on August 22, 2012 by in How To, kblog-metadata, Comments (2)

Adding Multiple Authors to a Post

A common requirement from academics is be able to have multiple authors for a given article. Kblog-metadata provides this ability within the WordPress environment. It differs from related plugins such as the co-authors plus, in that it does not require all authors to have local wordpress accounts, which we believe is more appropriate for academic usage (http://process.knowledgeblog.org/259).

Authors in kblog-metadata

Kblog-metadata provides the ability to add multiple authors to an individual post or page within WordPress. These authors can be used in three ways: first, they are added as metadata to posts which can be consumed by computational agents such as Greycite (http://knowledgeblog.org/greycite); second, if the kblog-metadata widgets (http://process.knowledgeblog.org/235) are in use, the authors will be displayed as part of the citation, and in downloads such as BibTeX; finally, there are methods available for theme designers to add this information visually as they choose.

There are three ways to set authorship with kblog-metadata: from the WordPress user; throught the WordPress edit page; or using shortcodes.

WordPress user metadata

By default, kblog-metadata uses metadata associated with the WordPress user, specifically the “Display Name”. If this is set incorrectly, or not set at all, this defaults to the user name; in many cases, for a single author installation this will be “admin”. Changing these options will affect more than kblog-metadata, as they are used by many themes.

Options are can be found under from the Dashboard, under Users, Your Profile, as shown.

This mechanism for setting authors is one or a few authors are adding single author posts to a kblog, as happens with my work kblog.


Figure 1. WordPress Profile

Using the Edit pane

It is possible to change the authorship or to add multiple authors to a post through the WordPress edit pane. Kblog-metadata adds a “metabox” to this panel, which has the title “Display Authors”. As shown, this displays the current author, in this case “Phillip Lord” which is taken from the WordPress profile. You can enter up to three authors — the figure shows “John Smith” has been entered. To set this “Update” the article. If more than three authors are required, “Update” and more boxes will appear.

This technique is very useful where the occasional post in a Kblog has multiple authors; for example, see this article (http://www.russet.org.uk/blog/1849) which is hosted on my Work kblog, but was authored by myself and Simon Cockell. This article was written before the existence of kblog-metadata, and also has a in content attribution as the first line.


Figure 2. Using the Edit Pane

Using a Shortcode

While the use of the metabox is convienient in some cases, it can also be very slow and error prone if many authors have contributed. Additionally, the desire for academic credit is such that many authors add their authorship to posts explicitly (this post in an example). Under these circumstances, it is possible to use a shortcode to markup the authorship. So adding [‍authorJohn Smith[/cite‍\]] to a post will set the author appropriately. The authors will also be displayed visually in the article content.

This can be done with the WordPress editor as shown (you must preview the article for this to take affect). The Display Authors metadata also shows the current author and where this data comes from, i.e. shortcodes. It is also possible to use the shortcodes directly within your editing environment such as Asciidoc (http://process.knowledgeblog.org/167) or Word (http://process.knowledgeblog.org/41).

This technique is particularly useful for using kblog as a grey literature server; for instance, the content on bio-ontologies is provided as Word Docs, which already have an authorship displayed. We mark these up within Word before posting. This avoids the error prone process of copying and pasting from the Word Doc to a metabox.


Figure 3. Using a author shortcode


Phillip Lord
School of Computing Science
Newcastle University



  1. Why multiple authors? | The Knowledgeblog Process

    August 22, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    […] is necessary for academic writing, and the implications this has for how we provide this support (http://process.knowledgeblog.org/257). In general, in academic writing most articles are authored by more than one person. Providing […]

  2. Changing the Container Title | The Knowledgeblog Process

    August 23, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    […] will display this fact. This article also uses the kblog-metadata multiple author support (http://process.knowledgeblog.org/257) to display the three authors of the […]

Leave a comment