At my institution, we get theses and dissertations in electronic form, and honors papers in paper form. I make name authority headings when students have common names that conflict with another author’s. I also make NARs with cross references when necessary when the name as supplied on the metadata at the OhioLINK ETD Center varies from the name as supplied on the title page of the full-text ETD.
The ETDs do not include a vita, but the secretaries in the individual departments and colleges have been very helpful in providing the date of birth or middle initial, once the purpose has been explained. I keep a list of department and college office telephone numbers handy. I only have to contact a given department or college infrequently, so the chances that it’s bothersome to any one person is minimal. Also, we keep up with cataloging these pretty well, so we aren’t asking the secretaries to dig into files of students who graduated more than a semester ago.
As an aside, I wonder if the old prescription to use a full, formal name in TDs and ETDs is loosening? I ask because I’ve come across many that use a shortened form or nickname instead of a given name (“Rick” instead of “Richard”) and have even encountered ETDs where the Chinese student has given his or her American nickname instead of a given name (“Annie” instead of “Peng”). I’ve been told that advisors and reviewers go over TDs/ETDs with a fine tooth comb before accepting them, and presumably would catch such things if they were considered errors. Given my experiences with names on ETDs, I surmise that the strict prescription to use full and formal names isn’t enforced, at least at this institution, and thus am reasonably confident that I have in front of me the author’s preferred form of name. Since we consider the full text PDF of the ETD to be the chief source of information, we base a heading on the name found there. Names on the OhioLINK ETD website/metadata created from the author-supplied submission form/ are considered variants.
Ms. Sevim McCutcheon
Catalog Librarian; Asst. Prof.
Kent State University
Are there any theses catalogers on this list? I ask, as I have a question regarding birthdates. Do you add birthdates to name hdgs. for theses?
--Where do you get said information (via Registrar's office?, Vita?, CV fact sheet etc.)?
--Do you routinely add them, or do you just use them to break a conflict?
--Are there issues you confront from authors if they see this information in FirstSearch, public catalog &/or the Web? How do you handle such issues?
Thanking you in advance for your time.
Robert C.W. Hall, Jr.
Technical Services Associate Librarian
Concord Free Public Library, Concord, MA 01742
978-318-3343 -- FAX: 978-318-3344 -- http://www.concordlibrary.org/
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