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RDA Translations Policy and Working Group

A new policy for translations of RDA has been published on the JSC website as 6JSC/Policy/6 (Translation Policy for RDA and RDA Toolkit). The policy will support the strategy for developing RDA for international communities outlined in the recent announcement by the Committee of Principals. The policy will be applied by the Co-Publishers of RDA to existing and new translations.

The policy covers full and partial translations of RDA. It sets out requirements for translators, and outlines the options for publishing translations in RDA Toolkit, in printed manifestations, and in the RDA Registry.

Translations of "RDA Reference", a subset of RDA that includes all RDA Elements, their definitions and any related scope notes, and all value vocabulary terms and definitions, will be made freely available in the RDA Registry. The Registry already includes French, German, and Spanish translations of the RDA value vocabularies. The RDA Development Team is developing a Registry vocabulary import and export facility to make it easier for translations to be added and maintained. The policy requires all translations of RDA to include RDA Reference, so the number of translations of RDA Reference is expected to grow rapidly and exceed the number of full translations of RDA Toolkit. The RDA Registry provides machine-readable linked data that allows applications to switch between languages with ease.

Translations that only cover RDA Reference do not require payment of any licensing fee, and greatly reduce the development and maintenance requirements while still meeting the needs of users for element labels and controlled vocabulary terms in their own language.

The terms of reference for a JSC Translations Working Group have also been published on the JSC website as 6JSC/Chair/23 (Terms of reference for the JSC Translations Working Group). The new group is charged to support and advise the JSC in the development of RDA for non-Anglophone communities, and forms part of the RDA translations policy.

The Translations Working Group is one of the standing working groups accommodated in the new governance structure for RDA and is expected to have a long-term existence with a representative membership and general set of tasks. For more information, see the presentation on Engaging with RDA: governance and strategy, given to the RDA Forum at ALA Annual 2015.

Date posted: 22 September 2015