An overview of RDA: the basics of RDA including what it is, why it came about, and the current status.
RDA stands for Resource Description and Access. It is a new cataloging standard for the digital age. It is the successor to the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2), and has its foundations in Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD).
RDA is a content standard, designed to record and describe information about resources. It is NOT a display standard and as such is not concerned with how data is viewed or presented. It is meant to be compatible with MARC and other encoding and metadata standards.
RDA was devised to exist in the digital environment. The goals of RDA are to have flexibility to accommodate any format, - analog and digitaladaptability to new and future materials, and compatibility with other encoding schema. The goals of RDA are to enable users to find, identify, select and obtain resources. Data that is readily adaptable to new and emerging database structuresData that is compatible with existing records in online library catalogues
Why did the need for RDA arise?
RDA is the successor to AACR2,which was was created in the 1970s, the pre-digital era, a time when access was gained by using the card catalog. AACR was never meant to accommodate electronic or digital formats. It was revised several times to accommodate, but its inherent print-based structure prevented in from being viable for unforeseen formats. RDA aims to accommodate past, present and future formats and materials. AACR was updated and revised through the years, but by 2005 the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR (JSC) determined that AACR was no longer viable for the digital age. It became clear that a new standard was needed to accommodate new formats in a rapidly changing technological landscape. So books and videos became resources, and AACR3 became RDA.
RDA aims to update resource description and access in catalogs from the print era….
And bring catalogs into the digital era.
RDA has its foundations in FRBR and FRAD,which are conceptual models, based on an entity-relationship model, so they aren’t grounded in data or encoding, but rather focus on relationships among and attributes of resources or data. FRBR demonstrates the structure and relationships of bibliographic records. FRAD provides foundation for access points and authority control. RDA guidelines are structured along FRBR entities, attributes and user tasks, and RDA embraces some new terminology introduced by FRBR and FRAD.
RDA embraces FRBR terminology, and incorporates the user tasks to find, identify, select, and obtain.including entity, work, manifestation, etc. FRBR is structured around 3 groups of entities:Group 1 includes Work , Expression, Manifestation and Item Group 2 is responsible for group 1 entities and includes Person, family, corporate bodyGroup 3 is subjects and includes group 1 & 2. Group 3 entities are: concept, object, event, place
Each entity has a series of attributes, which are characteristics of the entity, or data that can be recorded and used to describe the entity. RDA incorporates the basic set of attributes as its “core elements”. Some examples of attributes or elements for entities are:work: title or genremanifestation: publisher, date of publicationitem: and identifier such as a barcode or RFID tagperson: dates, gender, a title
RDA is based on AACR, but differs significantly in its purpose and design. RDA is structured with user tasks in mind: find, identify, select and obtain. This is a shift from AACR2’s focus on formats (books, maps, music, etc.)RDA guidelines are structured along FRBR entities, attributes and user tasks and are divided roughly into two parts. The first four sections address recording attributes and the next six sections focus on recording relationships between these entities.RDA also has a set of “core elements” built on FRBR/FRAD. Some elements are designated as “core” elements, such as content types. Libraries can also identify their own core elements. RDA also offers options and choices by giving alternatives.
First and foremost RDA is conceived for the digital era, so it is completely accessible online via the RDA Toolkit (there is of course a massive print version available). Giving full credit to its predecessor, RDA Toolkit does also include the full text of AACR2. This functional change is huge: as it not only allows ease of access, but also ease of updating. AACR was not designed to be used in automated processing; RDA is.A shift in terminology is also introduced. We’ve already talked about entities and attributes and elements. RDA moves away from print-based terms like book, to more encompassing terms like resource.
In RDA we no longer have a “main entry” but rather we have “access points”.Abbreviations are spelled out, no more latin “et al” or slThe GMD has been replaced by 3xx fields
RDA has controlled vocabularies that are being registered online in the Open Metadata Registry. RDA vocabularies include, both closed (content types) and open sets so cataloguers have the ability to add to them if terms are missing.The RDA vocabularies are now registered on the Web. The existence of those machine-readable controlled vocabularies will allow more machine manipulation of data than is now possible.RDA includes both publication and copyright dates and also introduces new MARC fields.
RDA introduces a number of new MARC fields for bibliographic, authority and holdings record types. In addition to new codes for 007 and 008 fields.
To summarize some of the changes discussed just now, this chart shows you a mapping of terms from AACR to RDA. This is just an example, there are more as well. There are resources to aid in mapping in the RDA Toolkit.
Lets look at a sample record from the Millennium ILS and the OPAC.
Here is an example of what an RDA record looks like in Millennium. You can see the |e RDA notation in the 040 field, the copyright symbol in the imprint, and the new 3xx fields are in red, which means they are not being validated by MARC format files, but for our purposes this helps in identifying them easily.
This is the same record in the OPAC, with the new 3xx fields under the physical description.
RDA certainly has many advantages that make it viable for digital environments such as online access, metadata compatibility format flexibility and international scope.It is also backwards-compatible, to ward off fears of obsolescence.
So don’t throw away that typewriter just yet…
However it has garnered some criticism for cost concerns, being problematic when using with metadata schema, too much reliance on MARC encoding and the GMD going away. A strong concern for catalogers is the replacement of the GMD with the 3xx fields. This could be confusing for users when the are records that have it and records that don’t co-existing in the catalog. This is a hard time for libraries on the whole. Budgets and staffing are constrained, so the effort to implement a new standard could impact institutions both financially and time-wise. though created in the spirit of openness, it is still closed to those who aren’t paying for it.RDAis said to be too heavily reliant on MARC. MARC was created 1960s, and was not designed for the digital age. There are many limitations and doubts about its sustainability in the digital age. MARC was not built to be web-readable. LC just released its initial plan for its Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative for moving on from MARC encoding.
RDA is here! It was finally released in June 2010 with a testing period undertaken by both US and international institutions. Many libraries are already using RDA, or at least allowing RDA records into their systems. OCLC’s policy is to allow original RDA catalog records, but not to change core records. At present OCLC has more than 30,000 RDA records right now and LC has more than 6,000. So its growing, and fast.This past June 2011, following a testing period, the US National libraries (LC, NLM, National Agriculture Library) published their decision that RDA should be implemented after January 2013. This is contingent on meeting certain requirements including:
The decision is to implement RDA after January 2013, with a number of contingencies. A few notable contingencies are listed here. The overarching message here is to fulfill RDA’s promise of being compatible with metadata schema.
Despite its criticisms, RDA is here to stay. The problems and criticisms are being addressed by the JSC and RDA/MARC Working Group and other agencies. It is an evolving standard. The testing period just ended and now the real work begins in determining its real-world use. Meanwhile it is undergoing constant scrutiny and analysis.
RDA is here to stay, so we need to prepare for RDA records in our catalogs. National Libraries are leading the way and will be in full implementation after January 2013. Vendors may start supplying RDA records.At the very least, we need to accommodate RDA records.Start the conversation with staff. Get a pilot project going. Create some records, download some records. Decide whether to display the new fields in the OPAC. Adjust load tables to allow RDA fields and update MARC format and special codes files. Keep abreast of changes. STAY RELEVANT!
There is no shortage of information about RDA on the web. These are just a few suggestions to get started.
An Introduction to RDA Presented to Mills College Library Staff Anna Enos .. 14 November 2011
What is RDA? Resource Description and Access New cataloging standard for the digital age Successor to the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) Inspired by: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD)
What is RDA? A content standard designed to record and describe resources It is NOT a display standard Designed to be compatible with MARC and other encoding and metadata standards
Goals of RDA Flexibility Adaptability Compatibility Enable users to find, identify, select and obtain resources
Why was RDA created? RDA was created to replace AACR AACR is outdated! Createdin the 1970s for a print-based environment By 2005 the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR (JSC) declared AACR no longer viable for the digital age RDA arose out of this need for a new standard to accommodate past, present and future formats and materials
Structure of RDA Foundations in FRBR and FRAD FRBR and FRAD are conceptual models Entity-relationship model FRBR demonstrates the structure and relationships of bibliographic records FRAD provides foundation for access points and authority control RDA guidelines incorporate FRBR entities, attributes and user tasks
FRBR and FRAD Terminology User tasks are defined as the need to find, identify, select, and obtain Entities are structured into 3 groups: Group 1: Work , Expression, Manifestation, Item Group 2: Person, family, corporate body (those responsible for Group 1 entities) Group 3: concept, object, event, place (the subject of Group 1 entity)
FRBR and FRAD Terminology Each entity has a series of attributes Characteristics of the entity RDA incorporates the basic set of attributes as its “core elements” Examples: work: title or genre manifestation: publisher, date of publication item: identifier such as a barcode or RFID tag person: dates, gender, title
How is RDA Different? Built with FRBR/FRAD user tasks rather than focus on materials Different organizational structure Inspired by FRBR user tasks Divided into two parts: Sections 1-4: Recording attributes of entities Sections 6-10: Recording relationships between entities Core elements and alternatives
How is RDA Different? Online Access! RDA Toolkit is 100% online Includes full text of AACR2 Designed to be used in automated processing New terminology: works, resources, manifestations
How is RDA Different? No more “Main Entry” It is now “Access Point” No more abbreviations No more GMD Replaced by three RDA core elements: 336 Content type (text, sounds) 337 Media type (audio, video, computer) 338 Carrier type (filmstrip, videodisc, card)
How is RDA Different? Controlled Vocabularies Includes both closed and open sets Allows catalogers to add terms Registered online in the Open Metadata Registry RegisteredRDA Element Sets and Value Vocabularies Both copyright AND publication dates New MARC fields
New MARC fields in RDA Authority: Bibliographic: 046 - Special Coded Dates 336 - Content Type 336 - Content Type 337 - Media Type 370 - Associated Place 338 - Carrier Type 371 – Address New Codes in 007 and 008 372 - Field of Activity 380 - Form of Work (R) 373 – Affiliation 381 - Other Distinguishing Characteristics 374 – Occupation of Work or Expression (R) 375 - Gender 382 - Medium of Performance (R) - additional subfields (under discussion) 376 - Family Information 383 - Numeric Designation of a Musical 377 - Associated Language Work (R) - additional subfields (proposed) Holdings: 384 - Key (NR) 337 - Media Type 338 - Carrier Type New Codes in 007
Mapping AACR to RDA AACR RDA Main Entry Preferred Access Author Point Physical Description Creator General material Carrier Description designator 3xx fields: Content type Media type Carrier type
Where is RDA now? RDA is here! Went “live” in June 2010 with testing period completed in June 2011 Many libraries already using RDA More than 30,000 RDA records in OCLC More than 6,000 in Library of Congress OCLC policy: Allow original RDA catalog records Decision to implement made by US National Libraries: Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, National Agriculture Library
Decision of US NationalLibraries: Implement RDA after January 2013, contingent on meeting certain requirements: Rewrite RDA instructions in clear, unambiguous, plain English Define process for updating RDA in the online environment Develop full RDA record examples in MARC and other encoding schema Demonstrate credible progress towards replacement for MARC Lead and coordinate RDA training
In the Meantime… Start conversations with staff, ILS, vendors, other libraries Allow RDA records in the catalog? Display fields in OPAC? Launch an RDA cataloging pilot project? Stay current with developments
Further Information RDA Frequently Asked Questions by JSC:http://www.rda-jsc.org/rdafaq.html#1 RDA Toolkit:http://www.rdatoolkit.org/ RDA in MARC:http://www.loc.gov/marc/RDAinMARC29.html OCLC Policy:http://www.oclc.org/us/en/rda/policy.htm Library of Congress Final Report and Recommendations:http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/rda/