Property talk:P50

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main creator(s) of a written work
Description Main creator(s) of a written work. See also creator (P170).
Represents author (Q482980)
Data type Item
Domain work (Q386724)
Allowed values Persons (note: this should be moved to the property statements)
Example Pride and Prejudice (Q170583)Jane Austen (Q36322)
Iliad (Q8275)Homer (Q6691)
The Lord of the Rings (Q15228)J. R. R. Tolkien (Q892)
Anna Karenina (Q147787)Leo Tolstoy (Q7243)
Tracking: usage
According to this template: no label (Q22911859)
According to statements in the property:
Category:Pages using Wikidata property P50 (Q20990018)
When possible, data should only be stored as statements
See also author name string (P2093)
Proposal discussion Property proposal/Archive/1#P50
Current uses 269,249
[create] Create a translatable help page (preferably in English) for this property to be included here

Value type "human (Q5)": This property should use items as value that contain property instance of (P31). On these, the value for instance of (P31) should be an item that uses subclass of (P279) with value human (Q5) (or a subclass thereof).
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist. Known exceptions: Q2793
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P50#Value type Q5, SPARQL
Target items of "author (P50)" should have a statement with "sex or gender (P21)": If [item A] has this property with value [item B], [item B] is required to have property "sex or gender (P21)"
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist.
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P50#Target required claim P21, SPARQL
Type "work (Q386724)": element must contain property instance of (P31) with class work (Q386724) or its subclasses (defined using subclass of (P279))
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist.
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P50#Type Q386724, SPARQL
Conflicts with “instance of (P31): human (Q5), Wikimedia disambiguation page (Q4167410), software (Q7397); operating system (P306); software version (P348): this property must not be used with listed properties and values.
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist.
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P50#Conflicts with
Qualifiers “applies to part (P518), statement disputed by (P1310), named as (P1810), stated as (P1932), series ordinal (P1545): this property should be used only with listed qualifiers.
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist.
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P50#Qualifiers, SPARQL
Pictogram voting comment.svg Duplicate between author and short author name at a given position in an authoring list
Identical series ordinal (P1545) for both a author (P50) and a author name string (P2093) statement
Violations query: select ?item ?interval where { ?item p:P2093 ?shortauthor . ?item p:P50 ?fullauthor . ?shortauthor pq:P1545 ?interval . ?fullauthor pq:P1545 ?interval . }
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Complex constraint violations/P50
This property is being used by:

Please notify projects that use this property before big changes (renaming, deletion, merge with another property, etc.)

Anonymous writer[edit]

I was wondering if this property would be the right place to add "anonymous writer" as a value (I could only find the element "anonymity"). Another possibility would be to use "instance of" anonymous work. Andreasm háblame / just talk to me 22:27, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

This message is old, but I'll reply to it for further reference anyway. For anonymous works, please use the special value "unknown". --Wylve (talk) 13:58, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
Is this "special value" the same as anonymous (Q4233718)? --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:00, 13 February 2017 (UTC)


This property is a bit confusing; I've taken (x author y) to mean "y is the author of x", rather than the other way around. Qwertyus (talk) 17:03, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Is playwright author or creator?[edit]

Trying to get a handle on whether it is preferred for a playwright to be listed as the author or the creator (P170) creator of a work? If someone has a knowledgeable opinion, it would be useful to add it to the aliases. Thanks.  — billinghurst sDrewth 00:00, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Well, judging from the property descriptions, P170 is the "maker of a creative work [...] (where no more specific property exists)". With P50 there is a specific property existing for the "creator of a written work". And as a play is a written work, author should be used as it's more specific than creator. --YMS (talk) 09:00, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

constraint report relating to Wikimedia disambiguation page (Q4167410)[edit]

If instance of (P31) is a Wikimedia disambiguation page (Q4167410) the presence of author (P50) is prohibited

see: Wikimedia disambiguation page (Q4167410) with author (P50) . Usualy there might be more possibilities:
a) Please identify the non - ambiguation page (WD item) where the property author should be moved;
"normally" no other statements should be left at the disambiguation page.
It can happen that a set of properties should be moved to another (a second) WD item, another set to a third WD item etc.
b) (recomended method:) Verify which language is a disambiguation page and separate it from the rest. Please use Gadget-labelLister.js can be activated at preferences#gadgets to remove all faulty (disambiguation) descriptions after the disambiguation page is separated: Verify the descriptions for the following languages: de, en, fr, es, pt, pt-br, ru, sv which where added by bots long time ago and take a short look at the other language descriptions.
c) If method b) can not be used because all linked WMF-project language pages are (local) disambiguation pages please create a new WD item and add a proper description in your native language and in English.

Thanks in advance! gangLeri לערי ריינהארט (talk) 13:03, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Today (more then five weeks after the first report) 27 items are found. לערי ריינהארט (talk) 16:41, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

author as more than one person[edit]

Most of the type violations for the author are cases where the author is some sort of group of people, such as supreme court (Q190752) or duo (Q10648343). I think that these should be acceptable types of "author" since it is a common and accepted practice to attribute works to groups of people. Besides being highly unusual, it would be impractical to add every individual author to a work attributed to more than one person, and would lead to massive duplication of information. Furthermore a publication of a group, such as a supreme court, is more than the sum of its parts; it is not just an assemblage of publications by individuals working alone, but the result of a group discussion. --Haplology (talk) 07:21, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

+1. "Constraint:Value type" needs to be adjusted. BTW: A group or organisation as author is o.k. but duo (Q10648343) doesn't fit. --Kolja21 (talk) 11:39, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

@Haplology, Kolja21: what about Integrated Authority File (Q36578) ? Should really author (P50) be used in this case ? Cdlt, VIGNERON (talk) 16:56, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

@VIGNERON: Sorry, I don't understand the question. What has authority control (persons, organisations, places etc.) to do with author (P50)? P50 links to an item (the author). If this item has a GND is secondary. --Kolja21 (talk) 19:45, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
@Kolja21: sorry too, I should have been more specific. Integrated Authority File (Q36578) has the property author (P50) = German National Library (Q27302), Berlin State Library (Q170109), Bavarian State Library (Q256507), Austrian National Library (Q304037). On one hand, it's obvious that this authority database didn't self-create itself and has somthing like an author. On the other hand, it violates (four times) the constraints value type=Q5 and target have P21 (and type = Q386724), qv. Special:ConstraintReport/Q36578. There is the general case (nad most of the case in Wikidata:Database reports/Constraint violations/P50 is institution used in P50) plus this specific case where I'm not sure if the values are correct or not. Cdlt, VIGNERON (talk) 07:45, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
@VIGNERON: Imho an institution can be used as an author. It's common use in library catalogs. In the special case of the GND operator (P137) = German National Library (Q27302) might be a better solution. ("Von der DNB in Kooperation mit den Verbundpartnern geführte gemeinsame Datei.") --Kolja21 (talk) 18:16, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
@VIGNERON: Imho an institution can be used as an author. It's common use in library catalogs. In the special case of the GND operator (P137) might be a better solution. --Kolja21 (talk) 18:11, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
There is different problem here : 1. i'm not sure if institution should be allowed as author, but that's clearly not what the constraints say right now. In my opinion, the author is de facto always one or more human. When we says « supreme court » is the author, it make sens; but to be more exact and precise (like should Wikidata be) the juges of the suprem court are the author (in the name of the court but that's an other point). 2. is this specific 4 institutions really author of the GND? I've looked for sources but I couldn't find any (und mein Deutsch is nicht sehr gut :(). operator (P137) = German National Library (Q27302) seems better. Cdlt, VIGNERON (talk) 18:28, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
1. The constraints should be changed. Being exact means naming the author as it is named by the source. (Everything else would be speculation. We don't know if a judge has written the text or one of his assistance etc.) 2. The "authors" of the GND are the main institutions who edit the GND. Since every work should have an author, there is no perfect solution in this case. --Kolja21 (talk) 18:42, 1 September 2015 (UTC)