I had occasion today to use an AAP for a German scholar who's been
established in the National Authority File under her name followed by the
qualifier $c (Research associate).

This phrase occurs in her online CV as the English translation of the job
title "Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin" (or for males, "Wissenschaftlicher

I know this question of choosing an appropriate qualifier when no birth
date/fuller form of name/etc. is available can be a prickly one, but I
would like to caution against choosing this particular qualifier.

"Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter"/"Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin" in the
German academic system is by its nature a temporary status.

Most German scholars at the beginning of their careers hold positions where
this is their job title -- they are all hoping to move up the academic
ladder to positions where they will have the title of Professor or
something similar.

If they continue to publish, they will find it rather odd to see that
records for their books identify them as a "Research associate."

A little further investigation in this particular case showed that the
scholar in question was working in the area of Medieval history, so a more
appropriate qualifier -- one that would have a more permanent application
as she continues to work in academics -- might have been
 $c (Medievalist).

So this is a request that we all try to avoid qualifiers that have a
built-in temporary aspect -- "(Postdoctoral fellow)" would be another
example. I would suggest that we instead formulate qualifiers based on a
person's area of interest, i.e. (Scholar of <insert appropriate term here>).

Charles Croissant
Senior Catalog Librarian
Pius XII Memorial Library
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO 63108