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RDA Frequently Asked Questions

Below are categories of questions people ask about RDA: Resource Description and Access. Given that aspects of RDA continue to be developed, questions and answers will be added and revised in the future.

Table of contents


1. RDA Basics
1.1 What is RDA?
1.2 Does the change in name from AACR3 indicate that it is not just for Anglo-American libraries?
1.3 What are the foundations of RDA?


2. RDA Organization and Governance
2.1 Who is responsible for developing RDA?
2.2 To whom does the JSC report?
2.3 What other groups participate in the development of RDA?
2.4 Who publishes RDA?
2.5 How does the JSC reach its decisions?
2.6 What is the process for suggesting changes to RDA?


3. RDA Development
3.1 Is RDA intended to be used only by libraries?
3.2 What are FRBR, FRAD, and FRSAD? What are their relationship to RDA?
3.3 How does RDA relate to the Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (ICP)?
3.4 What other standards were used in developing RDA?


4. Details of RDA's Content
4.1 What is the structure of RDA?
4.2 What does RDA include?
4.3 What does RDA not include?
4.4 When will RDA sections 4 and 10 for the FRBR Group 3 entities be added?
4.5 Does RDA focus on the recording of data, the presentation of data, or both?
4.6 Is ISBD punctuation required in RDA?
4.7 Why aren’t GMDs (general material designations) in RDA?
4.8 How much flexibility is there when deciding which elements to include in an RDA record? In other words, are there “required” and “not required” elements?
4.9 Why are there so many alternatives, optional additions, and optional omissions?
4.10 In several places, RDA refers to the “language and script of the agency creating the description.” Where does RDA tell me how to decide that?
4.11 Many people have questioned the relevancy of “main entry” especially in light of online systems. Does RDA refer to the concept of “main entry”?
4.12 Why can’t I find in one place in RDA all the instructions I need to catalogue _____ [fill in the blank: music, serials, maps, etc.]?
4.13 Why doesn’t RDA have full record examples?
4.14 Why doesn’t RDA include instructions for MARC coding?
4.15 Our library has English-speaking users and German-speaking users. We have catalogued each item twice, using English as the language of description one time and German as the language of description the other time. How do I link the description in English and the description in German of the same resource?
4.16 Our library receives many items that form part of a larger resource (e.g., parts within a series, issues of a serial, works in a compilation, a package of e-resources, etc.) How does RDA help me to describe the part and the larger resource? How does RDA help me link those descriptions?


5. RDA's Effect on my Library
5.1 Will I have to make major changes to my cataloguing records?
5.2 What will be the effect of RDA on my integrated library system?
5.3 Will changes to catalogue displays be required?


6. RDA Publication: Formats and Cost
6.1 In what formats is RDA available?
6.2 What does RDA cost?


7. RDA Toolkit
7.1 What is RDA Toolkit?
7.2 Several translations of RDA are available. Do I need to buy all of these versions in order to catalogue in those languages?


8. Adopting RDA
8.1 Will I need training when adopting RDA?
8.2 How can I learn more about using RDA Toolkit?


9. Testing RDA
9.1 I’ve heard that there was some testing of RDA shortly after its first release. Can you explain why that was done?


1. RDA Basics


1.1 What is RDA?


RDA stands for “Resource Description and Access” and is the title of the standard, published in 2010, that is the successor to AACR2.

(AACR2 was first published in 1978. Although it was updated many times through the revision process that was established by the JSC, it was largely designed for an environment dominated by the card catalog. The International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR that was held in Toronto in 1997 identified substantive problems with AACR2. Although the updates issued in the years following that conference addressed some of these problems, it became clear that a fundamental rethinking of the code was required to respond fully to the challenges and opportunities of the digital world.)

The Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (JSC) began work on AACR3. In April 2005, the JSC and its parent organization, the Committee of Principals (CoP), determined from comments received on the revision of part I of AACR3 that a new approach was needed. They decided that a new standard designed for the digital environment was more appropriate.

RDA is a standard for resource description and access designed for the digital world. It provides:


  • A flexible framework for describing all resources (analog and digital) that is extensible for new types of material

  • Data that is readily adaptable to new and emerging database structures

  • Data that is compatible with existing records in online library catalogues

RDA is the main component of RDA Toolkit. See further information about the Toolkit in section 5.


1.2 Does the change in name from AACR3 indicate that it is not just for Anglo-American libraries?


RDA can be used by any agency in any country. RDA promotes internationalization because it accommodates languages, scripts, numerals, and dates other than those in English. So, it facilitates the exchange of data between different language communities. The JSC realizes that there are some areas (e.g., instructions for musical works and for legal works) that still demonstrate a lack of internationalization; work will continue in those areas. The Committee of Principals (CoP) is considering how to expand the governance for RDA; more information about those CoP plans will be announced soon.


1.3 What are the foundations of RDA?


RDA is based on the conceptual models FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records), FRAD (Functional Requirements for Authority Data), and FRSAD (Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data). The IFLA Statement of International Cataloguing Principles informs the cataloguing principles used throughout RDA. For more information about the foundations of RDA, see section 3.

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2. RDA Organization and Governance


2.1 Who is responsible for developing RDA?


The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC), the current name of the committee, is responsible for the ongoing development of RDA. The JSC now consists of representatives from seven cataloguing communities. These include the American Library Association (ALA), the Australian Committee on Cataloguing (ACOC), the British Library (BL), the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing (CCC), the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (also including Austria and the German-speaking parts of Switzerland), and the U.S. Library of Congress (LC). The JSC representatives are assisted by the Chair of JSC, the Secretary of JSC, the Examples Editor, and various working groups (see question 2.3). See the list of JSC members.


2.2 To whom does the JSC report?


The JSC reports to the Committee of Principals (CoP) - the directors or their representatives from the Canadian, UK, and US professional library associations, the British Library, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Library and Archives Canada, the Library of Congress, and the National Library of Australia. Changes to RDA governance will be announced soon by the CoP.


2.3 What other groups participate in the development of RDA?


The members of the JSC have specific constituencies with whom they work and whose perspectives and comments they constantly monitor and share with other JSC members.

JSC-related groups currently participating in the ongoing development of RDA include several working groups; these groups have representatives from within and outside the JSC author constituencies. Current working groups include the following:

-- JSC Aggregates Working Group
-- JSC Capitalization Instructions Working Group
-- JSC Fictitious Entities Working Group
-- JSC Music Working Group
-- JSC Places Working Group
-- JSC RDA/ONIX Framework Working Group
-- JSC Relationship Designators Working Group
-- JSC Technical Working Group.

The JSC also receives discussion papers, proposals, and responses from the European RDA Interest Group (EURIG), the ISBD Review Group, the ISSN Network, and the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML) as well as from libraries currently outside the author constituencies.

JSC members are liaisons to EURIG, the ISBD Review Group, and the FRBR Review Group.


2.4 Who publishes RDA?


The Co-Publishers, consisting of the three national associations (The American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) are responsible for issuing RDA. The three associations serve as joint publishers for RDA, both for the online product and any offline products.


2.5 How does the JSC reach its decisions?


The process used by the JSC to reach decisions is grounded in repeated and thorough consultation with the constituent communities and other stakeholders. When reaching final decisions about RDA, members of the JSC have a framework of understanding on the value of compromise and the need to reach mutually satisfying agreements within the JSC.


2.6 What is the process for suggesting changes to RDA?


Proposals for changes to RDA emanating from within the author constituencies of RDA should be submitted through their respective member bodies of JSC. See the information about that process.

Proposals for changes to RDA emanating from outside the author countries of RDA should be submitted to the Chair of JSC. Guidelines for submitting a proposal and a sample proposal will be posted on the website soon.

Comments on and questions about RDA can also be posted on RDA-L, an electronic forum for discussion of RDA. For details about RDA-L, see the information about the forum: http://lists.ala.org/wws/info/rda-l.

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3. RDA Development


3.1 Is RDA intended to be used only by libraries?


RDA is built on the foundations established by the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR). It provides a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on resource description and access covering all types of content and media. The standard was envisioned for use primarily in libraries. The metadata standards used in other communities (archives, museums, publishers, semantic web, etc.) were taken into consideration in the design of RDA. The goal was to attain an effective level of interoperability between those standards and RDA.


3.2 What are FRBR, FRAD, and FRSAD? What are their relationship to RDA?


The acronym “FRBR” stands for Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. FRBR was developed by an IFLA Study Group (1992-1997) and the FRBR Review Group is responsible for its ongoing development.

FRBR includes a conceptual model of entities and relationships and attributes, identifies specific user tasks (Find, Identify, Select, and Obtain) that bibliographic records are intended to fulfill, and recommends a set of elements for inclusion in national bibliographic records.

FRBR provides the conceptual foundation for RDA. RDA includes the FRBR terminology when appropriate (for example, use of the names of bibliographic entities: “work”, “expression”, “manifestation”, and “item”), uses the FRBR attributes as the basis for specific data elements to be included in bibliographic descriptions, addresses FRBR relationships, and uses the FRBR user tasks as the basis for defining a set of core data elements.

The acronym “FRAD” stands for Functional Requirements for Authority Data. This later conceptual model was also developed by an IFLA Study Group. The FRBR Review Group is working to merge this model with FRBR. The JSC used FRAD as the basis for instructions on authority control; the user tasks for authority data are Find, Identify, Clarify, and Understand.

The acronym "FRSAD" stands for Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data. This later conceptual model was also developed by an IFLA Study Group. The FRBR Review Group is also working to merge this model with FRBR. The RDA element for the subject relationship generally reflects the relationship associated with the entity work as defined in FRSAD.


3.3 How does RDA relate to the Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (ICP)?


RDA was initially developed concurrently with the work being undertaken by IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) to revise the 1961 Paris Principles. Members of the JSC participated in the first of the series of IFLA meetings by the international cataloguing experts and in the ongoing work on the revision of the Paris Principles. The resulting IFLA Statement of International Cataloguing Principles informs the cataloguing principles used throughout RDA. The JSC will monitor the ongoing development of ICP.


3.4 What other standards were used in developing RDA?


Other key standards used in developing RDA include the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data, and the MARC 21 Format for Authority Data.

The RDA element set is compatible with ISBD, MARC 21, and Dublin Core. For mappings of the RDA element set to ISBD and MARC 21, see the free mappings on the Tools tab of RDA Toolkit. For alignment of RDA and ISBD, see appendix D.

RDA also conforms to the RDA/ONIX Framework for Resource Categorization.

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4. Details of RDA's Content


4.1 What is the structure of RDA?


The structure relates data elements to both FRBR entities and user tasks. RDA consists of 10 sections that focus on recording attributes for FRBR entities and on recording relationships between these entities.

Recording attributes:


  • Section 1 - Recording attributes of manifestation and item (chapters 1-4)

  • Section 2 - Recording attributes of work and expression (chapters 5-7)

  • Section 3 - Recording attributes of person, family, and corporate body (chapters 8-11)

  • Section 4 - Recording attributes of concept, object, event, and place (chapters 12-16)

Recording relationships:


  • Section 5 - Recording primary relationships between work, expression, manifestation, and item (chapter 17)

  • Section 6 - Recording relationships to persons, families, and corporate bodies (chapters 18-22)

  • Section 7 - Recording relationships to concepts, objects, events, and places (chapter 23)

  • Section 8 - Recording relationships between works, expressions, manifestations and items (chapters 24-28)

  • Section 9 - Recording relationships between persons, families, and corporate bodies (chapters 29-32)

  • Section 10 - Recording relationships between concepts, objects, events, and places (chapters 33-37)

Each section contains general guidelines and a chapter for each entity. Each chapter is associated with a FRBR user task. The chapters on recording attributes and relationships for concepts, objects, and events (chapters 12-15) are still placeholders for completeness in mapping to FRBR and FRAD. The instructions on recording attributes and relationships for places do not yet go beyond the scope of AACR2 chapter 23. Chapter 0 is a general introduction; appendices cover topics such as abbreviations, capitalization, initial articles, and data presentation.


4.2 What does RDA include?


RDA includes guidelines and instructions on recording the attributes of the entities identified in FRBR as Group 1 entities (works, expressions, manifestations, and items) and the relationships between them as well as those creating them (persons, families, and corporate bodies). As was the case with AACR2 and earlier cataloguing codes, RDA includes guidelines and instructions that govern resource description and choice and form of both authorized and variant access points.


4.3 What does RDA not include?


In terms of FRBR, the following are currently out of scope:
-- some attributes and relationships associated with Group 1 entities (work, expression, manifestation, and item) that support resource discovery
-- attributes and relationships associated with the Group 1 entities whose primary function is to support user tasks related to resource management (e.g., acquisition, preservation)

In terms of FRAD, the following are currently out of scope:
-- some attributes and relationships associated with the entities person, family, corporate body, place, work, expression, name, identifier, controlled access point, and rules that support resource discovery
-- attributes and relationships associated with the entities concept, object, and event
-- relationships between controlled access points, as defined in FRAD
-- attributes and relationships (associated with the entities person, family, corporate body, work, and expression) whose primary function is to support user tasks related to rights management.

While RDA does not include instructions on how to create or format subject headings (FRBR's Group 3 entities), it does refer to them with regard to their relationship to Group 1 FRBR entities. There are “place-holder” chapters (found in sections 4 and 10) for the Group 3 entities, anticipating future work on RDA. RDA does not include instructions on the provision of classification or Cutter numbers, or on content designation used in formats such as MARC 21 and mark-up languages such as XML.


4.4 When will RDA sections 4 and 10 for the FRBR Group 3 entities be added?


Those sections are intended to include instructions on analysis and identification of the concepts, objects, events and places that constitute the subject of a resource and the relationships between those entities. Further decisions on these sections are pending the outcomes of decisions by the IFLA FRBR Review Group on the harmonization/merger of the FRBR conceptual model and the conceptual model of FRSAD (Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data). The JSC Places Working Group will also be making recommendations to the JSC.


4.5 Does RDA focus on the recording of data, the presentation of data, or both?


RDA establishes a clear line of separation between the recording of data and the presentation of data. The major focus of RDA is providing guidelines and instructions on recording data to reflect attributes of, and relationships between, the entities defined in FRBR and FRAD.


4.6 Is ISBD punctuation required in RDA?


The ISBD order of areas, data elements and punctuation is not required. Information on presenting RDA data in an ISBD display appears in Appendix D.


4.7 Why aren’t GMDs (general material designations) in RDA?


The GMDs were often a mixture of content and carrier. In RDA the information about content and carrier is separated into three elements:
-- content type (e.g., cartographic, textual, still image) – an attribute of an expression
-- media type (a general indication of the type of carrier, e.g., audio, projected) – an attribute of a manifestation
-- carrier type (e.g., audiocassette, slide, volume) – an attribute of a manifestation.

Representatives from the publishing community ONIX and the JSC established the original vocabularies for content, media, and carrier type based on a common framework for resource categorization (RDA/ONIX Framework). Because the content and carriers of resources collected by libraries and other information agencies continue to change, the JSC established a working group to update and maintain that Framework.

There will still be the possibility to give users an "early warning" regarding the content and carrier of the resource. However, that action will be taken in relation to the display of the data rather than the recording of the data. Also, the controlled terms in the RDA instructions for content, media, and carrier types can be replaced in local displays by terms chosen for local users.

Terminology used to indicate extent of the manifestation (called specific material designations in AACR2) includes some terms that are the same as carrier types; it is easy at first to confuse the two elements Carrier type and Extent. Other extent terms are specified in vocabulary lists of instructions for specific carriers; terms in common usage may be used.


4.8 How much flexibility is there when deciding which elements to include in an RDA record? In other words, are there “required” and “not required” elements?

The JSC decided it would be preferable to designate certain elements as “core” rather than designating all elements as either “required” or “optional.” Making a distinction between “required” and “optional” elements is ambiguous for elements that are required only in certain situations.

Decisions on core elements were made in the context of the FRBR and FRAD user tasks.

The 0.6 section of Chapter 0 has a list of all the core elements.

In the separate chapters, the core elements are identified by the label “CORE ELEMENT” at the beginning of the instructions for each element. If an element has core status in only some situations, an explanation follows the label; in some training materials such an element is referred to as a “core if” element.

Note that sometimes the designation of core status applies to a sub-element or an element sub-type, not to the element as a whole.


4.9 Why are there so many alternatives, optional additions, and optional omissions?


Some instructions have alternatives, optional additions, and/or optional omissions so that the data transcribed or recorded best meets the needs of the resource being catalogued and the users who want to know about or obtain that resource or who want to identify entities related to that resource. An agency may decide to make policy decisions for the alternatives and options or the agency may say that the cataloguers can decide on a case-by-case basis.


4.10 In several places, RDA refers to the “language and script of the agency creating the description.” Where does RDA tell me how to decide that?


The choice of the language and script of description is an encoding decision that is the responsibility of each agency.


4.11 Many people have questioned the relevancy of “main entry” especially in light of online systems. Does RDA refer to the concept of “main entry”?


The concept of main entry as used in a card catalogue is no longer applicable in online catalogues, and this term is not used in RDA. Nevertheless, there is still a need to choose an authorized access point for a work or expression in order (1) to create bibliographic citations and (2) to collocate works and expressions in an online catalogue. Chapter 6 of RDA provides instructions on constructing the authorized access point representing the work or expression.


4.12 Why can’t I find in one place in RDA all the instructions I need to catalogue _____ [fill in the blank: music, serials, maps, etc.]?


The JSC did experiment with several possible arrangements for describing materials that would have retained some division of instructions for type of content and type of resource. However, reviewers found the arrangement to be unworkable (especially for digital materials) because it would have required cataloguers to consult multiple chapters.

RDA's structure relates data elements more closely to both FRBR entities and user tasks. There are chapters for recording attributes for FRBR entities (work, expression, manifestation, item, person, family, corporate body) and chapters for recording relationships between these entities. Special instructions for specific types of resources are included with the general instructions on the element involved. In the online version of RDA, cataloguers can locate all of the instructions pertinent to describing a certain category of resource by using the search limits for type of content, media, and issuance.


4.13 Why doesn’t RDA have full record examples?


The examples accompanying the instructions in RDA illustrate just the instances addressed by those specific instructions. Remember that RDA does not prescribe the presentation of the data to be recorded. However, for the benefit of people encoding the RDA data using ISBD or MARC 21, the JSC provides full record examples via a link on the Tools tab of RDA Toolkit.


4.14 Why doesn’t RDA include instructions for MARC coding?


RDA and MARC 21 are two different standards designed for two different purposes. RDA is a content standard, not an encoding standard. MARC 21 is largely an encoding standard. RDA contains guidelines for choosing and recording bibliographic and authority data. MARC 21 is one possible schema for encoding records created using RDA data, but it is also possible to encode records created using RDA data in other schemas, such as MODS or Dublin Core. (Note that AACR2 was largely a content and display standard, not an encoding standard.)

As RDA was being developed, the RDA/MARC Working Group developed a number of proposals for changes to the MARC 21 formats to accommodate the encoding of RDA data. RDA data elements can be incorporated into the existing MARC 21 structure using current MARC 21 guidelines for coding and order of data elements. Thus, in most cases, RDA does not necessitate users of MARC 21 to make changes to the way their MARC data displays.

Mappings to and from RDA/MARC 21 formats are available on the Tools tab in RDA Toolkit; viewing them does not require a subscription.


4.15 Our library has English-speaking users and German-speaking users. We have catalogued each item twice, using English as the language of description one time and German as the language of description the other time. How do I link the description in English and the description in German of the same resource?


The linkage between descriptions of the same resource made according to different language versions of RDA versions is an application decision to be taken in consideration of the encoding potential of the local system.


4.16 Our library receives many items that form part of a larger resource (e.g., parts within a series, issues of a serial, works in a compilation, a package of e-resources, etc.) How does RDA help me to describe the part and the larger resource? How does RDA help me link those descriptions?


RDA indicates in 1.5 that there are three possibilities for creating descriptions for resources:
-- a comprehensive description for the resource as a whole;
-- an analytical description for each part of a resource;
-- combining the description for the part with the description for the whole in a hierarchical description.

Each agency is responsible for deciding whether to create descriptions of each part, of the larger resource, or of both.

RDA accommodates linkages between descriptions of individual parts and the larger resource by identifying the relationships. Chapters 24-28 address the relationships between related works, related expressions, related manifestations, and related items. Appendix J provides listings of relationship designators and definitions for these relationships. Each agency is responsible for deciding on the encoding system used locally to record linkages between descriptions.

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5. RDA's Effect on my Library


5.1 Will I have to make major changes to my cataloguing records?


The JSC agreed early on that records created by using RDA would be compatible with AACR2 records and that any instance where incompatibility might exist would be scrutinized very carefully before recommending a change. But, there will be instances where authorized access points will require modification, such as those for “Bible”. Using computers' abilities for global updating will make these changes considerably easier to manage than in pre-online system days.


5.2 What will be the effect of RDA on my integrated library system?


In large part, the impact depends on how ILS vendors have incorporated RDA into their software. Regardless, the RDA instructions are designed to be independent of the format, medium or system used to store or communicate the data, and be readily adaptable to newly-emerging database structures.


5.3 Will changes to catalogue displays be required?


It is hoped that library systems and OPACs will continue evolving to take full advantage of the data created using RDA, with its underlying FRBR structure of work, expression, manifestation, and item. These changes will improve the ease and effectiveness with which users are able to find, identify, and obtain the resources they require.

In the FRBR model, the attributes of a resource are grouped in four levels: work, expression, manifestation, and item. Work and expression level records can be used to collocate manifestations in way very similar to uniform titles, but with greater precision than possible previously. These records can then be used to create usable and meaningful displays for users, while still ensuring that libraries can share data effectively.

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6. RDA Publication: Format and Costs


6.1 In what formats is RDA available?


RDA was developed first as part of an online database product (RDA Toolkit) to incorporate the features and functionality of online access; pdfs of the chapters can be downloaded. RDA is available also as a print product. A condensed version, RDA Essentials, is being prepared.


6.2 What does RDA cost?


For information about cost and pricing options, see the publishers’ website.

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7. RDA Toolkit


7.1 What is RDA Toolkit?


RDA Toolkit is an online product with content presented in three categories: RDA, Tools, and Resources. A subscription to RDA Toolkit gives you access to the content in all three categories. A limited amount of content (mappings to and from MARC 21 formats; policy statements from national libraries) is available without a subscription.


7.2 Several translations of RDA are available. Do I need to buy all of these versions in order to catalogue in those languages?


It is possible to use RDA to catalogue resources in any language. The agency creating the description of these resources decides what language will be used for non-transcribed parts of the description. If there is a language version of RDA that matches the language of description chosen by the agency, that version should be used for cataloguing (e.g., libraries that have decided to use French as the language of description will find it expedient to use the French translation of RDA found in RDA Toolkit).

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8. Adopting RDA


8.1 Will I need training when adopting RDA?


As with any new standard, new users of RDA will find training helpful. If you are familiar with AACR2 you should find it easy to use RDA once you have familiarized yourself with its organisation and vocabulary. Because RDA is a web-based tool, it will be easy to navigate to the instructions you need.

To prepare for RDA, first become familiar with the concepts and vocabulary in FRBR. Also, keep up-to-date with ongoing RDA developments by reviewing proposals for changes and monitoring comments on RDA-L.

Read announcements for news and current information. Background information and past/current proposals for changes to RDA are also available: http://www.rda-jsc.org/documents.

Subscribe to RDA-L (the RDA listserv) by following these instructions: http://lists.ala.org/wws/info/rda-l.

Policy statements of national libraries are available on the Resources tab of RDA Toolkit without a subscription to the Toolkit. RDA instructions having such policy statements are marked with icons that link to the statements.


8.2 How can I learn more about using RDA Toolkit?


The training page on the publisher's website.has a section for webinars and presentations about using RDA Toolkit. In RDA Toolkit itself, there is a “Help” link at the bottom of the tabs in the navigation panes.

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9. Testing RDA


9.1 I’ve heard that there was some testing of RDA shortly after its first release. Can you explain why that was done?


The testing of RDA was in response to issues identified by the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. As a result of the Working Group's concerns, the three United States national libraries (the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library) agreed to make a joint decision whether or not to implement RDA based on the results of testing both RDA content and the Web product in which that content will be made available. The goal of the 2010 test was to assure the operational, technical, and economic feasibility of implementing RDA. Testers included the three national libraries identified above and approximately 20 other participants from the broader U.S. library community. For information about the testing process, the recommendations to the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA, and implementation decisions by the three U.S. national libraries, see the “U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee” section on the Resource Description and Access page of the Library of Congress website: http://www.loc.gov/aba/rda/.

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