Differences Between Bibliographic Records Created in RDA and in AACR2

ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee

Question/Answer on cataloging issues – March 2013

By Isabel del Carmen Quintana, Harvard University

Question: How will bibliographic records created in RDA, the new cataloging rules, be different from records created using AACR2?

Answer:

RDA, Resource Description and Access, is being adopted by most US Libraries. The national libraries in the US will have adopted RDA by April 1, 2013. This new code is quite different from AACR2 and there will be many changes made to bibliographic records both prospectively and retrospectively in OCLC. Although this brief document cannot highlight all of the changes, below are some of the changes that patrons will see in bibliographic records.

There is no longer a rule of three.
In AACR2 if there were three names or less on the title page, you listed them all. If there were more than three, you listed only the first one.

In RDA we are instructed to list all of the authors, along with any additional information that appears with the name. However, we are only required to give the first statement of responsibility.

Example:
Book title page: Anthropology today by William Smith, Anthropology Department, University of Wisconsin, John Taylor, Michael Raynor, and Elizabeth Jones. Edited by William Smith. With contributions by George Seeger, Adam Trent, Grace Thornton and Bess Quinto. Illustrations by Mark Shore.

In AACR2 this information would have appeared as:
Anthropology today / by William Smith … [et al.] ; edited by William Smith ; with contributions by George Seeger … [et al.] ; illustrations by Mark Shore.

In RDA this information may appear as:
Anthropology today / by William Smith, Anthropology Department, University of Wisconsin, John Taylor, Michael Raynor, and Elizabeth Jones.

Notes:
-    The editor, contributors and illustrator are not required in RDA. (There is an exception       whereby illustrators for children’s book is a required element.)
-    All of the authors in the first statement of responsibility are entered, along with                     information about them that appears on the title page.

Providing access to contributors has changed.
In AACR2 you provided access to the authors listed in the statement of responsibility.

In RDA we are required to provide an access point for the creator of the work, but all other access points for names are optional.

Example from the same book above:
In AACR2:
700 Smith, William.
700 Seeger, George
700 Shore, Mark

In RDA:
100 Smith, William

Notes:
-    The creator is given the 100 field for creator even if there are more than three, as long           as this work is a collaboration. The rules are different for compilations by more than             one author.
-    Although all of the names in the first statement of responsibility are given in the record,       we are not required to provide access points for them.
-    There is a recommendation currently supported to add relationship terms to the                   creator. So the above entry would appear as “100 Smith, William, author, editor.”
-    A cataloger has the option to add additional access points, with or without the                         relationship designators.

No more abbreviations.
In transcription RDA only uses abbreviations when they appear as such on the work itself (i.e. the title page has “v.” or “Dept.” on it.) Furthermore, Latin abbreviations will no longer be used, unless they appear on the work itself.

Examples:
AACR2 – [S.l. : s.n.]
RDA – [Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified]

Notes:
-    In RDA we are encouraged to supply a possible place of publication and date when we         can, so most records will have this information, with a question mark if necessary.                 Example: [Spain?] : [publisher not identified], [2012?]

The GMD [general material designation] is gone.
In AACR2 this appeared near the title. It is the element that told you if this was a “videorecording” or “electronic resource” etc.

In RDA this element is being replaced by three new fields. These fields will supply information on the content, the media, and the carrier.

Examples:
AACR2 – Anthropology today [videorecording]
RDA – Anthroplogy today
336 two-dimensional moving image |2 rdacontent
337 video |2 rdamedia
338 videodisc |2 rdacarrier

Typographical errors and inaccuracies:
In AACR2 we used the convention of [sic] or [i.e.] when there was a typographical error in the text.

In RDA we transcribe the inaccuracy as it appears and then add a note.

Examples:
AACR2
Title: Anthroplogy [sic] today
Added title: Anthropology today

RDA
Title: Anthroplogy today
Added title: Anthropology today
Note: Title should read: Anthropology today.

Unique identification of works:
In AACR2 serials were required to have unique titles. Monographs were not. Therefore, if there were two books with the same title they just filed after each other in the index.

In RDA every work is required to have a unique authorized access point.

Examples:
AACR2 –
Title: Anthropology today.
Publication information: Boston, Mass. : Random House, 2000.

Title: Anthropology today.
Publication information: New York : Abrams, 2007.

RDA –
Title: Anthropology today.
Publication information: Boston, Mass. : Random House, 2000.

Unique title: Anthropology today (Abrams)
Title: Anthropology today
Publication information: New York : Abrams, 2007.

Notes:
-    The first title is not qualified because it was the first one and was therefore unique.
-    The element used to qualify the title may vary. It could be a date, editor, etc. instead.
-    The authorized access point for a work is a combination of the creator and the title.               Therefore two books titled “Anthropology today” but having two different authors                 would already have a unique authorized access point and the titles would not need               further qualification.

These are just some of the changes that will come with RDA. There are also significant changes happening to Bible entries, music cataloging, and other more specific materials.

As we transition into RDA, it is important for public services staff to recognize these changes and talk to technical services staff about particular changes that affect access.

RDA has more minimal requirements for bibliographic records than AACR2. However, there are many options for additional information. If patrons need access to additional information it is important that this need be communicated to the relevant metadata creators.

Overall, RDA provides a framework to describe materials in a manner that allows users to find, identify, select and obtain the works. However, only with feedback from users can we hope to achieve these goals.

One Response to Differences Between Bibliographic Records Created in RDA and in AACR2

  1. Mantoetse Nkuebe says:

    everything is clear except for edited work in RDA. Can an editor be a main entry in RDA? You seem to discuss only the rule of 3 not editor,. Since many things have changed in RDA we no longer know if anyone apart from the author can be an added entry under 100 or not.

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