, Volume 116, Issue 3, pp 1867–1886 | Cite as

Evaluating author name disambiguation for digital libraries: a case of DBLP

  • Jinseok KimEmail author


Author name ambiguity in a digital library may affect the findings of research that mines authorship data of the library. This study evaluates author name disambiguation in DBLP, a widely used but insufficiently evaluated digital library for its disambiguation performance. In doing so, this study takes a triangulation approach that author name disambiguation for a digital library can be better evaluated when its performance is assessed on multiple labeled datasets with comparison to baselines. Tested on three types of labeled data containing 5000 to 6 M disambiguated names, DBLP is shown to assign author names quite accurately to distinct authors, resulting in pairwise precision, recall, and F1 measures around 0.90 or above overall. DBLP’s author name disambiguation performs well even on large ambiguous name blocks but deficiently on distinguishing authors with the same names. Compared to other disambiguation algorithms, DBLP’s disambiguation performance is quite competitive, possibly due to its hybrid disambiguation approach combining algorithmic disambiguation and manual error correction. A discussion follows on strengths and weaknesses of labeled datasets used in this study for future efforts to evaluate author name disambiguation on a digital library scale.


Author name disambiguation Digital library Triangulation Disambiguation evaluation DBLP 



I would like to thank Florian Reitz (Leibniz Center for Informatics, Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany) for providing the list of synonyms in DBLP and Alan Filipe Santana (Departamento de Ciência da Computação, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil) for sharing the raw KISTI dataset. I am also thankful to anonymous reviewers for their comments. This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (Grants #1561687 and #1535370), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Research on Innovation and Science, University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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