Like many of you, I rushed over to read Shawne Miksa’s new article in the ASIS Bulletin, “Resource Description and (RDA) and New Research Potentials.”

The article is exactly what it claims. A list of suggested research directions, wholly appropriate for the ASIS Bulletin. Don’t look for it to break new ground. Those of us who have been following the issues and discussions will appreciate the articulation of research directions but this is not really an article that some may be hoping for.

My favorite sentence, however, is in reference to the ongoing tests of the RDA draft. “These tests should generate a considerable amount of data for analysis and study. At the very least, the testing may simply reveal that the rules don’t work and thus show us how not to develop cataloging guidelines, which is always a valuable lesson.”

Paradigm shift is just as overused a phrase as deck chairs on the Titanic but what we have is a cluster of paradigmatic shifts going on. We are shifting from the concept of bibliographic and authority records to mashable metadata. RDA looked in this direction but when work was undertaken five years ago, we weren’t where we are now. We are also coming to realize that we can no longer treat our standards as the writing of a copyrighted book with its ownership in the hands of a publisher. Standards need to be open and the ownership/copyright model is antithetical to this.

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