Template talk:Authority control/Archive 1

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I noticed that an editor added this template to the articles of several actors. The additions made little sense to me, but I didn't see any documented basis for reverting the changes. Another editor (bolder than I) reverted them. See, for example, here. I asked the editor about the reversion, and he responded on my Talk page: "The Authority control, mainly used by libraries, is a way to disambiguate bibliography with similar or identical titles. Or to quote its convoluted wiki article, "Authority control is the practice of creating and maintaining index terms for bibliographic material in a catalog in library and information science... Although theoretically, any piece of information on a given book is amenable to authority control, catalogers typically focus on authors and titles."

Couldn't we add something to the template's documentation about its use in articles? It would make reversion of inappropriate additions much easier.--Bbb23 (talk) 15:26, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

This template isn't just for book authors or titles, it's intended for all persons where such entries in the authority files of national libraries like the Library of Congress exist. If such entries in the authority files are created, it means that either works (books, DVDs, music albums) by this person or about this person exist and can be found via the LCCN, PND or VIAF. So there's no need to remove it from articles of actors. --Kam Solusar (talk) 21:35, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the response, but I think the more important question is not whether there's any "need" to remove it from an actor's article, but whether it should be included in the first instance. Let's take the Matt LeBlanc example again. I looked at the LOC record for LeBlanc, and it adds nothing to the article. It essentially has two entries, one for IMDb, which I assume just about every actor will have, and one for a video he did called Burning Up, which is no big deal and isn't even in the article directly. Now, if LeBlanc wrote a book, and if he were notable for having written that book, including the template makes some sense. Otherwise, I don't see it.--Bbb23 (talk) 22:09, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
The links are not the important part of the template, they are just added as additional value so the readers don't have to stare at the bare numbers. The LCCN links to the Linked Authority File (which uses information from the LoC) because there's not really a good alternative at the moment (as Worldcat doesn't have entries for all LCCNs AFAIK). In the long run, there's probably going to be a page like Special:BookSources linking to all kinds of databases that use these identifiers. It's not only useful to find books that LeBlanc might write, but also to find all the works in libraries worldwide that are written about him and works where he took part in creating.
The info in the Linked Authority File isn't a representation of all works by or about this person like the IMDb, it's just information from the LoC's authority file that shows what information about that person is included in the database and where it came from (in this case, the video is the reason why LeBlanc was added and the IMDb reference shows where they got that information). As I said, not the best link target, but better than no link at all for the moment. --Kam Solusar (talk) 13:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
In response to Kam Solusar, authority control is a modern practice employed by libraries to disambiguate bibliography with similar or identical titles. This template is only useful for authors or titles with disambiguation needs. Yes, many pop culture figures are likely to have their entries in the national library system, but that does not create a need for authority control. As Bbb23 pointed out, they do not add anything meaningful to their articles. And please refrain from adding them to actors and singers alike. - Artoasis (talk) 02:12, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it's used by libraries to categorize works (books, CD-ROMs, DVDs, music albums, etc.., even computer games nowadays) by their authors, but also by their subjects. So while those actors might not have written books themselves, there are often works by them or about them (otherwise the libraries wouldn't have created a LCCN / other identifier for that person). And this template is used to link our articles to the library catalogues and other databases to look up all the works created by or about these persons, not just book authors. --13:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Kam Solusar wrote: "So there's no need to remove it from articles of actors." I'd argue there's no need to add this template to any article. The external link it provides fails Wikipedia's guidelines in not providing any additional encyclopedic information and it fails WP:LAYOUT for its strict placement requirement and intrusive display. If it has any raison d'être, its proper place is hidden in the code, similar to {{Persondata}} – that's how meta data should be treated.. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:35, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
As I said before, the template's main purpose is the addition of meaninful metadata to our articles, the links are just added as additional value for the readers. The German Wikipedia for example alreadys uses this template in over >150000 articles. Originally it was requested by the library community to link our content and their databases, as both gain benefits from this cooperation. The German National Library for example uses this metata to add links to the corresponding Wikipedia articles to their database: example. If this template gained more traction and was added to more articles, the WMF could talk to the Library of Congress for example to see if there could be a similar cooperation. --Kam Solusar (talk) 13:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
(squeeze) Exactly, metadata. How the links represent "additional value for the readers" escapes me. The template should not produce any visible output. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 16:04, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
So you don't oppose the existence and use of the template, just the way it is displayed? I think it was already mentioned in the deletion discussion, that this is something that can be easily changed if the community wants it to be invisible (like the Persondata template for example). --Kam Solusar (talk) 17:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Please use common sense on this issue. Does the template really add anything valuable to the English articles about celebrities? The template is essentially a cooperation between the German National Library and Library of Congress to direct readers to their websites, which btw, contains very little bibliographic material on certain subjects (eg. Matt LeBlanc). It's hard to imagine someone who followed the link would then take a trip to these two libraries to pick up all those books. And if they're already in the library, it would be much earlier to simply search the celebrities' name in the library system. The existence of this temp doesn't justify its usage on so many pages. - Artoasis (talk) 15:33, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Artoasis and will revert the addition of the template to articles to which it adds little or no value. If I can't get a documentation change to clarify its use on English Wikipedia, then I'll just rely on existing guidelines, policies, and editorial judgment.--Bbb23 (talk) 16:46, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
So you really think it's a bad idea for an encyclopedia to connect its contents with the vast resources of national libraries and other GLAM organizations from all around the globe (and probably hundreds more that use the same identifiers) covering the same subject? There are huge efforts from dedicated editors, people in the GLAM community and the Foundation to foster closer relations and cooperations between Wikipedia and the GLAM community. And here we have the chance to add meaningful metadata that provides the GLAM organizations with a way to easily identify the subjects of our articles and extract information from them to combine them with their own databases and archives on their websites and other projects, as well as a means to create automatic processes that help Wikipedia editors and readers with getting access to more and specific information about these persons. This is not just about what can be done with this metadata now, it's important to consider what can be done with it once it is widely used and developers devote time to develop new tools (just like {{Persondata}}).
And I repeat: this template is not about the links. If there's a concensus in the community that they are not needed, they can be removed or changed to better sites. Or the template can be turned invisible. But the metadata is needed and if you remove it now, it will only take more work to add it back in the future.
And concerning LeBlanc: please don't get so hung up over one of hundreds of thousands of articles about persons that will eventually be tagged with this template. Maybe there aren't many books about LeBlanc at the moment. But via the LCCN, PND and other library identifiers linked on VIAF, it's possible for every editor and reader to check for themselves in the national library (or other libraries and online databases) of their respective country whether literature by or about LeBlanc exist, be it in English or in their native language. Just like we add coordinates to all articles about places even though it might not be particularly usefull in some cases (long-time destroyed buildings, areas where only crappy satellite photos exist, etc..). Would it make you happy, if the template was changed to be invisible? --Kam Solusar (talk) 17:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
You make too many colliding macro/micro points for me to address each one - and try to avoid the somewhat ranting style, including veiled innuendo like "would it make you happy". I favor better documenting the proper use of the template. I think I favor creating a parameter that permits the editor inserting the template to make it invisible when appropriate, but I'm not as sure of my ground on that one.--Bbb23 (talk) 18:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Sorry if that sounded like some kind of innuendo, that really wasn't my intention. Visiblity via parameters could be somewhat problematic, if editors get to choose per article whether to display it in "their" article or not (WP:OWN). --Kam Solusar (talk) 19:09, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I work a lot with maintenance of people categories on commons. Commons like wikipedia has a lot of issues with disambiguation of people with same name, and VIAF or some other unique authority control ID is essential for keeping then straight. Titles of biography article often change, as do names of categories on Commons, as a result interwiki links (in both directions) are often broken. Also in many cases article with some title on Wikipedia and category with the same title on Commons, but they refer to different people. A lot of those problems can be fixed by tagging all biographies ( and people categories on commons) with unique ID's like VIAF the way German Wikipedia did it. May be even creating some lookup service that would allow to link to an article not by title but by VIAF ID so the interwiki links do not break each time someone renames an article. --Jarekt (talk) 13:19, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I just wanted to chime in to second Jarket's comments. The identifiers in this template are extremely useful for disambiguation. It would be really sad to see this work reverted. Wikipedia is increasingly used as a data source that is integrated into other websites and applications. This is good for their website (they get high quality, curated content) and it is good for Wikipedia since it helps it achieve its goal of spreading human knowledge. Having identifiers that make that job easier is essential. Edsu (talk) 10:24, 13 July 2012 (UTC)


If this template is metadata and not an external link, why is it being added to the external links sections of articles rather than added to the metadata at the end? Currently, it cuts right across the page separating the succession and navboxes from the rest of the article. This formatting is inappropriate and intrusive. DrKiernan (talk) 14:44, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

"separating the succession and navboxes from the rest of the article" - The template is usually placed after all the article content, right before the persondata template (I guess because categories and interwiki links should always be at the end of the source code, and the persondata template is invisible for most people). I'm not too sure about the current layout of the template myself. The template here on :en (both in Vector and Monobook skins) resembles the Vector version on the German Wikipedia. I'm more used to the German Wikipedia's Monobook version, which resembles the layout of the category list: [1]. But I'm just one of the editors who uses it, not the one who maintains the template. I wouldn't mind a better looking layout. --Kam Solusar (talk) 19:17, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll talk to FeanorStar who is adding it before the navboxes and ask her to put it immediately before the persondata. DrKiernan (talk) 19:30, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Hello: I saw a message about this on my talk page. I have been adding the template after the external links because to me it is an external link; it links to an external source (LC). I do think it is useful to have the template for the reasons stated above and also in certain cases (historical figures), it provides a listing of variant names used by other writers in various languages about the subject(s). I hope this makes sense. I will hold off on adding anymore until this has been resolved. Signed by FeanorStar7 (male).--FeanorStar7 (talk) 00:08, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Since I have not heard anything and if there is no objection, I will go ahead and change the location of template and put it before the persondata from now on. I will try to go back and move the old ones around as well.--FeanorStar7 (talk) 09:36, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Hold on, I don't quite get what the change is supposed to be. Hekerui (talk) 11:36, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
There's confusion over where is the best place to put the template. Should it be above or below navboxes? In the external links section or with the metadata? They don't seem to have navboxes at the German wiki, so the question doesn't seem to have arisen there.
If it's above the navboxes then are we happy with a look like this example, or should we try to develop a less intrusive format? DrKiernan (talk) 12:11, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
A less intrusive format would be good, preferrably display:none;. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your responses. I am less interested in the coding than in getting the information to the user. Whatever you all want to decide is fine with me; once I know what the consensus regarding how and where the template should appear, I can go from there. Hope that's not a problem.--FeanorStar7 (talk) 23:57, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

How about a minimal change, such as cutting out the "navbox" and "catlinks" formatting so that it looks like a left-aligned infobox like the below? It's less intrusive than the full bar version but is only slightly different from the current version. It's a only a slight change, so unlikely to be resisted, but it makes the template more subtle than the current version. DrKiernan (talk) 13:18, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

After looking at the example I supporting putting this lower on the page. It's a control. Hekerui (talk) 14:03, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

a dream comes true

Dear friends; during the last years I was searching for methods to be able to see the works of authors in languages of my interest. I found this interesting and very usefull template which contains all information to link to "WorldCat identities". Please take a look at test:template:Normdaten and test:category:Authority control for possible improvements of this template. Best regards
‫·‏לערי ריינהארט‏·‏T‏·‏m‏:‏Th‏·‏T‏·‏email me‏·‏‬ 03:05, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Bot support required

Dear friends, during last weeks I was involved mainly in adding the German version of this template de:template:Normdaten to dozens of pages; adding the required parameters where required. Today, I activated the linking to WorldCat identities containing the works from / about authors. I never have seen trailing zeros as template parameters to the third part of parameter LCCN.
example: Abraham Lincoln#normdaten contains now the link http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n79-6779 Lincoln, Abraham 1809-1865
Works: 22,532 works in 36,882 publications in 66 languages and 1,323,107 library holdings
This information is very important for readers. They will find books in smaller languages.
The template did not work from the beginning. It was necessary to remove the leading zeros before the third subpart of parameter LCCN:
{{Normdaten|LCCN=n/79/006779}} changed to {{Normdaten|LCCN=n/79/6779}})

Bot support request: Please remove such leading zeros at all pages using template:Authority control. Thanks in advance!

From 9th to 11th of September The Austrian, German and Swiss WikiMedia chapters will have a conference in Nürnberg. I plan to talk about "VIAF inter project linking". See commons:category:VIAF inter project linking with screenshots about a Greasemonkey script that multiplicates links using VIAF numbers at many sites. Please do not hesitate to contact me about if interested.

news: while WorldCat id's do not accept trailing zeros (today), the other LoC link generated by the template does (today):

The day before yesterday I was notified about newer LoC links

Best regards Gangleri ‫·‏לערי ריינהארט‏·‏T‏·‏m‏:‏Th‏·‏T‏·‏email me‏·‏‬ 02:16, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 43#Authority control  Chzz  ►  05:51, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
This has been  Done. For reference, the regex I used to find these errors is {{Normdaten(.*)LCCN(.*)/(.*)/0(.*)}} Avicennasis @ 08:47, 18 Av 5771 / 08:47, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you very much! Best regards user:Gangleri ‫·‏לערי ריינהארט‏·‏T‏·‏m‏:‏Th‏·‏T‏·‏email me‏·‏‬ 08:57, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

known bugs

:de: #bekannte Fehler :eo: #cimoj

001: template talk:Authority control#Bot_support_required - fixed

002: 16:47, 20 Aŭg. 2011 (UTC: Hi! eo:Kategorio:Ligoj al bibliotekoj lists alle pages containing the Esperanto equivalent of the template "Authority control". While inserting the template in parallel at English and Esperanto Wikipedias I noticed that the template must be insertef before all "Link GA" and "Link FA" templates. If either a "Link GA" or a "Link GA" template is preceding the "Authority control" template no output will be visible to users. Example : eo:Oskar Lafontaine. After relocating the template {{LigoLeginda|de}} (a "Link GA" equivalent) the output was OK, see:diff=3780229&oldid=3780163. I noticed the relation to the insertion place while adding "Authority control" to eo:Nelson Mandela.

  1. Is this known here / at Wikipedia in German?
  2. Is there a description where to insert "Authority control"? Inserting "Authority control" after categories and before all "Link GA" and "Link FA" templates (which normaly are folllowed by interwiki links) was allways successfull until now.
  3. Has anybody written a / some bot scripts about positioning / repositioning the template "Authority control"? If so who runs such bots / scripts?

Regards ‫·‏לערי ריינהארט‏·‏T‏·‏m‏:‏Th‏·‏T‏·‏email me‏·‏‬ 22:23, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

003: 21:32, 21 August 2011 (UTC): At de:Jimmy Wales I changed
{{Normdaten|PND=|LCCN=no/20/09117557|VIAF=96800423}} to
I hav never seen specifications but compare
http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no20-09117557 404: Document not found with
http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no2009-117557 Wales, Jimmy
From my exprience I did understand that every number starting with 2 is a four digit year (the millennium bug).
consequences:' In a week or two a bot should scan all Wikipeidas about such wrong parameters. Maybe one can also

  1. remove empty parameters as PND=| in the example from above
  2. resort parameters to a standard order (preferable by ther internationalisation degree)
  3. watch newly entered datas causing bug 001 (see the RegEx expresion available there)

gadgets (also Greasemonkey JavaScript)

FYI: svn.wikimedia.org: viaf download (Greasemonkey JavaScript). Screenshots, examples and test links are available at commons:category:VIAF inter project linking. Regards gangleri ‫·‏לערי ריינהארט‏·‏T‏·‏m‏:‏Th‏·‏T‏·‏email me‏·‏‬ 12:05, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

world cat link

Why is the world cat link enclosed in sup.../sup tags? It looks strange like that. --Mirokado (talk) 23:40, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

I have removed those tags. --Mirokado (talk) 11:22, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Move to infoboxes

I think this would be better included in the foot of biographical infoboxes (compare taxonomic authorities in {{Taxobox}}), thereby making it easier to include in the emitted metadata and (presumably) available to DBpedia. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:33, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

The metadata in this template isn't intended just for the use in biographical articles. The German Wikipedia for example also uses it for organizations, companies (Gemeinsame Körperschaftsdatei) and keywords (Schlagwortnormdatei). Seems nobody thought of including Library of Congress Subject Headings or similar information yet. -- (talk) 22:52, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by keywords, but the rest all have infoboxes. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 00:36, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I guess the anonymous user meant index terms or subject headings. --Kam Solusar (talk) 17:57, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to the idea of including the information in the infobox, but there seems to be entrenched opposition to infoboxes in certain projects, see for instance Wikipedia:WikiProject Classical music/Guidelines#Biographical infoboxes. Though this kind of local attitude is frowned upon by WP:LOCALCONSENSUS, it may prove an obstacle. Favonian (talk) 12:14, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
It's past time we dealt with that. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:46, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
I think this template fits very neatly at the bottom of the page and oppose trying to fit it into infoboxes. You won't find many visual arts editors who are fans of infoboxes. Why? It gives us fewer options when negotiating images into the lede, or even into the entire article, when it comes to shorter articles. Take a look at Caspar David Friedrich, where the absence of an infobox allows us to fit both a portrait of him and his most famous painting into the lede. Local consensus may be frowned upon, but this ignores the basic differences between different types of biography: while it may be useful to fit an athlete's statistics into a neat little box, things don't break down so easily for painters and sculptors. I oppose them for practical reasons, but you'll find others who despise the very idea of infoboxes. Anyway, please keep this at the bottom of the article. Just my two cents. Lithoderm 04:04, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
As noted below; it's not an either-or choice; but where an article does have an infobox, then that's the best place for such information, not least to include it in the the emitted metadata. While discussion about the merits of infoboxes belongs elsewhere, it's worth noting briefly that local consensus isn't merely "frowned upon", it's outlawed; and that every single feature of Wikipedia has some opponents. I do wonder, though, whether the editors of Caspar David Friedrich would be amenable to an infobox in a section blow the lede? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:34, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Probably not. Also, it's worth noting that there is no Wikipedia-wide mandate for infoboxes, so characterizing opposition to infoboxes within certain projects as "local consensus" to be "dealt with" and "outlawed" like some kind of insurgency is not really accurate. The definition of local consensus as given on the policy page requires that there be a community consensus for it to be opposed to. Lithoderm 06:09, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I haven't claimed a "Wikipedia-wide mandate for infoboxes", and have already discussed the application of an alternative template for authority control; nonetheless, the specific cases under discussion are blatant WP:LOCALCONSENSUS, which is against the five pillars. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:56, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

page footer vs info box

It may be that we need two forms of this template, one for use as a page footer and one for use in an infobox. There are just too many different entrenched opinions on this. Stuartyeates (talk) 06:43, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

We probably don't, because {{Authority control}} can already be embedded in infoboxes; I've just done that on Marshall Goldsmith. Some formatting tweaks might be a good idea, though; the question is, is that the best way to show authority UIDs, or should we make them individual parameters of the infobox; or have a differently-formatted sub-template with one key/ value pair per line? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:58, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not categorically opposed to using the template in the infobox. But I'm not sure: can the data from the template still be as easily extracted when it's used inside an infobox? IMHO that's the main purpose of the template, being able to reliably extract the authority record UIDs from articles and create lists of articles and the corresponding UIDs for use by external organizations/websites. Making them individual parameters in infoboxes would probably make it much harder to easily extract this data from articles, not to mention that there are thousands and thousands of different infoboxes (and countless articles completely without infoboxes). It's much easier to extract data from a single known template then from thousands of different infobox templates. And I personally prefer consistency between articles, so I'd prefer to have the template/data always in the same place in all articles rather then "sometimes below the articles content, sometimes in an infobox at the top". --Kam Solusar (talk) 15:48, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
There's no reason why it couldn't be made easier to extract AC data from within infoboxes. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:00, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

why use this template at all?

Rather than grouping various UIDs into a single template, why not just use a separate template for each type (as per Category:External link templates) and just include them in the External links section of the article. -- WOSlinker (talk) 13:54, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Because they are not (only) external links. The UIDs are linked to the databases of the Library of Congress, German National Library and VIAF as added value for the reader, but that's not the main purpose of the template. And not all linked database entries conform to WP:EL, so such templates would be removed from articles all the time. One of the main purposes is that we and external organizations that use these UIDs can extract the UIDs from our articles and easily link our articles and external pages/database entries about that person/organization/index term by an automated process. --Kam Solusar (talk) 16:02, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


What about using OpenCorporates as an authority for companies? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:39, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

proposed new argument: hidden

Reading through the discussion at above, it seems that some people have a concern that this template clutters up some of the longer pages. A solution to this might be to add a parameter than causes the template to suppress all HTML output in the displayed page. The information would still be available for linked-data purposes. Stuartyeates (talk) 20:12, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Agreed; and make it the default. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 04:45, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'm keen on it being the default in all cases. Where articles are stub or start-class it may well add considerably to the information content of the article. Stuartyeates (talk) 07:03, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Do you mean hidden, or collapsed? I'm against either; but more so the former. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 00:38, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I meant completely hidden. Do you have an argument against such an template? Stuartyeates (talk) 01:51, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Several. For example, hidden metadata is easily allowed to remain incorrect. And it does not serve our readers if they can't see it. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:49, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Oppose. How can one line of links "clutter up" a long article? In its normal position it is visually concatenated to any navboxen in which case it doesn't clutter anything. It provides extra external links (unlike Persondata which, just duplicating information already in the article and taking more vertical space, is a much better candidate for default hiding). As pointed out above, the WorldCat link could be particularly helpful for anyone looking for extra material. I suggest a user option enabling the hiding if anybody wants it, rather than a template parameter. If this suggestion is adopted, I most certainly would want to be able to make the template always visible, so I can easily see when it is missing. --Mirokado (talk) 02:36, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
It's relatively easy for the end of articles to get confusingly cluttered. Consider Albert Einstein, for example, which I consider to be confusingly cluttered. Stuartyeates (talk) 03:07, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Hence my suggestion to append the authority links to Inofboxes. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:49, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Albert Einstein looks alright to me. Hekerui (talk) 14:34, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

WikiProject Unique Identifiers

I have created WikiProject Unique Identifiers for discussion and coordination of all UID relate matters. Please join! Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:47, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

BNF links

Is there any reason not to add the option of links to BNF "Notice d'autorité personne" listings in Template:Authority control? Here's an example:

The Commons version of this template supports it. We have plenty of biography articles about French people, where it would be particularly relevant to add this link. --Robert.Allen (talk) 22:26, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Same wish.— Racconish Tk 08:36, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I guess the reason why other authority file IDs like BNF weren't added, was because there are dozens of such authority files. We could also add the UIDs of the authority files of the National Libraries of Australia, Spain, Italy, Russia, China, etc.. or the Union List of Artist Names for example. Each of those would be relevant for a great number of articles. But VIAF already does a great job at merging and linking records from two dozen authority files (including BNF and SUDOC for France). So it's easier to just include VIAF IDs in the template and let the VIAF guys do all the work instead of trying to replicate their database locally.
There hasn't been much discussion about the addition of further authority files yet, but on the German Wikipedia (where this template originated) the addition of BNF and other authority file IDs was (briefly) discussed a few times and opposed after VIAF became a viable alternative to doing all the work ourselves. --Kam Solusar (talk) 05:26, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


This seems like an usefull addition to certain articles, but I wonder if this (see bottom) really is the way it needs to be used? I don't see why this should be visible at every book-article of this writer?--Narayan (talk) 19:41, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

(Edit conflict) Narayan --whom i met yesterday at Jack Vance-- means Category:Author templates (immediately below), not Template:Infobox writer (immed. above). --P64 (talk) 20:17, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Placement in author templates

(what i came to say yesterday, having only five minutes online, which i then squandered)

"Author templates" include "writers templates" and "author navigation boxes".

Category:Author templates

There is some precedent for placing {{authority control}} in author templates, for example: --by User:Curly Turkey who specifies only the LCCN datum--

Template:Art Spiegelman using |list7=

User:FeanorStar7 recently explained to me after I asked about one such placement, namely:

Template:Diana Wynne Jones within "Non-fiction", the second |group2=

Yesterday I created one such for Jack Vance using |above= ; another editor User:Narayan moved it to the foot of his biography; I restored it to the template at the bottom.

Template:Works by Jack Vance using |below=

So it is now for many readers visible once at the foot of every article about a book by Vance, twice at the foot of the biography Jack Vance --those readers who show contents of the author template.

From discussion above i see there are several matters at stake. --such as what metadata may be recovered from which articles, templates, etc.

(Along the way i have noticed that many a navbox for author's works is miscat, either too high or over in book (series) templates or entirely uncat. After some response here, I'll fix some others as I fixed Jack Vance yesterday and today[2].) --P64 (talk) 20:13, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

P.S. I had planned to notify Narayan, which isn't necessary. I will notify the two others now linked above.
P.P.S. Evidently this discussion is not entirely inappropriate here, for it but on this issue and others I have expected Wikipedia talk:Authority control and parallel locations. --P64 (talk) 20:32, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Using an existing group definition as for Diana is definitely wrong as the template is enclosed within only that group. Adding it to bottom as with Jack leads to a poor display if there is also a bottom list, so I think the best of these alternatives (if we decide to do it) is to add the template in a new, last, top-level list as for Art. Another possibility, which I think I would prefer, would be to have another parameter for the navbox template so Authority control or similar can be placed and formatted as necessary by separate definitions in one central place.
Authority control is intended (so far) for personal records and thus should only appear on articles about the person, not on articles summarising their works or whatever. It is a misuse to have it on every article closely related to the subject. Thus I am not convinced it is at all a good idea to do this. No objection to the current few examples while we discuss it, though. --Mirokado (talk) 20:54, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I'll admit that I didn't know what Authority control was, what purpose it served or what it did when I added it to the Art Spiegelman navbox. I saw the same thing done elsewhere (can't remember where now), and I basically just copied what I saw. Please don't take my having added it to the navbox as my support for adding it to navboxes---I don't understand the positions people are taking, so I have no position of my own. CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 21:25, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I added it to Jack, but placed at the top,
Template:Works by Jack Vance (old), using |above=
because I agreed with making it available at all articles about an author's books (Diana by Feanor, who cited Art and another by Curly) but recognized that it better performs that function immediately under the title (in this case) "Works by Jack Vance".
We do not place Category: Novels by... in the author template (navbox), not even when the latter is Template: Novels by... with scope limited to novels. I thought of this only overnight and will probably think of reasons why not only oversomeothernight.
This template is currently used in fifteen author templates, iiuc[3]. --P64 (talk) 16:40, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
The template shouldn't be placed in such navboxes like Template:Works by Jack Vance. It's used to "tag" specific articles with the UIDs of the corresponding authority records so that Wikipedia and other organizations and services can use these IDs to link Wikipedia articles and their corresponding entries in external databases. So the authority records of a specific person should only be added to the article about that person. --Kam Solusar (talk) 18:33, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
I have undone "my three" but there are two new ones this month if I have twice counted correctly. --P64 (talk) 18:31, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Placement, continued

Last month user Kam Solusar explained why not place this template in a navbox:

(quote #Placement in author templates) "It's used to "tag" specific articles with the UIDs of the corresponding authority records so that Wikipedia and other organizations and services can use these IDs to link Wikipedia articles and their corresponding entries in external databases. So the authority records of a specific person should only be added to the article about that person."
[1] Should or must each completed template appear only once at en:wikipedia? Alternatively, is it appropriately used at the foot of both biography and bibliography?
[2] Should or must only one completed template appear in one article? We have some joint biographies. We also have factual author Daniel Handler and fictional author Lemony Snicket (pseudonym and fictional character) whom LCC, VIAF, and WorldCat catalog separately. (GND seems to catalog them once but I am served a blank page at the moment.)
For those two author-identities, I have completed the template twice and placed both in Daniel Handler#External links. The other articles under consideration are Lemony Snicket and Lemony Snicket bibliography.
For what it's worth, both authors have navboxen and WP:SNICKET (unfamiliar to me) uses template {{Snicket}} in the footers of all pages related to the fictional author LS. I will briefly cross-ref what I learn here on that WP talk page. --P64 (talk) 23:17, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
[1] Yes, AFAIK so far a specific authority control UID (GND, LCCN, VIAF, etc..) should be used in only one article, usually the main article about the subject of that specific authority record. One authority record <=> one WP article. Sub-topics that don't have their own authority records - like bibliographies, discographies, long biography sections spun off into separate articles, etc.. - can be reached via link from the main article.
[2] In cases where two or more persons/organizations/etc have a joint article, the template can be added to name pages that redirect to the joint article, just like the Persondata template. At least that's what we routinely do on the German WP. They will be invisible to the readers, but can still be used via API queries or extracted data from database dumps, etc..
Pen names and pseudonyms are a bit tricky. GND usually has only one database entry for the author and all of his/her pen names. The LoC creates LCCNs for the author as well as many pen names, as it's possible that the same pen name is used by several authors. In the case of Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket I would leave the authority IDs that belong only to Handler on his article and move the Lemony Snicket ones to Lemony Snicket. --Kam Solusar (talk) 04:17, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

RfC to extend the use of authority control

Hi all.

There's a currently open RFC on a proposal to extend the use of authority control identifiers on enwiki - if it goes ahead, it will probably increase the number of transclusions of the template from ~4,000 to ~250,000. The proposal also involves some redevelopment of this template to make it more scalable, by turning it into a wrapper for individual templates dealing with LCCN, VIAF, PND, etc.

Please see the proposal here and comment here. Andrew Gray (talk) 10:28, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Beginners' FAQ

Do we, or could we, have a FAQ for editors new to using authority control, and who wish to add it to articles? Not just how to use the template, but how to find the IDs in the first place. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:36, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm drafting some rewrites to the templates & documentation as part of the VIAF bot preparation, and I'll make sure to have this included. Andrew Gray (talk) 20:07, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:31, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Redirecting LCCN links to id.loc.gov

We would like to udpate the authority control template so that LCCN identifiers point at id.loc.gov instead of lccn.loc.gov. id.loc.gov is the new Linked Data Service at the Library of Congress. Most importantly, the data at id.loc.gov is more up-to-date. Also, the data were first added to id.loc.gov before permalink, some added years before the same data were added to lccn.loc.gov. I can foresee no significant issue with this modification. Thoughts?

    • Hi both - sorry I missed this note! I'm currently rewriting the code for this template - what are the pros and cons to id.loc.gov versus lccn.loc.gov? Could you demonstrate a couple of examples of each? Andrew Gray (talk) 12:39, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Hi Andrew, thanks for asking. As Kevin mentioned, the data at id.loc.gov is a bit fresher. From the feed you can pick off the recently updated/created records and check them against both services. For example http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n2012203441 vs http://lccn.loc.gov/n2012203441. If you are going to adjust the template I think it's best to use the permalink without the .html extension. One of the other things id.loc.gov has going for it (other than the feed) is the AutoSuggest endpoint that could make it easier to build integration tools that use LCCNs. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help! Edsu (talk) 13:09, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Hi Andrew. There are also plans to add links *to* Wikipedia from id.loc.gov. It is is simply not possible (at least presently) to link to Wikipedia from the LCCN permalink service. In this way, from id.loc.gov, the links will be reciprocated. More generally, there are links to other national or important authority records (BnF, DNB, FAO) that are not available from the LCCN permalink service for authority data. The links - we hope - improve user experience and assist the user with locating related information. Also, as Ed mentions, but without (appropriately and understandably) going into extreme detail, there are many more services offered from id.loc.gov designed to facilitate use of the data that will likely never be part of the LCCN permalink service. So, there are many pros. I'm not sure there are really any cons with respect to linking to id.loc.gov instead. id.loc.gov has all the same data (more recent data to boot), a user interface representation, access the underlying data, and then some. The LCCN permalink service does not have the "and then some" component. Hope this helps. Kefolc (talk) 15:17, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
      • Looks good. Do you know how capable the id.loc.gov service is with handling punctuated LCCNs (n/79/113947 etc), or do they all need to be transformed into plain strings (n79113947)? Andrew Gray (talk) 15:22, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
      • Kevin would know better than I, but I believe that they do need to be transformed, similar to what is working with the links to lccn.loc.gov. There are some rules for LCCN normalization that I think apply. Edsu (talk) 15:34, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

How does one use this target as LCCatalog point of entry? --P64 (talk) 17:47, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Not sure why id.loc.gov has lost the link. That said, at the moment, the LCCN will generate a link to WorldCat as well as the link to LOC Authorities. (I'm looking into whether this can also be set up with other identifiers). It's not the LOC catalogue directly, but it's a way into the "catalogue environment". Andrew Gray (talk) 18:11, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Update needed: Universal Authority File

This month the Universal Authority File (Gemeinsame Normdatei or GND) became operational. GND should therefore be added and later replace the authority files PND, GKD and SWD. (The numbers haven't changed.)

The supported authority files include:

  1. Universal Authority File (Gemeinsame Normdatei or GND)
  2. Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN)
  3. Virtual International Authority File (VIAF)
  4. SELIBR by the National Library of Sweden
  5. Outdated: Name Authority File (Personennamendatei or PND), now part of GND
  6. Outdated: Corporate Bodies Authority File (Gemeinsame Körperschaftsdatei or GKD), now part of GND
  7. Outdated: Subject Headings Authority File (Schlagwortnormdatei or SWD), now part of GND

--Kolja21 (talk) 00:31, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

That's great, but SELIBR is not a name, it's just the code used in VIAF for the Swedish (SE) catalog LIBRIS. As far as I know, the LIBRIS authority file doesn't have any name of its own. --LA2 (talk) 01:33, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

What to do when a person and their pen name have unique VIAF numbers.

What do you do when one person has more than one VIAF as is the case for Faith Hunter (63433421) / Gwen Hunter (25490963) (same author, two pen names)? Bgwhite (talk) 23:32, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

I think there is no perfect solution to this (yet?). On german wikipedia, we have some recommendations for difficult cases [4], in this case you could put the template on the redirect page (we also categorize some redirect pages). Also, you could provide both numbers in a reference (added to the sentence about the pen name). I know its not a real solution, and I don't know if this would be okay on en-wiki. Hope it helps, --Atlasowa (talk) 09:08, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

special cases

Hi! Just posting some links comments:

fullurl:Józef Ulma|action=historysubmit&diff=445593324&oldid=298864617 shows:
#REDIRECT Józef and Wiktoria Ulma
{{Authority control|LCCN=no/2005/116353|VIAF=58824808|TSURL=N/A|NOTES: template at REDIRECT page}}
fullurl:Wiktoria Ulma|action=historysubmit&diff=445593958&oldid=298864703 shows:
#REDIRECT Józef and Wiktoria Ulma
{{Authority control|LCCN=no/2005/116355|TSURL=N/A|NOTES: template at REDIRECT page}}

draft: see comments Sonderfälle at de:template talk:Normdaten ‫·‏לערי ריינהארט‏·‏T‏·‏m‏:‏Th‏·‏T‏·‏email me‏·‏‬ 03:03, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

P.S. Rendering looks strange here. I have no clue why. ‫·‏לערי ריינהארט‏·‏T‏·‏m‏:‏Th‏·‏T‏·‏email me‏·‏‬ 21:17, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Two things: (i) you indented the two instances of {{Authority control}} and if an object using class="navbox" is indented, that indent is permanent - it lasts until the end of the page; (ii) your signature is far too long, so contains incomplete link syntax; it also contains Right-to-left marks which are not balanced by Left-to-right marks. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:09, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


This template should be invisible, its job is to emit metadata for automated purposes. It is ugly as sin, and twice as useless for most readers. Rich Farmbrough, 19:40, 12 May 2012 (UTC).

At the moment I think it should be visible (any option to hide it should be a reader option).
I would prefer it placed immediately above external links.
Perhaps it should be placed there only when it is used as (a point of entry to) a source. It would function as a shorthand citation. Of course, as a shorthand citation of (a point of entry to) recommended reliable sources, it should have some visibility even before it has been used as a source. --P64 (talk) 20:35, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
To have this template invisible, similar to {{Persondata}}, has been demanded here several times. To have it hidden as a "reader option" seems impractical to me; given that most readers are anonymous and don't have aaccess to a personal CSS configuration, and even most registered editors don't have those, how would that be implemented? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:36, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
interject I don't know whether reader option can be made practically effective; until then it would be impractical. Editors should not have the option to make it invisible (visible only in edit mode). --P64 (talk) 19:20, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree it is ugly, but I would prefer it be improved and kept visible. I suggest an appearance closer to how the German wikipedia renders it as in this example (i.e. without the outline box), and if possible without any special layout or formatting. I find the LCCN and other links it displays useful for searching for new material or citations. As to placement, I would not mind immediately above, inside, or below the external links. -84user (talk) 12:24, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree, it is often useful (and like leaving it visible, especially for the links, in particular to WorldCat), and it is educational for readers and editors (who might not be aware that these authority files exist), but it should probably stay out the way, e.g., at the bottom of "External links". The suggestion of changing the format may be a good one: left justified and without the outline box, perhaps as just another item in the list of external links. (Does it really need a highlight color?) --Robert.Allen (talk) 17:24, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I, too, agree that it should be improved stylisticly, but kept visible. My preference would be to add the fields to the foot of infoboxes. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:59, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes that is editor stuff. As editor stuff it should be hidden form general view. Similarly I have Persondata visible, because for me (until ArbCom forbid me to do anything useful, unless they already have, which seems a moot point) it is useful. Rich Farmbrough, 04:39, 15 May 2012 (UTC).
"Editor stuff": exactly; how do these links benefit the general reader? In the normal course of events, they wouldn't even pass WP:EL for being a linkfarm, a catalogue, and for lack of "meaningful, relevant content". -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:59, 15 May 2012 (UTC)


Pardon my ignorance, but don't institutions cross-link their authority files with each others'? If so, isn't it redundant to give more than one? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:47, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

They try, see Virtual International Authority File (VIAF). --Kolja21 (talk) 17:57, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. I've therefore moved VIAF to the first position in the template. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:19, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
That is better, thanks. The VIAF record is intended to link to all the others and has a nice user interface. It is what I use to generate a new template call. No harm in providing a few direct links as well though. --Mirokado (talk) 12:42, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

list-based version

In accordance with WP:HLIST, I've started a list-based version in the sandbox. The best visual rendition I managed is [5] but I've hit a few snags. Can someone assist, please, them we can discuss styling. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:42, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Syntax problem corrected, a few more comments added. Using hlist is clearly an improvement, but I would prefer it centered, I think. --Mirokado (talk) 21:08, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, that's better. so, what do others think? Can we implement this, with or without style tweaks? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:23, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Please look at Template:Authority control/testcases to compare current output from the real and sandbox template (we could add a few more testcases when convenient, I think).
Support Looking again, I guess the current left-aligned output will fit better with other navboxen, so I am happy to go with something like the current layout. --Mirokado (talk) 22:10, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

FYI, the new version uses {{Navbox}}. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:03, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Are we ready to deploy this? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:28, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes please (I had been thinking about reminding you for the past few days...) --Mirokado (talk) 19:20, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

I've done that. Please check. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:49, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Looks fine, links still working :). Thanks. --Mirokado (talk) 12:43, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


The template currently supports SWD (Subject Headings Authority File), which is an authority identifier dealing with entities, places, etc. It's currently used on 17 pages - ten organisations, seven places. There's an attempt in the template to do something clever with "keyword" authorities headings WRT cataloguing, which doesn't work very well if SWD is used in conjunction with any other identifier (as it should be in all the organisation cases).

I am very tempted to deprecate it for the time being and remove it from these articles - it's a very slight loss of functionality, but it streamlines the categorisation and maintenance. Thoughts? Andrew Gray (talk) 21:36, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Rewritten template

Drawing recent changes, I've written a new draft of the template in the sandbox here. Major changes:

  • The order has been shuffled to put VIAF (the largest system) at the front, followed by LCCN (the major English-language one). Worldcat links are still at the end, but I'm not sure if they should also be shuffled, or marked as different in some way (bolding?)
  • All parameters now use sub-templates (to keep the code clear and simple) - eg/ {{Template:Authority control - LCCN}}
  • All articles are now categorised into Category:Wikipedia articles with authority control information (there was an odd switch in SWD which made this a little patchy before)
  • Articles with deprecated parameters (GKD, GKD-V1, SWD, PND) now put the articles into tracker categories, so these can be switched for GND identifiers at a future date.
  • LCCN now goes to id.loc.gov (see above)
  • I've trimmed "in the DNB" from a couple of entries to tighten the text on busy templates.

The outstanding things I would like to do are:

  • Enable VIAF generated links into Worldcat rather than requiring an LCCN or Worldcat ID to be included - this is apparently on the cards at OCLC
  • Find a functioning way to include ISNI - this may have to wait a couple of months, though we could always use |ISNI= as a silent non-displaying parameter before then.
  • Decide what to do with SWD (see above)

...and, of course, update all the documentation :-). Assuming I get the docs written, are there any objections to this going live as the main template? Andrew Gray (talk) 22:26, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Putting VIAF first - that sounds like a good idea ;-)
I think subtemplates should be named like: {{Template:Authority control/LCCN}}; otherwise, I support in principle. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:59, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
My initial suggestion is that we improve one or more of the per-scheme templates to check that the identifier that has been passed in looks like it should and if it doesn't add the page to a WP:HIDDENCAT, which can be monitored for broken identifiers. Could someone who knows the identifiers better than me suggest a scheme to start with? Ideally one with a regular structure. See Template:String_templates_see_also_text for how to analyse the identifers. Stuartyeates (talk) 20:44, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
This is certainly something I'd like to do, but I'm not sure if I'm smart enough to do it :-).
  • LCCNs are very complicated and are the one where we need an exact form entered - it has to be LCCN=n/84/77096 not LCCN=n8477096 or LCCN=n-84-77096. However, there is variability in the original format, which complicates matters. See the link Ed gave above - LCCN normalisation
  • VIAF is (currently) eight or nine numeric characters. I don't know if there are any seven-character or less identifiers.
I don't know about the German or Swedish systems offhand (though as the LIBRIS data is in VIAF, we might want to consider deprecating that one anyway). Andrew Gray (talk) 12:42, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I've put a test case in for LCCN, which checks if it starts with "n" (and if not drops it in a hidden tracker category), but LCCN is complicated enough that I'm not sure what is absolutely required for the LoC links and whether this is even a valid test! Andrew Gray (talk) 22:21, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
VIAF may be most comprehensive but WorldCat is most useful to readers and its name is most likely to be interpreted well. Why not make it more prominent and convenient by displaying it first? If it's valuable to hint that that link is different in kind, give it a light color background color on a scale where the background for heading "Authority control" is dark, or give the others a light color background.
By the way, do we plan to eliminate template {{worldcat}} from ordinary use in External links of biographies? --that is, biographies of one person who has one page at worldcat.
Re LCCN syntax another editor has explained to me that "n/2005/72286" is or recently was necessary for dates in the 2000s. See Emily Gravett#External links for an example that is notable also for my hidden COMMENT on the disunity of VIAF records (please advise).
--P64 (talk) 19:07, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree on emphasising WorldCat in some way - I've moved it to the front of the draft. (I'm still not quite sure this is the best method, but it'll do for now). Max is looking into whether we can get WorldCat identity links generated using only a VIAF code (which would be great); otherwise, it will only be available if we have an LCCN.
I would be quite happy with deprecating {{Worldcat}} (and {{Worldcat id}}, etc) and switching to this where we have both. I did a couple yesterday, as it happens! Andrew Gray (talk) 22:04, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
A quick check shows that there are 277 pages in Category:Wikipedia articles with authority control information - ie, they have {{authority control}} - which currently include one of the above templates. (CatScan search; takes about 60s to run) Presumably, all these could easily have the information merged down into {{authority control}} Andrew Gray (talk) 22:07, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd certainly be happy with moving into a single template. The relation between VIAF and LCCN (inherited by WorldCat Identifies) identifiers isn't straightforward. VIAF may be more comprehensive than LCCN, but it's also less unified: I've been looking at Arabic authors recently, and several have more than one VIAF page where they have a single LCCN page. I'm not sure what recommendations follow from this, but I don't especially like the idea of having the VIAF to LCCN link entirely automated at the worldcat end, if this means that LCCN links would not be editable within wikipedia: where there are identifiers in different systems, I think they should be visible and editable on a wikipedia page. Dsp13 (talk) 22:34, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
My understanding is that using styling to emphasise one infobox element over another is going to run into WP:MOS issues. Putting one before the other is probably OK though. Stuartyeates (talk) 23:14, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • On checking for valid IDs, VIAF can apparently go as low as two digits - http://viaf.org/viaf/15/ is valid. Andrew Gray (talk) 22:48, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Re LCCN syntax: this special syntax with slashes separating the three parts of the LCCN was implemented because different systems and services out there seem to use LCCNs in different ways. Some use use spaces between the alphabetic prefix and the rest (n 80038159), others don't (n80038159). Some use hyphens to separate the year and serial number, some use leading zeros in the serial number, etc.. From what I recall, splitting a LCCN into its three parts wasn't possible with template parser functions, so the syntax with the slashes was implemented. By using this syntax, it was easier to reassemble the three parts in a different way to easily switch the link to another website/service. --Kam Solusar (talk) 14:02, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I've updated the live template (and am working on the docs). There is not currently any error-checking in the values, as I haven't been able to see an efficient way of checking for this, but please do suggest one! Andrew Gray (talk) 17:59, 1 October 2012 (UTC)