A concept from the field of librarianship. Authority control is the standardization of proper names which catalogers strive to maintain within a library catalog. Authors' names are often written differently on different pieces of work; likewise the names of biographical or geographical subjects may vary. To bring similar materials under one uniform listing is the goal.

Sometimes initials may be used, other times a whole name is written out:

Eliot, Thomas Sterns
Eliot, T.S.

Pseudonyms are another challenge:

Clemens, Samuel
Twain, Mark

Place names can be written a variety of ways:

Former Soviet States
Former Soviet Republics

And corporate or institutional names can also be tricky:

Bethlehem Steel Company
Bethlehem Steel Corporation

Aiding the U.S. library cataloger in this quest for consistency is the Library of Congress Name Authority File and Cataloging in Publication data.

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