Order of appearance of firstname and lastname

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Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:02 pm

Order of appearance of firstname and lastname

Postby barnes » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:04 pm

In some cultures (e.g. Chinese) people's names are normally written with the family name first, like this: "Mao Zedong". I don't know how to fit this into the OJS model.
  • If I put firstname=Zedong, lastname=Mao, then it will display in the wrong order, like this: "Zedong Mao".
  • If I put firstname=Mao and lastname=Zedong, then it will display correctly, but will be alphabetised incorrectly in the "By Author" section (under "Z" rather than "M").
My feeling is that the current setup in OJS is too Anglo-centric, and needs to be broadened to accommodate things like this, and other possibilities too. (For example, I noticed that someone was asking what to do with corporate authors, where the author is an organisation, not a person.)

Some possibilities:
  • replace "lastname" with "surname" or "family-name" (DocBook does this)
  • replace "firstname" with "personal-name" or something similar?
  • provide an "order" attribute on the author element?
  • provide a "lang" attribute that lets software look up the correct order?
Is there a standard for XML representations of names? Perhaps in bibliographic software? Zotero? EndNote?

For the moment I'm going with firstname=Zedong, lastname=Mao, and I hope my Chinese authors won't be offended. Perhaps I'll capitalise the family name in an attempt to make things clear, but it still feels not quite right...

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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:56 pm

Re: Order of appearance of firstname and lastname

Postby asmecher » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:31 pm

Hi barnes,

Agreed -- this would be a good option. For the most general solution, it might be better to add a field, e.g. "Presentation Name", that can be used to override the usual "Last Name, First Name"-type convention. This would also support institutional authors (but it would probably be best to look at some existing standards, such as Docbook, to see what they are using).

We've recently overhauled the metadata storage system, so I'd suggest going with the work-around for now and looking into a more permanent solution after OJS 2.2 is released -- this will save you a lot of time upgrading your modifications from 2.1.1 to 2.2. OJS 2.2 should be released this fall.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:02 pm

Re: Order of appearance of firstname and lastname

Postby barnes » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:34 pm

Hi Alex,

Yes, "Presentation Name" is good. I've seen that elsewhere too.

As you suggest, I'll wait for 2.2. Thanks.

Ian Barnes

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