[Please excuse cross-posting.]

The Thing-athon is a hackathon for metadata created using RDA: Resource Description and Access and the RDA editor RIMMF, where catalogers, developers, and vendors get together to explore RDA and its application beyond the MARC environment. The Thing-athon is based on the Jane-athons that focus on Jane Austen and her works; these have been a great success and a lot of fun. So make sure to include our event in your conference plans.

The Thing-athon is as a ticketed event at ALA Midwinter 2016 in Boston and will take place on Thursday, January 7, 2016, at the Lamont Library on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge. It will be a day-long event, running from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. A pizza lunch will be provided.

If you are attending or thinking of attending this event, follow this link to register for the pre-event live online RIMMF training session scheduled for December 15, 2015 from 1:00-3:00 PM (EST): https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2079250526215448578

Special Topics

Each of the following topics will be the focus of one or more collaborative teams/tables during the RIMMFing session on the day. Each team will contain 4-6 members and have an expert leader, and/or access to a roving expert coach. RIMMF may be used to illustrate the issues discussed. Teams and individuals may focus on specific examples within the topics.

New to RDA and RIMMF?

Explore the basic features of pure RDA using RIMMF, the RDA data editor, by working in groups or individually on one of the following scenarios commonly encountered in academic and research libraries.

Digitization. A focus on how RDA relates metadata for digitized resources to the metadata for original resources, and how RIMMF can be used to improve the quality of MARC 21 records during digitization projects.

Digitizing a printed resource creates at least one new Manifestation of the same Expression; in fact, each online format is a separate Manifestation requiring different software and hardware.


Undergraduate editions. A focus on issues of multiple editions that have little or no change in content, vs. significant changes in content, and how RDA accommodates the different scenarios.


FRBR and RDA are based on a separation of content data from carrier data. If the content changes, a new Expression is required; if the carrier changes, a new Manifestation is required. Undergraduate textbooks, covering STEM subjects for instance, are often published with new editions statements; when this happens, the carrier identification data for a textbook will have changed, but that does not necessarily mean that the content of the new publication has actually changed.


Interested in RDA and linked data for academic, research, and special collections?

Contribute to the development of RDA in group discussion on topics faced by institutional repositories and other types of special collection, using RIMMF and real RDA data to illustrate the issues and explore ways to resolve them.

Strings vs things. A focus on replacing strings in metadata with URIs for things. Higher education and research library data tend to store human-readable labels rather than machine-readable identifiers. If the labels for names and titles do not use linked authority control, relating the underlying things must rely on matching strings, whether they are transcribed or recorded as access points.

The RSC is developing RDA’s “four-fold path” for relationship data in light of RDF linked data and the forthcoming consolidated FRBR model.


Institutional repositories, archives and scholarly communication. A focus on issues in relating and linking data in institutional repositories and archives with library catalogs. Institutional repositories and archives hold a wide range of resources associated with teaching and research. Many of the repository resources are often intrinsically related, such as conference presentations, pre-prints, and final published papers, as is recognized in the Scholarly Works Application Profile, based on the same FRBR model as RDA. The resource creators also have complex relationships with each other and with academic departments, institutions, and research groups.

The RSC wishes to develop RDA to meet the needs of institutional repositories and archives.

Rare materials and RDA. A continuing discussion on the development of RDA and DCRM2 begun at the JSC meeting and the international seminar on RDA and rare materials held in November 2015.

The RSC has prioritized the development of RDA to meet the needs of special collection, archive, and museum communities for rare and unpublished resources.