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Publication of the RDA Element Vocabularies

The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC), Metadata Management Associates, and ALA Publishing (on behalf of the co-publishers of RDA) are pleased to announce that the RDA elements and relationship designators have been published in the Open Metadata Registry (OMR) as Resource Description Framework (RDF) element sets suitable for linked data and semantic Web applications.

The elements include versions "unconstrained" by Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD), the standard library models underpinning RDA, that are intended for use in applications by non-RDA communities.

The published version of the RDA element sets builds on several years of work by the DCMI/RDA Task Group. Earlier versions developed by the Group will remain available, but will be deprecated for further development and use, and redirected to the new version.

Gordon Dunsire, Chair of the JSC, said "The RDA element set is a distillation of modern approaches to resource discovery supporting rich descriptions of library and cultural heritage materials and detailed relationships between them at international level. The JSC has recently established a working group to assist in extending and refining the RDA elements, and hopes that they will be useful to other communities, ranging from close neighbours in library linked data to the global networks of general search."

Diane Hillmann of Metadata Management Associates said "We are extremely pleased to be able to make this new version available now in fully published form, ready for implementation by libraries and vendors. We look forward to discussing the important features available in this version with our colleagues at the upcoming ALA Midwinter meetings and beyond."

James Hennelly, Managing Editor of RDA Toolkit, said "This is an important update to the RDA Registry and a crucial step in the advancement of RDA's mission to be a standard that is accessible to both cataloging professionals, through the toolkit and print and ebook publications, and to application developers seeking to make use of library data, through the Registry's expression of the RDA elements and vocabularies."

The basic RDA element set namespace is and it contains a total of over 1600 properties and classes. Elements are distributed in sets (the number of elements in each set is given in brackets):

Agent properties (226)
Expression properties (236)
Item properties (54)
Manifestation properties (213)
Work properties (232)
Unconstrained properties (698)
Classes (8)
Follow the links to see details of each element set.

Questions or comments on the content of the element sets may be addressed to the Chair of the JSC, Gordon Dunsire. Questions and comments on the encoding of the vocabularies or on the Open Metadata Registry may be addressed to Diane Hillmann.

Date posted: 21 January 2014