Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Structure of RDA

General Structure

Remember that RDA has a clear structure:
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Specific instructions
o   Entities and their attributes
·            Group 1 (WEMI) (Chapters 1-7)
·            Group 2 (PFC) (Chapters 8-16)
o   Relationships (Chapters 17-22, 24-32)
  • Appendices for
o   Abbreviation
o   Capitalization
o   Relationship designators (more on this later)
  • Glossary with links to the text of the instructions
  • Index

Not Organized Like AACR2

The organization of RDA is very different from AACR2. Instead of separate chapters for classes of materials (books, cartographic materials, printed music, etc.), RDA is principle-based and organized around the FRBR/FRAD tasks to help users “identify” and “relate” the resources they need from our collections. There are general instructions applying to all resources with specific instructions for characteristics unique to certain categories of resources.

The identifying elements for each thing we are describing are addressed separately in each chapter. RDA provides instructions on what identifying elements are needed; for those chapters related to access points, it then provides -- at the end of those chapters -- the instructions on how to assemble those elements to create authorized access points (remember, that’s what AACR2 calls headings). We will see this particularly in chapter 6 and chapters 9-11.

Not a Linear Resource

When you use online tools, you don’t read the content in the same way as you read a printed text.  You don’t generally read linearly from one page to the next. Instead, you read purposefully.  You perform keyword searches (and then view several hits from the results list), follow links, and jump to elements from a Table of Contents or other navigational feature

Some of the “length” of RDA is due to the need for duplicating content to serve the catalogers who will be arriving at that content in these different ways from different starting points.

ALA also publishes a print version of RDA. A print version of the RDA element set (a subset of the RDA content, organized by FRBR and FRAD entity) is also available from ALA Publishing.


Core Elements  Core elements in Resource Description & Access (RDA) are minimum elements required for describing resources. Core elements are a new feature of RDA which allowed for certain metadata elements to be identified as “required” in the cataloging process. The assignment of core status is based on attributes mandatory for a national level record, as documented in the FRBR/FRAD modules. ... ... ... ... (Visit below link to read complete article)

Read now complete article: Core Elements : Glossary of Library & Information Science

Alternatives, Options, and Exceptions

  • Alternatives Options and Exceptions in RDA : What Every Cataloger Needs to Know
  • What are RDA Alternatives?
  • Example of RDA Alternatives
  • What are RDA Options?
  • Example of RDA Optional Additions
  • Example of RDA Optional Omissions
  • What are RDA Exceptions? 
  • Example of RDA Exceptions
  • How to decide whether to apply the alternatives, options, or exceptions?
  • Note on the use of screen images from RDA Toolkit (Following RDA and RDA Toolkit Copyright Statement and guidelines)
Alternatives Options and Exceptions in RDA : What Every Cataloger Needs to Know
RDA contains a number of guidelines and instructions that are marked as alternatives, options (optional additions, optional omissions), and exceptions. Each of these is clearly identified by an italicized label, which in the RDA Toolkit appears in green color in the instruction (alternative, optional addition, optional omission, exception). A green vertical bar also appears in the left margin next of an alternative, optional, or exceptional instruction in RDA Toolkit. These allow individual libraries or cataloging agencies to make decisions based on individual considerations in cases where two or more provisions are equally valid. Guidelines for alternatives and options are provided in RDA rule 0.8, and instructions for applying exceptions is at RDA 0.9 of chapter 0. ... ... ... 

Library of Congress Policy Statements

LC has created an extensive body of Library of Congress Policy Statements (LCPS), to facilitate a standard interpretation and application of these alternatives, options, and exceptions.  Think of these as the ‘RDA version’ of the LC Rule Interpretations. Be sure to consult and follow the LCPS in all such cases. To access the LCPS, click on the green “LCPS” link in the RDA Toolkit. [Note: LCPS is now LC-PCC PS]


The examples in RDA illustrate the application of the specific instruction under which they appear. They illustrate only the data that are addressed by that instruction. They are normally given without showing the preceding or enclosing punctuation that is prescribed for an ISBD presentation. All examples illustrate elements as they would be recorded by an agency whose preferred language is English.

Examples appear in yellow shading, clearly setting them off from the instructions themselves.