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Publisher De Gruyter collaborates with the American Library Association (ALA) on publishing and distributing the new standard RDA: Resource Description and Access

February 1, 2012

De Gruyter and the ALA have signed an agreement, according to which the publisher will be responsible for the publication and global distribution of the German-language version of the new set of cataloguing standards for print and digital media in libraries and beyond, RDA: Resource Description and Access. The publisher will also sell licenses for the multilingual online version RDA Toolkit in German-speaking countries.

RDA is a flexible tool for recording bibliographic metadata and, as a new library standard, has the potential to serve as a basis for the international exchange of bibliographic metadata across global networks. RDA’s content has been developed in a collaborative process led by the international Joint Steering Committee (JSC). The project is overseen by the Committee of Principals representing the American Library Association (ALA), Canadian Library Association (CLA), Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP, UK), Library of Congress (US), Library and Archives Canada, British Library, and National Library of Australia. RDA Toolkit is co-published by the ALA, CLA, and CILIP—through its imprint Facet Publishing.

In Germany the German National Library advised the JSC in the initial development of RDA and has recently accepted an invitation to permanently join the JSC so they may participate in the ongoing development of RDA. The German National Library has taken a leading role in producing a German version of RDA. Major international libraries and library associations in the USA, Canada, Australia and Great Britain have been pushing for the introduction of RDA, which is expected to be recognised internationally as the successor of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2) and meet the demands for a much more tightly networked information landscape.

“By publishing these standards, De Gruyter is making a major contribution towards the desired internationalisation of German libraries”, said Dr Alice Keller, Editorial Director of Library Reference & History at De Gruyter. “Thanks to our long-standing cooperation with national libraries and library associations worldwide, De Gruyter Saur is one of the leading publishers for global library standards, which is why this work fits in extremely well with our programme.”

The German Standards Committee decided to internationalise German standards back in late 2004, including switching over to MARC 21 and actively participating in developing RDA’s genesis process. The German National Library is currently working on a German translation for German-speaking countries. The decision to implement RDA in the USA has been recommended for 2013.