Filling in the blanks in RDA or remaining blank? The strange case of FRSAD

Alan Poulter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


This paper covers the significant developments in subject access in the FR (Functional Requirements) family of models, which underpin RDA (Resource Description and Access), the new cataloguing code intended to replace AACR2. It covers in detail the development of FRSAD (Functional Requirements of Subject Authority Data), which was published in 2009 and explains the differences between it and the earlier FR models.
Prior to FRSAD’s appearance Pino Buizza and Mauro Gerrini outlined a potential subject access model for FRBR (Buizza and Guerrini 2002). Tom Delsey, the author of RDA, also examined the problem of adding subject access (Delsey 2005). FRSAD itself seemed to generate little comment when it appeared, despite its subject model which departed from that in previous FR standards. FRSAD proposed a subject model based on ‘thema’ and ‘nomen’, whereby the former, defined as ‘any entity used as the subject of a work’, was represented by the latter, defined as ‘any sign or sequence of signs’.
Finally, it is suggested in this paper that the linguistic theory underlying the PRECIS Indexing System might provide an alternative model for developing entities in FRSAD.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Directions in Information Organization
EditorsJung-Ran Park, Lynne C. Howarth
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
ISBN (Print)978-1781905593
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Jul 2013

Publication series

NameLibrary and Information Science
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited


  • Resource Description and Access
  • AACR2
  • indexing system


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