Amid controversy and ongoing discussions about the future of bibliographic control throughout the library world, the JSC (Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR) is slowly continuing its work on RDA (Resource Description and Access). As of now, the expected release date is early 2009.
This month, the JSC released a revised draft of Part A, Chapter 3, for comment. Chapter 3 deals with the descriptive elements of the carrier of the resource: physical characteristics, formatting and coding of the information stored on the carrier, etc. The draft includes a cover letter with instructions on how to make comments, plus some background information and specific questions to consider.
For a taste of the controversy surrounding RDA, see the article in the January/February 2007 issue of D-Lib Magazine: Resource Description and Access (RDA): Cataloging Rules for the 20th Century, by Karen Coyle and Diane Hillmann.
Are you still perplexed by RDA (Resource Description and Access), the new cataloging code currently in development? If so, you might want to look at an excellent article in the October issue of the online journal Ariadne. “RDA: A New International Standard,” by Ann Chapman, gives a clear explanation of why RDA is needed, what it will be (without going into lengthy detail), and the progress to date. This is a British publication, so you’ll see cataloging spelled with a “u,” and references to the “Anglo” side of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules. You’ll also get an excellent idea of the international aspect of RDA, and on the whole, you will likely come away with a much better understanding of what the new code is all about.