Talk:Authority control

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I am severely doubtful as to whether the word "Author" is in any way related to the origin of the term "Authority Control". Is there any evidence to back this up, as it sounds a little like folk etymology to me?

The Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Vol. 2 (New York: Marcel Dekker, 1969) starts the article on "Authority Files" with the following: "A separate listing of entries and the authority on which they are based is commonly called an authority file; these files may, for example, simply record decisions which are based on a single authority, in which case the listing of the authority may not be given, in the interest of simplification." (My emphasis). It seems from this that the word Authority refers to the source of evidence from which a decision to use a particular form of heading is made. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Orangeaurochs (talkcontribs) 10:12, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

My sense is the word "author" and "authority control" are highly related etymologically.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 16:46, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Both words "author" and "authority" are related etymologically in this sense that when something is written down (ie by an author), the act of writing it down is to make it official, and has weight and meaning; for example, laws and rules were usually written down, with the written version being the official (less changeable) version, meaning that these rules had authority in that sense. Or here is another way to think about it: when an author writes something, he or she is usually knowledgeable and expert at what they're writing about -- that is, the author is an authority.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 16:16, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Hard to understand lede paragraph[edit]

I read the lede paragraph several times and I am still scratching my head. The problem perhaps is that there are too many wikilinked terms (collocate, flourished) etc which I have to click on to try to get a sense of what this is all about. Plus, the sense of "authority control" suggests something police-like when we're really talking about "authority" in the sense of authors.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 16:46, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

We will not give donations to this site. We are buying our books. This is government controlled.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
Wikimedia is a nonprofit organization unaffiliated with any government. About this article, I wrote much of it. And I am not controlled by any government. Rather, Wikimedia runs by rules made by community members. If you buy books, you are paying taxes which ends up in the coffers of government.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 12:09, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

A bit misleading[edit]

"Note that the word authority in authority control is related etymologically to the task of identifying a specific author,[6][7][8] and is not connected with other senses of the word authority such as power over someone else."

This makes it sound as if the word "authority" in "authority control" is etymologically a different word from the familiar "authority" as in "person who has power", which surely is not correct. Surely "author" and both meanings of "authority" are all intimately etymologically connected, so in this context "is not connected with" seems a bit misleading. (talk) 03:30, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, you're right. Thanks for pointing this out.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 12:16, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Is the new version any better? Does it get at what you're trying to get at?--Tomwsulcer (talk) 12:25, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Why is Wikipedia listed as "test"?[edit]

This entry shows the Wikipedia icon with a yellow warning triangle, and when you hover over it, it says "(en)-test". Why? — Sebastian 04:18, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Because the English Wikipedia was recently added (evaluated) to VIAF for testing purposes. --Kolja21 (talk) 03:32, 11 April 2013 (UTC)


Should we add an ISNI parameter? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:24, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Looks relevant to me.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 00:08, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry; I meant that for Template talk:Authority control! Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:05, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Tsk tsk. My knowledge of templates is limited to the improbable supposition that it is somebody with a lisp trying to say "ten plates" so as you can see I am highly unqualified to address your concern.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 14:13, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

IMDB and IBDB[edit]

What do we need to do to get IMDB and IBDB to adopt the VIAF number? If they did our template could contain the link to the IMDB and IBDB profile and we wouldn't have to have it as an external link. It would save space and it could be automated. Can we treat the IMDB and IBDB number as an authority control number and have it display in the template? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:19, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

We don't need to get them to adopt VIAF - we could pull these in automatically from Wikidata without too much trouble. (~104k biographies on English Wikipedia have a linked IMDB number on Wikidata). Whether we'd want to do this is another question, and should probably be raised at Template talk:Authority control... Andrew Gray (talk) 20:44, 23 March 2015 (UTC)