Conference paper Open Access

Redefining Bibliographical Standards

Ginther, Clara ; Schuh, Stefan

This paper can best be described as a report “from the trenches”. Standards
for bibliographical data have changed significantly through unprecedented
change processes since the turn of the century; change processes that are ongoing.
The new rules and standards were developed through a far reaching
dialogue process. A new data model, new cataloguing principles and rules
were developed as a response to the then new digital environment. The aim
was to provide standards that transcend any specific data format and could be
applied globally not only in libraries but in any context where bibliographic
data is of relevance. Such adaptability entails that each community that implements
these new rules and guidelines has to decide how to correlate them
with what has been tradition thus far. Much has been written about the deficiencies
and benefits of, for example, RDA. Yet, not only the results of the
changes provide crucial insights but equally the continuing processes associated
with them. The Austrian Library Network will implement RDA by 2016
and is in the middle of a change process in the form of training the trainers;
thus receiving immediate feedback on contradictions and unresolved issues.
This paper, in a first section, traces the change processes that brought about
new standards. It does not purport to be a concise history but aims at delineating
the dynamics of change. The second section focuses on issues and questions
that arose from the dialogue process in train the trainer sessions organised
by the Austrian Library Network when practitioners responded and questioned the new rules and standards. These issues are reflected in regard
to the respective differences in cataloguing rules, standards and traditions.

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