On Monday, January 20th, the JSC announced that the "RDA elements and relationship designators have been published in the Open Metadata Registry (OMR) as Resource Description Framework (RDF) element sets suitable for linked data and semantic Web applications." (Read the full announcement.) This published version of the RDA element sets builds on several years of work by the DCMI/RDA Task Group. Earlier versions developed by the Group will remain available, but will be deprecated for further development and use, and redirected to the new version.
This release is a basic version of the element vocabularies and is an important next step in the progression of RDA. By changing the status from “new proposed” to “publish” for the RDA Element Set, the elements can now be used confidently in linked data applications. We felt publishing ahead of ALA’s Midwinter Meeting made for a good opportunity to share the basics of the element set and start the discussion on how RDA Elements can be used, extended, and improved.
There are many more steps to come. With the release the elements in RDA Toolkit are not in synch with the elements in the RDA Registry. We have begun working on synchronizing the data between RDA Toolkit and the Registry and plan to have the two back in synch later this year. We felt it was better to release the Registry now so developers could begin their work while we work on synchronizing the data between the two sites. A new feature of the RDA Registry is that the display labels in the registry are now verbalized (e.g. “has illustrative content” versus “illustrative content”) to indicate the direction of the property, making them more useful for developers. RDA Toolkit will be updated with explanations of this concept and linkages from the display labels used by catalogers and those used by other communities. JSC is also working on adding more element and relationship designator names,
We intend to prepare and publish free documentation for Registry and Element vocabulary users later this year. Again we did not want to hold up the release of this information so developers could begin their work and provide feedback as we prepare the documentation.