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Outcomes of the 2014 JSC Meeting

Held in Washington, D.C., USA, November 3-7, 2014

The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) met at the American Library Association Washington Office, in Washington, D.C., USA, from November 3-7, 2014. James Hennelly, Managing Editor of RDA Toolkit, and Simon Edwards, chair of the Committee of Principals of RDA, attended the meeting as did Kate James, the RDA Examples Editor. Ten observers also attended public sessions of the meeting.

The JSC welcomed Galen Jones, the new representative from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and Ebe Kartus, the new representative from the Australian Committee on Cataloguing. Susanne Oehlschläger from Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB) attended the meeting for Christine Frodl, the DNB representative to the JSC.

Galen’s attendance at the meeting was via an Internet connection with two-way audio and video connections, using GoToMeeting software.

The next meeting of the JSC is tentatively scheduled for the first week in November 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

This report is a summary of the main outcomes of the JSC meeting. Further information about JSC’s activity and the development of RDA will be found in the annual report for 2014.

Governance review and RDA strategy

The JSC had extensive discussions with Simon Edwards, chair of the Committee of Principals, about that committee's RDA Governance Review.

Throughout the meeting there was ongoing consideration about the restructuring of RDA Toolkit, especially in the discussion related to 6JSC/BL/17 [Changes to Appendix D.0 and D.1.3.1] and 6JSC/LC/31 [Revisions to instructions on Parts of the Bible (– and]. The JSC will continue to explore these issues with the Co-Publishers.

Discussion of proposals

The JSC discussed 47 proposals and discussion papers plus the responses to those documents. The documents represented a wide diversity of topics and included proposals from three JSC working groups: JSC Music Working Group, JSC RDA/ONIX Framework Working Group, and JSC Technical Working Group. Proposals were also submitted by the National Library of New Zealand (via the Chair) and by the ISSN Network.

Changes to RDA approved by the JSC during the meeting will appear in the April 2015 update of RDA Toolkit. The text of approved proposals will be issued as documents labeled as “Sec final” versions and posted on the JSC public website during January and February 2015. The Chair of JSC will respond to the non-JSC communities who submitted proposals and discussion papers. A table listing the JSC decisions/actions for all proposals and discussion papers will be posted on the website in January 2015. Some of the major decisions taken are summarized below under general topics.


  • 6JSC/BL/21 [Fictitious Families and Corporate Bodies (Revision of RDA 10.0,,, 11.0,,]. The JSC decided to suspend action on the specific recommendations due to the current discussions in the FRBR community on the consolidation of FR models. The JSC will establish a JSC working group on fictitious entities as a follow-up action to the CCC response to the BL proposal.
  • 6JSC/DNB/Discussion/3 [Discussion paper: Hidden relationships in attributes (examples: RDA, 9.13, 10.6, 11.3, 16.2.2)]. The JSC thanked DNB for raising the issue and decided to refer the paper to the FRBR Consolidation Editorial Group for background; the JSC also referred the paper to the JSC Technical Working Group with an assignment to prepare an advisory paper for the 2015 JSC meeting.
  • JSC Technical Working Group papers and JSC RDA/ONIX Framework Working Group papers. The JSC agreed to recommendations in the papers; actions on the recommendations will be carried out by the JSC and the RDA Development Team in coming months. The recommendations add “details of” elements to RDA and amend technical details in the RDA Registry.

Entities: Subject:

  • 6JSC/TechnicalWG/3 [High-level subject relationship in RDA] and 6JSC/ALA/31 [Subject Relationship Element in RDA Chapter 23]. The JSC agreed to add the high-level relationship “Subject” to RDA to be applicable only for a work. 6JSC/ALA/31 will be revised to incorporate comments from the JSC for chapter 23 and to develop a new appendix M for subject relationship designators.


  • 6JSC/TechnicalWG/4 [Court and Jurisdiction in RDA]. Some members of the JSC will do follow-up work investigating the use of “jurisdiction” and “government” in RDA instructions depending upon the meaning of those words in languages other than English.
  • 6JSC/ALA/32 [Expanding the scope of Statement of Responsibility in RDA 2.4 and eliminating the instructions for Performers, Narrators, Presenters (RDA 7.23), and Artistic and/or Technical Credits (RDA 7.24)]. The instructions revised per this proposal will make RDA be more in alignment with the ISBD.
  • 6JSC/LC/31 [Revisions to instructions on Parts of the Bible (– and]. The JSC approved changing the instructions to remove the requirement to use the names of books or groups of books of the Bible as found in the Authorized Version.
  • 6JSC/MusicWG/6 [Revision proposal for choosing and recording preferred titles for music in RDA–] and 6JSC/MusicWG/8 [Revision proposal for conventional collective titles in RDA and Glossary definitions for conventional collective titles and the term Type of Composition]. The changes, approved with revisions, bring the music instructions more in line with the general instructions; in addition, the JSC agreed to add examples outside of the Western art music tradition.

Clarification, consistency, and efficiency:

  • 6JSC/ALA/29 [Clarifying core element status for “not identified” elements in the Distribution and Manufacture Statements (RDA 2.9 and 2.10)]. The JSC agreed with the LC response to remove the core status for these elements and also for Copyright date. Further work will be undertaken by the British Library to evaluate options for simplification, clarification, and efficiency in relation to Production, Publication, Distribution, and Manufacture Statements.
  • 6JSC/CILIP/4 [Colour content in RDA]. The JSC accepted this proposal, with some revisions, for the clarification of instructions for consistent recording of colour content.
  • 6JSC/LC/30 [Works without titles]. The JSC accepted this proposal, with some revisions, for a principled approach to filling in a gap in the RDA instructions.
  • Proposals from the JSC Music Working Group. Several of the proposals from the working group, accepted by the JSC with revisions, clarify the instructions for the description of music resources. For example, 6JSC/MusicWG/4 [Revision proposal for RDA 6.28.3, Authorized Access Point Representing a Musical Expression] removes several sub-instructions.

Demonstration of RIMMF

Deborah Fritz, of The MARC of Quality, demonstrated recent changes to RIMMF (“RDA in Many Metadata Formats”), a visualization tool for seeing RDA content in a pure-RDA context. The JSC recognizes the importance of showing the utility of RDA outside the non-FRBR environment of MARC, and welcomed the availability of the tool.

JSC working groups

The JSC received annual reports from its four working groups: JSC Music Working Group, JSC Places Working Group, JSC RDA/ONIX Framework Working Group, and JSC Technical Working Group. During the meeting, the JSC assigned new tasks to the JSC RDA/ONIX Framework Working Group and the JSC Technical Working Group.

The JSC will establish three new working groups: fictitious entities, content and coverage of RDA appendix A, and relationship designators. Collaboration on the topic of aggregates will be explored with the FRBR Consolidation Editorial Group.

Collaboration with other groups

Gordon Dunsire (Chair, JSC) is the liaison to the Committee of Principals of RDA. Gordon Dunsire and Judy Kuhagen (Secretary, JSC) are liaisons to two groups managed by ALA Publishing on behalf of the Co-Publishers: the RDA Development Team and the RDA Toolkit Technical Committee.

Other JSC liaisons are Alan Danskin to the European RDA Interest Group, Gordon Dunsire to the IFLA FRBR Review Group, and Christine Frodl to the IFLA ISBD Review Group. The JSC will explore establishing protocols between the JSC and the FRBR Review Group and between the JSC and the ISSN Network; there is already a protocol (6JSC/Chair/13) between the JSC and the ISBD Review Group. The JSC will continue to seek collaboration with similar groups responsible for the development and maintenance of bibliographic and other standards related to RDA.

Ongoing RDA development

The JSC intends to take an active role in setting the work agenda for RDA development, focusing attention on specific strategic issues and organizing their investigation by constituencies, working groups, or other interested parties.

Date posted: 2 December 2014

Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC), November 2014:

Left to right: Simon Edwards (Chair, Committee of Principals), Judy Kuhagen (Secretary, JSC), Alan Danskin (British Library), Kathy Glennan (American Library Association), Susanne Oehlschläger (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek), Ebe Kartus (Australian Committee on Cataloguing), Gordon Dunsire (Chair, JSC) with Galen Jones live via the Internet (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), Bill Leonard (Canadian Committee on Cataloguing), Dave Reser (Library of Congress), Kate James (RDA Examples Editor)