> [Forwarding, belatedly -- my fault, this Dec. 6 message on behalf of the
> US RDA Test Coordinating Committee; please excuse duplication.]
> The US RDA Test Coordinating Committee is aware of the concerns being
> raised by some in the community regarding the US RDA testing procedures.
> The test is nearly three quarters finished, and is scheduled to end on
> Dec. 31, 2010. It is anticipated that very few new records will be
> created in the next few weeks as many libraries will stop original record
> creation once they reach the required goal of 25 original records from
> their usual work, and others will slow down production as the holidays
> approach. To do a valid test analysis it is imperative that consistent
> procedures be followed throughout the test period. No changes will be
> made to the current testing protocols.
> This US RDA testing was specifically designed to determine if the US
> community should adopt RDA, and the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee and
> the test design had no preconceived ideas or agenda either for or against
> RDA. The test partners consist of a variety of types and sizes of
> libraries. If we are to truly test the new rules, we must include testing
> authority record creation as well as bibliographic record creation. While
> we recognized that there would be some temporary effects on name headings
> in shared databases like OCLC, the test was designed to cause minimal
> disruption to the cataloging community as a whole. This meant that
> testers were instructed not to change the 1XX field of any existing AACR2
> headings in authority records, but to record the RDA form of the heading
> in a 7XX field.
> This approach will allow the Coordinating Committee to analyze how many
> RDA headings are likely to be different from AACR2 headings and what that
> impact is in terms of cost and benefit to the users. While testers were
> deliberately asked to take a very literal/strict interpretation of the RDA
> rules when determining a full RDA form of a heading, we recognize that
> most AACR2 forms are compatible with RDA without adding all possible
> qualifying information to the heading. We also recognize that wholesale
> changes to existing headings are undesirable. Analyzing the authority
> records with 7XX fields will assist the Coordinating Committee in making
> recommendations to the PCC and the US community as to when existing
> headings will need updating if RDA were to be adopted.
> After December 31, the Library of Congress, National Agricultural Library,
> and National Library of Medicine will not be creating new RDA
> bibliographic or authority records until a decision on implementation is
> made. The joint implementation decision is scheduled to be made no later
> than June 2011.
> Specifically addressing the questions raised by Ms. Tomaras in her message
> to the Coordinating Committee on December 3:
> 1. The Coordinating Committee believes that RDA records should contain
> RDA headings. As stated above, the test policies will not be altered.
> Given the total number of records in a shared database like OCLC and the
> proportionally small number of test records being created, the
> Coordinating Committee believes the temporary negative effects of the test
> on headings will be minimal and are justified.
> PCC decisions about use of headings and coding of records are made by the
> PCC, not by the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee. The PCC has already
> issued its statement about practices to follow after the test period ends.
> The US RDA Test Coordinating Committee was not involved in these
> decisions. While the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee may make
> recommendations to the PCC, the PCC is an independent body that may or may
> not accept the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee's recommendations.
> 2. The purpose of the 7XX fields in authority records is two-fold. It
> allows the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee to identify authority
> records and analyze how catalogers are interpreting the RDA rules on
> establishment of access points. It is also a potential way of flipping
> headings if RDA were to be adopted (or flipping RDA headings to AACR2 if
> RDA were not adopted, for those RDA headings with AACR2 7XXs in authority
> records). Who will make the final determination as to which headings do
> and do not get flipped has not yet been determined. The US RDA Test
> Coordinating Committee recognizes the financial pressures that all
> libraries face, and the impact on costs to all agencies is one of the
> considerations the Committee will take into account in recommending
> whether or not to adopt RDA.
> 3. If RDA is not adopted, the presence of the 7XX field will allow OCLC
> or authority vendors to search for that form of a heading in RDA
> bibliographic records in databases created during the test and return
> those headings to the 1XX forms. The OCLC policy preserves the AACR2 form
> for existing authority records as the authorized form in authority
> records. The PCC policy for records created by PCC members after the test
> preserves the AACR2 form in bibliographic and authority records. Libraries
> using US RDA test records in their local catalogs are free to change the
> headings locally at any time.
> An online survey to provide information to the US RDA Test Coordinating
> Committee from informal testers and others is available at:
> RDA records created may be submitted to the Library of Congress. Contact
> Dave Reser ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>)
> Questions or comments about the US RDA test may be sent to the US RDA Test
> Coordinating Committee via Susan Morris at the Library of Congress
> ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>)
> Questions or comments about the content of RDA may be emailed to
> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> Questions about the RDA Toolkit may be directed to ALA Editions at
> Additional information about the US RDA test is available at the US RDA
> Test Coordinating Committee's website:
> A FAQ and further explanation of the test process is available here: