RDA in China
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RDA in China



Basic introduction of RDA's development in China until June, 2012.

Basic introduction of RDA's development in China until June, 2012.



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  • Through the survey, interviews and literature, five topics are identified as important about RDA’s future in China.
  • Most of the libraries have not or don’t have to plan to acquire RDA in the near future.
  • This is a tag cloud of the keywords shown in the survey.Many people, even catalogers, are still not familiar with or even aware of RDA; many Chinese catalogers just ignore it as a stuff of “western cataloging”, thus has nothing to do with him/her.Catalogers need a lot of time and efforts to learn RDA. A very large number of training sessions is needed.RDA will pose great challenges to MARC format. However, in China, there is no urgent and direct need to replace MARC.Transforming legacy records is a problem. So do efficiency issues.Whether RDA will be a commonly used standard, adopted by major institutions in China and around the world. (“Implementation date”)RDA’s expensive, not only the expense to subscribe to RDA Toolkit.For more feedbacks, see Charlene Chou’s presentation: http://www.columbia.edu/~cc179/RDA_comments_from_China.ppt In this presentation, she presents a list of feedbacks collected during her trips in Hong Kong, Taipei and Beijing, which is also helpful to understand catalogers’ general attitudes toward RDA.
  • Let’s come back to this final question, does RDA have a future in China.
  • Personally, I think the second scenario is the most possible one. Because after the implementation of RDA by major institutions around the world, Chinese libraries can hardly not to follow up in the western cataloging. But based on the factors mentioned above, it may take many years before the Chinese cataloging are ready for RDA. And the prevailing mindset is very likely to drive the community to develop a separate standard.

RDA in China RDA in China Presentation Transcript

  • RDA in China Kai Li“RDA Worldwide”, ALAMS 12 Anaheim, California June 24th, 2012
  • Questions• How the Chinese cataloging community perceives RDA?• What factors will influence the decision whether or not RDA will be implemented in China, and how?• And, WILL RDA BE USED IN CHINA?
  • Methods• Survey• Interviews View slide
  • Survey: How Chinese librarians perceive RDA?• The design of this survey is largely based on the one conducted in 2010 (?) by Elaine Sanchez.• Online survey in a Chinese survey platform “Wenjuanxing” (问卷星).• Date: Feb. 28- Mar. 30, 2012• 180 valid responses were received. View slide
  • Participants’ general knowledge of RDA 60 50 40N=180; 1 being 30the least 20familiar, 5 being 10the most familiar 0 1 2 3 4 5 How the participants rank their knowledge of 44 57 53 22 4 RDA? How the participants rank their knowledge of the differences 52 56 39 25 8 between RDA and AACR2
  • Outline of the topics in this presentation• Fragmented landscape of cataloging in China• Translation of RDA into Chinese• Localization: RDA and Chinese cataloging• RDA and the semantic web• RDA and ILS in China
  • Fragmented landscape ofChinese cataloging community
  • Different language/transcript materials are treated separately Chinese materials Western-language materialsCataloging Chinese Cataloging AACR2 or Descriptiverules: Rules Cataloguing Rules for Western Language Materials.Format: CNMARC MARC 21Headings: In Chinese In English or other western languagesShelving: Materials in different languages are shelved separately in most of Chinese libraries.Cataloging Catalogers in different groups have littlestaff: communications.
  • NLC vs. CALIS• As the two leading bibliographic institutions in China, cataloging policies of National Library of China and CALIS are inconsistent in many ways.
  • AACR2 vs. Descriptive CataloguingRules for Western Language Materials• Descriptive Cataloguing Rules for Western Language Materials was developed for the community to catalog western materials.• 1st ed., 1985; Rev. ed., 2003.• “There will be certain difficulties of using international standard [AACR2] directly, especially in terms of how to describe Chinese personal and corporate names.”
  • • The translation of RDA into Chinese started in May, 2012.• Based on a print version.• Further works to be done: RDA Toolkit, registered vocabularies… Translation
  • Have the participants ever used or known RDA Toolkit? 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0N=179 Used Known None above Have you ever used or 17 46 116 known RDA Toolkit?
  • Have the participants institutions acquired RDA? 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Will Have Will Will not Have Will bough buy not buy subscri subscri t the the subscri the Unkno bed be print print be print wn RDA RDA versio versio RDA versio Toolkit Toolkit n of n ofN=180 Toolkit RDA RDA n of RDA Have the participants 3 19 34 5 14 28 115 institutions bought RDA?
  • RDA and Chinese cataloging practices
  • Authorized Access Point• The concept of main entry / authrized access point is the major obstacle of RDA’s implementation in China in terms of the cataloging practice, since this concept doesn’t exist in the Chinese cataloging system.
  • RDA and the Chinese MARC format• The community is concerned about when UNIMARC will be updated according with RDA. Only after that, can CNMARC be adapted to the new cataloging rules.
  • RDA and the semantic web
  • RDA and the semantic web• Linked data is being paid attention to by a small, yet active group of librarians in China.• This community is generally excited about RDA for its potential to link library data to a bigger world, however, much more top-down efforts should be invested in this area.
  • The participants’ knowledge of SW 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10N=179 & 180 0 1 2 3 4 5 How the participants rank their knowledge of 44 72 35 23 5 the semantic web? How the participants rank their knowledge of 50 51 37 32 10 FRBR model?
  • • Local ILS products are still dominant in the market, and will be a potential problem for RDA’s implementation in China, given the low level of awareness of RDA in the whole community.RDA and ILS landscape in China
  • Other factors?
  • RDA’s future in China?
  • Scenarios• #1 RDA be used uniformly in both Chinese cataloging and Western cataloging communities;• #2 RDA be used in Western cataloging, while another parallel standard be developed and used in Chinese cataloging;• #3 Localized standards (based on FRBR and ICP) be developed and used in both Chinese cataloging and Western cataloging community;• #4 No efforts be done in this area (at least in a short time).
  • Thanks! islanderee@gmail.comwww.facebook.com/kai.lee.nalsi twitter.com/Nalsi