Jakob Voss wrote:
These files are an output from the underlying XML that will fuel the
online system. As you may know, no "print" output is anticipated -- this
was done because the online system wasn't ready for the review period.
(Thus: hang on to these files; they may be the only version of RDA you
1.) the standard is scattered in a set of PDF files instead of clean
web based HTML (compare with the W3C recommendations). You cannot
easily browse and search in RDA with your browser and a public search
engine of your choice. You cannot link to a specific paragraph to cite
RDA in a weblog positing etc. This shows me that the authors are still
bound in physical world of dusty books instead of the digital age.
2.) RDA is not going to be published freely available on the web at
all! See http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/jsc/rdafaq.html#7 Another
reason why you won't be able to refer to specific sections of RDA.
Defining a standard without putting in on Open Access (ideally under a
specific CC-license) is retrogressive practise and a good strategy to
make people ignored, misinterprete and violated it (you could also
argue ethically that its a shame for every librarian not putting his
publications under Open Access but the argument of quality should be
Right, there's nothing like making standards unavailable as a way to
promote their use :-)
3.) There are no official URIs for the elements of RDA. It looks like
there has been no progress compared to FRBR (IFLA failed to publish an
official RDF encoding of FRBR so several people created their own
vocabularies). To encode bibliographic data on the Semantic web you
need URIs for classes and properties. I don't expect RDA to get
published as a full ontology but at least you could determine the
basic concepts and elements and provide common URIs that people can
This IS being done at the NSDL metadata registry.
General URL: http://metadataregistry.org
RDA elements: http://metadataregistry.org/schema/show/id/1.html
RDA agent roles: http://metadataregistry.org/schema/show/id/4.html
We are also working on discovering and coding the various value
vocabularies in RDA. Click on the "Vocabularies" link on the Metadata
Registry home page. You'll find some RDA vocabularies, like:
RDA base material: http://metadataregistry.org/vocabulary/show/id/35.html
It's been hard developing these because, as you can see, RDA has been
created as a document and the information is buried within it. We are
not yet in sync with the latest version of the text. But in any case,
these properties and vocabularies all have URIs. There are no classes
defined as yet, since RDA itself does not define anything in the RDF
sense of things, but eventually we may be able to add those.
FRBR will also be included in the registry. It is currently in the
registry 'sandbox' awaiting a decision by IFLA on the domain to use in
the URI. But you can see tests of it here:
FRBR relationships as concepts:
user tasks: http://sandbox.metadataregistry.org/vocabulary/show/id/69.html
In addition, there are some attempts to code RDA-based cataloging on the
DC/RDA site, using the cataloging use cases that various folks have
contributed (and there are more coming):
Click on the link to the right of the scenario (e.g. Scenarios/1) and
you'll see a turtle representation of the cataloging scenario using the
URIs from the registry.
p.s. And Please Feel Free to participate in this project with us. We are
doing it all in 'spare time'
What do you think about my concerns? We should try to get the JSC to
make RDA Open Access, prepared for use in the Web and even prepared
for the Semantic Web. This should not be too difficult - the main work
is convincing people (ok, it may be difficult to convince people ;-).
I'd be glad if you send your comments to the Joint Steering Committee
for Development of RDA until February 2nd:
Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
ph.: 510-540-7596 skype: kcoylenet