RDA/ONIX INITIATIVE UPDATE
27 September 2006
In April 2006, the organizations responsible for RDA and ONIX announced a joint initiative to develop a common framework for resource categorization. RDA is a new international standard for resource description and access being developed as the successor to the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. ONIX is an international standard for representing publishing industry product information in electronic form, published and maintained by EDItEUR.
The joint initiative is a follow-on to discussions held in October 2005 between the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR and representatives of the publishing industry in the UK. In the course of those discussions the two groups identified resource categorization as an area of mutual interest and one in which there is substantial potential benefit to be gained through cooperation. A proposal for a joint initiative was subsequently approved and funded by the organizations sponsoring the development of RDA and ONIX, with additional support from the British Library.
The objective is to develop a framework for categorizing resources in all media that will support the needs of both libraries and the publishing industry and will facilitate the transfer and use of resource description data across the two communities.
The first step in developing the framework was taken at a workshop held in London on March 27-28, 2006. The participants in the workshop were Tom Delsey (RDA Editor), David Martin (consultant to EDItEUR), and Godfrey Rust (Rightscom/Ontologyx, consultant to the British Library). Gordon Dunsire, who is a member of the CILIP/BL Committee on AACR, acted as facilitator. In the course of the workshop, the participants produced an outline of the proposed framework that identified the various characteristics of content and carrier that are typically used by both libraries and the book industry to categorize resources. For those characteristics considered to be key elements in defining high-level resource categories, the outline included a proposed set of values to be used in recording that characteristic.
At its April 2006 meeting in Ottawa, the JSC reviewed an interim report on the framework. The workshop participants then used the feedback from that review to further refine the framework and to produce a final draft, which was released at the beginning of August.
Following that, the RDA Editor prepared a draft of three related elements proposed for inclusion in RDA: media category, type of carrier, and content category. The Editor's draft draws on the RDA/ONIX Framework as well as on the proposal for content and carrier terms in RDA that was submitted to the JSC by the GMD/SMD Working Group at the end of December 2005. The Editor's draft was distributed to the RDA constituencies in August for review and comment, and the constituency responses will be discussed by the JSC at its upcoming meeting in Washington, October 16-20.
The RDA Project Management Committee is currently reviewing recommendations on other follow-up action related to the RDA/ONIX Framework itself.