Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Re: [RDA-L] Additional work required by RDA

Posting to RDA-L

On 23/10/2012 23:25, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:
<snip>
Contradicted by the RDA examples that are compared side-by-side with MARC:  http://www.rdatoolkit.org/examples/MARC      For display and for data input, assuming these RDA examples will be comparable to actual display and input mechanisms, the RDA method appears much simpler. There are no punctuation rules to worry about separating elements. There are clear demarcations between transcribed elements and recorded elements. There is some added redundancy (such as with authorized access point for the work and Creator having the same Person involved), but these serve to illuminate what entities are being presented and how data elements logically flow together, which can facilitate better workforms and machine processing.    Overall, much simpler.  
</snip>

Punctuation was always the easiest part of the records for me. I never "worried" about punctuation and when there did happen to be some detail I couldn't remember, it was very easy to look it up. Punctuation has meaning only to catalogers. I still say that cataloging punctuation could disappear tomorrow and nobody would even notice--except catalogers.

I'll leave it up to each person to decide for themselves if RDA is simpler. Certainly from all I have seen, the examples from the RDA Toolkit, discussions on this list and others, it seems to this cataloger at least, that RDA will be far more complicated. Whether it is true that data elements logically (or illogically) flow together as opposed to AACR2's very practical emphasis on workflow, plus adding the relationship designators to authors, and the relationship of all of that data to the WEMI, it becomes much more difficult to conclude that RDA is actually simpler.

Added complications would not be a problem if it were clearly seen to be creating something that will be much more useful to the users of our records. That has yet to be demonstrated. There is also the proviso that libraries will have the actual resources (that is, enough trained catalogers) to implement all of it in a decent manner, also called "sustainability". Unfortunately, there is no indication that RDA can provide any of that.

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