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"Has FRBR Revolutionised Our Catalogues? A Comparative Analysis of AACR2 and RDA-Formatted Records to the FRBR Model." A. Stein. D. Pennington. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2019. Download PDF (BibTeX) ILS

FRBR was published over twenty years ago and critical voices have been raised ever since that question the conceptual model and the benefits that it brings to the cataloguing community and the users of the catalogues. The conceptual model revolutionised the perception of the bibliographic universe as it was known until then by dividing it into entities, attributes and relationships placing the user in the centre of its design. FRBR was believed to better respond to the fast-changing digital environment, and most importantly, to the users and their needs. Although no extensive user studies were conducted, the model was soon adopted as the starting point for a new cataloguing standard.

Many questions regarding FRBR, RDA and the user-centred approach still need to be investigated. Tosaka and Park (2013, p.655), for instance, observed that the user was the least studied component of RDA. The aim of this dissertation was to find out to what extent the RDA-formatted catalogue was FRBRised, to what extent the underlying FRBR structure became apparent when the RDA-formatted catalogue records were compared to their AACR2-formatted counterparts, and to what extent these findings would have an impact on the four user tasks defined by FRBR.

A comparative analysis of AACR2 and RDA-formatted records to the FRBR model was conducted in order to highlight similarities and differences between the records, and to investigate to what extent these resulted from, were in line with or contradicted the FRBR model. The analysis revealed that the AACR2 and RDA-formatted records did not significantly differ from one another. Most of the records were catalogued on core level, which means that they included many elements that were relevant for users when searching the catalogues. RDA’s underlying FRBR structure became apparent in the way information was displayed in the NEBIS catalogue. For instance, related resources were identified and clustered in the catalogue’s list of search results. Those observations, however, did not suffice to speak of a revolution of the RDA-formatted catalogue triggered by FRBR.