Frequently Asked Questions: Resource Description & Access (RDA)

  1. How much experience does Backstage have with RDA?
  2. What enrichment services does Backstage provide for RDA?
  3. What is the cost for each RDA enrichment option?
  4. How does Backstage pre-process bibliographic records prior to RDA enrichment?
  5. What options does Backstage have in place for GMD processing?
  6. Can I address descriptive changes separately from access point changes?
  7. How do I review the results of my RDA enrichment?
  8. Does Backstage follow LC/PCC recommendations for RDA enrichment?
  9. My catalog is a mix of AACR2 and RDA records. How do you handle mixed files?
  1. How much experience does Backstage have with RDA?

    Backstage Library Works was an official test partner in the Library of Congress RDA pilot program. Working with the US National Libraries RDA Test Coordinating Committee, we've been exploring how the nuts and bolts of RDA fit together since 2009.

    We were the first library vendor to offer an RDA-compatible authority control service. And Backstage still offers the most comprehensive and customizable RDA services on the market today.

    Karen Anderson, our authorities librarian, has been Chair of the FRBR Interest Group, and a member of the PCC Acceptable Headings Implementation Task Group, in preparation for RDA. Karen has also presented extensively on RDA at ALA conferences and other venues.

    Nate Cothran, vice president of automation services, has been a member of the PCC Post-Implementation Task Group on Hybrid Bibliographic Records.

  2. What enrichment services does Backstage provide for RDA?

    •   Enrichment of your existing AACR2 (and pre-AACR2) records with RDA elements in an
         automated process
    •   Validation and update of your existing RDA records

    These two options are useful when your library is interested in a retrospective conversion/enrichment of its records with RDA elements to introduce more consistency in cataloging practices. Enrichment and validation of existing records provide a good starting point when your library is ready to draw a line in the sand marking a "from this day forward" transition to managing a catalog of RDA records. For more information, please see Step 1.3 in our RDA guide.
  3. What is the cost for each RDA enrichment option?

    Either RDA option can be included with your authority control processing at no additional charge.

    •   If we're processing your entire bibliographic database – either to create your basefile
        as a new Backstage customer, or to remaster of that basefile if you're a current client –
        the RDA requirements can be addressed for your entire catalog at the same time, for the
        same price as the authority control basefile processing.

    For current clients interested in upgrading a basefile, the remaster can be addressed in stages, to fit your data-loading and budgetary requirements.

    •   Regardless of the status of your bibliographic database, we can add RDA enrichment
        to the processing of your new records sent for authority control.


  4. How does Backstage pre-process bibliographic records prior to RDA enrichment?

    The pre-processing workflow for RDA enrichment includes:

    •   Clean up bibliographic records with AACR2 options
    •   Clean up bibliographic records with RDA options
    •   Match access points to authorized forms, using LC authorities, which are now all
        considered RDA-compliant

    Each of these steps can be customized in Backstage's online profile.

    Our AACR2 cleanup is designed to eliminate conflicts with RDA enrichment. For example, under AACR2, it is okay to delete X00 $e relator terms. Under RDA, it is acceptable to retain these terms.
    Click here to see a more comprehensive set of cleanup options.
  5. What options does Backstage have in place for GMD processing?

    We can handle the GMDs in your records however you prefer. The standard options are:

    •   Retain existing GMDs (245 $h) and update them using AACR2 or Common terms.
    •   Add missing GMDs on a small scale for records where they are absent.
    •   Move existing GMDs to a new location, such as a 500 field.
    •   Add corresponding CMC (Content, Media, Carrier) 33X fields (336, 337, 338), based on
        GMDs in the bibliographic records. Our standard procedure is to add $a term, $b code,
        and $2 type, in this format:
          ♦   336 $a performed music $b prm $2 rdacontent
          ♦   337 $a audio $b s $2 rdamedia
          ♦   338 $a audio disc $b sd $2 rdacarrier
    Click here for a quick example of the table we use to handle these conversions.

  6. Can I address descriptive changes separately from access point changes?

    The online profile for RDA enrichment is split between changes in description and access points:

    •   Description: 245, 250, 260, 260 to 264, 300, 5xx, other fields
    Follow this link for descriptive field changes.
    •   Access: X00, X10, X11, X30; conference, date, dept., uniform titles, relator terms, sacred works, personal name titles
    Follow this link for access point changes.


  7. How do I review the results of my RDA enrichment?

    We currently provide 10 standard reports. Another 10 optional reports are available upon request, at an extra cost.
    To see a set of the standard and optional RDA reports, click here.

  8. Does Backstage follow LC/PCC recommendations for RDA enrichment?

    The default selections in our online profile follow the LC/PCC recommendations.

    The profile also allows you to customize your settings, providing flexibility for how you want to manage your data.

  9. My catalog is a mix of AACR2 and RDA records. How do you handle mixed files?

    AACR2 and RDA records can be processed simultaneously, even with different processing instructions applied to each type. Backstage's system checks for presence of 040 $e rda in each bibliographic record to determine which rules and actions should be applied.