[Forwarding this message on behalf of the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee; please excuse duplication.]


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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 bibliographic records. 


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 at (


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 records created?

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: