I have seen a few name authority records with $c (Ph. D. in …) as a qualifier. Good enough?
Li, Dan, ‡c (Ph.D. in literature) (no2014165347)
Otherwise, it is plain $c Ph. D.
PhD, Ph.D. or Dr. Phil. should all be normalized as Ph. D. (with a space) in access points, should it not?
I don’t think we have to worry about him getting a higher degree. Ph.D. is the highest degree you can get in a field. Admittedly it is imperfect if other people with the same name get a Ph.D., but hopefully those people’s names will be qualifiable some other way.
UAB Lister Hill LIbrary
You can always add a profession such as “College teacher” or “Chemist” or something such as “Writer on widgits and whoseits” or “Writer on Ruritania”. If the middle name or birth date appears in public records, and especially if it is in reference sources, that might weigh against respecting his wishes, but if the person complains we should be respectful. Using something such as a degree isn’t overly helpful since over time if the name is so common we need a qualifier, there are likely to be many people with a PhD, and all of them (be definition) have written books; also it is a bad thing to pick a qualifier that become dated (consider the implications if we became attached to “Obama, Barack $c(Law teacher)” or “Trump, Donald $c(Businessman)” or anyone with an academic degree or rank who goes on to a better degree and a higher rank (and once upon on time, both the aforementioned presidents were undergraduates, and if they wrote something would we want (“High school graduate”) to be the qualifier. I don’t think we’ve though through the ramifications of the “new” subfield “c”, since over time, we will all have far too many people with the same names and we’ll be constantly changing qualifiers (and attached records) to compensate.
Aaron Kuperman, LC Law Cataloging Section.
This is not an official communication from my employer