Posted to multiple PCC lists.


First RDA Vocabularies Published


The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC), the DCMI/RDA Task Group (, and ALA Publishing (on behalf of the co-publishers of RDA) are pleased to announce that the first group of RDA controlled vocabularies have been reviewed, approved, and their status in the Open Metadata Registry (OMR) changed to ‘published.’


This status change, from ‘new-proposed’ to ‘published’ signals that the final steps have begun in reviewing the work of the DCMI/RDA Task Group and ensuring that the RDA vocabularies (both elements and controlled vocabularies/concepts) are available in a stable form for the builders of applications.  Additional reviews of the controlled vocabularies are in progress, with the parties involved expecting to finalize that group before starting on the element vocabularies.  Both groups of vocabularies should be complete by the end of 2011, but developers and others should expect to see rolling announcements as reviews are completed.


Alan Danskin, Chair of the Joint Steering Committee, noted, “The RDA vocabularies are a fundamental component of RDA, promoting consistent description and discovery of bibliographic resources.  The Committee is committed to publishing and maintaining the content of the RDA vocabularies, synchronized with the text of RDA, in order to support their use by the resource description community and by developers of Semantic Web applications.”  JSC is grateful to the Task Group members and to the Open Metadata Registry for making possible the publication of RDA vocabularies as linked open data.


Gordon Dunsire, co-Chair of the DCMI/RDA Task Group, said: “This achievement is a significant waypoint on the collaborative journey initiated by the London meeting in 2007 between representatives of RDA and Semantic Web communities developing and maintaining metadata models covering bibliographic resources. We have learned much about each other along the way, and look forward to continuing to provide a bridge which supports our mutual interests to the benefit of all users of information. The RDA vocabularies represent many decades of library experience and practice which is now shared with the rest of the world.”


Troy Linker, Publisher, ALA Digital Reference, said: "The publishing of the RDA vocabularies in an open registry is an important step forward in making RDA accessible to the international library community and system vendors, and, significantly, beyond the library community to the rest of the Semantic Web. Working with the JSC, the Co-Publishers for RDA are committed to ensuring synchronicity between RDA Toolkit and the registry".


The finished vocabularies can be viewed using the links below.  (The links lead to the description of the vocabulary itself, the specific terms can be viewed under the tab for ‘concepts’).


RDA Aspect Ratio (

RDA Form of Musical Notation (

RDA Form of Notated Music (

RDA Layout of Cartographic Images (

RDA Mode of Issuance (

RDA Other Distinguishing Characteristic of the Expression of a Legal Work

RDA Production Method for Tactile Resource

RDA Reduction Ratio (

RDA Scale (

RDA Sound Content (

RDA Status of Identification (


All the RDA vocabularies can be viewed in the OMR by using this page:  Those interested in following the work of review and publication of the vocabularies can subscribe to the Registry RSS feeds linked from that page. Questions on the OMR can be conveyed using the ‘Feedback’ link on each Registry page. 


Questions or comments on the review process or the content of specific vocabularies may be addressed to the Chair of the JSC, Alan Danskin [[log in to unmask]]. Questions and comments on the encoding of the vocabularies or on the Open Metadata Registry may be addressed to Diane Hillmann [[log in to unmask]] or Gordon Dunsire [[log in to unmask]].


1 August 2011