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The first Thing-athon took place on 7 Jan 2016 at Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


  • December 15, 2015 - 1:00-3:00 PM (EST): RIMMF training webinar.


  • 09:30 Registration
  • 10:00 Introductions, Outline of the Day, and Setup
  • 10:15 Brief review of RIMMF functionality
  • 10:45 Thing-athon: RIMMF those strings and things!
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 RDA and linked data: short presentations and discussion on selected issues
  • 15:00 Discussion on issues for RDA, RIMMF, and linked data
    • What issues arose during the Thing-athon? What strengths and weaknesses of RDA were revealed? How does this fit with linked data initiatives such as BibFrame and Dublin Core? An opportunity for informal discussion with members of the RDA Steering Committee, developers of RIMMF, and linked data experts.
  • 16:00 End

Special topics

Each of the following topics will be the focus of one or more collaborative teams/tables during the RIMMFing session on the day. Each team will contain 4-6 members and have an expert leader, and/or access to a roving expert coach. RIMMF may be used to illustrate the issues discussed. Teams and individuals may focus on specific examples within the topics.

New to RDA and RIMMF?

  • Digitization. A focus on how RDA relates metadata for digitized resources to the metadata for original resources, and how RIMMF can be used to improve the quality of MARC 21 records during digitization projects.
  • Digitizing a printed resource creates at least one new Manifestation of the same Expression; in fact, each online format is a separate Manifestation requiring different software and hardware.
    • Find a digitized resource online and use RIMMF to find and import a MARC record for the original resource.
    • Make the FRBRized data compliant with RDA using the online source of information.
    • Clone the data for the original resource for each digitized manifestation, adjust as necessary, and link the resources.
    • Export the RDA/RIMMF data for each manifestation as MARC records, and compare the results with the imported MARC record.
  • Undergraduate editions. A focus on issues of multiple editions that have little or no change in content, vs. significant changes in content, and how RDA accommodates the different scenarios.
  • FRBR and RDA are based on a separation of content data from carrier data. If the content changes, a new Expression is required; if the carrier changes, a new Manifestation is required. Undergraduate textbooks, covering STEM subjects for instance, are often published with new editions statements; when this happens, the carrier identification data for a textbook will have changed, but that does not necessarily mean that the content of the new publication has actually changed.
    • Use RIMMF to find and import MARC records or create native RDA data for examples of different publications of the same undergraduate work.
    • Provide the identifying data for the different publications.
    • If content in the new publication has changed, provide new content data as new Expression data.
    • Create relationship links between the data for the various editions.
  • Music scores. A focus on how RDA handles unpublished music scores, using digital reproductions of resources held in the New England Conservatory Repository > Music Manuscripts as examples.
    • Find a digitized resource in the repository.
    • Use RIMMF to find and import a MARC record for the original resource from the NEC catalog, or create native RDA data for it from scratch.
    • Clone the data for the original resource for the digitized manifestation, adjust as necessary, and link the resources.
  • Towards the end of the rimmfing session, you will be given the opportunity to either continue on your own, or work together with your team leader and others in your group on a complex work with many expressions.

Interested in RDA and linked data for academic, research, and special collections?

Contribute to the development of RDA in group discussion on topics faced by institutional repositories and other types of special collection, using RIMMF and real RDA data to illustrate the issues and explore ways to resolve them.

  • Strings vs things. A focus on replacing strings in metadata with URIs for things. Higher education and research library data tend to store human-readable labels rather than machine-readable identifiers. If the labels for names and titles do not use linked authority control, relating the underlying things must rely on matching strings, whether they are transcribed or recorded as access points.
  • The RSC is developing RDA’s "four-fold path" for relationship data in light of RDF linked data and the forthcoming consolidated FRBR model.
    • Discuss the differences between structured and unstructured data, transcribed and recorded data, and linked data, and their impact on cataloging and retrieval services.
  • Institutional repositories, archives and scholarly communication. A focus on issues in relating and linking data in institutional repositories and archives with library catalogs. Institutional repositories and archives hold a wide range of resources associated with teaching and research. Many of the repository resources are often intrinsically related, such as conference presentations, pre-prints, and final published papers, as is recognized in the Scholarly Works Application Profile, based on the same FRBR model as RDA. The resource creators also have complex relationships with each other and with academic departments, institutions, and research groups.
  • The RSC wishes to develop RDA to meet the needs of institutional repositories and archives.
    • Discuss the element and vocabulary refinements and extensions for RDA that will support the use of application profiles for academic communication, including relationship designators for agents involved in the process of research collaboration and publication, and categorization of scholarly resources.
  • Rare materials and RDA. A continuing discussion on the development of RDA and DCRM2 begun at the JSC meeting and the international seminar on RDA and rare materials held in November 2015.
  • The RSC has prioritized the development of RDA to meet the needs of special collection, archive, and museum communities for rare and unpublished resources.
    • Contribute to the discussions ongoing from the recent JSC meeting and the subsequent RLS-athon on RDA’s treatment of rare materials, including accommodation and guidance for transcription data, differentiation of Item and Manifestation, etc.

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