RIMMF Terminology

Documentation conventions

In this user guide, special keys on the keyboard are given in angle brackets:

<Ctrl> means Ctrl key
<Alt> means Alt key
<Ctrl>+key means hold down the Ctrl key, then press 'key'
<Ctrl><Alt>+key means hold down both Ctrl and Alt, then press 'key'

For example, <Ctrl><Alt>+H is our keyboard shortcut for 'Go Home': find the main RIMMF form and bring it to the top of the desktop–useful when you have opened a lot of records, etc.

The pipe character '|' is used when describing menu options.

For example, 'File|Open a Record' means to open the 'File' menu and select the 'Open a Record' item.


Some of the terms we use to describe the 'things' in RIMMF will be used elsewhere with different meanings. By using these terms we are not casting a vote against any movements to develop a new vocabulary to describe our workings with data. But we had to work with what we knew and not with what might exist in a future library. In addition, as providers of training for catalogers, we have perhaps erred on the side of the familiar, in an attempt to make RIMMF more accessible to those of us still immersed in MARC.


An element is the basic piece of data in a RIMMF record, similar to a field in a MARC record. In the typical presentation of a RIMMF record, an element consists of an Element Label (which describes the content, eg., “Place of Publication”), and a Text value (the data itself, eg. “London, England”).

There are many other components in a RIMMF Element, as may be seen by a visit to the Element Editor:

  • Element Source: answers the question 'who created this element?'
  • Element Name: our unique name for the element
  • RIMMF ID: our unique ID (numeric) for the element
  • Element Label: what the program displays when viewing a RIMMF record
  • Element Type: a code that answers the question 'is this element an attribute or a relationship?'
  • Entity: the FRBR Entity to which the element 'belongs'
  • SubPropertyOf: the RIMMF Id of an element's 'parent'
  • RDA Rule: a link to the RDA Toolkit documentation for the element
  • Vocabulary ID: the RIMMF ID of a vocabulary to which the element is linked (or 0)
  • Data Entry Instruction: links to brief help on how to record data for an element
  • RDA-Core, RDA-R, LCPS-Core, TMQ-Core: more brief help snippets for catalogers
  • Marc2Rda/B, Marc2Rda/A, Rda2Marc/B, Rda2Marc/A, MapAsAAP: customizable attributes used in mapping to and from MARC
  • Uri: link to rdvocab.info (registry) data about the element

Most of the data above is fairly constant and table-driven.

When a record is saved in RIMMF, typically only the RIMMF ID, Element Name, and Text value, and perhaps a few flags that signal special processing instructions, are output. When a record is loaded, we use the Element Name to process occurrence information for the element within the record, and the RIMMF ID to retrieve all other information about the element from the RDBMS.


A caption is similar to an Element in RIMMF except that it may not contain a Text value; its primary purpose is organizational: to group related elements into a collapsible/expandable block.


A label is the user-friendly text that identifies an element in a RIMMF display. For example, the RIMMF label for the element named dateOfBirthAssociatedWithAPerson (http://rdvocab.info/ElementsGr2/dateOfBirth) is:
Date of Birth


A record is a collection of data elements for a single entity.


A template is a collection of elements and captions. The default template for an Entity in RIMMF is similar to an element set for that entity.

Elements in templates do not contain Text values (unless they are 'constant data').

The purpose of the template is to select and arrange elements and captions in such a way as to enhance the efficiency with which records are created. For example, one may design different templates to streamline different cataloging tasks.

In RIMMF, all records are created from templates.

Element Set

An element set is the list of all RDA elements defined in for a given entity. In RIMMF2, element sets have become conceptual, as their purpose is fully encompassed by Templates (for which, see above).

TMQ Elements

We have added a number elements and captions to RIMMF, not explicitly defined in the Toolkit, to which we loosely refer to as the “TMQ Elements”. These elements and captions add the functionality needed (in our opinion) for an implementation of RDA.

In the current version, all TMQ Elements are indicated visually by a trailing dagger, eg.

Authorized Access Point †

Term (Vocabulary)

A term is an item in a vocabulary. A term may consist of anything from a short alphanumeric code to a phrase.


A vocabulary is a collection of terms on a common topic. In RIMMF, vocabularies are not considered elements, but are linked to elements (via the Vocabulary ID). When an element which is linked to a vocabulary is being edited in RIMMF, all of the terms that belong to that vocabulary are available in the Text column as a dynamic list.


A FRBR Entity. All eleven FRBR entities are supported by RIMMF: Work, Expression, Manifestation, Item; Person, Family, CorporateBody; Concept, Object, Event, and Place.

Entity Index

In RIMMF, the entity index is a table that lists all of the records that are located in the user's data folder. This index is the primary interface between the cataloger and his or her data.

Record Prefix

When a record is created in RIMMF, it is assigned a sequential ID. To further differentiate this ID, if available, a record prefix is pre-pended to it. Each user is prompted to set up such a prefix the first time the program starts.

A prefix may be as long as seems practical; it may contain any number or letter, but it must not contain blank spaces or the following symbols: & \ / : ? * ' “ < > |

Thus a prefix may be: an OCLC code; a MARC Organization code; an internet domain; an email address; and so on; e.g.: qpq-b4 = TMQ's OCLC code (qpq) hyphen name of computer (b4)

Assigning prefix is very important because without one, sharing records between computers (even from a laptop to a desktop) becomes problematic and risks overwriting records.

Clone (a record)

To copy a record for a resource so that another similar resource can be described without repeating all of the data entry. When a record is cloned, certain elements are stripped out (not copied): The primary record identifier, and all other identifier that link the record to other records.


In the RIMMF record display, level describes the amount of indent or branching of an element.


In the RIMMF record display, a cell is the box-like structure that contains a label, a text value, a link to the toolkit, etc.

RIMMF Identifier

The RIMMF Identifier is a TMQ element, which, along with the Authorized Access Point (another TMQ element), was added to the program in order to facilitate linking between records.

Conceptually, records typically contain two types of RIMMF Identifier–a single, primary Identifier, and zero or more related identifiers that provide links for a record's relationships.

The RIMMF Identifier is a number, sequential in nature, automatically generated by the program, that uniquely identifies a record in the user's installation. This identifier usually begins with a record prefix (for which, see above).

The RIMMF Identifier (and its element label) may look like this in a record:

RIMMF Identifier †             rf-desktop-00000234 

Every related RIMMF Identifier in a record is the primary RIMMF identifier of another record.

In our implementation there are many discrete (over 50) RIMMF Identifiers; however, to the user they will always appear as in the example above.

Authorized Access Point

Although there are quite alot of pages in the RDA Toolkit that talk about 'authorized access points', there are no elements defined for them in the ESV. We found that we had to create these elements in order to make RIMMF function correctly.

Like the RIMMF Identifier, each record also contains a primary 'Authorized Access Point', abbreviated as 'AAP' (note that in a Manifestation and an Item record this element is labelled 'Composite Key', aka 'CK').

The 'AAP'/'CK' functions as a 'heading' for a record–a human-readable representation of a record's content–whereas the RIMMF Identifier is similar to a 'system control number', i.e. it is an unique identifier.

In RIMMF, the AAP and RIMMF Identifierappear in pairs: the former is filled in by the cataloger, and the latter is created by the program and may not be edited.

However, when one record is 'linked' to another record (via a relationship), this 'pairing' of AAP and RIMMF Identifier changes in nature. See the 'links' section for more informaton.


To speed up data entry, RIMMF will autofill the data for certain specified elements, using data already provided in cells for other elements. Some autofills are hardcoded, others can be changed by the user. See the Autofills in RIMMF page for more details.

rimmf2/docconv.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/07 20:39 by
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