Université Laval's Répertoire de vedettes-matière

Background

  • Since 1973, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has recognized Université Laval’s Répertoire de vedettes-matière (RVM) as the national French-language standard for subject indexing vocabulary in Canada. LAC uses RVM to provide subject access when cataloguing French publications.
  • RVM is based on the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and closely mirrors its evolution.
  • Université Laval is solely responsible for overseeing the activities related to the thesauri, and provides most of the funding for it. To partially offset the required investments, Université Laval charges a fee for its use. Until recently, LAC has paid Bibliothèque de l’Université Laval $100,000 annually to use RVM.
  • In collaboration with the Bibliothèque de l’Université Laval and BAnQ, LAC created a steering committee representative of key stakeholders (national libraries, Quebec University, college, public and government libraries) in the fall of 2018.
  • This committee was mandated to change the RVM’s business model, governance and funding sources so that RVM can be made freely available and used in the context of the Semantic Web and Linked Open Data by 2021.
  • In January 2019, LAC signed a four-year MOU with the Bibliothèque de l’Université Laval to support the completion of this work by March 24, 2021.

Considerations

  • The current fee charged by Bibliothèque de l’Université Laval hinders the use and development of the vocabularies and their interoperability with other open online vocabularies, in a world where more and more such tools are available free of charge to users.
  • This limitation is becoming increasingly restrictive in the environment of the Semantic Web and Linked Open Data.

Key Public Messages

  • LAC is working collaboratively with the Bibliothèque de l’Université Laval and BAnQ, as well as key stakeholders, to develop a new business, governance and funding model so that RVM can be made freely available as Linked Open Data.

SME:

Diane Beattie, Senior Strategic Advisor
Email: diane.beattie@canada.ca
Tel: 613-868-4351

Date modified: