Report on the meeting of the Joint Steering Committee, 3/20/09

| 0 TrackBacks
The Joint Steering Committee did not finish early on Friday, but we did complete consideration of all the priority issues in the responses to the RDA full draft.  During our meeting, I think we considered and resolved over 500 comments, out of almost 1200 comments received.

The discussion jumped around, picking up a number of issues postponed from previous days.  I am going to start with a separate discussion on Appendix J and then report on the remaining issues in the order in which they appear in the RDA draft.

Appendix J: Relationship designators for related works, expressions, manifestations, and items

There were a large number of errors in the text of Appendix J included in the full draft.  In the present discussion, the JSC worked from a clean copy in which all of the errors had been corrected.

The JSC reviewed the conceptual structure of Appendix J and how the designators are to be used, but (in general) did not make major structural changes.  Some of the more significant decisions about specific designators include:

  • It was decided that all definitions should include the identification of the "Reciprocal relationship: ...".
  • Designators for relationships between a libretto and the musical work will be included under Complemented by (work) and Complemented by (expression).
  • Designators for relationships between a cadenza and the musical work will also be included under Complemented by (work) and Complemented by (expression).
  • Definitions of Augmented relationships will use the term "predominant" to describe the augmented entity.
  • Continuity of numbering was removed from the definition of the continues relationships. Supersedes relationships will not be distinguished from continues relationships for serials. However, designators for the supersedes relationships will be retained with very general definitions.
  • After long discussion and much drawing of pictures, it was decided that the reciprocal of "Separated from" was "Continued in part by". The fact that this was not intuitive was the reason the JSC decided to identify reciprocal relationships explicitly.
  • Both "electronic reproduction" and "digital transfer" designators will be retained, but "digital transfer" will be limited to digital-to-digital transfers, as "electronic reproduction" is already limited to analog-to-digital transfers.
  • Designators for both the reproduction and reprint relationships will be retained, but the latter will become a narrower term under the former.
  • The "offprint" designator will be deleted.

Chapter 3: Describing carrier

  • Instructions will be added to the sections on recording extent for specific types of resources, to specify the use of singular or plural forms of terms as appropriate. [line 454]
  • There is a distinction between reels (the physical housing) and rolls (the material rolled onto the reels); the instructions for dimensions need to allow either to be measured, as a roll may exist that are not wound on a reel. In the list of carrier types, categories need to be added for film roll and microfilm roll.  [line 484]

Chapter 6: Identifying works and expressions

  • The instruction dealing with changes in responsibility for the creation of a work will be revised to call for revising the authorized access point, rather than creating a new access point for a new work.  [; line 553]
  • Instructions on recording names of languages will refer to ISO 639-3, which is a more complete list of languages than ISO 639-2.  [line 602]

Appendix H: Dates in the Christian calendar

  • H2, conversion of dates to the Gregorian calendar, will be deleted.  There are an abundance of resources available for making the determination as needed; RDA does not need to replicate this information.  [line 1048]

Appendix I: Relationship designators ...

  • The captions will be revised to say "Relationship designators for persons, families, and corporate bodies associated with works" [etc.]  [line 1051]
  • Language will be added to each section of Appendices I, J, and K to indicate that one may assign either a broad relationship designator or one of the narrower designators. [line 1052]
  • The JSC will not create a complete alphabetical list of the designators; we are hoping that the RDA software will support a browse of the terms.  [line 1053]
  • (a) The name of the Producer (2.21) will be changed to Producer of an Unpublished Resource; this will allow "producer" to be used for producers of film, radio, and television works. (b) In Appendix I, two new terms (Director, Producer) will be added to I.2.2; the current terms for Film producer, etc., will become narrower terms under these designators. [line 1064]
  • In the definition of "arranger of music" (I.3.1), we agreed to change "... the musical substance of the original composer ..." to "... the musical substance of the original composition ..." -- although we were tempted to leave it in order to see whether anyone was paying attention.  [line 1068]
  • We agreed to merge the designators for "choreographer of ..." into a new designator "Choreographer (Expression)" and to merge the designators for "composer of ..." into a new designator for "Composer (Expression)".  [lines 1071 and 1072]

Appendix K: Relationship designators for related persons, families, and corporate bodies

  • It was agreed that this appendix should be labelled as "provisional" for the first release of RDA.  [line 1095]


  • The term "atlas" will be limited to "A volume of maps or other cartographic content ..." [line 1132]
  • The definition of "captioning" will begin "Text representing speech ..."  An additional sentence will be added to the definition: "Excludes subtitles" in a language other than that of the spoken content. [line 1134]
  • General carrier categories that are not actually used as Carrier types (e.g., cartridge, cassette) will be removed from the Glossary.
  • Although recognizing that the definition of "computer" applies only to the use of this term as a Media Type, we decided not to revise or add to the definition, due to some complicated considerations (believe me, you do not want to know!) about how the RDA software is expected to display definitions when a user clicks on terms occurring in the text of RDA. [line 1141]
  • New terms Adaptation and Arrangement will not be added to the Glossary, but the narrower term Transcription [of a musical work] will be removed.  [line 1157]

Final thoughts ...

The JSC said semi-official farewells to a number of people whose involvement in RDA will end on June 30.  These are (in order of seniority):

Nathalie Schulz, who has been JSC Secretary for 8 years, who is amazingly diligent and productive, always a joy to work with, and whose organizational efforts are probably responsible for the fact that we completed all our work this week.

Hugh Taylor, who has ably represented CILIP for over 5 years, and whose sound judgment we often depend on and whose sense of humour (so spelled in honour of his British sensibilities) -- although sorely tested by the RDA development process -- has never failed to raise our spirits.

Tom Delsey, the RDA Editor, whose vision of what RDA should be -- both in its overall conceptual shape and in its remarkably consistent and tightly-crafted details -- will remain at the heart of RDA even after his active participation ends.

Marjorie Bloss, the RDA Project Manager, who refused to give up on an impossible task -- herding cats doesn't begin to express it! -- and whose efforts to keep very diverse groups of participants on track were both gracious and persistent.

And finally, Marg Stewart, whose term as Chair of the Committee -- although thankfully not as the CCC representative -- comes to an end at the end of June.  Marg has served as Chair during a critical, and challenging, time in the development of RDA and has brought to the task her experience, common sense, integrity, and (perhaps most important) the patience of a saint!

Tonight, the JSC is feeling a strong sense of standing at the end of a long road. The nature of the JSC will change considerably in the next year or so, not only because of the need to operate without the contributions of those who are leaving the project, but also because the nature of the task will be changing in many ways.  The road ahead is still obscured by fog, as many decisions have yet to be made, but we are looking forward to having a completed RDA product to maintain.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

Recent Entries

Report of the Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee, 8 November 2013
The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA completed its agenda today.As a reminder, the agenda for the meeting, as…
Report of the Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee, 7 November 2013
The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA continued its meeting in Washington, DC.As a reminder, the agenda for the…
Report of the Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee, 6 November 2013
The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA continued its meeting in Washington, DC.As a reminder, the agenda for the…