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Person records were added to DBLP, when we were not able to upgrade the DTD corresponding to our XML file without crashing software of other groups in a project we participated in. Therefore we used a strange convention: Person records always have the key-prefix "homepages", the record level tag is always "www", and they always contain a title field with the contents "Home Page". The author field is used to identify the person, the url field contains the address of the home page.
Sometimes people change their name, or people are known by several names. For example look at Margaret H. Dunham, Alon Y. Halevy, C. J. van Rijsbergen, Anastasia Ailamaki, ... In the XML record we simple enumerate the name variations. The first one is called the "primary name", because we map / redirect all other (secondary) name variations to this one.
<author>C. J. van Rijsbergen</author>
<author>Cornelis Joost van Rijsbergen</author>
<author>Keith van Rijsbergen</author>
To identify people, it may be helpful to store addional information like their affiliation or their name in an alternative writing system (American Physical Society is experimenting with Chinese, Japanese, and Korean names, read their announcement / look at Wei Wang in DBLP). In person records, there is an optional "note" field. The contents of this field is printed out at the heading of the corresponding DBLP person page. Look at Chen Li or Atsuyuki Morishima.
<note>Irvine, CA, USA</note>
Currently the note field of person records is the only place where DBLP extends above the "Latin-1" character set:
- Michael Ley:
DBLP - Some Lessons Learned. 1493-1500