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Hints and pseudo code for Exercise 5.9.1 (Bee Checklist)

  1. What is the name of the author with most entries in the database?

    Hints: the difficult part of the exercise is to write a regular expression capable of capturing a wide variety of styles used to store the authors' names. To make this simpler:

    • build a regular expression that captures the author names and the dates as separate strings. Note that there might (or might not) be a parenthesis at the beginning/end of the string; the initials for the authors might (or might not) be reported, author names can be split using commas or ampersands; some names are hyphenated. To make sure you've captured all authors, check that the number of names matches the number of records.
    • write a second regular expression that splits the list of authors using commas or &.


    open the file
        extract species name
        extract author/date string
        use re.findall to extract i) author list, ii) date
        now go through each author list, and split the authors
    • if you store the number of records for each author in a dictionary (key: author name, value: number of records), you can find the maximum value using max_value_author = max(dict_authors.values()); then you can use the function index on the keys of the dictionary to extract the name associated with the maximum value.
  2. Which year of publication is most represented in the database?

    Hints: you can use the same strategy by building a dictionary where keys are years, and values are the number of records for each year.