Book review: RDA and serials cataloging

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Walker, Lizzy
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The transition to and implementation of RDA: Resource Description and Access have presented many challenges to those involved with serials and continuing resources cataloging. (1) In RDA and Serials Cataloging, Ed Jones helps reaffirm that the transition does not need to be problematic. He explains the differences between AACR2 and RDA, and also covers what some available training materials overlook: the similarities between the two cataloging standards. (2)

Jones clearly defines parameters for the use of this book, which is intended for use as a reference book. He provides answers to questions succinctly within one section, rather than make the reader jump throughout the book. Additionally, he describes formatting instructions for ISBD and MARC 21, which are easier to read and access than in the RDA Toolkit. This book is "designed to be used by serials catalogers who are new to RDA and by monograph catalogers who are new to both serials cataloging and RDA" (vii). Jones also assumes that the person reading it already has a grasp of AACR2 and MARC 21.

The bulk of the book is devoted to providing general instructions for RDA and MARC 21, attributes of resources, relationships between resources, identifying works and expressions, identifying related entities, special institutions relating to online serials, and special instructions relating to ongoing integrating resources. Jones discusses general instructions relating to serials cataloging using RDA and MARC 21, such as defining essential terminology, describing transcription, and determining when major and minor changes need to be made in the title proper. He also discusses at length the attributes of resources and the differences between AACR2 and RDA, relationships between resources, identifying works and expressions, identifying related entities, online serials and CONSER provider-neutral records, and ongoing integrated resources. Another benefit to this book is that Jones breaks down chapter-and-verse differences between RDA and AACR2 as they pertain to serials cataloging. He also notes when there are no differences between the codes. Jones does this in such a way that each point is easily understandable, a strong suit of the book generally. This straightforward approach helps readers identify information quickly without having to sift through extraneous language.

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Walker, Lizzy. 2014. Book review: RDA and Serials Cataloging. By Ed Jones. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2013. 215 p.
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