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Thursday, April 05, 2012

RDA ( Resource Description and Access)

As one of the trainers for next run of Module 3: Support Bibliographic Control Work for Higher Certificate in Library and Information Service (HCLIS), I just search for some update on RDA and found the following paper from OCLC:

Incorporating RDA practices into WorldCat: A discussion paper


This discussion paper assumes that the library community moves forward with the implementation of RDA: Resource Description and Access, an implementation that is currently envisioned to take place no earlier than January 1, 2013. It proposes a number of policies that may be put in place and actions that may be undertaken as part of incorporating RDA practices more fully into WorldCat. It also attempts to balance the dual roles of WorldCat as a catalog and as a repository of bibliographic data.
Initially, these proposed policies and actions are primarily focused on English-language-of-cataloging records that are created and maintained online by OCLC member libraries. As translations of RDA become available and as national libraries beyond the Anglo-American community make their policy decisions public, OCLC will expand these policy statements and action plans.
The paper is being made available for OCLC member libraries to comment on these potential policies and actions. Please send comments to by April 15, 2012.
Source of information:

Here are some points I extracted after reading the paper:

*Following the formal adoption of RDA: Resource Description and Access by the three national libraries in the United States, many libraries will begin creating only RDA records.

*Implementation is envisioned to take place no earlier than January 1, 2013.

*It would be more efficient if staff focused instead on learning a single standard, RDA.

*Use of spelled out forms in RDA removes ambiguities or confusion created by the use of abbreviations. Similarly, the use of English language terms in RDA in place of Latin terms used in older rules removes ambiguities. For example, [Place of publication not identified] is clearer to end users than [S.l.] or [N.p.].

*Proposed Future Cataloging Policy:
  • Catalogers are not required to update or upgrade existing records to RDA.
  • Catalogers may re-catalog items according to RDA if it is considered useful... The revised record would then be changed to Desc (Leader/18) coded as c or i as appropriate with 040 $e rda added.
  • Catalogers may update individual fields in pre-RDA records to reflect RDA practices if it is considered useful...
  • Catalogers should use access points as established in the authority file, whether those forms are coded as RDA or AACR2.
*Changing Pre-RDA Records
  • Content, Media, and Carrier Types: Fields 336, 337, and 338 allow for the recording of content, media, and carrier types using controlled terminology...
  • General Material Designations: Field 245 $h would no longer be input under RDA...
*Access Points: additional access points called for under RDA instructions may be added to older records. Additional access points do not have to be represented in any existing notes or statements of responsibility.

*Statements of Responsibility: Catalogers may also revise statements of responsibility in older records to record additional names optionally called for under RDA instructions.

*Abbreviations in the Language of the Cataloging Agency:
  • Abbreviations of non-transcribed elements may be converted to spelled-out forms.
  • In field 300 in English language based cataloging, for example, end users would be better served by seeing illustrations versus ill. or illus., portraits versus ports., volumes versus v., etc.
*Latin Abbreviations may be converted to their spelled-out non-Latin language forms. For example in English language based cataloging, end users would be better served by seeing [and others] versus … [et al.], [publisher not identified] versus [s.n.], approximately versus ca., etc.

*Brackets: Practice regarding the input of brackets changes under RDA so that individual elements are separately bracketed rather than combined with adjacent bracketed elements, e.g., 260 [S.l. : $b s.n., $c 1960?] would be formulated as 260 [Place of publication not identified] : $b [publisher not identified], $c [1960?] instead. RDA practice for input of brackets may be used when working with non-RDA records.

*Parallel Records: RDA-based changes may be made to records cataloged in English as well as in other languages of cataloging as coded in 040 $b, as long as the language of cataloging is retained and respected.

*Future OCLC Changes
  • OCLC envisions potentially making some widespread changes to existing records in WorldCat including a number of those outlined above.
  • Such efforts would be oriented toward reducing the need for catalogers to make similar changes as well as making the records more useful in the RDA environment.
  • This activity would supplement other data quality efforts such as authority control, duplicate detection, etc.
*Retaining Changes to Existing Records
  • Once an individual element in an older record has been changed to reflect RDA practice, it should not be changed back to a pre-RDA form even though the record is still coded AACR2 or earlier rules.
  • When performing copy cataloging, catalogers may locally edit these elements to reflect earlier rules but the master record should not be changed.
Please read the full text for more details:

Incorporating RDA practices into WorldCat: A discussion paper

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