RDA Update

Jennifer Bowen, ALA Representative to the Joint Steering Committee

Significant progress has been made during the past six months toward the development of RDA ( Resource Description and Access), a new standard for resource description to replace AACR2. This brief report includes an update on events related to RDA (both international and ALA), plus information on how to view both the most recent draft of RDA (Chapters 6 and 7) and a prototype of RDA Online.

The first release of RDA is planned for mid-2008.

Joint Steering Committee Activities

The Joint Steering Committee (JSC) for Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) met in Ottawa from April 24-28, 2006. Major outcomes of the JSC meeting include the following:

In response to comments received during the review of the draft of part I of RDA, the JSC will restructure the guidelines within RDA to further align it with concepts and terminology used for descriptive metadata outside the library community and to be more consistent with international cataloging principles. This restructuring will not affect the planned timeline for RDA development.

The JSC expressed initial support for a preliminary report generated by a joint RDA and ONIX initiative (http://www.editeur.org/) to develop a common framework for resource categorization that will align those portions of RDA related to categorizing resources with comparable sections of the ONIX formats. This collaborative effort between the library community and members of the international publishing industry will potentially facilitate data transfer between the two communities for all types of media.

The JSC affirmed plans to include a mapping of RDA and MARC 21 data elements within the RDA product. A draft version of this mapping is currently being developed, and will be shared with the MARBI committee at the ALA Midwinter Meeting (January 2007) to facilitate implementation discussions for using RDA with MARC 21.

The JSC developed a procedure for reviewing the extensive comments received during the public review of the draft of part I of RDA from the six JSC constituencies, library rule-making organizations in six other countries, and other resource description organizations and individuals.

The JSC met jointly with the Committee of Principals for AACR. The two groups agreed to make the majority of current and future JSC documents public via the JSC Web site, and also discussed the RDA Strategic Plan, RDA Project Management, and issues related to the future governance structure for RDA.

The official report of the Ottawa meetings and other documents related to RDA are available at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/jsc/index.html. A full report on the Ottawa meeting by the ALA representative to the JSC, is available at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/tas/jca/ccda/docs/RDAForum0606.pdf.

The next meeting of the JSC will be October 16-20, 2006 in Washington, D.C.

RDA-Related Events at ALA Annual

CC:DA Discussions

At the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23-27, 2006, the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) held three meetings to discuss the draft for Chapters 6 and 7 of RDA, covering related resources and persons, families, and corporate bodies associated with a resource, respectively.

Some of the major issues raised were: (a) the scope of the chapter on related works; (b) the taxonomy of relationships in the chapter and the terminology used to describe relationships; (c) the use of the term citation in Chapter 6; (d) the need for the concept of mixed responsibility in chapter 7; and (e) whether there is a continued need for the special rules for musical, legal, and religious works.

For further details and links to other related documents, see the agenda for the meeting at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/tas/jca/ccda/agen0606.html.

RDA Forum

An RDA Update Forum, sponsored by the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section, was presented at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Over 200 people attended the session. The forum included a brief update on the status of work on RDA by Jennifer Bowen, ALA Representative to the Joint Steering Committee. A PDF version of the presentation is available at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/tas/jca/ccda/docs/RDAForum0606.pdf.

Following this presentation, Jennifer and Marjorie Bloss, RDA Project Manager, answered questions from the audience. Many of the questions concerned the availability of a print version of RDA, how RDA will interface with ILSs, the handling of identifiers such as URLs and URIs within RDA, and the frequency with which RDA will be updated.

The JSC has an RDA FAQ online at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/jsc/rdafaq.html.

RDA Draft Chapters 6 and 7 available

The draft of part A, chapters 6-7 of RDA (formerly known as RDA part II) is now available at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/jsc/rdadraftch6-7.html. While the international comment period for the document officially ends on September 1st, the comment period for ALA members within the U.S. has already concluded (August 7th). This earlier U.S. deadline allows time for preparation of the official ALA response to the draft for discussion at the October 2006 JSC meeting.

The draft of the earlier chapters of part A (formerly known as RDA part I) is also still available at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/jsc/working2.html#rda-pt1.

RDA Online prototype available for comment

While the JSC and the RDA Editor have been concentrating on the content of RDA, the Co-Publishers (the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) have been developing the online product. To that end, they have created a prototype for RDA Online.

The Co-Publishers have made this prototype available at http://www.rdaonline.org/.

This same prototype was demonstrated to several focus groups and individual during the last two American Library Association conferences.

Some suggestions for viewing the prototype:

First, the prototype is available for viewing in four versions depending on resolution with sound and without sound (eye-readable text). Depending on the Internet connection, the audio in particular may take a few minutes to load.

Second, the prototype is a snapshot, created for the purpose of viewing and assessing the functionality of the software and not the content of the RDA rules. When viewing the prototype, please focus on it as an online tool rather than critiquing the rules that have been included as examples.

Finally, a short questionnaire has been attached to the prototype. The Co-Publishers are very eager to receive feedback on the prototype while it is in this early stage of development.

For more information on the RDA Online prototype, please contact: Marjorie E. Bloss, RDA Project Manager, 2827 W Gregory St. Chicago, IL 60625, USA; (773) 878-4008; (773) 519-4009 (mobile); Marjorie_Bloss@msn.com.