RDA and BIBFRAME: A need of
Science and Technology libraries
under digital environment
Dr. Sunil Goria
(Commonwealth Fellow, UK)
G. B. Pant University of
Agriculture & Technology,
Pantnagar 263145, India
• In the present digital age of information, Science and technology
(S&T) digital resources (i.e. online journals, e-books, online
databases etc) have been increased very fast all over the world.
• According to STM report 2012, there were about 28,100 active
scholarly peer-reviewed journals in mid 2012, collectively
publishing about 1.8–1.9 million articles a year.
• Nowadays most of S & T libraries are rich in digital information
• In libraries, catalogue is a set of organized data describing the
information content for accessing information.
• Research and developments have been done in library cataloguing
since 1961- first cataloguing principles known as Paris Principles.
• In 1967, AACR (Anglo American Cataloguing Rules), 1st edition was
• In 1978, AACR2 was published with later revisions in 1988, 1998,
• MARC was developed by the LC during the late 1960s as for creation and
dissemination of computer-readable catalogue records.
• In 1971, International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) for
bibliographic description of Monographic Publications was published.
• In 1998, Functional Requirement for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) was
published by IFLA.
• US MARC was renamed as MARC-21 in the year 1999.
• In 2004 Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD) were
presented at the 70th IFLA General Conference and Council.
• RDA is developed during 2004-2009 and published in 2010.
• In 2010, the three U.S. national libraries (the LC, the NAL and the NLM),
academic, research, special, and public libraries tested RDA.
• LC started to implement RDA from April 1st , 2013.
• Other libraries have already begun to implement RDA.
• In 2011, LC officially launched BIBFRAME (Bibliographic Framework)
initiative as a replacement of MARC-21.
RDA (Resource Description and Access)
• RDA is the new cataloging standard intended to succeed AACR2.
• It is developed by the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA
• The members of JSC are
The Library of Congress (LC),
The British Library,
The American Library Association (ALA),
The Canada Committee on Cataloguing, and
the Australian Committee of Cataloguing.
• RDA has been developed for the new digital environment the world’s
libraries currently work within.
• It provides a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on resource
description and access covering all types of content and media.
• Overall purpose of RDA is providing “a set of guidelines and instructions
on formulating data to support resource discovery” (0.0).
• It helps users to find, identify, select, and obtain the information they
Need of RDA
• There are significant differences between RDA and AACR2
• The structure of RDA is different from AACR2.
• AACR2 was basically developed for bibliographic
description of documents on card catalogues.
• Miksa (2009) pointed out that the AACR2 is weak on access
• AACR2 lacks the concepts of the FRBR and FRAD models.
• RDA has been developed specifically with focus on users.
• AACR2 is known as bibliographic standard while RDA is
designed as a content standard for recording the content of
• RDA allows sharing data in digital world.
• The data created using RDA to describe a resource are
designed to assist users performing the following tasks
discussed in RDA toolkit:
• Find—i.e., to find resources that correspond to the user’s
stated search criteria
• Identify—i.e., to confirm that the resource described
corresponds to the resource sought, or to distinguish
between two or more resources with similar characteristics
• Select—i.e., to select a resource that is appropriate to the
• Obtain—i.e., to acquire or access the resource described
• The structure of RDA is different from AACR2. Miksa (2009)
has compared the chapters of RDA with AACR2, 2nd edition.
RDA and AACR2
AACR 2nd Ed., Rev.
Section 1. Chapters 1-4
Recording attributes of manifestation
Section 2. Chapters 5-7
Recording attributes of work and
Section 3. Chapters 8-11
Recording attributes of person, family,
and corporate body
Section 4. Chapters 12-16
Recording attributes of concept,
object, event and place
Section 5. Chapter 17
Recording primary relationships
between work, expression,
manifestation, and item
Section 6. Chapters 18-22
Recording relationships to persons,
families, and corporate bodies
Section 7. Chapter 23
Recording relationships to concepts,
objects, events, and places associated
with a work
Part I. Description
Part II. Headings, Uniform Titles and References
Choice of access points [main and added]
Headings for persons
Headings for corporate bodies
Section 8. Chapters 24-28
Recording relationships between works,
expressions manifestations, and items
Section 9. Chapters 29-32
Recording relationships between
persons, families, and corporate bodies
Section 10. Chapters 33-37
Recording relationships between
concepts, objects, events, and places
• The FRBR is a conceptual model of the bibliographic universe,
describing the entities in that universe, their attributes, and
relationships among the entities.
• In FRBR family, the entities are divided in the following three groups
and relationship among the entities are established .
• Group 1 - includes intellectual and artistic endeavor that are named
or described in bibliographic records: work, expression,
manifestation, and item. FRBR focus on Group 1.
• Group 2 - are the entities responsible for the intellectual or artistic
content, the physical production and dissemination or the
custodianship of such products: person and corporate body. FRAD
focus on Group 2.
• Group 3 - are the entities that serve as the subjects of intellectual
or artistic endeavor: concept, object event, place, and any of the
Group 1 or Group 2 entities – you can have a work about another
work or about a person, etc. FRSAD focus on Group 3.
• They are conceptual models to explain the purpose of bibliographic
and authority records and how they relate to the needs of users.
FRBR model: Group-1
• ‘book,’ may be physical thing held in library collections– FRBR calls
this an item.
• ‘book’ may be “publication” identified by an ISBN. The set of all
items bearing the same characteristics, both physical form and
content– FRBR calls this manifestation.
• ‘book’ may be translated– we may have a specific text in mind in a
specific language or a translation – FRBR calls this expression. The
audio book version is a different expression.
• ‘book’ may be as “who wrote that book?” – we mean a higher level
of intellectual or artistic content that the ideas in a person’s head
for a book – FRBR calls this work.
FRBR Entity Levels (Tillet, 2004)
Group 1 Entities’ Attributes (Tillet, 2004)
Statement of responsibility
Imprint (place, publisher, date)
Form/extent of carrier
Terms of availability
Mode of access
100 1_ $aWinton, Tim,$d1960240 10 $aCloudstreet.$lGerman
245 13 $aDas Haus an der Cloudstreet :$bRoman /
$cTim Winton ; aus dem australischen Englisch von
260 __ $aFrankfurt am Main :$bKruger,$c1998.
300 __ $a 493 p. ;$c22 cm.
700 1_ $aLehnerer, Barbara,$etranslator.
900 __ $aLibrary’s copy signed by the author.
(bibliographic record for the German translation of Cloudstreet).
FRAD (Functional Requirement of Authority Data)Grpup-2
• Authority data represents the controlled
access points and other information that are
used to collocate works by a specific person,
family, or corporate body, or the various
editions of a title.
• Entities of FRAD model are:
– Families, and
– Corporate bodies.
Attributes of FRAD entities
• Title of person, Gender
• Place of birth, Place of death
• Country, Place of residence
• Affiliation, Address etc,
• Type of family, Dates of family
• Places associated with family
• Field of activity, History of family
– Attributes of a corporate body
• Place associated, Dates associated
• Language of the corporate body
• Field of activity, History
• Other information associated with the corporate body
Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records
• Subject access to information has been a significant approach of
users to satisfy their information needs.
• Group 3 entities represent an additional set of entities that serve as
the subjects of works: concept, object, event, and place.
• The FRSAR Working Group introduced the two entities:
– Thema (i.e. subject/topic/concept): any entity used as a subject of a
– Nomen (i.e. Name): any sign or sequence of signs (alphanumeric
characters, symbols, sound, etc.) that a thema is known by, referred to,
or addressed as.
• “Type” and “scope note” can be considered general attributes.
• Example- “A brief history of time: from the big bang to black holes”
by Stephen W. Hawking.
• The work has several themas: “cosmology”, “space and time”,
“unification of physics”, “black holes”, “big bang”, “universe”, etc.
• RDA Toolkit is an integrated, browser-based, online product
that allows users to interact with a collection of catalogingrelated documents and resources, including RDA.
• RDA instructions that are searchable and browsable
• Workflows and other procedural documentation that is
created by subscribers and can be shared within an
organization or with the entire community of subscribers.
• Mappings of RDA to different schemas, including MARC 21.
• Two views of RDA content—by table of contents and by
• Full text of AACR2.
• MARC Record Examples of RDA Cataloging
BIBFRAME (Bibliographic Framework)
• BIBFRAME has been developed as replacement of
MARC-21 in the leadership of the LC .
• It is the foundation for the future of bibliographic
description that happens on, in, and as part of the web
and the networked world we live in.
• The BIBFRAME Initiative will bring new ways to:
– Differentiate clearly between conceptual content and its
physical manifestation(s) (e.g., works and instances)
– Focus on unambiguously identifying information entities
– Leverage and expose relationships between and among
• RDA elements are part of the BIBFRAME vocabulary.
• The BIBFRAME Model consists of the following main classes
• Creative Work - a resource reflecting a conceptual essence of the
cataloguing item. Subjectness -Topic, Person, Place and entities -Person,
• Instance - a resource reflecting an individual, material embodiment of the
• Authority - a resource reflecting key authority concepts. Examples People, Places, Topics, Organizations, etc.
• Annotation - a resource that decorates other BIBFRAME resources with
additional information. Examples - Library Holdings information, cover art
• BIBFRAME the World Wide Web Consortium’s Resource Description
Framework (RDF) model practice of identifying as Web resources all
entities (resources), attributes, and relationships between entities
• The BIBFRAME model and its components are still in development.
• An Annotation asserts information about a resource; the
resource is referred to as the Annotation Target.
• In the BIBFRAME context, the Target is a BIBFRAME
resource: Work, Instance, Authority, or Annotation
• General Annotation Assertions: RDF triples with properties
which are common to all BIBFRAME Annotations.
bf:annotates. Expresses the Target.
• bf:payloadSource. Expresses the source of the payload of
the Annotation. Generally, a BIBFRAME Authority.
(Payload The collective information in the objects of the
• bf:annotationAssertedBy. Expresses the Annotator.
RDA and BIBFRAME for S & T Libraries
• Digital resources have been increasing in S&T libraries all over the
• The purpose of RDA is to support the production of catalogue data
that can be managed by current and future database technologies.
• One of the important aspects in RDA is that it can be used for the
description of both traditional and nontraditional resources in
• The web-based RDA Toolkit is very convenient to use and navigate
for cataloguers and library professionals.
• RDA provides a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on
resource description and access covering all types of content.
• It will facilitate the requirement of web-based online cataloguing
• It will be the backbone for the future semantic web OPAC (Online
Public Access Catalogue).
• RDA allows users to add their own notes online.
• RDA has developed keeping in mind present and future
requirement of libraries after thorough study, practical
testing and involvement of international experts and
• Use of RDA has been started in the academic and national
libraries of developed countries like US and UK.
• BIBFRAME is in the developing stage.
• RDA and BIBFRAME are foundation for Semantic web.
• In conclusion, RDA and BIBFRAME will be the requirement
of Science and Technology libraries in future in digital
environment for sharing the data.
Cronin, Christopher (2011). This is Just the Beginning: Implementation of RDA & Thoughts on Next Steps for our
Metadata Infrastructures. Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois (LACONI), 25 February 2011.
Available online at http://www.laconi.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/RDA-UChicago-LACONI.pdf
International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Study Group on the Functional Requirements for
Bibliographic Records (FRBR). (2008). Functional requirements for bibliographic records: Available online at
International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Study Group on the Functional Requirements and
Numbering of Authority Records (FRNAR). (2008). Functional Requirements for Authority Data. Available online at
International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Working Group on the Functional Requirements for Subject
Authority Records (FRSAR) (2010). Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD) A Conceptual
Model Available online at http://www.ifla.org (accessed on 6.6.2012)
Library of Congress (2012). Bibliographic Framework as a Web of Data: Linked Data Model and Supporting
Miksa, Shawne D. (2009) Resource Description and Access (RDA) and New Research Potentials. Bulletin of the
American Society for Information Science & Technology, Vol. 35, No.5, pp.47-50.
Oliver, Chris. (2010). Introducing RDA: A Guide to the basics, Chicago, American Library Association, Available
online at http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=2897