New datapackage.json field: author (or creator) #130

rufuspollock opened this Issue Jun 10, 2014 · 8 comments


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npm introduces author field (not in commonjs spec i believe which just has contributors and maintainers).

Relatedly: should field be called author or creator? I prefer author but creator aligns with dublincore ...


### people fields: author, contributors

The "author" is one person. "contributors" is an array of people. A "person" is an object with a "name" field and optionally "url" and "email", like this:

{ "name" : "Barney Rubble"
, "email" : ""
, "url" : ""
Or you can shorten that all into a single string, and npm will parse it for you:

"Barney Rubble <> (
Both email and url are optional either way.

npm also sets a top-level "maintainers" field with your npm user info.

More generally: should we slim down what we "RECOMMEND" in terms of key fields. Options:

  • author
  • creator (following dublin core)
  • contributors
  • maintainers
  • publishers

I would argue for one of of author/creator (prefer author) and dropping maintainers for contributors.


Have to say I strongly prefer author to creator based on semantics (creator is pretty ambiguous IMHO). I'm not sure about merging maintainers and contributers though.

@rufuspollock rufuspollock referenced this issue in datasets/registry Apr 21, 2015

Transparency / Corruption Index #57


@paulfitz @jpmckinney @pwalsh any thoughts on:

  • introducing author (and using author rather than creator)
  • merging maintainers and contributors (what's the difference? i get confused myself!)
pwalsh commented Apr 21, 2015

+1 on maintainers and contributors -> contributors - a clear win.
+1 on creator -> author for on semantic reasons, but wouldn't feel too strongly about it if it didn't change.


Matching Dublin Core's term creator would be nice, but author is a fine substitute. offers both author and creator, as I guess they had the same reaction to the intuitiveness of creator; I prefer offering a single term. Dublin Core has contributor, so I prefer it to maintainer.


OK, so i think we have a decision:

  • author
  • contributors field and no maintainer.

I will make the change.

@Yannael Yannael referenced this issue in frictionlessdata/project May 7, 2015

Updated FAQ page to Standards to follow #178


I note I also propose we remove publishers in favour of contributors.

pwalsh commented May 26, 2015
@rufuspollock rufuspollock added a commit that closed this issue May 26, 2015
@rufuspollock rufuspollock [dp,!]: introduce `author`, integrate with `contributors` and remove …
…`maintainers` and `publishers` - fixes #130.

Note: this isn't strictly a breaking changes the removed fields were optional but it would be breaking for implementors and we have defined new field structures.
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