I have waited several days after the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee
issued their statement to see what comments will be made after catalogers
digest its meaning.
I have to admit that I am disappointed that the Committee has disregarded
all the demands of the November Memorandum Against RDA Test, which has been
signed by 298 catalogers from around the world as of December 1, 2010. I am
also disappointed that OCLC has relegated its responsibility for its
bibliographical utility maintenance to the Committee.
The very premises of the RDA test conducted in a live environment are
contradictory to the OCLC rules and procedures that it requires from its
library members. The rules about following AACR2 rules and not creating
duplicate records are the obvious violations. Coding RDA records as full
bibliographical records therefore adequate for its library members is
another violation. Coding RDA records as acceptable PCC records is yet
another violation. All these points were raised in discussions before the
Committee’s statement. The same points are again raised by catalogers in
their discussion of the statement.
The violations of authority control rules established by NACO and SACO are
probably the most astonishing in my opinion.
The suggestions that were included in the November Memorandum Against RDA
Test sought to clarify these violations and clarify status of
bibliographical records that library members use in their daily work. If
the real purpose of the RDA test was to see how RDA records are created and
used by libraries around the world than they should be coded separately as
such. They should not to be confused with full level PCC and LC records.
The RDA records should not include RDA versions of authority names if they
already exist in NAF and SAF files, especially in records coded as PCC and
LC records. Definitely, the RDA testers should not be allowed to convert
already existing bibliographical records into RDA records as have been
All this indicate that OCLC has not followed its own rules and procedures
in this respect.
The notion stated in the Statement that “Duplicate records are a concern
for many OCLC members, and creating parallel AACR2 and RDA records for the
same title would only exacerbate the problem of duplicate records and would
be likely to be merged by OCLC’s Duplicate Detection and Resolution (DDR)
software” has been proven to be misstatement by catalogers in our
discussion. We all have encountered PCC bibliographical records being
duplicated by LC records and avalanche of vendor and foreign records for
the same titles.
The Memorandum suggested a simple solution of coding as different two
records created by RDA and AACR2 libraries following two very different
sets of cataloging rules. The RDA test would benefit from such a coding by
clearly seeing who is using the RDA records and who is not. At the present
time, libraries are forced to use the RDA records without any choice
leading them to disruptions of their workflows and authority controls.
These specific complaints were clearly stated in our discussions:
Our complaint was and is that RDA testers are not using existing authority
records that are PERFECTLY ADEQUATE AND COMPATIBLE WITH RDA, and are
instead creating variant forms of names, and undermining the authority
We do not object to new authority records being created, just to the
ignoring/alteration of existing ones.
I agree with many of my colleagues that this practice in the RDA test is
appalling and that it is being encouraged, condoned and continued by RDA
testers and those responsible for them. What is even more appalling is that
the OCLC, PCC and LC would abandon their own rules and regulations for this
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Please note, any opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those
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Status of the US RDA Test
11/30/2010 05:32 PM
Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>
Please respond to Program for Cooperative Cataloging
[Forwarding this message on behalf of the US RDA Test Coordinating
Committee; please excuse duplication.].
= = = = = = =
Status of the US RDA Test
The record creation phase of the US RDA Implementation test has passed the
halfway point. The 26 participating institutions have completed over 55% of
the common set records and created more than 2,700 additional RDA
Beginning in January 2011, the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee will
analyze the test results and prepare a report with recommendations for
their respective senior managers at the Library of Congress (LC), the
National Agricultural Library (NAL), and the National Library of Medicine
(NLM). The goal is to complete the recommendation phase in March 2011. The
senior managers will issue a public report by June 2011.
Background on the RDA Implementation Test
What is being tested and why?
RDA: Resource Description and Access is the content standard for cataloging
superseding the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed. In 2008, the
Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control
recommended to the Joint Steering Committee that further new developmental
work on RDA be suspended.
That did not occur and consequently LC, NAL, and NLM jointly determined
that testing based on objective facts was an essential prerequisite to a
decision about adopting RDA. LC, NAL, NLM, and 23 partnering institutions
are the formal, official test participants. Further details are available
What questions are we answering?
The test has been designed to answer the following sorts of questions:
· Does RDA meet its announced goals?
· What is user reaction to the records?
· What is the economic impact?
o What is the impact on library operations?
o What are the direct costs?
o What are the training impact and costs?
What are the possible decisions?
There are four possible outcomes:
· Do not implement RDA
· Postpone implementation until certain changes are made
· Implement RDA
· Implement RDA with specific recommended changes or policy
decisions for US libraries
I’m not a formal participant how can I share my opinions and any RDA
The US RDA Test Coordinating Committee has developed an online survey to
gather information from informal testers and others who are not part of the
testing process. It is available at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q5968DB