if none exists.

Scheduling for 2.4 -- unless someone comes along sooner with a patch :)
Comment 4 Michael Nason 2011-07-08 17:40:48 PDT
I'll see if I can't rustle someone up.
Comment 5 Juan Pablo Alperin 2011-07-08 17:47:33 PDT
there's some code that expects a primary author, not sure exactly where, but i ran across it once in my life.
Comment 6 Michael Nason 2012-03-27 06:03:32 PDT
So, I couldn't rustle someone up and this is still problematic from a metadata perspective. I think James pointed out those issues with bug 6551, except the option to suppress author names by section is somewhat restrictive. Sometimes things that are part of a section that generally doesn't have authors, might. Or vice versa.