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JSC Takes Pragmatic Approach to Period of Change

The JSC has discussed the impact of various factors on the content and structure of RDA. These factors include:
The Committee of Principals' review of RDA governance and strategy which currently encourages development for international, cultural heritage, and linked data communities (see "RDA Strategy Consultation 2014").

  • The anticipated deprecation of FRBR Group 3 entities, addition of new entities, and other significant changes in the consolidated model of FRBR, FRAD, and FRSAD within the next two years.
  • The current discussion on the future strategy of ISBD and the pending review of the ISBD consolidated edition.
  • Changes to the structure of RDA Toolkit resulting from the work of the RDA Development Team on the new content management system, RDA Registry, and non-MARC carriers of RDA data (see "RDA Toolkit Technical Committee formed").

The JSC will monitor these impacts as they become clearer and coordinate the development of RDA accordingly.

The JSC agreed to adopt a working principle during this 2 or 3 year period of change:

Extensive changes to RDA in areas that are likely to require significant review and amendment (with high risk impact factors) will usually not be implemented. This includes the layout and numbering of the main sections and appendices. Proposals may be accepted in principle, but suspended pending subsequent review, or referred to other JSC and related groups involved in changes to these areas.

Proposals which involve changes in areas unlikely to be impacted by external factors, and smaller changes in any areas of RDA, will continue to be implemented after agreement by the JSC.

What this means in practice is that the JSC is unwilling to spend resources in changing RDA structure and content where it is likely that those changes will be overwritten within the next year or two. For example, extensive renumbering of instructions will be avoided for the time being by using "deprecated" text to replace deletions, with the aim of carrying out a single renumbering exercise after changes arising from impact factors have been applied.

The JSC advises the groups and individuals developing proposals for the development of RDA to take this into account when prioritizing tasks and other activities.

As general guidance, the JSC is anticipating a greater focus on a broader range of entities, with relationships between entities preferred to attributes (elements) of entities. For example, it is possible to recast the FRBR Manifestation attribute Publication statement as a set of relationships between Manifestation and Place, Person/Family/Corporate Body, and Timespan entities to improve support for international linked data covering a broader range of cultural heritage resources.