FROM: The US RDA Test Coordinating Committee

The US RDA Test Coordinating Committee wishes to clarify the role of OCLC in the US RDA test, and to provide information and communication pathways to those who are not test participants.

OCLC is playing a critical role in the US RDA test. They have enabled the testers to create non-distributed institutional records for the common sets of test records and have worked closely with the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) to develop interim procedures and policies to minimize the impact of this test on OCLC users.

OCLC has tens of thousands of members around the world, some of whom may have implemented RDA immediately when it was released.  Duplicate records are a concern for many OCLC members, and creating parallel AACR2 and RDA records for the same title would only exacerbate the problem of duplicate records and would be likely to be merged by OCLC’s Duplicate Detection and Resolution (DDR) software.  Therefore, with the exception of some serial and integrating resource records, OCLC’s interim policy during the testing period is that neither test participants nor other OCLC members should to convert OCLC master records from AACR2 to RDA or vice versa. 

Likewise, in the authority file, OCLC and PCC policy is that no duplicate authority records will be created.  See for more information.  Existing authority records (based on AACR2 or earlier rules) may be temporarily augmented with a 7XX for the corresponding RDA form of the authorized access point, and new RDA authority records may be created.  After the implementation decision, authority records with 7XX field will be updated as needed. 

Institutions may need to adjust local procedures to account for RDA bibliographic and authority records your staff may encounter during the testing period.

An online survey to provide information to the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee from informal testers and others is available at:

RDA records created may be submitted to the Library of Congress.  Contact Dave Reser (

Questions or comments about the US RDA test may be sent to the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee via Susan Morris at the Library of Congress (

Questions or comments about the content of RDA may be emailed to

Questions about the RDA Toolkit may be directed to ALA Editions at

Additional information about the US RDA test is available at the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee’s website: 

A FAQ and further explanation of the test process is available here:

Tina Shrader

Cataloging Section Head and CONSER Coordinator

Bibliographic Services Branch

National Agricultural Library, Room 112

10301 Baltimore Ave.

Beltsville, MD 20705

Phone: 301-504-5040