. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
, Sandra Roe
Describing Electronic, Digital and Other Media Using AACR2 and RDA by Mary Beth Weber and Fay Angela Austin.
Reviewed by F. Tim Knight
Conversations with Catalogers in the 21st Century edited by Elaine Sanchez.
Reviewed by Philip Hider
, Robert Bothmann, News Editor
Abbreviations, Full Spellings, and Searchers' Preferences
ABSTRACT: This study examined ten, selected word pairs, each containing a word's full spelling and its abbreviation, to determine which form search engine users preferred in searching. Using seven search logs gathered from several Internet search engines with approximately 608 MB of data, the study measured the occurrences of the twenty terms. The selected words are important in library cataloging, for some are prescribed abbreviations in metadata content standards. The study found that in eight of the ten word pairs users preferred to search full spellings over the abbreviations, often by a high margin.'
KEYWORDS: Abbreviations, cataloging, content standards, online searching
An Assessment of the Need to Provide Non-Roman Subject Access to the Library Online Catalog
Magda El-Sherbini and Sherab Chen
ABSTRACT: This article reports the results of an investigation on user preferences in subject searching for non-Roman script materials, and analyzes problems users encountered in retrieving non-Roman script using controlled subject headings in English. Key findings indicate that: end users were not completely dissatisfied with the current library catalog; end users and librarians want a system that is more open to multilingual subject headings; end users are not eager for adding tagging feature to the library catalog, they also highlighted areas of opportunity for libraries to make significant improvements to the catalog..
Surveys, Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Controlled vocabularies, Keyword indexing, User tagging, Library catalogs, Subject access, non-Roman scripts
A Fistful of Headings: Name Authority Control for Video Recordings
ABSTRACT: Lower DVD costs and increased patron demand have led to more video recordings in library catalogs. With long lists of cast and crew, these catalog records are more detailed than many books. For institutions requiring authorized name headings, both personal and corporate, heavily detailed catalog records for video recordings can be burdensome. Not all libraries that contribute original cataloging records to utilities such as OCLC are authorized to create corresponding authority records. A recent survey asked a sample of catalog librarians of video recordings in different types of libraries about their viewpoints and workflows in the context of authority control.
KEYWORDS: Video recordings, cataloging, authority control, DVDs
Author Identifiers: Introducing Several Approaches
A variety of systems exist to provide unique identifiers for authors and to connect them to their works. Three systems are introduced and discussed in more detail in articles by Rotenberg and Kushmerick, Richert, and Nuttall and Oh that follow.
The Author Challenge: Identification of Self in the Scholarly Literature
Ellen Rotenberg and Ann Kushmerick
Considering the expansion of research output across the globe, along with the growing demand for quantitative tracking of research outcomes by government authorities and research institutions, the challenges of author identity are increasing. In recent years, a number of initiatives to help solve the author "name game" have been launched from all areas of the scholarly information market space. This article introduces the various author identification tools and services Thomson Reuters provides, including Distinct Author Sets and ResearcherIDwhich reflect a combination of automated clustering and author participationas well as the use of other data types, such as grants and patents, to expand the universe of author identification. Industry-wide initiatives such as the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) are also described. Future author-related developments in ResearcherID and Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge are also included.
KEYWORDS: Author identification, author disambiguation, ResearcherID, ORCID, author identifiers
Authors in the Mathematical Reviews/MathSciNet Database
The Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Vendor Update Session at the Special Libraries Association 2010 Annual Conference in New Orleans had a panel of four representatives of organizations involved in author authority work. In my presentation I described the involvement of Mathematical Reviews/MathSciNet in author authority work, from the hand work done with file cards in 1940 through the present day work combining computer systems and hand work. This paper is an expanded version of my comments.
F.X. Nuttall and Sam Gyun Oh
As Digital Media develops into a mature market, the proper referencing of digital content is increasingly critical. The Identification of Parties who contributes to content is key to ensure efficient discovery services and royalty tracking. Far from being simple numbers, Party Identifiers such as ISNI, are built on rigorous structures meeting the requirements of diverse media such as books, music or films. Designed to accurately identify Natural Persons and Legal Entities alike, Party Identifiers must also support language variances, cultural diversity and stringent data privacy regulations.
When asked what topics I would like to see covered by Cataloging & Classification Quarterly (CCQ), I have typically answered broadly that if it is related to the building and use of a catalog then it is within the scope of CCQ. When asked whether CCQ is destined for a title change similar to the change between the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules and Resource Description and Access, I am reminded of a talk by Fran Miksa when he visited Illinois in 2006. He impressed me with the strong sense that cataloging and classification are not limited to a single descriptive standard or scheme (however ubiquitous these might be in a given time or place) but to a long tradition that has been accomplished using a variety and blend of these and other traditions (e.g., indexing, bibliography) over time.
Today, the definition and parameters of a catalog are also under debate. During the Catalog Form and Function Interest Group meeting at the American Library Association Annual Conference in June 2011, Matthew Beacom gave a presentation he called, "The Catalog is Dead. Long Live the Catalog!" With his permission, here are the words with which he began:
I take an expansionist view of the catalog. Whether it is or is not "too late for the catalog" depends on what we mean when we say "catalog." If by "catalog" we mean an online version of library's card catalog that is dependent on a set of records in MARC21 format and that follows ISBD and AACR2 rules to both represent a particular library's collections and facilitate access to those collections to users at the level of monographic and serial publications or titles, then it is too late for the catalog.
If by "catalog" one means a tool for representing a library's or other organization's collections and facilitating access to those collections to users at many levels of granularityarchival collection, monographic title, sequence of serial titles, song, journal article, single image, full-text, etc. that imitates not the 19th century card catalog technology but the 21st century search technology and is not dependent on a single record format or a single set of content and display rules but instead draws upon multiple sources and styles of metadata, then it is not too late for the catalog.
I argue that it is not the catalog that has been superseded but our current operational-based conception of the catalog. The idea of the catalog as a representation of a library's collections that exists to facilitate access to and use of the materials in that collection is not being killed by the new technology. The new technology enables us to fulfill the promise of the idea of the catalog.
CCQ's scope statement, in part, has for many years said it this way: "The journal deals with the historic setting as well as with the contemporary, and with theory and scholarly research as well as with practical applications. In a rapidly changing field, it seeks out and fosters new developments in the transition to new forms of bibliographic control and encourages the innovative and the nontraditional." CCQ continues to welcome submissions on any topic that moves the profession toward fulfilling the promise 'of the idea of the catalog.' Valuable contributions can be made on all points of overlap and on the convergences we are seeing today. Our opportunities for research have never been more numerous, more diverse, or more necessary.
Although there is no plan to change the scope of CCQ, two changes are planned for 2012. The first will be an online "Forthcoming articles" section that will be available on the online journal site at. Once article submissions have been reviewed and accepted for publication, they will go immediately into production and be made available to the journal's online subscribers prior to being collected into an issue. Each "forthcoming article" will be in its final form, minus pagination, and will have a persistent digital object identifier (DOI). These articles will be collected and published within an individual issue as usual based on CCQ's current publication frequency. The quicker time-to-publication and the stability (for citation purposes) provided by the DOI will be an asset to both the authors and the readership. Look for the first of these to appear in late 2011.
In 2012 the printed version of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly will be published twice annually in combined issues of v.50, no. 1-4 and v. 50, no. 5-8. There will be no change to the publication frequency for the online version in 2012; it will be published in eight individual issues, just as has been done since 2009. The content and pagination of the print and online versions will remain identical.
Sandra K. Roe
Robert Bothmann, News Editor
Welcome to the news column. 'Its purpose is to disseminate information on any aspect of cataloging and classification that may be of interest to the cataloging community.' This column is not just intended for news items, but serves to document discussions of interest as well as news concerning you, your research efforts, and your organization.' Please send any pertinent materials, notes, minutes, or reports to: Robert Bothmann, Memorial Library, Minnesota State University, Mankato, ML 3097, PO Box 8419, Mankato, MN 56002-8419 (email:, phone: 507-389-2010.' News columns will typically be available prior to publication in print from the CCQ website at .
We would appreciate receiving items having to do with:
Research and Opinion
Presented by Dr. Lynne Howarth, University of Toronto
Sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies IOrg Research Group
Dr. Howarth set the tone with a quotation by Kroski (2005) about "the wisdom of crowds, the hive mind, and the collective intelligence," emphasizing the now ubiquitous involvement of everyday users who are attempting to organize and classify the Internet. What used to be done by experts (catalogers, information architects, metadata specialists) is now being done by users across the globe to suit their own needs.
Social tagging takes place by users, for users, and comes from their individual experiences with content, rather than a hierarchical application from the designers and authors of the websites themselves. Users are also encouraged to interact with other users using Web 2.0 features, instead of only interacting with "expert" applied vocabularies and organization schemes.
Howarth argued that while those in the information organization (IO) and knowledge organization (KO) domains continue to have the monopoly on formalized standards and systems whose creation, development, maintenance, and implementation require specialized knowledge, the appearance and growth of what might be called itinerant catalogers, moving across the Internet, tagging and interacting as they go, have shifted the balance of power. Web 2.0 sites and their users are forming a type of wedge that provides a useful way of looking at the issues of warrant and authority.
She then described and discussed several examples, including Flickr Commons, LibraryThing, BiblioCommons, and the Social Online Public Access Catalog (SOPAC) with regards to the various types of interactions that are possible with each tool. Beyond basic tagging, there is also other metadata to contextualize, such as locations on a map or group affiliations. Tools such as BiblioCommons or SOPAC allow users to search for resources, tag them, rate them, and comment on them and then this information is incorporated into the catalog database itself, along with the metadata provided from the bibliographic record. This results in a mix of both the formal, traditional item record created by the library and additional information provided by the community of users. While professionals use one way of organizing collections, users need their own personalized way to describe their personal collections. LibraryThing explains to users that "tags are a simple way to categorize books according to how you think of them, not how some official librarian does." There is exciting potential for these folksonomies to be used in a more formal way.
How does this all relate to warrant? Howarth proposes a concept of "social" or "community" warrant considering the characteristics of tags, namely that they are used as naming devices rather than as categorizations, that they are not considered "facets" within a structured classification, there is no syntactic warrant, they are not mutually exclusive nor jointly exhaustive, and neither rigorous nor systematic. Semantic warrant and cultural warrant might lead to thinking more broadly about social or community warrant. She discussed Barbara Kwasnik's (2010) challenges to warrant, noting that any web designer calls upon some type of warrant for their product, whether consciously or unconsciously. Sometimes it is difficult to tell who the authority is. How much warrant should be given to the authority or designer and how much to the user? Is there a reason why we should try to accommodate both? Can that even be done? Maybe we should instead be asking how we can bring these together in a productive and positive sense.
Howarth sees this movement to Web 2.0 catalogs as giving voice to users in a structured way. Is there some sort of valid social or community authority that we can use in a constructive way? Is it something that might enter our lexicon of warrant? These are questions explored in the context of Clare Beghtol's (1986) idea of warrant. Could we see other ways of creating naïve classification and other controlled vocabularies and organization systems that take the best of what a community offers but fit it within a more regularized environment? Howarth sees Beghtol's points as an opening for change in how we do things. Naïve classification could be influenced by professional classificationists, so users are provided well-formed and maintained classification structures, allowing latitude for the individual to have a voice, allowing professionals and individuals to contribute the best of each other to each other.
Melodie J. Fox
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ann M. Graf
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
In October 2010, OCLC's U.S.-based Member Services team kicked off a new event series, "Good Practices for Great Outcomes: Cataloging Efficiencies that Make a Difference." These in-person meetings are designed to highlight practical approaches and ideas that increase efficiency. Each features several member librarians, who discuss workflow changes and tools like WorldCat Cataloging Partners. These member librarians also share how their approach to getting work done has changed. To date, numerous member panelists and keynote speakers have provided a significant array of ideas, tips, and advice. Member Services have launched a new online portal for Good Practices for Great Outcomes () that showcases video and slide presentations from previous events and provides announcements about future events. A new blog and live Twitter feed also features ideas and recommendations contributed by members of the cooperative. These face-to-face meetings generate many valuable ideas and discussions, and we are excited to expand access to these resources by way of our new virtual community. OCLC invites you to view videos from past events and to follow us on Twitter at @OCLCMemServ and join in the #goodgreatcat conversation. We hope that you take full advantage of all of these community resources, and don't forget to pass them on to your colleagues.
Consulting Database Specialist
Editor's note: The U.S. National Libraries RDA Test (timeline:) was completed during the first quarter of 2011. What follows are reprints of announcements related to the RDA test for purposes of posterity. The first announcement, "Transforming our Bibliographic Framework," was released on May 13, 2011, a month ahead of the other RDA-related announcements. While not directly related to the other announcements, the statement's timing ahead of the anticipated announcement of the RDA test results and implementation decision affirmed to some that the National Libraries would be adopting RDA. It is also further evidence in support of the observations from the U.S. National Libraries testing partners regarding the insufficiencies of MARC 21 to effectively communicate RDA descriptions.
The next statement is a reprint of the Executive Summary of the "Final Report and Recommendations" documenting the goals met and the recommendations for improvements and changes to the text of RDA prior to implementation. This is followed by supporting statements from the three principals of the U.S. National Libraries and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). Finally, the supporting statements are followed by the announcement of the OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers/Music Library Association RDA test discussions and a statement from OCLC regarding its plans for implementation of RDA.
Transforming our Bibliographic Framework: A Statement from the Library of Congress (May 13, 2011)
The Library of Congress is sharing this statement, by Deanna B. Marcum, LC's Associate Librarian for Library Services for the benefit of its external constituents. Dr. Marcum will be leading the initiative that will drive this transformation process. The Library is mounting the statement now for early review. Following the June 2011 Annual Conference of the American Library Association, where discussions about the statement will occur, the Library will make further announcements.
The recent publication of Resource Description & Access (RDA), and the US National Test of RDA that is now being analyzed, have come at a time when technological and environmental changes are once again causing the library community to rethink the future of bibliographic control, including the MARC 21 communication formats. The content and packaging of RDA itself attempt to address this question and in so doing have raised further issues. Quite apart from a decision about implementing RDA, we must evaluate the wider bibliographic framework.
Adding to the uncertainties that accompany change, libraries and other cultural heritage institutions and information centers around the world are facing serious budgetary constraints. Cultural heritage institutions see their resources dwindling at the same time that they need to invest in dramatic new uses of bibliographic data. In this environment, many institutions have been forced to relax standards of quality in bibliographic records while still being asked to broaden their services, especially in terms of the availability of digital data. Efficiencies in the creation and sharing of cataloging metadata are therefore imperative: information providers and cultural heritage institutions must reevaluate their use of scarce resources, both as individual organizations and as a community.
The Associate Librarian of Congress for Library Services, Deanna Marcum, is leading an initiative at the Library to analyze the present and future environment, identify the components of the framework to support our users, and plan for the evolution from our present framework to the futurenot just for the Library of Congress, but for all institutions that depend on bibliographic data shared by the Library and its partners. The Library of Congress has invested considerable resources in the development of broadly implemented encoding standards such as MARC 21, as well as cataloging standards and vocabularies such as the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd Edition (AACR2), RDA, and the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Spontaneous comments from participants in the US RDA Test show that a broad cross-section of the community feels budgetary pressures but nevertheless considers it necessary to replace MARC 21 in order to reap the full benefit of new and emerging content standards. The Library now seeks to evaluate how its resources for the creation and exchange of metadata are currently being used and how they should be directed in an era of diminishing budgets and heightened expectations in the broader library community.
The Library of Congress will address these issues:
The Library of Congress's process will be fully collaborative. We will consult our partners and customers in the metadata community, standards experts in and out of libraries, and designers and builders of systems that make use of library metadata. We intend to host meetings during conferences of the American Library Association, specialized library associations, and international organizations, as well as special "town hall" meetings open to the metadata community, to gather input from all interested parties. We plan to establish an electronic discussion group for constant communication during the effort of reshaping our bibliographic framework, and we expect to host a series of invitational meetings of experts and stakeholders in 2012 and 2013.
Link to the statement:
Final Report and Recommendations
The Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, and the National Library of Medicine are pleased to issue a statement from the Executives of the three libraries regarding the Report and Recommendations of the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee on the implementation of RDAResource Description & Access. This statement and the Executive Summary of the Committee's Report and Recommendations are being issued to allow interested parties sufficient time to review prior to the upcoming Annual Conference of the American Library Association in New Orleans, June 23 -28.
Link to the full report:
Executive Summary: Report and Recommendations of the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee (June 13, 2011)
Coordinating Committee's charge
The senior management at the Library of Congress (LC), National Agricultural Library (NAL), and National Library of Medicine (NLM) charged the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee to devise and conduct a national test of Resource Description & Access (RDA). The Coordinating Committee would evaluate RDA by testing it within the library and information environment, assessing the technical, operational, and financial implications of the new code. The assessment would include an articulation of the business case for RDA, including benefits to libraries and end users, along with cost analyses for retraining staff and re-engineering cataloging processes. The Coordinating Committee began its work by reviewing RDA's stated goals.
The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) crafted a strategic plan that enumerated a set of goals that was shared with the cataloging and information communities. The U.S. RDA Test sought to determine how well these goals were met. In this report, the Coordinating Committee describes how it devised its test plan, selected test partners, identified materials to be cataloged, crafted questions for various survey instruments, drafted evaluative factors, and analyzed test dataall to demonstrate whether the results were commensurate with goals RDA developers set for the code.
Based on the test findings, the summary statements below indicate whether or not the goals were met. The body of the report presents the findings that led the Coordinating Committee to these conclusions.
Contingent on the satisfactory progress/completion of the tasks and action items below, the Coordinating Committee recommends that RDA should be implemented by LC, NAL, and NLM no sooner than January 2013. The three national libraries should commit resources to ensure progress is made on these activities that will require significant effort from many in and beyond the library community.
To achieve a viable and robust metadata infrastructure for the future, the Coordinating Committee believes that RDA should be part of the infrastructure. Before RDA is implemented, however, the activities below must be well underway. In order to allow sufficient lead time for these actions to occur, the Committee recommends that RDA implementation not proceed prior to January 2013. Timeframes in these recommendations assume a start date of July 1, 2011 and represent the Coordinating Committee's best estimates. Many of the activities must occur simultaneously. The timeframes given are for each individual task. Therefore the timeframes given are not sequential.
The test revealed that there is little discernible immediate benefit in implementing RDA alone. The adoption of RDA will not result in significant cost savings in metadata creation. There will be inevitable and significant costs in training. Immediate economic benefit, however, cannot be the sole determining factor in the RDA business case. It must be determined if there are significant future enhancements to the metadata environment made possible by RDA and if those benefits, long term, outweigh implementation costs. The recommendations are framed to make this determination prior to implementation.
The Coordinating Committee wrestled with articulating a business case for implementing RDA. For the reasons that are presented in this Executive Summary and other sections of the report, it is, nevertheless, the decision of the Coordinating Committee to recommend implementing RDA. The recommendation to implement is premised on the expectation that the problems uncovered by the test will be addressed as part of the preparation for implementation. The business case for implementing RDA is further based on the community's need for a descriptive cataloging standard that:
The U.S. RDA Test demonstrated that RDA can fulfill some of these needs. In some instances, the promise of fulfillment is greater than the reality of what RDA can currently offer. At present, several factors impede RDA's meeting all the above needs. These factors include constraints of today's environment, e.g., systems and the carrier format. They also include constraints within RDA itself. This report will more fully address these impediments and propose how to resolve them as part of the path to RDA implementation.
The test generated widespread interest in the U.S. and international cataloging communities as evidenced by the more than 95 institutions that applied to be testers, high attendance at RDA Test update sessions during ALA conferences, and traffic on discussion lists. Many institutions reported feeling privileged to be part of the test and noted energized staffs as well as other benefits. While the Coordinating Committee had no way to determine the effect of participating in the test on the opinions about RDA reported by test participants, some positive results of the test due to the effects of being a participant cannot be ruled out.
The U.S. RDA Test amassed an unexpectedly huge amount of data that provided the Coordinating Committee a wealth of RDA records and survey responses to analyze. This wealth of data helped to inform the ultimate decision to recommend that the three U.S. national libraries implement RDA no sooner than January 2013. The data collected will be posted for sharing with the library and information communities for possible further research. The 26 test partners (including LC, NAL, and NLM) created 10,570 bibliographic records and 12,800 authority records. More than 8,000 surveys were submitted.
A key question was asked of each test partner institution, each record creator, and anyone in the U.S. community who wished to complete a survey: "Do you think that the U.S. community should implement RDA?" Answers from institutional test partners were as follows: 34% "yes"; 28% "yes with changes"; 24% "ambivalent"; 14% "no." Record creators were somewhat more negative: 25% "yes"; 45% "yes with changes"; 30% "no" ("ambivalent" was not offered as a choice for record creators). Those who responded via the survey that was open to all in the U.S community whether or not they had taken any RDA training or created any RDA records were the most negative: 12% "yes"; 10% "yes with changes"; 34% "ambivalent"; 44% "no."
The findings are summarized below. The full findings are in the body of the report.
Findings on record creation include analyses of time needed to create RDA records for titles in participants' normal workflows (Extra Original and Extra Copy Sets) and comparative times for creating AACR2 and RDA records as part of an artificial record set cataloged by all participants (Common Original Set).
Record creation times were self-reported and likely subject to a variety of personal approaches to counting and recording time. The overall average time to create an original RDA bibliographic record for the Extra Original Set, exclusive of consultation time and authority work time, was 31 minutes. The range of times reported, however, was from one to 720 minutes. A considerable decrease in record creation time was noted when the Coordinating Committee compared record creation times for the first ten RDA records produced by record creators with record creation times for the 20th record and above.
The overall rate of variance between RDA records was roughly comparable to the overall rate of variance between AACR2 records. RDA records, on average, contained more data elements than did their AACR2 counterparts. Discernible error patterns in both RDA and AACR2 were frequently related to the complexity of the resource cataloged. There were notable patterns of errors around some RDA concepts and instructions, however, such as providing access points for works and expressions manifested, when required. Comments from catalogers indicated that many lacked confidence in their ability to find and interpret all relevant RDA instructions.
In a survey of library users, most (85%) spoke favorably of the RDA record. They particularly liked the record's clarity and completeness, the elimination of abbreviations and of Latin terminology, and the abandonment of the rule of three and increased number of access points. While there was praise for the RDA record, the overwhelming criticism by the 65% of respondents who had negative comments focused on the dropping of the general material designation and its replacement by the media/carrier/content types whose terminology is difficult to understand. There is a lack of knowledge among many library staff and users as to the options that may be available for translating and displaying these elements on public catalog screens.
Training & Documentation Needs
Many training methods were available to RDA test participants. All of the institutions that responded to the question regarding training methods presented their staff with at least three different types of training methods. The staff at five institutions offered as many as seven different training methods.
Of the institutions responding to a question about creating or modifying local documentation for use with RDA, less than half had created documentation to record local policy decisions although some provided information about the test itself and/or about RDA. Some participants noted that any local documentation written in the context of AACR2 or any other content standard would need to be revised if RDA is implemented or even if the library only accepted for purposes of copy cataloging any RDA records created by others. Some participants noted the opportunity to simplify their local documentation.
Although 75% of those responding said that updating documentation would have a "large" or "very large" impact, only 12% of those responding to a question asking if updating documentation would be a benefit or a barrier to implementing RDA said that it would be a "major barrier."
The three national libraries indicated that they had extensive local documentation to be reviewed and revised; much of LC's local documentation is also national documentation. Various specialized cataloging communities and the utilities were considering their documentation plans.
Use of RDA Toolkit
There were several positive comments related to the RDA Toolkit. The overall impression from the comments, however, was that users struggled to use the Toolkit effectively. Many respondents found the Toolkit to be clunky and difficult to navigate. Respondents were not pleased with the organization (although it was at times unclear if this was the organization of the rules themselves or how they were presented in the Toolkit). Attempting to navigate to particular rules in the text via the table of contents confused many users.
The workflows present in the Toolkit were seen as useful in creating initial records because they are written in straightforward language and ease the burden of the FRBR-based arrangement of RDA by ordering the rules by MARC/ISBD area. While there is potential for development of specific workflows at the local level and by format-specific cataloging communities, it would be a mistake to use the workflows to overcome the shortcomings of RDA and the Toolkit
The text of RDA was compared with AACR2, ISBD, and the CONSER Cataloging Manual using two common readability tools (Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level). The comparison indicated that RDA text was the least readable.
Subjective reactions to the RDA content were mixed. Some participants liked the emphasis on transcription, cataloger judgment, and the new content/media/carrier types, as well as the elimination of abbreviations. A few described the text as "elegant" or "well-written." A larger number of participants reported confusion about the structure, organization, and vocabulary in RDA and commented that the order of the rules in RDA did not match current cataloging workflows. The text was described as redundant, circular, and complicated, rather than being a simplified set of rules. Suggestions for improving the text came from both those who had positive and negative reactions to the content.
While 54% of respondents to the Common Original Set survey indicated encountering difficulties with the RDA content or options, the percentage encountering these difficulties dropped to 14.5% for the Extra Original Set, indicating that over time participants gained a better understanding of RDA. There was little difference reported in difficulties encountered by different levels of staff. Participants working in non-textual formats, however, reported a much higher number of difficulties.
Systems, Metadata, and Technical Feasibility
There were no reported problems in systems ingesting and storing RDA records. While existing systems can import and store RDA-based MARC 21 records, respondents indicated that substantial local configuration changes would be needed for indexing and record displays for the public. Many survey respondents expressed doubt that RDA changes would yield significant benefits without a change to the underlying MARC carrier. Most felt any benefits of RDA would be largely unrealized in a MARC environment. MARC may hinder the separation of elements and ability to use URIs in a linked data environment. While the Coordinating Committee tried to gather RDA records produced in schemas other than MARC, very few records were received.
A majority of test partner institutions anticipate some negative impact on local operations in acquisitions, copy cataloging, original cataloging, and bibliographic file maintenance. Nevertheless, a majority of test partner institutions felt that the U.S. community should implement RDA.
One unanticipated result of the test was that at least three institutions trained all or most of their cataloging staff in RDA and decided to continue creating RDA records after the test. This result increased the impact of a mixed RDA and AACR2 rule environment.
Costs and Benefits
Costs of implementing RDA occur in various areas: subscription to the RDA Toolkit, development of training materials and creation/revision of documentation, production time lost due to training and the learning curve, and impact on existing contracts. Many institutions indicated they did not yet have information to know the costs. Freely-available training materials and documentation would reduce some of the costs.
Institutions noted various benefits to be weighed against the costs. These included a major change in how characteristics of things and relationships are identified, with a focus on user tasks; a new perspective on the use and re-use of bibliographic metadata; and the encouragement of new encoding schema and better systems for resource discovery.
In conclusion, the Coordinating Committee believes that the high level of community interest in the test and test results demonstrates the value of evidence-based decision making in the library community.
Link to the Executive Summary:
Link to the full Report:
Response of the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, and the National Library of Medicine to the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee (June 13, 2011)
When the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control issued its report, On the Record, on January 9, 2008, it introduced the findings with these observations:
The future of bibliographic control will be collaborative, decentralized, international in scope, and Web-based. Its realization will occur in cooperation with the private sector and with the active collaboration of library users. Data will be gathered from multiple sources; change will happen quickly; and bibliographic control will be dynamic, not static. The underlying technology that makes the future possible and necessarythe World Wide Webis now almost two decades old. Libraries must continue the transition to this future without delay in order to retain their significance as information providers.
Most of the recommendations in the report call for changes in the current bibliographic control system that will move libraries toward this desirable future. One recommendation3.2.5was notable in that it called for a suspension of work underway on RDA. The Working Group suggested that further development work on Resource Description and Access (RDA) be suspended until a business case had been articulated, benefits demonstrated, and there had been better testing of FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) as it relates to RDA.
Work on RDA had been underway for several years, so a decision to suspend it could not be made lightly. In March, Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, who had commissioned the Working Group, convened her counterparts from the National Agricultural Library and the National Library of Medicine to discuss the entire report, but specifically asked for collaboration on the response to the recommendation on RDA (3.2.5). After careful deliberation the three national library executives issued a joint statement on RDA.
The three principals from the three national librariesDeanna Marcum, Sheldon Kotzin, and Peter Youngaccorded special consideration to RDA, as it was the only international standard that had been developed, and all agreed that whatever else one might think about the future of bibliographic control, it would surely be an international endeavor. They noted "RDA is an important international initiative that has been underway and is one that requires continued collaboration with our international partners who have joined with the United States in a global initiative to update bibliographic practices to make library resources more accessible and useful to users."
The Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library concluded that a thorough and rigorous test of RDA was needed to answer questions about whether or not it should be further developed and implemented. The three institutions pledged to design jointly the test of the tool, to involve a broad spectrum of the user community in carrying out the test, and to disseminate the results of the test widely. The test was meant to include an articulation of the business case and a cost analysis for retraining staff and re-engineering cataloging processes necessitated by a new code.
They also agreed to an optimistic resolution that if there were a decision to implement RDA, implementation would not occur before the end of 2009. They did not fully appreciate how involved the development of a reliable test methodology would be, and the unavoidable delays that would occur in issuing RDA.
The RDA Test
The three libraries named staff to work on the test methodology, to carry out the test, and to make recommendations to the agencies' executives based on the results. Perhaps the most important decision was that the three agreed that they would make a joint decision whether or not to adopt RDA.
On June 9, 2008, the members of the U. S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee met for the first time. The dedication of the members of the group cannot be adequately described. They met regularlysometimes weeklyto develop all of the criteria that would be used to make a final recommendation. They enlisted twenty-six partners (including the three national libraries) that represented many types and sizes of libraries as well as archives, book vendors, systems developers, library schools, and consortia. They carried out the test and analyzed the results over a period of several months.
The most challenging task was to turn the test data into a single recommendation for the three national libraries. There was no clear, easy answer. RDA presents complicated issues for all libraries. In the final analysis, the RDA Test Coordinating Committee recommended that the national libraries adopt RDA with certain conditions and that implementation will not occur before January 1, 2013.
Statement from the Executives of the Three National Libraries
Simon Liu (NAL), Sheldon Kotzin (NLM), and Deanna Marcum met on May 24, 2011 to review the report and to reach agreement on a response. They agreed on the great importance of the work the Coordinating Committee had accomplished, and they expressed deep appreciation for the investment each member made to the overall effort.
The official statement is:
We endorse the report, with the conditions articulated by the committee. Even though there are many in the library community who would like to see a single 'yes' or 'no' response to the question should we implement RDA, the reality is that any standard is complicated and will take time to develop. We also recognize that the library world cannot operate in a vacuum. The entire bibliographic framework will have to change along the lines recommended in the report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. The implementation of RDA is one important piece, but there are many others that must be dealt with simultaneously. We especially note the need to address the question of the MARC standard, suggested by many of the participants in the RDA test. As part of addressing the conditions identified, LC will have a small number of staff members who participated in the test resume applying RDA in the interim. This will allow LC to prepare for training, documentation, and other preparatory tasks related to the further development and implementation of RDA.
The conditions identified by the Test Coordinating Committee must be addressed immediately, and we believe that the Committee should continue in an oversight role to ensure that the conditions are met. We have discussed the Committee's recommendations with the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. We will continue to work closely with the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control to think about the overall direction of bibliographic control and the changes that are necessary to assure that libraries are in the best position to deliver twenty-first century services to users.
We believe that the long-term benefits of adopting RDA will be worth the short- term anxieties and costs. The Test Coordinating Committee quite rightly noted the economic and organizational realities that cause every librarian to ask if this is the time to make a dramatic change in cataloging. Our collective answer is that libraries must create linkages to all other information resources in this Web environment. We must begin now. Indefinite delay in implementation simply means a delay in our effective relationships with the broader information community.
Link to the document:
Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Statement on the LC/NAL/NLM RDA Implementation
The PCC affirms its support of the U.S. national libraries' decision to implement RDA, slated to be no sooner than January 2013, and looks forward to collaborating with them in this effort.
Among the anticipated benefits for user discovery and access are making the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model more of a reality, making metadata more machine-actionable, supporting the Semantic Web, making data more internationally understandable (e.g., by un-abbreviating), lifting the rule of 3, and others.
PCC has already formed(http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/) to begin preparing for this transition, and others will be formed as warranted. The PCC Policy Committee will also be preparing a set of PCC RDA FAQs to be posted on the PCC RDA web site. PCC's goal during the shift to RDA is to develop and foster effective and efficient means of implementing a new set of rules, while gaining a maximum amount of benefits from them.
The(http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/PCC-Post-RDA-Test.html) remain in effect until further notice.
Head, University of California, Los Angeles Library
Cataloging & Metadata Center
Los Angeles, CA
OLAC/MLA RDA Test Group Discussion Summaries
The Online Audiovisual Catalogers/Music Library Association (OLAC/MLA) group () that participated in the U.S. national libraries' test of RDA has published summaries of many of our wiki- and email-based discussions. These reflect our experiences as we tried to apply RDA to music and audiovisual materials. The summaries are grouped as follows:
1. Major issues related to the use and construction of access points, especially expression access points:
2. Other unresolved issues for further investigation, discussion, and follow-up:
3. Issues that we thought were satisfactorily resolved:
The summaries describe our discussions and note issues that we hope to address in the future. They are not meant to be the official position of either MLA or OLAC nor do they necessarily represent the opinion of all the participants. We hope they will be useful to others trying to implement RDA for music and audiovisual materials.
OLAC/MLA U.S. National Libraries' RDA Test Project coordinator
OCLC Statement on the RDA Implementation Decision
With the release of the "Response of the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, and the National Library of Medicine to the RDA Test Coordinating Committee" (), OCLC is beginning a process to determine how best to proceed in the integration of RDA practices into WorldCat. The current OCLC policy statement on RDA cataloging, which has been in effect since the publication of RDA in June 2010, during the RDA national testing period of October through December 2010, and remains in effect, is located at .
Later this year, OCLC intends to issue a discussion paper regarding the possible future of bibliographic records with mixed practices in WorldCat. The purpose of this paper will be to generate as wide a discussion as possible among members of the OCLC cooperative in order to work toward a consensus about the policies that will work best both for the cataloging community and for library users. Because the U.S. implementation date for RDA has been announced as no sooner than January 2013, there is ample time to consider thoughtfully what best practices might help to carry cooperative cataloging into the long term future. OCLC staff members will be participating in three task groups on RDA formed by the PCC (); the work of those task groups will also help to inform these most important discussions.
In the meantime, while the process of preparing and discussing that paper is taking place, OCLC requests that libraries continue to abide by the policies outlined in the current policy statement. Please remember that duplicate records within WorldCat are not permitted and will be merged if found. In addition, please do not edit the master records to change them from RDA to AACR2 or from AACR2 to RDA unless permitted under the policies set forth.
Please feel free to share this statement.
Cynthia M. Whitacre
Manager, WorldCat Quality & Partner Content Dept.
WorldCat Quality Management Division
800-848-5878, ext. 6183
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Namespaces Task Group Report
The namespace for the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) entity-relationship model has been published. The complete ontology is available as an RDF/XML file from.
Requests by ordinary web browsers forare currently redirected to the HTML web page for the basic FRBR element set represented in the Open Metadata Registry ( ). A basic dereferencing service is being developed to return the appropriate RDF (resource description framework) or HTML file when a URI (uniform resource identifier) for any of the namespace classes or properties is processed as an ordinary URL. For example, if the URI for the FRBR class Person is treated as a URL hyperlink by a browser, it should return an HTML page describing the class in a human-readable way; note that this is not yet ready, and such a "URL" will not be found by the browser. Further work is also required so that the same information is present in the HTML and RDF versions of the namespace, to meet good practice recommendations such as those advocated by the Pedantic Web Group ( ).
Work is continuing on the namespaces for Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD) and Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD). The next meeting on FRBR-CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting on 17-20 May 2011 will continue discussions on the inclusion of FRAD and FRSAD in the Conceptual Reference Model (CRM).
With a few exceptions, most of the ISBD vocabularies are now in "Published" status. The ISBD element set of classes and properties is also nearly ready for publication, along with an Application Profile that specifies how ISBD elements are aggregated into higher-level statements and Areas in an ISBD record, including mandatory status and repeatability. An article describing this work, "ISBD and the Semantic Web" by Mirna Willer, Gordon Dunsire, and Boris Bosančić, was published in JLIS.it: Italian Journal of Library and Information Science, volume 1, number 2, and is available at.
The ISBD/XML Study Group met in Edinburgh in February 2011; see the minutes atfor further information. In particular, the Group accepted a proposal to register the ISBD namespaces with CKAN -- the Data Hub ( ) to improve their visibility. The proposal will be discussed in relation to other IFLA namespaces in due course. The meeting was followed by a seminar organized by the Cataloguing and Indexing Group in Scotland in collaboration with the National Library of Scotland. The seminar discussed the work of the Study Group and its implications for library linked data; a brief report with links to the presentations is available at .
An article describing recent IFLA activity with namespaces, linked data, and the Semantic Web was published in volume 28, issue 3, of Library Hi Tech News; it is titled "Standard Library Metadata Models and Structures for the Semantic Web," by Gordon Dunsire and Mirna Willer.
URIs from IFLA namespaces have already been used for linked data versions of library catalogue and authority records. ISBD properties are used by the Universitatsbibliothek Mannheim (see) and the British Library (see ). The German National Library (DNB) is using URIs for FRBR entities represented in the RDA namespace, but intends to replace them with the "official" IFLA versions in due course; see for further information.
The W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group () is drafting its final report. The report will contain recommendations for libraries and related organizations who wish to publish their metadata as linked data for the Semantic Web or otherwise become engaged. The Group is likely to be extended for three months to allow time for completion, and there is a possibility that it may then form the basis of a W3C Community Group.
For the full report of the IFLA Namespaces Task Group, see the June 2011 IFLA Classification and Indexing Section Newsletter nr. 43,.
Speakers: Jay Weitz, Senior Consulting Database Specialist (OCLC, Dublin, Ohio); Anchalee (Joy) Panigabutra-Roberts, Assistant Professor, Metadata Services Librarian & Women's and Gender Studies Faculty & Liaison (University of Nebraska-Lincoln); Julie Renee Moore, Catalog Librarian (California State University, Fresno); and Robert Ellett, Lecturer (School of Library & Information Science, San Jose State University) and Catalog Librarian (Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA).
On May 18, 2011, California Library Association's Technical Services Interest Group presented this workshop as part of CLA's Spring Fling program series, which included both in-person participants and virtual participants. The workshop was co-sponsored by OLAC (Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc.) and NCTPG (Northern California Technical Processes Group.) This workshop provided an overview of Resource Description and Access (RDA), which has been proposed to take the place of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2), and it also provided practical information on the descriptive cataloging of digital media including DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, Blu-Ray Disc, Streaming Media, Playaways, DualDiscs, and DVD-ROM.
In this workshop, Dr. Robert Ellett explained that RDA is a content standard, and not a display standard or encoding standard. RDA is also designed for a wider scope of resources in response to what is being acquired in libraries, providing more elements for non-printed text resources, non-text resources, and unpublished resources. The more Dr. Ellett explained RDA to the participants, the more that I, as a fledgling cataloger, saw many positive advantages. For example, as our technologies continue to change, RDA will respond to the technology changes. Not only will RDA contain more controlled vocabularies, its contents will also be moved from an individual library to an international audience. Noticeable changes between AACR2 and RDA include terminology changes and abbreviations. When referring to AACR2's area, heading, and uniform title, when RDA is implemented, the terminologies will be changed to element, authorized access point, and conventional collective title for a work. As for abbreviations, well, words and phrases will no longer be abbreviated. The Latin that is so commonly used in AACR2 cataloging today will also become a thing of the past.
Jay Weitz presented cataloging DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, Blu-Ray Disc, and streaming media. Mr. Weitz explained that DVDs are tangible mediums to either audio or visual contents. DVD-Videos evolved from two videodisc technologies, CED (Capacitance Electronic Disc) and Laser optical disc. DVD-Audio was intended to replace CD-Audio as it can contain seven times the content of CDs; however, DVD-Audio has not gained much market share. Blu-Ray Disc is a name derived from "blue-violet laser" and "optical ray", and it is a high definition video medium with five times the capacity of DVDs. Streaming media, such as files streamed through QuickTime, iTunes, RealNetworks, or Windows Media, are media files downloaded from the Internet to reside temporarily on a local hard drive.
One noticeable change in cataloging these digital medias is that when RDA is implemented, the AACR2 GMD will be replaced by the following three elements in RDA: content type (MARC field 336), media type (MARC field 337), and carrier type (MARC field 338). The content type is the "form of communication through which a work is expressed" (e.g., two-dimensional moving image, performed music). The media type is the "general type of intermediation device required to view, play, run, etc., the content of a source" (e.g., audio, video). The carrier type is the "storage medium and housing of a carrier in combination with the media type, which indicates the intermediation device required to view, play, run, etc., the content of a resource" (e.g., audio, videodisc). These three elements will provide detailed information and material formats to the end-user.
Julie Renee Moore presented cataloging Playaways, which I felt was a tricky medium during this workshop. We were asked in one example how to catalog a Playaway using AACR2. Many participants felt that it should be given a GMD "sound recording", whereas others thought it should be given the "electronic resource" GMD. However, Ms. Moore pointed out that the reproduction rule of AACR2 1.1C3 explained that: "If the item is a reproduction in one material of a work originally presented in another material (e.g., a text as microform; a map on a slide), give the general material designation appropriate to the material being described (e.g., in the case of a map on a slide, give the designation appropriate to the slide)." With that being said, if we were to catalog a Playaway using AACR2, we would have cataloged it with the GMD as an "electronic resource." Since Playaways are also a digital medium, when RDA is implemented, the GMD will disappear and it will be replaced by content type, media type, and carrier type.
Ms. Moore noted that since there are so many ways that catalogers may interpret RDA (as evidenced by the various RDA test records and queries to various electronic lists, including the RDA listserv), catalogers are now waiting for Library of Congress' implementation recommendations on how to proceed with and interpret the new RDA rules. She also added, that "various cataloging constituencies will need to make decisions on how to record these elements in order to provide consistency."
Julie Renee Moore and Anchalee (Joy) Panigabutra-Roberts both presented cataloging DualDiscs. DualDiscs are 2-sided discs with CD content on one side, and DVD content on the other side. Often times, these are produced as a music CD, with an additional DVD for music videos, artist interviews, lyrics, and other bonus materials. Ms. Moore and Ms. Panigabutra-Roberts both stated that when cataloging a DualDisc, the predominant content side of the disc gets cataloged, while the secondary content is given similar consideration as an accompanying material. Currently, when cataloging DualDiscs, depending on the predominant format, one would refer to the AACR2 section on sound recordings or videorecordings. With the implementation of RDA, like the other digital media, GMD will be replaced by content type, media type, and carrier type.
Anchalee (Joy) Panigabutra-Roberts presented the DVD-ROM portion of the workshop. DVD-ROMs content may include photos/images, texts, maps, interactive multimedia, computer games, etc. AACR2 Rule 9.0A1 states that "electronic resources may include 'components with characteristics found in multiple classes of materials so there will frequently be a need to consult other chapters.'" Similar to the other digital media, when RDA is implemented, the GMD will be replaced by content type, media type, and carrier type. Ms. Panigabutra-Roberts noted that DVD-ROMs are to be cataloged as a carrier, and as its content type, and media type would be cataloged accordingly.
Even though this workshop may at first seem overwhelming for some, at the end of the day, after these four knowledgeable presenters made their presentation, cataloging digital media using the emerging RDA standard really may not be scary or overwhelming.
San Bruno Public Library
International UDC Seminar, 19-20 September 2011, Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of Netherlands), The Hague, Netherlands
The Universal Decimal Classification Consortium (UDC Consortium), a not-for-profit organization, based in The Hague, established to maintain and distribute the UDC and to support its use and development, has issued an invitation for "Classification and Ontology," the third biennial conference in a series of International UDC Seminars. The seminar will be hosted by Koninklijke Bibliotheek.
Ontology-like representations of classifications are recognized as potentially important facilitators in creating a web of linked data. The objective of this conference is to promote collaboration and exchange of expertise between different fields dealing with knowledge classifications: bibliographic, web and AI.
Highlights: Keynote address by Prof. Patrick Hayes, followed by an outstanding selection of speakers from the domains of web technology, ontology, knowledge organization and bibliographic classification: Dan Brickley, Guus Schreiber, Thomas Baker, Dagobert Soergel, Roberto Poli, Ingetraut Dahlberg, Barbara Kwasnik, Rebecca Green, Michael Panzer, Marcia Zeng, Daniel Kless, Joan Mitchell, Richard Smiraglia, Vanda Broughton, Devika Madalli, Claudio Gnoli, etc.
The preliminary programme with abstracts and speakers biographies is available at. To register online go to .