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Authority Control

Authority Control

Authority control
(or access point control) refers to the normalisation of controlled access points (headings) and the provision of alternative and related access points¹. Authority control:

  • Supports the find function through the collocation of works by a given author or the collocation of anonymous works by title
  • Supports the identify function via the disambiguation of names of persons, corporate bodies or titles of works and expressions
  • Is also used to identify and relate resources by subject.

Authority control is a process that organizes bibliographic information in library catalogs by using a single, distinct spelling of a name (access point or heading) or a subject for each topic. Authority Record is a record which gives the authoritative form (the form selected for a heading) of a personal name, corporate name, family name, place name, uniform or preferred title, series title, subject, etc. in the library catalog or the file of bibliographic records, and are listed in an authority file containing headings of library items.

To ensure consistency, an authority record is created for each authorized heading (authorized access point) for a proper name or a subject, etc. An authority record is made when a heading is established, i.e., authorized for use as the main entry (preferred title and, if appropriate, the authorized access point for the creator), an added entry, or subject entry, for the first time, while cataloging of a library item. Authority control is the process that is applied to both descriptive and subject analysis parts of cataloging. It ensures the consistency and correctness of names and subject headings entered into the bibliographic description.

  • IFLA, "Authority control," (accessed December 7, 2019) 



Article Title
  • Authority Control
Website Name
  • Librarianship Studies & Information Technology
Last Updated
  • Last Updated: 2019-12-07
Original Published Date
  • Written: 2016-05-26

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