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RDA Testing Timeline

Marjorie Bloss, former RDA Project Manager, posted this outline of the U.S. RDA testing timeline to the RDA list yesterday.

The Library of Congress, the National Agriculture Library and the National Library of Medicine decided they would take six months to test RDA after its first release which was June 23rd. Testing will be done to respond to the assumptions about RDA — ease of use, speed in creating records, internationalization, etc. In order to conduct the test, the three U.S. national libraries identified some 26 (I believe it is) other libraries or groups of libraries to participate in the testing. In addition, the three U.S. national libraries are also encouraging libraries who were not selected as official testers to contribute records as well.

The six month testing timeline was divided into two parts. For the first three months (July-September 2010), testing participants would train on the RDA Toolkit, learning both the software supporting RDA as well as the rules themselves. To this end, there has indeed been some excellent training material that can be found on the Library of Congress website. If you’ve not looked at this, I strongly urge you to do so.

The second three months (October-December 2010) will be spent in creating records both in RDA and AACR2 for comparative purposes. LC, NAL, and NLM will identify 25 records (called the “common set records”) that all testing participants will create. Additionally, there will be 5 records identified for copy cataloging purposes. In addition, if time permits, testing participants have been asked to submit “extra set records”. These will be records of their choice and they will be created using only RDA. These records will be submitted to LC, NAL, and NLM in a variety of ways from OCLC to uploading the records from one’s local OPAC. For every record created and submitted, participants will need to fill out a questionnaire evaluating their cataloging experiences.

From the beginning of 2011 through March 2011, the three U.S. national libraries will analyze the results of the testing. From April-June 2011, they will develop recommendations about the adoption of RDA based on the analysis.

So these are the general timelines that have been identified for testing RDA.

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