Introduction to RDA


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  • Hello everyone and thank you for inviting me to talk with you today. I will be taking us all through an Introduction to Resource Description and Access, or RDA. We’ll take a look at what it is, why it is, how we got here, how it applies, and what might be beyond it.
  • So, first, I did want to take some time to introduce myself since, honestly, this is the first time that I’m meeting anyone here, and give you a little information about what my background is and why I might know a little bit about RDA in the first place.So, I am Meghan Finch and I am currently the Digital Assets Librarian at Oakland University. Digital is sort of the keyword in my job description, as I basically work with any of our resources that are available digitally. That includes electronic resource management of our databases, journals, ebooks, all that fun stuff, bu also our institutional repository for making available and preserving faculty publications and items in the University archives, and anything in between. I also serve as the lingustics liaison.Before that, I was the Metadata Librarian at Wayne State University, and honestly, my job was mostly about the same sorts of things, including e-resources and digital collections. In both positions, I have been working closely with metadata standards, both the more traditional, like MARC21 and AACR2, and other standards like Dublin Core, METS, and EAD for archives.I have recently completed our first round of training of RDA at Oakland University. I designed a 6 week semi-asynchronous online course for our entire faculty and staff to participate in. I attended an RDA preconference at ALA in 2011 in preparation for implementation and have been following along in its development since then.
  • So, to get started, let’s address what RDA is. So, as mentioned previously, RDA stands for “Resource Description and Access.” It was designed to replace the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, Revision 2, or AACR2 as we commonly know it, in the realm of cataloging. So, this is a content standard. And I wanted to take a brief moment to talk about what that really means and why it’s different from an encoding standard.So, we often think of AACR2 and the MARC21 standard, that we use for our catalog records, as sort of the same piece, because they really function together as a unit, we’ve used them for a very long time like that. But AACR2, for example, can be used in other encoding standards like Dublin Core. AACR2 tells us what information is expected and in what way we should format the words that we use to describe concepts. I like to think of it as the Chicago Manual of Style for libraries. MARC21, on the other hand, is the encoding standard and the transmission standard that we use to store and transfer the information.And RDA just went live with the Library of Congress as of March 31. All new records produced by the Library of Congress will be using the RDA content standard, and new as well as previously created authority records will also be using RDA.
  • So, that’s what it is, but I think a fair and logical question would be “why?” Why are we changing, does it do us or our users any good, and what do we hope to accomplish with RDA?
  • So a Library of Congress committee convened in 2004 to address a need for an update to AACR2. This was meant to be AACR3. The committee was meant to work on updating the text to work better with emerging technologies and to work with new formats as they emerged as well. By 2005, the committee had announced that instead of revising the existing standard, they were pursuing the development of an entirely new standard. While preserving the good of AACR2, they felt that the organization, the language, and some of the concepts in AACR2 were insufficient to work with the information environment that we are now in.In June of 2010, the RDA Toolkit was released. The toolkit is an entirely online resource for the standard. Print editions were issued as well, however, the toolkit is designed to be navigated via web, and updates to the standard, which are intended to be frequent and fluid, will not be released in print. Following the toolkit’s release, Library of Congress worked with several libraries to test implementation of RDA. These institutions developed internal training and worked on sets on records to determine the best way to implement RDA in our existing, ILS, MARC21 environment. In early 2011, the test results were released, and shortly following, just prior to the ALA Annual Conference, Library of Congress announced that they would implement RDA, but that it would be delayed until 2013, pending some changes, including a complete re-write of the standard to be “in plain english.” And that brings us to the present, with RDA now live with Library of Congress as of March 31.The committee that worked on RDA had a few broad aims for the production of a new standard.
  • One problem that was identified in AACR2 was that it was designed for English language speakers. Anglo-American kind of strongly suggests that. International communities found practices in the standard difficult to translate, such as abbreviations, and international information seekers using global information retrieval systems as well.So with RDA, it was designed to address the concept of a global standard. This means, no more abbreviations for the most part. Some of the German and Latin and whatever else that has followed us through cataloging has been replaced with more explanatory statements, an example that I can think of right now would be, which can now be replaced with text like “and three others”
  • AACR2 was designed with printed cards in mind. It never thought about relational databases and machine-executable data. It was thinking about how to format lines on a printed card that would be a standard that all libraries could use. And then things changed, and AACR2 stayed mostly the same.RDA is meant to work better with existing and emerging technologies and ways of exchanging data. Some language has been changed in the standard to better align with terminology used in other fields, like computer science. In doing so, it may be easier for programmers and developers to work with our standard, because we describe similar concepts using similar terms.
  • And RDA is more than just books. My understanding is that AACR2 , when it was just AACR, and actually, when it wasn’t even called that yet, it didn’t even deal with serials. Those came after some testing with the monographs. And then we added serials. Then we needed images, and soon there was chapter after chapter, each talking about a different type of item. AACR2 could keep going on forever, as new formats emerge.RDA is designed a little differently. There aren’t chapters about a format. Instead, there are options that guide you through a full workflow for the type of material that you have. Electronic resources can better incorporate both the elements needed for their representation digitally as well as their identity as a visual resource, or an audio resource. Now, there has definitely not been concensus that RDA has appropriately addressed these concerns. Visit any cataloging-related listserv and you will see those that believe that RDA went too far, while others believe that it didn’t go far enough.
  • So then, let’s dig in a little deeper and look at specific changes that we can anticipate, incorporated in effort to meet these goals.So, as an overview, and we’ll take a quick peek at each of these:The rule of three no longer applies.The GMD is gone. It has been replaced by 3 new elements, the content, carrier, and media types.Abbreviations are gone as well.And there have been some refocuses on practice. Catalogers are encouraged to “take what you see” when describing an object, but they are also granted many more opportunities to use their judgment and decide what is best for an individual item. And RDA focuses much more on relationships, based on the FRBR data model.
  • So, the GMD. The general material designation is used in AACR2 to indicate basically, when something isn’t a book. A printed item does not receive a GMD, which other formats do. So, in my example of the movie “Snoopy Come Home,” the 245 title proper includes the the GMD [video recording]A problem that has existed for the GMD for a while is that, the GMD values are descriptive enough. Sure, it’s a video recording—is it a dvd? A Vhs? Bluray? Is it on a reel? In it’s place, the content, media, and carrier types have been developed. RDA has an appendix that defines of all of the potential values for these fields. They work together as a unit to try to indicate exactly the type of item one has. So in the example, we have a 336 value of “two-domensional moving image” 337 tells me its “video,” and 338 let’s me know that the carrier, ie what it’s on, is a videodisc. So I’m pretty sure this is a dvd. Anyone want to guess what an “unmediated, text, volume” is? That’s a book.A lot of complains have come out of these values. They’re very technical, and they mean nothing to anyone, not even librarians. But we can think of ways to use our systems, our ILSs and our discovery services, to interpret these values for our public.
  • Abbreviations are gone. Illustrated must be spelled out. I would say that where this one really hits close to home is in authority records. Think of how many “dept. of “ whatever we have out there. Library of Congress is not going through and converting all of their older records to RDA. However, authority records are being converted, because these will be used by both AACR2 records and RDA records. We will be working in a hybrid record environment from now on.I would like to point out, centimeter and millimeter, those will not be spelled out. Those will remain the same. The reason behind this is that they have been defined as units of measurement, not abbreviations.
  • Take what you see. AACR2 often prescribed that errors be indicated right away. So for my first example, All the pretty flowers has been spelled incorrectly, on the book itself. Old practice, we would interject a [sic] and then correct the title. In the new paradigm, we do not insert ourselves. We are recording, and so we record the title exactly as is. Of course, because we still want people to find this title, we indicate in a 246 still the correct spelling. Take note of the subfield i. This is a relationship, something we’re going to talk about in another few slides.Also, previous practice has had a cataloger Capitalize only the first letter and proper nouns, with the rest of the title in lowercase. Again, following RDA, it is recommended to take what you see as it. I say recommended because, this is a case where “cataloger’s judgment” comes into play. RDA recommends listing the title exactly as it appears, but if it is problematic, if the title is in all uppercase and a cataloger decides that this is too hard to read, they can choose to change it and follow former AACR2 practice.
  • Take what you see is the principle involved in the new 264 field. 264 replaces the 260 publication field. This is now the production, publication, distribution, manufacture, and copyright notice date field.This sort of takes into consideration the fact that: sometimes, there is no publisher information on an item. But maybe there’s a manufacture date. Or distributor information. Maybe you have a copyright notice date, but not the publication date. And maybe you’re cataloging something that was never published, working in an archive for example.This field allows you the opportunity to record that information. The 264 is repeatable, and the way that one knows whether or not you’re looking at production, publication, or distribution depends on only the 2nd indicator.
  • The rule of 3 is also no more. For those unfamiliar with the rule of three, this rule states that in the case of up to 3 authors, all should be listed in the title proper, subfield c. If there are more than 3 authors, list only the first author, and then follow it with et al. in brackets. Now, RDA gives you the opportunity to list all of the authors if you think it’s appropriate. Again, this is a cataloger’s judgment opportunity. If you, as the cataloger, believe that it is useful to users, you can list all 37 authors in the 245. However, it that seems excessive to you, you can include in brackets [and 3 others] following the first author. You can include 7xx fields for each additional author, or only a 1xx for the first author. This is up to the cataloger.
  • Relationships are a bigger focus in RDA, and there are more relationships to define. I mentioned FRBR previously. FRBR is a data model, as can be viewed here on the slide, that represents bibliographic data. It is a model, so it’s not a standard. That’s why RDA exists, because it implements the model. But FRBR is designed to give a framework, to define user tasks, and describe the ways that we help users accomplish those tasks.So we’re going to go through this quickly, but FRBR is broken into 3 group entities. Group 2 and 3 should actually be pretty familiar to everyone already. Group 2 consists of personal, family, and corporate bodies. So, these are authority records, so those that are related to the creation of the object.Group 3 includes concepts, objects, events, places, and also any of the entities in group 1 or 2. These are subject authority records. These represent what the item is about.So then Group 1, which I saved for last, is the most unique and new sort of concept. Group 1 represents the object itself, but it is broken down into smaller entities that relate to one another in a hierarchy. This the WEMI relationship, or “work,” “expression,” “manifestation,” and “item.”Each of these are an individual entity that sort of builds on those before it. A work, is the conception of a creative “thing.” Expression, is when it makes its way into a fixed state. So, when it gets written in English, that is the expression. There can be other expressions though, like when it’s translated into Japanese or Italian. Each of those, are the same work, different expressions. Manifestation is sort of the physical, or digital, container. So, this is, if it becomes an audiobook, if it’s available streaming online. And then the item is the individual object that you have ,at your library, on your shelf, with an individual barcode. FRBR is kind of abstract. So let’s work through an example to apply it. Mary Shelley’s Dracula. In the author’s head, it is the work. It is written down in English, and that is an expression. But someone makes a movie adaptation, and that is a different expression, but both related to the work. The written English expression, that is made available online as an audiobook and also is printed, so each of those are manifestations, and then our library subscribes to the audiobook through a vendor and also have 3 items of the print book on the shelf.In RDA, we can represent and define these relationships, amongst works and expressions, with authors and other creators and performers, and with subjects to express aboutness.
  • So, for RDA as implemented in MARC, there are kind of 3 ways of showing these relationships.The first is through an authorized access point. For example, we have a 110 for the Society of Linguistics. In that field we have a subfield e that allows to indicate that this is the author. That might seem a little redundant, but what about the 7xx fields? These could include illustrators that we could indicate are illustrators, performers of musical pieces, all sorts of additional relationships. Also, I did want to note that these relationships aren’t exactly new with RDA. MARC relator codes have existed for a while and do appear in some catalog records. But RDA really turns a focus on these relationships.We have structured descriptions, such as this 776 field related to serials. The subfield indicates what the relationship is, it defines the relationship, and subfield t holds the value, the other half of the relationship pairAnd an unstructured relationship might be something like a 5xx note field that states that the item is a translation.
  • So, speaking of MARC, there are a lot of new fields in the MARC standards to accommodate RDA changes. Here are just some examples, and I encourage you to visit Library of Congress’ MARC21 information to view all changes. You;’ll see that new fields exist to express work and expression, there are many new 3xx fields to better describe formats beyond books, and there are a tremendous number of new authority fields, designed to provide more opportunities to differeniate authors in a meaningful and controlled field sort of way.
  • I mentioned previously, the RDA standard is basically only available online, and this is through a subscription through Library of Congress, so this is not a free open standard. The pricing models are very similar to those for cataloger’s desktop and classification web, and the online copy of AACR2 has actually moved from cataloger’s desktop to the RDA Toolkit.The RDA Toolkit also includes all of the Library of Congress policy statements. These are available to everyone, even if you do not have a subscription to the toolkit itself. There are also links to other resources, like other encoding standards like Dublin Core.RDA Toolkit is designed to be a guided workflow, and also offers individuals or institutions to create workflows within the system that they may refer to, copy rules from the standard to the workflows that they create for themselves, and institutions can share those workflows with others. So for example, CONSER has a checklist for print serials they have shared as a global workflow that any subscriber can view, without ever leaving the toolkit.
  • So, I wanted to talk to the idea of providing training for RDA. For trainers, I would recommend, don’t reinvent the wheel.There is a huge amount of training content related to RDA available freely on the web. RDA has been indevelopment for a while, so we’ve had time to prepare. Especially, Library of Congress has both their Train the Trainer series, released prior to the RDA tests, and then their RDA Training Materials, which were used to train catalogers at the Library of Congress, after the changes were implemented following the testing.NACO has authority training available. Adam Schiff of University of Washington has an amazing number of AACR2 to RDA side by side comparisons that can be used.
  • So, this Winter term I released a 6 week RDA training module in Moodle, our course management software. Each week I released a new topic. Very little content was created by me. I incorporated shared materials available on the web (With credit to them, of course). We covered in depth FRBR, RDA, MARC implementation, and what might be next. I developed the training with everyone in the institution in mind. Certainly, we identified original catalogers as those who would be required to go through training, as well as copy catalogers and our acquisitions unit, but there were faculty that wanted information as well. Our reference group, that consists most of library faculty, make decisions together on aspects such as OPAC display. RDA raises questions in those areas, and I wanted everyone to understand why we were encountering these changes.So I created a begginer, intermediate, and advanced level for each topic, giving easy entry points for those just hoping to get the basic idea.I would like to say that while letting everyone work on their own was useful for me, so that I could, you know, work on my other responsibilities, I also held several in person workshops that I called “Office Hours with Cheese,” where I invited people to drop in, eat cheese, and ask questions. I found that I actually had an audience that showed up from the starting hour and stayed the entire time, and we accomplished some really good moments I think.
  • And then, there are points where you will need to make internal policy decisions on RDA. Will you work to reinterpret the 3xx fields for users, or will you hide them away? Is the fact that some records have a GMD and others don’t a problem? I just wanted to highlight some of the areas that we are discussing right now, and those include the 264, and specifically, some inconsistencies that we are seeing in LoC records and how we want to handle that. And authority records have been a big deal for us. We outsource a good amount of our authority work to Marcive. This means that, as LoC updates their records with new fields and makes changes to spell out the word department, we are getting huge batches of changed files. One week alone we had 20,000 records to overlay. So, how will you handle that workload?
  • So finally, I wanted to end on sort of , what change RDA has produced, beyond itself. When the reports from testing sites were released, many indicated that working within MARC21, they just weren’t able to implement some of the RDA standard fully. The relationships between the FRBR entities were difficult to address, for example. And so, again, we see a flurry of committees.In May 2011, Library of Congress announced a committee to investigate a new bibliographic framework, i.e., a MARC21 replacement. In May 2013, they announced a partnership with the company Zepheira, a company that works with data and the semantic web development, and they have introduced an RDF-based framework for the future. RDF, honestly, that’s probably a whole other talk, but it’s a model for data that works with triples. There are two entities, and they are related to one another in a way that is defined by that 3rd element. So, in the future, what might we see? Will we move to RDF? Will ILS’ make the move? It’s a busy time for us all.
  • Introduction to RDA

    1. 1. Introduction to RDAResource Description and AccessMeghan FinchDigital Assets Librarian | Oakland UniversityOakland County Follett Destiny User Group MeetingApril 26, 2013
    2. 2. Currently:Oakland UniversityDigital Assets LibrarianFormerly:Wayne State UniversityMetadata LibrarianMetadataDigital CollectionsInstitutional repositoryMARC21RDATrainingXSLTXMLCrosswalkingDataAACR2Project managementArchivesElectronicresourcemanagementserialsIf my job were a word cloudMeghan Finch
    3. 3. What is RDA?Stands for “Resource Description and Access”Replaces Anglo-American Cataloging Rules,Revision 2 (AACR2)So, it’s a content standardWent live (Library of Congress) March 31, 2013
    4. 4. Why is RDA?
    5. 5. Timeline of RDA2004Work onAACR3starts2005AACR3becomesRDAJune 2010RDAToolkit isreleased2011LoC RDATestresultsJune 2011LoC delays RDAimplementation,pendingchangesMarch 2013LoC beginsusing RDA9 years from conception to implementation
    6. 6. RDA is univerisalPhoto by [Jim] - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
    7. 7. RDA works with existing TechnologyPhoto by markvall - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
    8. 8. RDA is more than booksPhoto by NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
    9. 9. Key changesRule of 3 no longer appliesGMD is gone too. No more [electronic resource]Content, Carrier, & Media are the new GMDNo more abbreviations (farewell, Dept. of…)Take what you see, but also cataloger’s judgmentTalking about Relationships more via FRBR data model
    10. 10. [GMD] replaced byContent, Media, CarrierInstead of…245 10 $a Snoopy come home$h [videorecording] / $cThis245 10 $a Snoopy come home / $c336 ## two-dimensional movingimage $2 rdacontent337 ## video $2 rdamedia338 ## videodisc $2 rdacarrier
    11. 11. No more abbreviationsInstead of…710 2# $a Dept. of State.Agriculture.This710 2# $a Department of State.Agriculture.
    12. 12. Instead of…245 10 $a All teh [sic] prettyflowers246 3# $a All the prettyflowersThis245 10 $a All teh pretty flowers246 1# $i Title should read: $a Allthe pretty flowersTake what you seeInstead of…245 10 $a Research methodsin linguisticsThis245 10 $a Research Methods inLINGUISTICS
    13. 13. Take what you see: 264264 #0 Production264 #1 Publication264 #2 Distribution264 #3 Manufacture264 #4 Copyright notice date
    14. 14. Rule of 3Instead of…245 00 $a Second growth : $bcommunity economicdevelopment in rural BritishColumbia / $c Sean Markey …[et al.].This245 10 $a Second growth : $bcommunity economicdevelopment in rural BritishColumbia / $c Sean Markey, JohnT. Pierce, Kelly Vodden, and MarkRoseland.OR this245 00 $a Second growth : $bcommunity economicdevelopment in rural BritishColumbia / $c Sean Markey [and3 others]You can include 7xx fields for all authors,or only include a 1xx for the first author.Cataloger’s Judgment.
    15. 15. RelationshipsPhoto by the FRBR Blog -
    16. 16. Relationships3 ways of doing it:authorized access point110 2# $a Society of Linguistics $e authorStructured description776 08 $i Also issued as $t Health statisticsUnstructured description500 ## $a Translation of the authors novel Digital fortress.
    17. 17. New Authority fields046 - Special Coded Dates (R)368 - Other Attributes of Person orCorporate Body (R)370 - Associated Place (R)371 - Address (R)372 - Field of Activity (R)373 - Associated Group (R)374 - Occupation (R)375 - Gender (R)376 - Family Information (R)378 - Fuller Form of Personal Name (NR)MARC ChangesNew fields forwork and expression336 - Content Type (R)377 - Associated Language (R)380 - Form of Work (R)381 - Other Distinguishing Characteristics of Work or Expression (R)382 - Medium of Performance (R)383 - Numeric Designation of Musical Work (R)384 - Key (NR)Lots of new 3xx fields336 – Content Type (R)337 – Media Type (R)338 – Carrier Type (R)344 – Sound Characteristics (R)345 – Projection Characteristics of Moving Image (R)346 – Video Characteristics (R)347 – Digital File Characteristics (R)
    18. 18. For TrainersDon’t reinvent the wheel– Library of Congress RDA Training Materials– Library of Congress Train the Trainer webinars– NACO RDA Training Materials– Adam Schiff (University of Washington)’s AACR2 / RDAcomparisons
    19. 19. Policy-makersWatch out for– 264– 33x– All things related to authority records
    20. 20. To the futureBibliographic Framework– Reports from participants in the RDA testindicated that MARC21 limited RDA and libraries’ability to implement it fullyMay 2011Library ofCongressannouncescommittee toinvestigatenewbibliographicframeworkMay 2013Library ofCongressannouncespartnership withZepheira, demosintended RDF-based framework
    21. 21. Thank you!mmfinch@oakland.eduView/Download presentation: