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I agree with most of what Stephen says, but it seems to me the goal
should be to replace textual added entries with links to identifiers.
So it would not be possible to just "assign a name heading."  That means
you have to choose one or the other as the supposed author, accepting
that sometimes you'll be wrong (not much different from the present
situation).

 

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John Hostage                              Authorities Librarian

Langdell Hall                                 [log in to unmask]

Harvard Law School Library    +(1)(617) 495-3974 (voice)

Cambridge, MA 02138              +(1)(617) 496-4409 (fax)

http://www.law.harvard.edu/library/

 

picture. What to do? My answer would be that if differentiation is
distinct from heading form, it becomes possible to assign the name
heading to the new book without necessarily ascribing its authorship to
either of the two established authorities. This to me would be truer to
the state of knowledge about the new book and its predecessors than
would creating a third, undifferentiated personal name authority just to
accommodate the as yet unascribed title. Perhaps the point of this
little digression is that the real problem in the case of very similar
authors is one of ascribing authorship rather than of differentiating
individuals. We're better off dealing with such cases with a mechanism
like OCLC's controlled/uncontrolled headings rather than with
undifferentiated personal name authorities.