, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 253–280 | Cite as

Generating automatically labeled data for author name disambiguation: an iterative clustering method

  • Jinseok KimEmail author
  • Jinmo Kim
  • Jason Owen-Smith


To train algorithms for supervised author name disambiguation, many studies have relied on hand-labeled truth data that are very laborious to generate. This paper shows that labeled data can be automatically generated using information features such as email address, coauthor names, and cited references that are available from publication records. For this purpose, high-precision rules for matching name instances on each feature are decided using an external-authority database. Then, selected name instances in target ambiguous data go through the process of pairwise matching based on the rules. Next, they are merged into clusters by a generic entity resolution algorithm. The clustering procedure is repeated over other features until further merging is impossible. Tested on 26 K instances out of the population of 228 K author name instances, this iterative clustering produced accurately labeled data with pairwise F1 = 0.99. The labeled data represented the population data in terms of name ethnicity and co-disambiguating name group size distributions. In addition, trained on the labeled data, machine learning algorithms disambiguated 24 K names in test data with performance of pairwise F1 = 0.90–0.92. Several challenges are discussed for applying this method to resolving author name ambiguity in large-scale scholarly data.


Author name disambiguation Entity resolution Labeled data Gold standard Supervised machine learning 



This work was supported by Grants from the National Science Foundation (#1,561,687 and #1535370), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. We would like to thank anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Research on Innovation and Science, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.School of Information SciencesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Department of Sociology, Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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