Thursday, June 16, 2011

Re: What the announcement means

Posting to Autocat

On 16/06/2011 17:14, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
<snip>
There is *no* commitment to implement in 2013. There is a long list of things to accomplish before that, including "progress" on a MARC replacement, and rewriting the instructions in plain English. The time lines on some of those tasks are, in my opinion, very optimistic.

I do not expect January 2013 implementation. Others may not agree with that assessment, or the US national libraries might proceed without the task being accomplished.
</snip>
I still say that RDA can not go anywhere until a decent business case has been made for it. It shouldn't go anywhere until then. All kinds of people can promise the moon, but sooner or later, you have to make a  credible case for why you have a solution to the problem, and why your solution should be chosen over others. Demanding this kind of accounting is fully reasonable and only makes perfect sense. As the report says very clearly http://www.nlm.nih.gov/tsd/cataloging/RDA_report_executive_summary.pdf:
"The test revealed that there is little discernible immediate benefit in implementing RDA alone. The adoption of RDA will not result in significant cost savings in metadata creation."
they go on to say:
"Immediate economic benefit, however, cannot be the sole determining factor in the RDA business case. It must be determined if there are significant future enhancements to the metadata environment made possible by RDA and if those benefits, long term, outweigh  implementation costs."

The report says there is *no business case* for RDA to be implemented by what exists now. So, all that remains is to maintain that the "future directions" of RDA will be worth it. What can people promise in the
future? It seems to be pretty late in the game to start talking about this.

And let's be honest about what current RDA changes from AACR2 promise about future directions: Abbreviations? Latin? Eliminating the rule of three, going down to a single author? Changing main entry for treaties? Changing O.T. and N.T.? Adding three barely comprehensible fields to MARC? Eliminating the GMD? Keeping text in ALL CAPS? Does anybody really believe that this is worth it in the business sense? Does anybody really think these represent the directions of "significant future enhancements"?

Plus, maybe you really do believe it, but how do you convince that person who actually makes the decisions and is just aching to cut your budget?

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