Posted to Autocat
On 20/06/2011 18:48, MULLEN Allen wrote:
Concerning my remarks on:
1. streaming of publisher/outside metadata
2. inheritance of work/etc. allows for less rekeying
3. potentially, a significant enough increase in the value of non-silo discovery systems that libraries will find alternatives more cost-effective than local record by record editing
4. more effective input of data through use of established element sets and other linked data potentials, lessening the amount of keyed input
I would simply indicate that the alignment of RDA and ONIX as part of the development argues for #1, it would seem. As for #2, again speaking from ignorance I would say that the depth and extent of relationships and differences in necessity for descriptions at the various levels (work, manifestation, expression) make this a somewhat different beast than the type of inheritance presently used for copying or deriving from existing records in the present environment. With regard to #4, I’d simply respond that if RDA is the vehicle that can accomplish these more indirect goals, this still can result in net cost reduction for libraries whether the same thing could be accomplished through different means or not.
Those advocating for RDA (which does not include me, by the way – I’m simply attempting to understand both the forest and the trees without being relentless critical and dismissive) would do well to provide much better indications of the worth (“business case”) if there is any desire to convince a critical mass of the cataloging community. Convincing catalogers may not be a particularly fruitful or necessary endeavor, but again, I invite those in the RDA development community, and those well-versed in specifics of the intent and goals in the area of library-based metadata development, to help us understand the vision more clearly in our niche, similar to how Kelly McGrath and the OLAC testers have done with their FRBR-inspired work as a way to see the potential RDA offers for end-users. Lacking this, I expect this debate will continue to lack much of the knowledge base that will help achieve greater understanding.
I agree with almost all of this. What is different is my attitude since I think it is time for the RDA community to demonstrate the tangible advantages of RDA, while the rest of the cataloging community should be encouraged to question those assertions very strongly. Still, *if* it can be demonstrated that publishers will be more forthcoming to supply ONIX metadata that will follow RDA *as opposed to AACR2*, then this would be a very important point in its favor. I have yet to see the slightest evidence of this. Concerning less re-keying with the WEMI framework, I maintain that it is difficult for me to imagine how it would be any better than how we do derives currently. I am more than willing to be shown, to be surprised, and to change my mind, but I am skeptical nevertheless. The report itself concluded that RDA would not increase production.
Finally, if RDA can be shown to work with other metadata systems *better than what we have now*, this would also be extremely important. But exactly what parts of the new RDA rules will accomplish any of this?
Typing out the abbreviations? Getting rid of Latin? Getting rid of O.T.and N.T.? Eliminating the rule of 3 and [sic]? Maybe main entries for treaties? Or the 33x fields? This is when I find myself shaking my head and thinking: Let’s get real …
I am completely 110% in *favor* of all those points you make, but the reality of RDA and the changes it proposes have *nothing whatsoever* to do with any of those points you mention. So, we are left with just more promises for a vague FRBR-type of future that (I believe) doesn’t seem so great anyway, while we are all expected to hold our breaths, spend lots of money and resources for…. what? It seems to me that we would be in exactly the same place, if not a few steps back. For what it’s worth I, for one, am not buying it.
Perhaps in less severe economic circumstances, everyone could be less exacting with accepting the new rules and figure: well, let *them* figure it out because we can trust that *they* know what they are doing and will do best by us. I am not buying any of that either.
This is why I compared the catalog to the trilobytes. Of course, I think and hope we are smarter than that, but the advantages of RDA need to be proven and demonstrated. There is absolutely nothing wrong pointing this out since it will have to be done sooner or later.
I think people are fed up with the theories and the ifs and maybes and if onlys, and are beginning to insist on something substantial.