The RDA Element Set collects relevant information based on cataloging workflow in one place, for ease of use, and offers the full text of selected RDA instructions and examples organized by FRBR and FRAD entity and then alphabetically by RDA element, including sub-elements, element definitions, and related RDA-defined vocabularies. RDA elements are the data elements described by RDA instructions and encoded in formats such as MARC, Dublin Core, and others. Online, the RDA Element Set also offers links to current and evolving encoding standards documentation (currently MARC 21, with others planned over time) and to applicable national library policy statements (currently LCPS, with others planned over time). The RDA Element Set is available both on the Tools tab in the online RDA Toolkit and in print, organized in two parts (in print, sold as a single package). Part 1, Attributes, describes the characteristics of the FRBR and FRAD entities, such as ISBN, ISSN, publisher, date of publications, scale, or type of score.
Part 2, Relationships, includes data elements that describe the relationships among the FR entities, such as created by, composed by, or subject of, and the index to the entire Element Set. The Element Set is offered in print as an offline access point for the single and partial cataloger institutions to evaluate RDA, as well as to support training and classroom use in any size institution. The RDA Toolkit includes printable PDFs, but the snapshot-in-time print version offers a convenient, time-saving option. Designed for the digital world and an expanding universe of metadata users, RDA: Resource Description and Access is the new, unified cataloging standard-an evolution of the cataloging principles from AACR2, with rules carried over or adapted to the RDA model.
Benefits of RDA include: a structure based on the conceptual models of FRBR (functional requirements for bibliographic data) and FRAD (functional requirements for authority data) to help catalog users find the information they need more easily; a flexible framework for content description of digital resources that also serves the needs of libraries organizing traditional resources; a better fit with emerging database technologies, enabling institutions to introduce efficiencies in data capture and storage retrieval. The online RDA Toolkit provides a one-stop resource for evaluating and implementing RDA, and is the most effective way to interact with RDA. It includes searchable and browseable RDA instructions; two views of RDA content, by table of contents and by RDA element; user-created and sharable workflows and mappings-tools to customize RDA to support your organization's training, internal processes, and local policies; Library of Congress Policy Statements (LCPS) and links to other relevant cataloging resources; and the full text of AACR2 with links to RDA.