RDA and BIBFRAME: A need of
Science and Technology libraries
under digital environment
Dr. Sunil Goria
Deputy Librarian,
(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,
and 2002.
• 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
bibliographic data.
• 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
user’s needs
• 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.
AACR 2nd Ed., Rev.
Recording Attributes
Section 1. Chapters 1-4
Recording attributes of manifestation
and item
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
Recording Relationships
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
Chapter 1
General rules
Chapters 2-12
Special Rules
Chapter 13
Analytical descriptions
Part II. Headings, Uniform Titles and References
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Choice of access points [main and added]
Chapter 22
Headings for persons
Chapter 23
Geographic names
Chapter 24
Headings for corporate bodies
Chapter 25
Uniform Titles
Chapter 26
Appendices A-E
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
Appendices A-M
FRBR family
• 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)
The Movie
The Novel
Copy 1
Copy 2
Group 1 Entities’ Attributes (Tillet, 2004)
• Manifestation
• Work
• Expression
Statement of responsibility
Imprint (place, publisher, date)
Form/extent of carrier
Terms of availability
Mode of access
• Item
100 1_ $aWinton, Tim,$d1960240 10 $aCloudstreet.$lGerman
245 13 $aDas Haus an der Cloudstreet :$bRoman /
$cTim Winton ; aus dem australischen Englisch von
Barbara Lehnerer
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:
– Person,
– Families, and
– Corporate bodies.
Attributes of FRAD entities
– Person
• Title of person, Gender
• Place of birth, Place of death
• Country, Place of residence
• Affiliation, Address etc,
– Family
• 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
• Address
• Field of activity, History
• Other information associated with the corporate body
Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records
(FRSAR): Group-3
• 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
• 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
element set
• 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
(e.g., authorities)
– 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
and reviews.
• 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.
BIBFRAME Annotation
• 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
class-specific assertions).
• 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.
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Authority Records (FRSAR) (2010). Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD) A Conceptual
Model Available online at (accessed on 6.6.2012)
Library of Congress (2012). Bibliographic Framework as a Web of Data: Linked Data Model and Supporting
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