Report of the Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee, 6 November 2012

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The JSC meeting continued this morning with a discussion of some miscellaneous documents dealing with issues related to the RDA element set, vocabularies, the Registry, and the Glossary.  The afternoon sessions dealt with proposals related to Persons (RDA Chapter 9).

One of the key participants in the morning's discussions was Gordon Dunsire, the CILIP representative.  In my blog yesterday, I neglected to mention that Gordon was unable to travel to Chicago for the meetings.  Thanks to the good folks at ALA, Gordon was able to attend virtually from his home in Edinburgh with both video and audio connections through conferencing software.  Although there were some intermittent technical difficulty, overall this has worked very well.  Troy Linker noted that this technology could be used to stream our meetings as webinars to a broad audience.  The JSC will consider doing this for future meetings.


6JSC/ALA Rep/4: RDA vocabularies: Miscellaneous issues

This paper was a laundry list of miscellaneous issues that I encountered in the course of publishing RDA vocabularies in the Open Metadata Registry

  • Singular and plural terms: The JSC agreed that terms should be given in the Registry in singular form; when plural forms are called for, this should be treated as a linguistic variant of the term, not given explicitly as a separate concept.  Plural forms will not be added to the Registry, and existing plural forms will be deleted before the vocabularies are published.
  • There are some instructions in RDA that call for using terms from a different vocabulary; for example, the general guidelines for Extent call for use of terms from the Carrier Type vocabulary.  Gordon argues that this sort of duplication can be specified in an application profile and will do further analysis of this issue.
  • Fragmentary terms:  There is some terminology specified in RDA that does not constitute an independent term, such as approximately, folded, incomplete, unnumbered.  Some of these can be dealt with by defining combined terms such as folded leaves or unnumbered pages.  The other cases of fragmentary terminology need further study; again Gordon volunteered to do this.
  • Groups of Books of the Bible: The JSC had already decided to delete this vocabulary from the Registry on the grounds that these are better treated through authority records.  I was able to announce that these terms has now been deleted from the Registry.
  • Single or multiple vocabularies: There are some cases in which RDA contains instructions on terms for various subsets of a vocabulary, such as Extent of Still Image, Extent of Text.  The JSC expressed a preference for treating these as a single vocabulary and headings such as Extent of Text as captions within the instructions, but not as formal element sub-types.
  • "Top Concepts": In RDA some vocabularies are separated into sections with captions; for example, the Carrier Type vocabulary is divided into Audio Carriers, Computer Carriers, etc.  In RDA these are broader terms, but are not themselves valid terms.  The JSC felt that there was no good reason not to treat these as valid terms.

6JSC/ALA Rep/5: References in the RDA Glossary and the RDA namespace

This paper described the various conventions for making references that have been used in the RDA Glossary.  The JSC agreed not to make a distinction between see and see also reference, to make references from varying terminology when appropriate, to make broader term/narrower term references when appropriate, and to make scope notes (but not references) describing the differences among related terms.

6JSC/CILIP Rep/1: Machine-actionability and interoperability of RDA value vocabularies

This paper made five recommendations concerning the RDA value vocabularies.

Recommendation. 1:  Definitions need to be separated from scope notes: JSC agreed; CILIP will develop a proposal to correct existing issues.

Recommendation 2: Update the documentation on the relationship between the Content Type, Media Type, and Carrier Type vocabularies and the RDA/ONIX Framework.  The JSC agreed; Gordon and I will prepare a document. 

Recommendation 3: Develop an RDF representation of the RDA/ONIX Framework in a Registry so that other vocabularies can be mapped to it; JSC agreed; the RDA/ONIX group will acquire a namespace, and Gordon will create and publish the vocabularies.


Recommendation 4: Conduct an analysis of possibilities for extending RDA's use of the RDA/ONIX Framework; Gordon will do the analysis.


Recommendation 5: Create a management and development group for the RDA/ONIX Framework.  Alan Danskin is in contact with ONIX people and will work to set up such a group.

6JSC/CILIP Rep/2: RDF representation of RDA relationship designators

One of the important issues with the Registry is whether the Relationship Designators should be represented as element sets (RDF properties) or as value vocabularies.  This paper discusses this and makes eleven recommendations.

Recommendation 1: Make the names used in URIs to be consistent and to include RDA branding; JSC agreed.

Recommendation 2: Represent the Relationship Designators as RDF properties; JSC agreed.

Recommendation 3: Add "Agent" as a super-class referring collectively to Persons, Families, and Corporate Bodies; JSC agreed.

Recommendation 4: Remove redundant unconstrained properties from the element sets; to do this, we need definitions for unconstrained properties.

Recommendation 5: Move the unconstrained elements to a separate Registry, leaving the constrained elements in the RDvocab namespace; JSC decided that this should be done, that both the constrained and unconstrained element sets should be considered as RDA content to be authorized by the JSC; ALA Publishing will acquire a namespace for the unconstrained element set.

Recommendation 6: Once the unconstrained element set is moved to the separate namespace, delete WEMI qualifiers that were only needed to distinguish between the unconstrained and the constrained elements, while retaining the qualifiers that are needed to distinguish between two or more constrained elements.  Gordon will do this.

Recommendation 7: Develop and register inverse properties.

Recommendation 8: Change the labels for properties for relationship designators to verbal phrases, e.g., Has Author/Is Author of.

Recommendation 9: Change the labels for elements to verbal phrases, e.g, HasCarrierType.

Recommendation 10: Do not represent relationship designators as RDF classes. JSC agreed.

Recommendation 11: Represent relationship designators as concepts in value vocabularies in addition to the representation as properties (recommendation 2); JSC agreed that it might be useful to do this.  However, they asked Gordon to prepare a discussion paper dealing with recommendations 7, 8, 9, and 11.

6JSC/ISBD/Discussion/2: Mapping of ISBD Area 0 vocabularies to RDA/ONIX Framework vocabularies as part of the ISBD/RDA alignment

The plan for mapping the ISBD Area 0 vocabularies to the RDA Content Type, Media Type and Carrier Type vocabularies is to map each to the RDA/ONIX Framework.  The ISBD Review Group has presented a draft of their map. The JSC is planning to do a comparable map, at which point both groups will be able to evaluate the results.

6JSC/ISBD/Discussion/1: Alignment of the ISBD element set with RDA element set: RDA Appendix D.1

In the case of the ISBD and RDA element sets, the plan is to map these directly to each other.  The ISBD Review Group had presented a draft mapping.  The JSC will comment on the draft mapping.

PERSONS (Chapter 9)

6JSC/BL/4: Other designation associated with the person (RDA 9.0, 9.6.1 and 9.19.1)

1. 9.0: Person: Purpose and scope: Agreed to the BL revision.
2. 9.6: Other designation associated with the person: Agreed to the wording proposed by LC.
3. Agreed to the revision.
4. (agreed to the LC wording); (agreed), (agreed); examples will be added.
5. Agreed to the revision.
6. Other changes: agreed.

6JSC/LC/15: Reorganization of instruction on saints in

Agreed to the reorganization of the instructions on saints in; agreed to the comparable reorganization at suggested by ALA.

6JSC/LC/9: Revisions to Date Associated with the Person (RDA 9.3, 9.3.2, 9.3.3)

Agreed to the core element statement proposed by LC, with a correction from CCC.

6JSC/LC/22: Revisions to Date Associated with the Person (9.3) when recording more than a year alone

1. Agreed to change the exception at to an optional addition.
2. Agreed to remove the final paragraph of
3. Agreed to the CCC wording for changes to

6JSC/LC/14: Revision to RDA (Recording Dates Associated with Persons), H.1 (B.C. and A.D. Dates), and associate examples to clarify recording date spans

Agreed to the proposal.

6JSC/BL/3: Terms of rank, honour or office (RDA 9l.4.1 and 9.19.1)

BL plans to respond to the objections listed in the LC response; they will prepare a revised proposal.

6JSC/BL/6: Other place associated with the person (RDA 9.11)

Agreed to the LC proposal, which would rename the element as Place of Residence, Etc.

6JSC/ALA/6: Revision of RDA, Recording Associated Institutions, and RDA, Recording Affiliations

Agreed to the proposal to use the preferred name; agreed with LC to delete the exception for place as Location of Conference; examples will be checked to conform to this decision.

6JSC/BL/7: Change to definition of, Profession or Occupation

Agreed to the definition proposed by LC; BL will do a proposal to make comparable changes to (Field of Activity).

6JSC/LC/12: Priority order of additions to authorized access points representing a person (,,

Some problems were identified that could not be resolved; LC will do a revised proposal and JSC will reconsider.

6JSC/LC/16: Additional exception in, Title or Other Designation Associated with the Person, for titles of religious rank

Agreed to the exception for titles of religious rank proposed by LC; some examples will be moved to follow the exception.

6JSC/BL/5: Fuller forms of name (RDA, Optional addition)

The proposal was withdrawn by BL.

Tomorrow will begin with a closed meeting of the Committee of Principals and the JSC.  During the afternoon session, we plan to deal with agenda items 15 (Number of records for serials) and 18 (Expressions other than music).

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