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I am about to write a custom module to allow for non-user authors (called Authors for the rest of this question).

Use Case is really the corporate website

  • Person publishing content to the website is not the author
  • Actual authors are many and potentially multiple on a specific article
  • There is no reason to create the authors as users on the CMS

Functional suggestions/ideas

  • When editing an article the editor can select one or many "Authors" for the article.
  • If none is selected then the creator of the article is displayed as the Author.
  • Author would be used in place of User when article displays on the front end.
  • If configured Authors would have a block on a node showing Author content fields (image, role ...).
  • Users can be associated with an Author through an Entity reference field.
  • Re-use profiles on corporate About the Team page

Am I crazy, does a module exist, should I just create them as system users with no privileges and use an existing module? Just seems wrong to give manage users rights to website editor so that they can edit these profiles.

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    You can use blocked users as authors, so one approach is to create users and just mark them as blocked. – Alice Heaton Mar 27 '13 at 12:25
  • There are 32 members of staff that all "contribute" to the site but one person who inputs the content on the CMS, creating these as users just seems architecturally wrong to me. Blocked users does resolve the security concern, but that site editor needs to add and remove staff too and remember to block them? This also does not solve the multi-author issue. – Duncanmoo Mar 27 '13 at 12:30
  • This makes no sense. Entity reference fields is a good choice if you still want to use this. – niksmac Mar 27 '13 at 12:35
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    @Duncanmoo IMO users only make sense in the context of authorisation. Since you don't want/need that, you should just create an 'Author' content type and use that to store your authors and use EntityReference to relate them as Nikhil suggested – Clive Mar 27 '13 at 12:44
  • I was going to suggest what @Clive has just suggested. Easy & simple. – Bisonbleu Mar 27 '13 at 12:56
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The solution was clearly provided by @Clive in his comment:

users only make sense in the context of authorisation. Since you don't want/need that, you should just create an 'Author' content type and use that to store your authors and use EntityReference to relate them as Nikhil suggested

If a logged in user needs to be associated with a user in order to pre-fill this author display field you could have an entity reference on the user profile page. If this needs to be a module, use features module to export:

  • Author content type
  • Author entity reference on users
  • Author field base with form field and display handling

I never actually created a module for this.

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