Thanks, Yang, for finding that. It gave me a chance to create a differentiated authority. It is no2020072907, set up as Liu, An (Electrical engineer). Linkedin is a helpful source. 

I also wanted to thank Charles for the points about Chinese characters. I cataloged 9 books in Chinese, and of course I couldn't read them. I got help from a Chinese speaker to transcribe them. But I did actually get to where I was familiar with a few Chinese characters. That helped me to be more confident sometimes. 

Ted Gemberling
UAB Libraries

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Yang Wang <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2020 4:54 PM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Plea for subjects on name authority records



It looks like that “Design and development of an affordable telemetry system” was first written by An Liu as his master thesis at UAB (2018). He is an electrical engineer at the GD Precise Copper Tubing USA Inc. ( BTW, neither his thesis nor his namesake conference paper is in OCLC.


Based on the 670s of the current two authority records you have given, a Chinese cataloger would be able to determine right away that neither “Liu, An, ‡d 1981- “ (specializing in Corporate law) nor “Liu, An, ‡d 1962-“ (editor of “Xiamen wen xue,” a well-known literary periodical) can be the author of “Design and development of….”


But I do agree that catalogers working with CJK names should add more information to facilitate identity management and prevent possible confusion. Often even dates are not enough. It is not uncommon to see an identical Chinese name with identical year of birth, undifferentiated, used for controlled access points in so many bibs in OCLC database. Under such circumstances, perhaps it would be advisable to qualify the name preemptively, even though the entity “[name], $d [date]” itself is not yet in NAF. Why? Because as it occurs sometimes with automation, the unqualified “name + date” entity would appear mistakenly as AAP in other bibs. Then, more sorting and cleaning up would have to be done, if or when such mistakes are discovered.


Last week I came across a “Guest, George” as a reference to “Guest, Geo. ‡q (George)”—an English school master. But my bib clearly shows that he was a conductor: Guest, George, ‡d 1924-2002. In OCLC bib file, under the access point “Guest, Geo. ‡q (George),” one sees 5 cases of mismatched identity out of 8 bibs. I just hope it wasn’t ALMA that automatically flipped the heading locally and resubmitted these bibs to OCLC as updates.  


Best regards,




From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Charles Croissant
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2020 4:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Plea for subjects on name authority records


I'd like to offer support to Ted's plea, and expand on it. I've recently had to work on several authority records for Chinese authors, and it is so difficult to navigate among the existing records when they give so little context. I am fortunate that I have a Chinese colleague at hand who has been able to assist me in making identifications. But even she encounters problems, because if all the information in a record is provided in transliteration, it can be very difficult even for a native speaker to figure out what Chinese character is meant.


The only way to be truly confident that you have made a correct  identification is if the authority record includes the Chinese characters used by the author. This is becoming more common these days, but cross-references with Chinese characters are still the exception and not the norm.


The problem arises because the Chinese language uses only a fairly limited set of syllables. When these phonemes are transliterated into the Latin alphabet, the information about the tone at which the syllable is spoken is not recorded. The particular phoneme which we spell "Yang" in transliteration may represent any one of a number of Chinese characters. These characters are all distinct visually, and distinct when spoken because of their tone, but they all wind up looking the same in transliteration.


As an example, check out these authority records:

n 2007067816



Both these persons have a name that is transliterated as Yang, Xiaogang. When I was establishing the authority record no2020067732, it was challenging to know whether my individual was the person identified in n 2007067816, or someone else. Once I was able to locate the name of "my" Yang Xiaogang in Chinese, it was apparent that he used different characters than the individual established in n 2007067816.


If I had had only the transliterated text in the 670 of n 2007067816 to go by, it would be very hard to know whether they were two different people or the same person.


But when the Chinese characters are present in a 400, as in these two records, even a non-Chinese-speaker can see that they are using different characters to express their names, and you can thus be more confident that you are dealing with two different people.


So my plea would be, in addition to providing context for a person through subject information, please, whenever you can, provide a cross-reference with the person's name in Chinese characters.



Charles Croissant

Saint Louis University



From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Gemberling, Ted P <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2020 12:56 PM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [External] [PCCLIST] Plea for subjects on name authority records


I wanted to make a plea to add some English-language subject information in authority records, perhaps especially for writers with East Asian names. In the Alma catalog there is an "Authority Control Task List" where we are encouraged to differentiate personal names. This morning I attempted to do that with the name Liu, An. We have a work in our catalog by this person called Design and development of an affordable telemetry system (2018). Now there are four An Liu's. Two had birth dates of 1962 and 1981, which seem possible for this author. The 1981 name doesn't seem likely because it says he (or she, not sure of the gender) was an attorney. With 1962 we have information that he or she is an author and editor. Author and editor of what?


Now, of course we can't expect catalogers to know the subject of a book if it is in Chinese. But if you are going to create an authority for an American name authority file, it is not very useful if a cataloger can't know what sorts of things the author wrote on. And actually An Liu is easier than a lot of other East Asian names. There are often many authors with the same name. 


Thanks for considering this. 


Ted Gemberling

UAB Libraries