Janifer has been following the thread and has asked me to post the
following on her behalf:


Here is a consolidated response:

Below is an extract from a paper that is in publication that illustrates
the model that is used in ISNI.  Many of the contributors to VIAF are also
adopting this approach.   Marrying the model with actual data is discussed
below the extract.

Meryl Streep has only one public identity that she uses for her creative
works.  VIAF includes Streep, Meryl (Mary Louise) as the name form on her
birth certificate is Streep, Mary Louise.  Her married name Gummer, Mary
Louise, is mentioned in Wikipedia and could also be considered as a name
variant.  Changes in the preferred forenames and change of name due to
marriage are not considered as constituting a change of identity as there
is not necessarily a wish by the person to separate his or her creative
output corresponding with a name change.  Researchers, for example will
mention the ensemble of their publications in their curriculum vitae where
they have been published over a lifetime involving name changes.

Alternative name forms that do not usually indicate a change in identity
can take variant forms including names in different scripts or
transliterated with different schemes, changes due to change of sex,
marriage and deed poll.

Kingsley Amis in the figure above is an example of an author writing under
3 different identities, writing as himself and writing under two different
pseudonyms.  His works attributed to each of the three different identities
are clearly separated.  In this case, the association of the pseudonyms
with the real person is public but that is not always the case.  For
example, J.K. Rowling chose to create a pseudonym Robert Galbraith (35) so
that she could write in a different genre and have her works in the new
genre judged without any influence of the successful Harry Potter
series.    When the relationship between a pseudonym and a real person is
or becomes public, the works tend to become associated with the real person
as well as the pseudonym; for example they may be republished or released
in collected works.  One example is John Wyndham, the main pen name of John
Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris (10 July 1903 – 11 March 1969).  Under
an earlier pen name, John Beynon, he wrote Secret People but this is now
published under John Wyndham.   As a general rule, separate authority
records should be made for each identity used as a public identity.  This
allows the history of works to be accurately traced, enabling catalogs to
respond to questions such as “under which identity was the work conceived
and first published?”  The authority records related to each of the public
identities should be linked where the relationship is public.
Encyclopedias such as Wikipedia tend to have only one entry for a person,
grouping all public identities.  This entails the need for one-to-many
relationships in linking especially from library authority records to

ISNI has a suite of programs that detects pseudonyms coded as name variants
and changes them into related name and generates related identity records.
It is a while since it was run and will be re-run in the next few weeks.
This should change Currer Bell into a related name of Charlotte Brontë .

The Sefton / Waddell I will fix manually.  The End user comment function in
the ISNI public interface enables anyone to submit a query or request for
change on a record.  This generates an email to the Quality Team at the
British Library and Bibliothèque nationale de France and their staff
perform regular manual fixes.

On 20 June 2014 04:58, Stuart Yeates <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> In wikipedia, the principal representation for alternative names for
> entities are 'redirects'. The redirect from "Catherine Sefton" to "Martin
> Waddell" can be found at
> index.php?title=Catherine_Sefton&redirect=no (and yes, being a wiki it's
> editable).
> That redirect is annotated that this is a  redirect "From an alternative
> name" (as opposed to a common spelling mistake or something else) and "From
> a printworthy page title" (which says to use this redirect when building
> (cross-) indexes etc.).
> To create a link from the "Catherine Sefton" to an authority control
> system (as distinct from the "Martin Waddell" link), the redirect can be
> editted include an Authority control template (see
> ), which is the
> same template used for full articles.
> cheers
> stuart
> On 06/19/2014 08:53 PM, Owen Stephens wrote:
>> An aside but interesting to see how some of this identity stuff seems to
>> be playing out in the wild now. Google for Catherine Sefton:
>> The Knowledge Graph displays information about Martin Waddell. Catherine
>> Sefton is a pseudonym of Martin Waddell. It is impossible to know, but the
>> most likely source of this knowledge is Wikipedia which includes the ISNI
>> for Catherine Sefton in the Wikipeda page for Martin Waddell (
>> (although oddly not the
>> ISNI for Martin Waddell under his own name).
>> Owen
>> Owen Stephens
>> Owen Stephens Consulting
>> Web:
>> Email: [log in to unmask]
>> Telephone: 0121 288 6936
>> On 18 Jun 2014, at 23:28, Stuart Yeates <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>  My reading of that suggests that
>>> 0000000122816316 shouldn't have both "Bell, Currer" and "Brontë,
>>> Charlotte", which it clearly does...
>>> Is this is a case of one of our sources of truth doesn't distinguish
>>> betweens identities and entities and we're allowing it to pollute our data?
>>> If that source of truth is wikipedia, we can fix that.
>>> cheers
>>> stuart
>>> On 06/19/2014 12:11 AM, Richard Wallis wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> Seeing this thread I checked with the ISNI team and got the following
>>>> answer from Janifer Gatenby who asked me to post it on her behalf:
>>>> SNI identifies “public identities”.    The scope as stated in the
>>>> standard
>>>> is
>>>> “This International Standard specifies the International Standard name
>>>> identif*i*er (ISNI) for the identification of public identities of
>>>> parties;
>>>> that is, the identities used publicly by parties involved throughout the
>>>> media content industries in the creation, production, management, and
>>>> content distribution chains.”
>>>> The relevant definitions are:
>>>> *3.1*
>>>> *party*
>>>> natural person or legal person, whether or not incorporated, or a group
>>>> of
>>>> either
>>>> *3.3*
>>>> *public identity*
>>>> Identity of a *party *(3.1) or a fictional character that is or was
>>>> presented to the public
>>>> *3.4*
>>>> *name*
>>>> character string by which a *public identity *(3.3) is or was commonly
>>>> referenced
>>>> A party may have multiple public identities and a public identity may
>>>> have
>>>> multiple names (e.g. pseudonyms)
>>>> ISNI data is available as linked data.  There are currently 8 million
>>>> ISNIs
>>>> assigned and 16 million links.
>>>> Example:
>>>> [image: <image001.png>]
>>>> ~Richard.
>>>> On 16 June 2014 10:54, Ben Companjen <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>  Hi Stuart,
>>>>> I don't have a copy of the official standard, but from the documents on
>>>>> the ISNI website I remember that there are name variations and 'public
>>>>> identities' (as the lemma on Wikipedia also uses). I'm not sure where
>>>>> the
>>>>> borderline is or who decides when different names are different
>>>>> identities.
>>>>> If it were up to me: pseudonyms are definitely different public
>>>>> identities, name changes after marriage probably not, name change after
>>>>> gender change could mean a different public identity. Different public
>>>>> identities get different ISNIs; the ISNI organisation says the ISNI
>>>>> system
>>>>> can keep track of connected public identities.
>>>>> Discussions about name variations or aliases are not new, of course. I
>>>>> remember the discussions about 'aliases' vs 'Artist Name Variations'
>>>>> that
>>>>> are/were happening on, e.g. 'is J Dilla an alias or a ANV
>>>>> of
>>>>> Jay Dee?' It appears the users on Discogs finally went with aliases,
>>>>> but
>>>>> VIAF put the names/identities together:
>>>>> -
>>>>> and there is no ISNI (yet).
>>>>> It gets more confusing when you look at Washington Irving who had
>>>>> several
>>>>> pseudonyms: they are just listed under one ISNI. Maybe because he is
>>>>> dead,
>>>>> or because all other databases already know and connected the
>>>>> pseudonyms
>>>>> to the birth name? (I just sent a comment asking about the record at
>>>>> )
>>>>> [Here goes the reference list…]
>>>>> Hope this helps :)
>>>>> Groeten van Ben
>>>>> On 15-06-14 23:11, "Stuart Yeates" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>  Could someone with access to the official text of ISO 27729:2012 tell
>>>>>> me
>>>>>> whether an ISNI is a name identifier or an entity identifier? That is,
>>>>>> if someone changes their name (adopts a pseudonym, changes their name
>>>>>> by
>>>>>> to marriage, transitions gender, etc), should they be assigned a new
>>>>>> identifier?
>>>>>> If the answer is 'No' why is this called a 'name identifier'?
>>>>>> Ideally someone with access to the official text would update the
>>>>>> article at
>>>>>> With a brief quote referenced to the standard with a page number.
>>>>>> [The context of this is ORCID, which is being touted as an entity
>>>>>> identifier, while not being clear on whether it's a name or entity
>>>>>> identifier.]
>>>>>> cheers
>>>>>> stuart

Richard Wallis
Founder, Data Liberate
Tel: +44 (0)7767 886 005

Skype: richard.wallis1
Twitter: @rjw