Is there a convention on whether to place the title of a work or the author of a work first when referring to the work? I'm thinking mostly for titling notes/files on the work, or for categorizing music files. For example, more correct to write "Alexandre Dumas - The Count of Monte Cristo" or "The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas"? Similarly for audio files, "Tame Impala - Mind Mischief" or "Mind Mischief - Tame Impala"? Maybe "-" is not the right delimiter, others might use ",", "/", ";", etc. I understand that this is probably is a lot of personal preference, and might vary by domain, but I would be interested if someone knew about existing conventions or patterns.

  • 3
    Welcome! Please take a look at the topics that are covered here. This isn't really a question about language, but about style. If you were citing a book in a research paper, there would be many options defined in various style guides. For personal reference, you can use whatever system is the most useful to you (e.g. if organizing records, are you likely to look something up by author or by title?). Apr 15, 2022 at 18:45
  • 1
    This may be closed as 'opinion-driven'. Perhaps better asked at Literature, where the library-and-information-science tag may be appropriate. Apr 15, 2022 at 18:49
  • 1
    A few years ago when MP3s were new (ok, 20+ years ago) there were a lot of debates on how best to name files, e.g. Ars Technica forum, Reddit. This has become less significant thanks to the rise of software that manages your music collection, and I don't think there was ever a clear consensus. But yes, it seems off-topic for here and possibly anywhere that expects a factual answer.
    – Stuart F
    Apr 15, 2022 at 20:30
  • Neither of those is how you would do it in prose. You would say "The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas"
    – Barmar
    Apr 15, 2022 at 22:20
  • If it's being published, check with the editor. If not, do whatever you please; that's what everybody else does. Apr 15, 2022 at 23:52