Just cleaned up all the items (except one) that were incorrectly attributed to the historian:

https://books.discogs.com/credit/93240-peter-carey

Rather than the more well-known Australian author:

https://books.discogs.com/credit/196361-peter-carey-2

What's the current strategy for avoiding this sort of thing?

I think we are going for something like this with credits with the same name.
Peter Carey (Historian)
Peter Carey (Author)
I think it is ok to change both credits like my example.
We have had some discussion about this but not sure if a consensus was agrred.

Yes, I favoured that approach when I joined the effort here, but everyone wanted to go with discogs numbering approach at that time.

I won't change anything yet in case there are other opinions.

I was against this new way at first but now I see it in action, I like it a lot more that the Discogs way but yes, lets see if we can get more input on this and make a final decision.

I don't see what the drama is really as I completed both profiles and added images to the two Credits ages ago.

If users can't be bothered making the right selection when given all the information, then it probably wouldn't help whatever the suffix was.

Just for the record Peter Carey (first variation) is an author and historian.

dzed I just noticed you created https://books.discogs.com/wiki/booker-prize which is excellent.

I am sympathetic to all of these the views, and I agree that there's no need to use "Author" as a way of distinguishing credits, after all everyone who writes a book is a an author. In this case "Novelist" would be a better choice.

I know that in the past there have been questions along the lines of "But what if they are a novelist who also write poems?" - but in general people tend to be known primarily for one thing.

It's also worth considering that this is only a proposal to help with disambiguation, not an attempt to classify every credit according to the indiviual's occupation. Sometimes I think we risk getting bogged down in straw man arguments.

thethrowback: Thanks for the kudos! I am trying to expand the wiki pages a bit - hopefully we can get some more traction in search results

I have raised this numerous times but what happens when you have multiple credits with the same name and all of these people have identical roles? The descriptive suffix system will fall on its backside because it will be impossible to differentiate multiple variants unless the user resorts to writing a lengthy essay (assuming any details are actaully known).

I am all for overturning flawed systems but if something is being replaced by something inferior it seems an exercise in futility.

Wikipedia has been cited as some mangnificent paradigm but in my experience they don't have a page for umpteen different editors with the same name.

I have heard the argument that the number suffix conveys rank, well that is possible but then again anyone who bothers to acquaint themselves with the Guidelines will quickly learn that this is not correct. It is impossible to make a complex system completely intuitive.

Recently, I have noticed a shift towards users not using variation numbers or anything else, which is exactly what happens when ad hoc systems are in place. People get confused and don't bother at all.

What's the current strategy for avoiding this sort of thing?

+1 from me to use a profession/role description.

It's no secret though that I'm willing to drop all suffixes. So, I hope all of this suffix business is only temporary. :-)

Not sure if you've seen it, but sharpmath did make a good suggestion for a "short description" field:
https://books.discogs.com/forum/634916-new-feature-on-credits-events-dates#post-15

Is anyone open to the idea of starting the descriptions with a small letter, e.g. (band), (author), just to make it clear it's not part of the title/credit name?

I have raised this numerous times but what happens when you have multiple credits with the same name and all of these people have identical roles?
I have raised this numerous times but what happens when you have multiple credits with the same name and all of these people have identical roles?
I have raised this numerous times but what happens when you have multiple credits with the same name and all of these people have identical roles?
I have raised this numerous times but what happens when you have multiple credits with the same name and all of these people have identical roles?
I have raised this numerous times but what happens when you have multiple credits with the same name and all of these people have identical roles?

Maybe if I ask the question enough times someone will have the balls to answer it.

why not do both e.g. John Smith (Author 1) John Smith (Author 2) etc. ?
that would at least make the search easier.

thethrowback - I will rise to your challenge and attempt to answer this...

Q. What happens when you have multiple credits with the same name and all of these people have identical roles?

A. This suggested approach to disambiguation is not particularly useful - and shouldn't be used.

However, in many cases we are only talking about disambiguation of a couple credits with differing roles and this approach would work well.

So, now I want to circle back to my original question "What's the current strategy for avoiding this sort of thing?"...

The answer of "We rely on our contributors to do the right thing - we fix problems as we find them" is a perfectly acceptable answer as well. I was interested in seeing whether the community's approach to this had changed in the last year or so.

I'm with Throwback on this, I think it should be kept simple with a numbered suffix. There is no way round the fact that submitters will mis-credit books even when the profile is fully completed as possible.

The issue I have with adding words to a suffix is its open to a lot of confusion (more so than a number system). Some people have a variety of roles - editor, author, photographer, journalist. With bands with the same name it could also be tricky.

The other issue is, as i mentioned earlier, the number system is simple. With allowing users to added suffix's it is extremely difficult to maintain a uniform system. This has been evidenced by the "subjects" which users can add freely and has proved to be a little unwieldy at times.

"We rely on our contributors to do the right thing - we fix problems as we find them"

The problem is that the contributors/editors don't agree on what is the 'right thing'. We have users with different backgrounds, and with different opinions.

This particular issue has been discussed since the dawn of Bookogs.

Staff has agreed that the numbering system is not the best way to go (see here), and even promised to find other ways of making distinguishing different entries easier, but so far nothing has happened.

why not do both e.g. John Smith (Author 1) John Smith (Author 2) etc. ?

Yeah, there are solutions. It doesn't need to be one word, either. And 2-3 words is still not an essay.

Also, whether the identical suffixes is seen as a bad thing or not, is subjective. Even when there's no other information available, they do limit the amount of profiles you have to check, and can be sorted out by role.

James Smith (author)
James Smith (author)
James Smith (editor)
James Smith (editor)

vs.

James Smith (51)
James Smith (52)
James Smith (53)
James Smith (54)

I just noticed that Australian author Peter Carey (2) profile links to his discogs profile called Peter Carey (3)

It struck me as funny anyway :)

Hehe, there are other similar cases too.

I'm waiting for a day when we have a multi-disciplinary artist who has a different suffix on all the different Ogs sites (minus maybe Gearogs). :-)

With allowing users to added suffix's it is extremely difficult to maintain a uniform system.

That's true, but that's the case with the numbers too.

Even Discogs struggles with the numbers. Not only do artists want theirs to be the first, the one without the suffix, but they are also altering their names to achieve that, or end up using a number that they think is cool, like (666).

Then there are the users who get frustrated by the sheer amount of certain credits, so they don't even bother checking the existing credits and just create a new one.

And, since the search doesn't always include all the credits, and for some other reasons, some users just add a random number, not a sequential one. If the frustration is real, the number is something like (78644).

That's why we should just dump all the suffixes, and let staff figure it out. ;-)

Staff member kalli commented "We don’t believe the numbering system is the best way to go." https://books.discogs.com/forum/530564-credit-name-indentifiers#post-11

Nowhere in the that thread was a green light given to dismantle the present numbering system or begin implementing a descriptive suffix system.

sharpmath outlined a plan which involved adding a short description to the edit page. This required a change to be made to the edit page by the staff.

This has never been implemented.

The situation at the moment is you have several contibuters adding descriptive suffixes, others that are adhering to the numbered suffix system and some that don't even bother.

I understand there might be a group of users who find the number suffix unappealing from an aesthetic perspective because their submission doesn't look exactly like their book.

Frankly, I find the inclusion of descriptive text even more confronting.

I have just seen the descriptive text "(Welsh author)", which begs the question, what happens when another Welsh author by that name is added to the database (or a succession of Welsh authors by the same name)? Do you you start describing their facial features?

I am all for replacing the numbered suffix system but it has to be with a superior system, otherwise it is a waste of time and ultimately doomed to failure.

At this time, a descriptive suffix is overall superior to a numbered suffix.

1- It will not hurt anything to use a more descriptive suffix system. The staff never implemented it, but never explicitly nixed it either. They did say that they believed the number-only suffixes were not "the best way to go".

I can't visualize a scenario that this site would go from a descriptive suffix back to only a numbered one. This would be a step back. I could see a change similar to the system I proposed previously. This could even be done in batch where the text in parenthesis be copied to the new field and then removed from the title credit.

2- Thinking that it is a waste of time if it has to be changed is utter nonsense, as the staff has been absent for 6 months now. The whole site could be pulled at any moment and all the work with it. Or what if Discogs (proper) in the near future decides to move to new system that eliminates the suffixes, does that make all previous work a waste of time?

My overall hope is that all the *ogs sites have a unified credit system, but until that happens...

At this time, a descriptive suffix is overall superior to a numbered suffix.

Maybe you could do me the favour of explaining how adding ad hoc descriptions are superior to the numbered suffixes.

At least with numbered suffixes it is possible to keep track of which Credits a user has opened and discounted when searching through multiple variants to find the correct one.

I don't know how other users manage this task, but if someone can memorise the unique url numbers then that is an enviable talent, but I'm fairly certain the average Joe doesn't have that ability.

I can't believe anyone could seriously suggest this as a better solution:

James Smith (author)
James Smith (author)
James Smith (editor)
James Smith (editor)

vs.

James Smith (51)
James Smith (52)
James Smith (53)
James Smith (54)

What happens when you have 100 Credits titled James Smith (author)? I would suggest an unworkable mess.

sharpmath I thought the system that you devised has merit, however it requires a change to the edit page and that has not happened.

In the meantime, some users have decided to implement their own system which is resulting in something resembling a dog's dinner.

thethrowback wrote:

I can't believe anyone could seriously suggest this as a better solution:

James Smith (author)
James Smith (author)
James Smith (editor)
James Smith (editor)

vs.

James Smith (51)
James Smith (52)
James Smith (53)
James Smith (54)

The descriptive suffix is quantifiably better because it cuts the choices in half right from the start. Instead of having to look for the "author" at four profiles (51, 52, 53, 54) you only need to look at the two marked as author.

What happens when you have 100 Credits titled James Smith (author)? I would suggest an unworkable mess.

While 100 authors named James Smith is possible, this scenario is an outlier.
A descriptive suffix would still be better, even if you have to describe facial features. It seems to work pretty well over at Wikipedia, although they are not all authors. Adding a nationality, birthdate, etc. would help.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Smith

Also, I'm not arguing the aesthetics of a descriptive suffix, I'm advocating a functional standpoint. That's why I talk of a meta-credit that could be displayed when searching a credit but is not displayed on the overall page view to the casual user. This meta-credit could solve the look and function.

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