Of interest is that "The joint implementation decision is scheduled to
be made no later than June 2011."




From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kuhagen, Judith
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 2010 12:18 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: US RDA Test Coordinating Committee response to the community


[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])


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])

Questions or comments about the content of RDA may be emailed to
[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: