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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cataloging Services

Acquisitions & Cataloging Services

RDA Local Policies

UIUC Library began implementing RDA cataloging standards on February 4, 2013. We continue to comply with the current policy of conformity to LC-PCC policy statements (available via the RDA Toolkit), PCC guidelines, the OCLC RDA policy statement and CARLI recommendations. For serials, foreign language materials, electronic resources, music, rare books and other special materials, follow the cataloging policy from the corresponding cataloging organizations.

  1. LC RDA core elements
  2. Duplicate records
  3. Hybrid records
  4. Relationship designators (1xx and 7xx ‡e or ‡j)
  5. Name authority records (1xx and 7xx)
  6. Statement of responsibility (245 ‡c)
  7. GMD (General material designation, 245 ‡h)
  8. Edition statement punctuation (250)
  9. Publishing date and copyright date
  10. Dimensions for serials (300 ‡c)
  11. Content type, Media type, Carrier type (336, 337, 338)
  12. Compilations by more than one creator
  13. Other fields
  14. Different formats

For any questions about cataloging rules or local practice, contact the ACS RDA Task Force.

For additional RDA resources, see the RDA Resources page.

LC RDA core elements

Follow LC RDA Core elements

Duplicate records

Under OCLC policy, records can still be created using AACR2. OCLC also still allows parallel records for different languages of cataloging. However, only ONE bibliographic record per language is allowed for each manifestation of a title regardless of the different descriptive rules. If AACR2 and RDA records in the same language are found, apply “Best Record” rules. Use criteria such as which record has the highest level of authentication (i.e., lc or pcc), which record has the most holdings or contains the most information. If both AACR2 and RDA records meet none of the above criteria, select the record input first.

Hybrid records

Hybrid records refer to those bibliographic records which have RDA elements added to non-RDA records. According to PCC Guidelines on Hybrid Bibliographic Records, hybrid records should not be created in the following situations:

  • The pre-RDA record already fulfills user tasks and accurately describes the resource.
  • The cataloger does not have access to the resource or an acceptable surrogate

 Do not change a record to conform to different rules unless you have an item at hand and the record is a minimal level record (encoding level is “K”)

Relationship designators

Relationship designators are required locally although not included in LC RDA Core elements. We use relator terms ($e or $j) but not relator codes ($4).

See the RDA Toolkit. According to the PCC Relationship Designator Guidelines, “It is recommended that PCC catalogers use relationship designators from the RDA appendices unless they are cataloging according to specialist community guidelines that prescribe an alternative source vocabulary.” Check RDA Appendix I that reflects the person’s, family’s or corporate body’s relationship to resources. Check the definition for each term before using it. If you cannot find terms in RDA Appendix I, check the MARC Code List for Relators. If the RDA term is different than the MARC term, prefer the RDA term. If needed terms or codes are lacking, provide the term which is sufficient.

“If you cannot ascertain a more specific relationship, assign the element term, e.g., Creator or Publisher. If the nature of the relationship cannot be ascertained even at a general level, do not assign a relationship designator” (PCC Relationship Designator guidelines). If the term is sufficient, do not use a relationship designator to indicate the specific nature of the relationship. The relationship designator subfield is repeatable.

You may also consult the list of reconciled MARC and RDA relators.

Name authority records

Catalogers creating RDA bibliographic records should use authorized forms of names and titles established in existing AACR2R and RDA authority records, with preference given to RDA authority records. 

If no AACR2R or RDA authority record exists, catalogers without access to create authority records should establish the headings following RDA standards and process the book. After the book is processed, print out the bibliographic record and attach copies of title page, cover page, barcode and any related information, and place them on the NACO shelf located in ACS.

Statement of responsibility

There is no limit on number of persons, families, corporate bodies included. It is not needed to justify the authorized access point for every listed creator. The choice is based on cataloger’s judgment. The first-named or principle creator is always required. If only the first-named entity is given, a summary is included to explain the omission (e.g. [and twelve others]).

GMD (General material designation)

DO NOT add the GMD to RDA catalog records. A chart for mapping GMD to MARC values is available at

Contact ACS for additional information.

Edition Statement Punctuation

Transcribe edition statement in 250. If edition statement ends in abbreviation that includes a period (such as “ed.”), do NOT add an additional period at the end of the field.

Publishing date and copyright date

Though LC-PCC suggests recording publishing date only when publishing date and copyright date are the same, we do not follow the LC suggestion.  Record both publishing date and copyright date in the fixed fields and 264 fields even when they are the same. If publishing date can be inferred from copyright date, record the publishing date in square brackets, and code Type of date 008/06 as “t” (see OCLC #811020012).

Dimensions for serials

For serials, we treat dimensions as required even though it is optional according to the CONSER RDA standard.

Content type, Media type, Carrier type

Though LC does not use $b (code) in the fields, we follow OCLC’s RDA policy and require use of $b in all three fields. Copy catalogers accept what exists in the record. Original catalogers provide both code and term in subfield $b and subfield $2. You can find terms in RDA section 6.9 (Content type), section (Media type) or section (Carrier type) in the RDA Toolkit. However we recommend using the LC list because it provides both terms and codes. For accompanying material, 336, 337 and 338 are repeatable.

Compilations by more than one creator

If there is a collective title, identify the compilation by its preferred title (RDA In other words, the title is the main entry and the creators are analytical entries in 700 fields. Give one MARC 7XX analytical authorized access point for the predominant or first work when it represents a substantial part of the resource; use cataloger judgment if additional 7XX fields are given for other works. Also 505 content notes are required for each title.

If no collective title is available, do not devise a title to use as a preferred title in the MARC 130 field to identify the compilation. Record each title in the 245 field and DON’T give 505 content notes.  If a preferred title is needed later (e.g., for a translation of the compilation), see the LC-PCC PS Alternative at RDA

Other fields

Follow standards even if some MARC fields do not display in Alma Discovery Interface. For example, when using RDA rules, 264 field(s) should be used to record publication information rather than the 260 field. Also, when recording the source of the description, the 588 field should be used instead of a more general 500 note.

Different formats

For RDA cataloging examples of materials in different formats, refer to the RDA examples in the RDA Toolkit.