RDA (Resource Description and Access) is the new cataloging standard that will replace AACR2.

Developed by the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA, this online, web-based tool was released in July 2010. Publishers are the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

OCLC has participated actively in the process to produce RDA through our ex-officio membership in the ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access and through our representation on the MARC Advisory Committee. We also have staff participating in the Joint Steering Committee's two RDA Examples Groups and the RDA/MARC Working Group, which is preparing proposals for MARC 21 format change in support of RDA. In addition, OCLC is represented in the ALA RDA Implementation Task Force, which is planning for implementation activities in the U.S. OCLC staff have participated in program sessions sponsored by the Task Force. OCLC staff have also joined staff from the three U.S. national libraries in discussions and planning for the testing/evaluation period which ran from September through December 2010. Cataloging staff in OCLC's Metadata Contract Services participated in the testing.

Over the past several years, OCLC has also gained experience in creating FRBRized work sets based on bibliographic data in existing records and in creating similar relationships based on related ISBNs and ISSNs. There is also ongoing work using ONIX-based data created by publishers as the basis for records usable in library catalogs. All of this activity touches on aspects of RDA.

OCLC staff are also participants in cataloging discussions within the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and are active in the creation and maintenance of cataloging standards within that organization, including the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), the Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD), the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), and the UNIMARC Formats.

OCLC has completed work to implement the MARC 21 changes approved by MARBI in recent meetings (including its meetings at ALA Annual in July 2009 and January 2010). These changes have been implemented in the context of OCLC's existing cataloging, resource sharing and discovery platforms. See Technical Bulletin 258 for more details.

In addition, Connexion now includes links to the RDA Toolkit. RDA Toolkit subscribers can save their authorization and password in Connexion. When displaying a bibliographic or authority record, selecting the RDA Toolkit link will result in the RDA Toolkit opening in a browser window, logging you onto the system, and displaying the RDA content associated with the specific MARC field. Note that a subscription to the RDA Toolkit is required to use this feature. This functionality is available in the Windows-based Connexion client version 2.30 released in April 2011 and in the Web-based Connexion browser interface as of 15 May 2011.

RDA offers the potential to change significantly how bibliographic data is created and used. These future possibilities that RDA online tool could facilitate will be considered as part of the development of next-generation systems.

See our RDA resources page.