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I am developing a research article database for a project. My professor approved this design but I feel like the Author's_University table is redundant and that University_ID could just be added to the Articles_Authored table. Can anyone think of a reason to NOT change it?

Thanks for the input.

Database Design

  • Keyword_ID and Topic_ID may come under the category of "overnormalization". – Rick James Dec 2 '15 at 22:01
  • @RickJames I told my professor the same thing but he disagreed. Couldn't I just have the names being the only attribute in each table since there will never be 2 keywords or topics with same name? – Taylor Clark Dec 4 '15 at 15:58
  • That's even better -- Generally if a relation is 1:1, put both sets in the same table. (Exceptions usually involve subtle performance issues, wide columns, etc.) – Rick James Dec 4 '15 at 18:31
  • Apparently your professor has not build large systems in the "real world". – Rick James Dec 4 '15 at 18:32
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The purpose of the Author's_University table seems to be to allow one author on an article to be associated with more than one university. There are a couple of potential reasons why that would be helpful:

  • An author might claim multiple universities because they are a professor and/or are associated with more than one university when the article was published.
  • Your application might want to track an author's alma mater(s).

I know this isn't part of your question but I would avoid putting an apostrophe in a table name. Removing the apostrophe would change Author's_University to Authors_University or just Author_University (my preference). That will most likely make the table easier to work with because punctuation isn't your friend when naming.

Also, my personal preference is PascalCase over Snake_Case. That is merely personal preference though, and might clash with the convention in MySQL.

  • Thanks for the info. I was conflicted with a classmate regarding the naming conventions. I like Pascal more myself. I have updated the ERD. Thanks again! – Taylor Clark Nov 22 '15 at 17:39

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