RDA Toolkit and MLA Best Practices update

The February 9, 2016 release of the RDA Toolkit included a variety of revisions to MLA’s Best Practices and the supplements.

 BP 1.7.5 now includes recommendations related to typographical devices used as separators (as in Colchester · Essex · England) and symbols that cannot be reproduced (such as the four symbols that form the title of Led Zeppelin’s otherwise untitled fourth album).

 BP now includes guidance applicable to scores bearing a stated voice range.

 BP now includes guidance for how to treat a phrase that introduces a medium of performance (as in “with an accompaniment for a violin”).

 BP now includes an example of an audio recording bearing a statement of responsibility for the performer and a separate statement of responsibility for the composers.

 BP 2.8.4 now includes guidance on when to treat a trade name as a series title instead of a label name.

 BP 2.15 now includes an example of a two-disc audio recording with consecutive numbers encoded in two separate 028 fields and an example of a two-disc audio recording that also has a truncated set number encoded in its own 028 field. AACR2 practitioners will recall that previous practice was to ignore a truncated set number (such as NI 5885/6) and only record the individual numbers (NI 5885 and NI 5886). Now all three numbers should be recorded in separate 028 fields utilizing $q.

 BP 3.16.4 and BP 3.19.3 and the supplements now clarify through examples that $2 rda should only be used in 3XX fields whose terms conform to vocabularies within RDA.

 In other chapter 3 news, the supplements now consistently show that the playing speed of a Blu-ray audio disc should be coded as “z” in 007/03. In the table of values and encodings for audio carriers, brackets have been removed for all terms. Most are now found in RDA, and the two that are not found in RDA (“Blu-ray audio” and “PVC”) are supplied without brackets and without $2 rda. Values and encodings have been added for streaming audio.

 BP 7.20 now contains guidance on encoding format of music (in 008/20 and 006/03) and music parts (in 008/21 and 006/04) as well as guidance applicable to a composer’s sketches. This BP now recommends utilizing the relatively new MARC field 348 to encode format of notated music once it has been approved for use in OCLC. Score catalogers should incorporate this into their workflow, taking advantage of constant data records and macros. While this will necessitate added effort on the part of score catalogers, implementation of the 348 field will make format of notated music immediately machine-actionable. This is a separate data element from the solely human-readable text strings recorded to satisfy the extent of notated music element in RDA 3.4.3, which itself is expected to be overhauled in the coming years. Stay tuned.

 BP now includes examples of different qualifiers used in the authorized access points for musical groups with the same name.

 Typos and other minor errors were corrected in both the BPs themselves (accessible only via the RDA Toolkit) and in the supplements (accessible via the MLA CMC website).

 Thanks to all who were involved in this effort.

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