Presentation to the RDA Forum at ALA Midwinter Chicago 2015. Discusses how to determine 'readiness' for Linked Data, emphasizing the infrastructure behind the RDA Registry and how it supports the move to linked data by libraries.
The RDA Registry front page as it stands now. Behind this is Git and Github, built initially for software development but now being used generally for projects and many kinds of publishing (see Eric Hellman’s recent post). Note that the element sets appear prominently at the top left, organized first by upper level classes, and then by individual constrained class: Work, Expression, Manifestation, Item, and Agent. The last grouping is the unconstrained properties, used primarily for mapping but also for those who don’t wish to use FRBR. All of the constrained properties are subproperties of an unconstrained property. Also available directly from this page are links to tools, a FAQ, examples, technical documentation, and contacts for further information.
Clicking on the work properties brings a user to all 232 work properties, organized as default by the opaque numbered identifiers that are the canonical URIs. Below the heading The entries contain the context of that URI and the basic relationships attached to it. The search box at the upper right hand corner of the index allows access to specific items on the list.
Very important stuff. Versioning in particular makes it possible for applications to manage their use of the elements and vocabularies without extensive human intervention. These are well worn paths, and should be used by all of the developers of vocabularies and element sets that expect to be supporting linked data.
This portion of the github project keeps track of specific transactions to the files.
Here are specified major named releases, V 2.0, because of the numbering, is defined as a change that may not be backwardly compatible.
This page shows issues that have been identified and added to the Github Issues system. In addition to the list, each entry describes in more detail the problem, when it was reported, and by whom. This is a major component of support for the RDA Registry (and hence RDA), and the RDA Registry values the feedback they provide. Very often, we get information through this portal identifying bugs, typos, and confusion points.
This is a separate area of the RDA Registry github built to support the Jane-athon efforts. This is the place to watch for new data from ongoing XXX-athons.
This is all about knowledge transfer, and RDA has a commitment to multilingual and multicultural support across the board (regardless of the language of the content.
Looking at how individual institutions would be able to operate in this world (always possible to segregate them at the creation end, and figure out the hard stuff later, but we’d rather bite that bullet early)
RDA as linked data (RDA Forum)
What do we mean by ‘ready’? 
● RDF Schema published classes, elements, relationships
(value vocabularies to come)
o Fully versioned
o Available in many download formats
o Regularly updated
o Notification feeds in place
● Maintenance and extension structure and policies in
What do we mean by ‘ready’? 
● Appropriate infrastructure
o Fully maintained access structure designed to support
machines and humans
o Guidance documentation for technical and general users
o Support for issue contribution and resolution
● Methodology and tools for mapping from [and to] MARC
(without significant loss)
RDA Registry for LD Infrastructure
● Fully supports RDA model based on FRBR
o Strength in relationships
● Multiple flavors of RDF schema available for technical
● Designed to support management and distribution of
o Using lexical aliases to assist developers and human users
Jane-athon Demonstrates Utility
● Ability to create and distribute RDF data
● Coordination with RIMMF developers (they’re using RDA
Registry to pull changes)
● Distributed training plans and instructions for local events
o Additional training options at reasonable cost in
● Support of multiple language capability was demonstrated
by the OMR and DNB several tears ago
● Bringing the promise of RDA beyond the “Anglo-American”
● Developing and efficient and extensible method for
providing translated Element Sets for worldwide use
Some remaining issues
● Identification and URI management across various tools
o R-ball ingestion and distribution
o Integrating RIMMF in a functioning system for deposit and
● Problem: Continuing reliance on vocabularies without
versioning policies and practices
• Discussions going on with ALA Publishing to start adding
translations into the Element Sets
• As the Value Vocabularies are reviewed and republished in
the RDA Registry, they too will include translations
• Once synchronization development and protocols are
complete these translations will start showing up
• Management improvements for multilingual vocabularies
will make maintenance by distributed groups safer
Still on the Agenda ...
● Working through:
o Identifier issues in an aggregation context (RIMMF
demonstrates these very well)
o Building in extension capabilities and guidelines
o Additional training for users based on the successful Jane-
o Developing useful semantic maps and methods for storage,
maintenance and distribution
• Looking for feedback and participation from vendors to
help drive effective experimentation, development and
• Encouraging vendor customers to ask for support for RDA