Making the Most of RDA Toolkit’s Open-Access Period Webinar

Recently one of our Project Managers, Jeremy, sat down to watch the latest RDA webinar, these are his thoughts and notes from the webinar.

On June 17-18, Troy Linker from ALA Publishing presented a few webinars about how to make the most out of the open-access period for the RDA Toolkit.  This open-access will be from the launch of the RDA Toolkit in mid-June (any day now) until the end of August.   A few people from Backstage attended this webinar and here is a summary of what was presented.

First off, Troy went over a brief overview of what RDA and the RDA toolkit are and who created these.  This was a very brief and basic overview that didn’t really have any new information.

Next, the open-access period was discussed.  They still don’t have an exact date for when this will start, but it should be very soon.  There will be no charge to access the RDA toolkit during this time.  It is possible to pre-register for access right now on the RDA Toolkit website.

The RDA Toolkit has a built-in help system that will serve as a manual.  The website currently has an FAQ section with many questions about RDA.  There will be an RDA Toolkit Support Center for problems with the toolkit.  The website also has tools for presenting on RDA and a calendar of different training sessions.

After discussing these things, Troy did a demonstration of the toolkit.  Within the toolkit, there will be the text of RDA, the RDA element set view, mappings, user-contributed content, relationship diagrams, schemas, and also AACR2.

There are two ways to have access to the RDA Toolkit: either as a solo-user or as an institution.   User profiles can be created for every user, no matter how many users there are for each subscription.  With a user profile, you can save, create, and share user-created content through the toolkit.  For an institutional user, it is necessary to login as the institution and then to login as the user in order to access your personal user-created content.

The RDA toolkit has been designed to work well with all of the major internet browsers.  Once you have logged in to your account, you will be able to access all items in the RDA Toolkit.  You can personalize the toolkit with bookmarks, saved searches, workflows, and mappings through the “My Profile” link.  There is a link to the support center to report anything that is causing difficulties.

On the left-side of the page, there are tabs for RDA, Tools, and Resources.  The RDA tab has the full text of RDA that can be browsed through with an extensive hierarchy.  The Tools tab has the RDA element set view, mappings, workflows, mappings, and entity relationship diagrams.  Currently, the only mappings that are available are between RDA and MARC bibliographic and authority records.  They plan to add more mappings in the future and it is also possible to add your own mapping and share it with others.  It is also possible to create and share your own workflows.  The Resources tab will have content such as AACR2.

There are two options for searching: an RDA quick search and an advanced search.  With the quick search, you are only able to search the content of RDA and not the other resources provided in the toolkit.  With an advanced search, you can limit your search to any of the resources provided.  After you have completed a search, you can save it for future reference.

Troy briefly discussed subscription and pricing options, including an option to purchase a printed version of RDA.   The main thing that was emphasized with this is that they are able to work with libraries in specials situations, but they have to treat everyone equally.  Some special situations that may get special treatment would be pricing for consortiums, extra users for training purposes, etc.

There are a few future enhancements that they are looking at, such as linking from AACR2 to RDA, linking to other cataloging tools, improving user preferences, and integrating translations into the toolkit.

In the demo, Troy made everything look very user-friendly and easy to access.  Once the open-access period has begun, it will be interesting to see how easy it is to use when there are thousands to people constantly accessing it.

These webinars were recorded and will be available on  The questions that participant’s had will also be posted to the FAQ section of this website.


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