OK, I am new to MODS, and don't come from a library background, so I
don't understand all the points made, but here are a few of my comments.

What is the purpose of MADS?  I don't say that flippantly. I know it is
a format for authority data for names, titles, etc.  But give me an
example of how it would be used.  If it is an authority list, I presume
most of the records would come from authoritative bodies (LOC, etc.) and
that in turn users (libraries, writers, etc) would use it as a resource
to compare entries (MODS, etc.) against to standardize and validate.

I can see how that is helpful as a cataloging tool, particularly with
titles; but I think that some of the difficulty that people are having
with MADS in this thread is that they are trying conceive of MADS as a
formatting tool for bibliographic work.

My impression is that bibliographic references to published resources
are supposed to identify the resource by the information that was
presented in the resource. Thus, if a paper has an author of J. D. Doe,
the citation should not reflect it as John D. Doe, even if we know from
other sources that is the author's name. This is aside from formatting
rules that each publisher has for bibliographies. Similarly for author
affiliation. I believe most papers present the authors affiliation at
the time research was performed (for science), and not the person's
affiliation at the time of publication (that might be footnoted). If an
authority source such as MADS is relied on to derive this information
about an author, it seems the real risk is that the authority record
will not provide the associated information as it was presented in the

For this reason, I do not think that MADS is a good substitute for
including that informations within MODS itself

Some other concerns.  If a user is trying to associate an author, say
John Smith to an authority source such as a MODS list, how can the user
be sure that a particular John Smith in the authority list is actually
the one that wrote the paper: often a resource will not include all the
information that a user (particularly one without intimate knowledge of
the resource realm) will need to match it unambiguously to an authority
record. This is not a problem if the authority list already contains a
name record with and associated title, but rather just a name authority

An aspect that Bruce brought up.  MODS itself does not seem to have any
method of recording the ordinal position of an author in a resource with
multiple authors.  Does it strictly rely on position within the record
for author ordination? It seems an explicit method of indication that
would be needed. Does the ID attribute do that? Nowhere in the
documentation that I have read is there a description or example that
would indicate how that might function (unambiguously) if the ID
attribute was used.

Mark Hart