With the April and September 2019 releases to the RDA Toolkit beta site, the RDA text has been stabilized and the site has met project goals for accessibility and revision reporting. This wraps up 3R work on the English language version of the standard and the site. The focus of work has shifted to translations and the development of policy statements and application profiles. Translations are well under way with expectations that nine translations will be published in the next 15 months. Policy statements and application profiles are in an early stage of development.
In the past, public statements from ALA Publishing and the RDA Board laid out exactly how the 3R Project would come to completion. It included requirements for the completion or near completion of specific translations and the majority of policy statement sets, along with the agreement of the RDA Board and the RSC to approve the Switchover of the beta site to official status. The Switchover would include moving the original RDA Toolkit to secondary status with a one-year Countdown Clock, which would count the days until that site would be removed from the Web.
This plan never included a firm date for when these completion goals would be met, though rough estimates have been offered publicly.
A New Plan
Recent discussions between the RDA Board, the RSC and the publishers of RDA Toolkit has led to a decision to make a significant change to the 3R completion plan. Here are the key components of the new plan.
- A hard date for the Switchover of the Beta Site to official RDA status has been set at December 15, 2020.
- The Switchover date and the start of the Countdown Clock on the original RDA Toolkit are no longer linked.
- The start of the year-long Countdown Clock will be determined by full agreement of the RDA Board and RSC; this agreement will likely occur sometime in 2021.
There are two major issues driving this change. First, through frank discussions with some of those writing policy statements (PS), it has become clear that these documents will require several rounds of evaluation, writing, and review. It is very difficult to determine how long this process will take because of differing resources available to policy statement teams. Secondly, due to the nature of the 3R Project, no one has been allowed to submit formal proposals to improve RDA for 2.5 years. It is important to the development of the standard that normal avenues for proposing changes to RDA resume.
The RDA Board, the RSC, and the publishers of RDA Toolkit support this new plan and believe it allows for the restoration of normal operations for the standard while still allowing for institutions to pace their transition over to the LRM-based RDA with the aid of policy statements. Expectations are that many translations, if not all the translations, of the beta site will be completed before the Switchover.
What Happens Next
- Releases to the beta RDA Toolkit will continue. Each release will include Release Notes. No changes to the text having a significant impact on translations or policy statements are expected prior to the Switchover.
- Translations and policy statements will be added as soon as they are ready for publication.
- The Switchover will take place on December 15, 2020, meaning that beta.rdatoolkit.org will become access.rdatoolkit.org, and the original RDA Toolkit will move to original.rdatoolkit.org.
- The Countdown Clock will start at a later date to be determined by full agreement of the RDA Board, the RSC and the Publishers of RDA Toolkit. The clock will countdown for one year.