Sciencedirect author parsing fails

Since a recent update (to SD or to the SD translator?) everything I save from ScienceDirect has the author name parsed in the wrong way -- e.g. Charles D. Yang becomes "Charles D." (last name) "Yang" (last name).
  • can't replicate that. Can you confirm that it's indeed using the sciencedirect translator and if so provide a sample URL?
  • @ mark @adamsmith

    Please try this SD record:

    When downloaded into Zotero standalone using the address bar icon I get "Charles D., Yang" in the address field.

    This is the same kind of problem I wrote about in an earlier Forum post

    The data problem is with SD not with Zotero. Using the ScienceDirect export to EndNote the resulting file when viewed in a text editor has the first and last names reversed.

    This doesn't happen with every SD record but with some. Also, I find that when an article has multiple authors all names are usually in the correct firstname and lastname fields. However, that isn't always the case. A couple of weeks ago (when I was paying close attention) it seemed that about one in five article records with multiple authors had at least one of the author names reversed but some with the correct order.

    I have noticed the same behavior with InderScience and IngentaConnect article records.

    This was the reason I requested that Zotero implement a quick way to edit the order of the author names.

    Further, I have started an investigation of the prevalence of citations in published articles where author first and last names are reversed. I am finding many of these errors in print. This has implications for the quality of peer review of manuscripts, the assessment of faculty standings based upon the number of citations, the quality of citation index listings, etc.
  • right - I remember DWL's post.
    If that's the problem mark has, it's not a parsing failure.
    As I note there, since it's inconsistent between records but consistently bad in any given record, there's absolutely nothing to be done on the translator side of things - the best Zotero can do is to make fixing it easier (which should be done IMHO - discussion on that in DWL's original thread).
  • Yep that's the problem I had — and good catch too, DWL-SDCA, that was indeed the article I was having the problem with.

    Gee, so it's a problem with SD's metdata. I will report to them (tho from previous experience that means getting a load of emails from clueless customer representatives and moving all the way up the chain to someone who partly understands the problem and then 'reports it to the IT dept' and you never hear from them again...).
  • Is it possible to move this request to the issue tracker? The problem with ScienceDirect isn't exclusive to that database. I find reversed author names in SpringerLink and older Wiley records. I commonly find this problem with authors of engineering articles when their names follow a pattern different from the Western firstname lastname. Indeed, even when the family name equivalent is bolded in the printed author list, some pubishers get it wrong in the metadata they provide. Correct author names above the article but incorrect names in the metadata makes for an annoying need for deleting and reentering names.
  • I'd want to hear what one of the devs says about this before filing it as an issue - they're always concerned about GUI effects and practicability.
  • I don't see any reason why we couldn't add a context menu option to do this. Feel free to file an issue, although I don't know if this will make it into 3.0.
  • I'm trying to think of a good label for that context menu item - we would want to make clear to the user that this is not just changing the display order, but actually flipping first and last name.
    Any thoughts?
  • It depends upon how many characters may be in the display. A couple of possibilities :

    invert names F:L<>L:F
    invert name order F:L<>L:F
    invert name fields F:L<>L:F
  • yes, my problem with these is - try to put yourself into the mind of a user who has no idea why this was created and has never experienced switchted first and last names (i.e. probably the majority of users) - might you not read this as just inverting the _display_ of the name order?
    Since I don't think this is going to be a huge time saver for many people, it really can't have any possible downsides.
  • "Invert first/last name" would work as a context menu option. The logic of having it as a context menu option fits with the existing Transform Text option for titles, which also changes the field content rather than just effecting the display of it. So I don't think users are going to read it as just inverting the display of name order. Plus the middle pane immediately reflects the Last name field, just as it reflects changes to the Title field.
  • Heard back from SD:

    Thank you for your email.
    We are aware that a single author name is not exported correctly. We expect this issue to be solved by our next release on the 7th of januari. I'm sorry for the inconvenience this is causing.

    Kind regards,

    Julius Jacobs

    E-Helpdesk EMEA Co-ordinator
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