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 'things' in RIMMF might have different meanings elsewhere. So here are some brief explanations of our meanings for some commonly used terms that are found in the RIMMF User Guide and RIMMF itself. Note that the list below is in no particular order, for some unknown reason.

Authorized Access Point (AAP)

Although there are quite a lot of pages in the RDA Toolkit that talk about 'authorized access points', there are no elements defined for them in the official RDA Registry (yet). 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 labeled 'Composite Key', instead, 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 the RIMMF Identifier appear in pairs: the former is filled in by the cataloger, and the latter is created by the program and cannot 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 'Learn about: Links between records' page for more information.


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 Learn about: Autofills in RIMMF page for more details.


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 the Element Options column (to the left of the Element Label, accessible via a <right-click>), an Element Label (which describes the content, e.g., “Publisher's Name”), and a Text value (the data itself, e.g., “HarperCollins Publishers”):

To find out more about elements, see Learn about: Element Properties and the RIMMF Element Editor

Element Options Column

Just in case you have trouble using the many Function keys that RIMMF offers, we have added the most commonly needed functions (e.g., Copy, Insert, Delete) to the box at the extreme left of each Element Label in a record or template.

Right-click on that box to bring up the functions that are available for the particular element.

(At one point we were calling this column of boxes, the 'Indicator column'


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


A label is user-friendly text that identifies an element in a RIMMF display (instead of showing the real identifier, which is numeric or alphanumeric). For example, in a Person template or record display for the date of birth element:

  • the RDA Toolkit name is: Date of Birth
  • the RDA Registry name is: dateOfBirth
  • the RDA Registry label is: has date of birth
  • the RIMMF label 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 for a given entity. In RIMMF3, element sets are provided in Templates (for which, see above).

RIMMF 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 “RIMMF Elements”. These elements and captions add to the functionality needed for an implementation of RDA.

In the current version, all RIMMF Elements are indicated visually by a trailing dagger, e.g.,

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 list of terms on a common topic. In RIMMF, vocabularies are not elements themselves, but are linked to elements (via the Vocabulary ID). When data for an element which is linked to a vocabulary is being added or 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 FRBR entities are supported by RIMMF: Work, Expression, Manifestation, Item (WEMI); Person, Family, Corporate Body (PFC); Concept, Object, Event, and Place (COEP). COEP entities are still under evaluation by RDA, and so are not available for use in RIMMF at this time.

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), e.g., the primary record identifier, and all other relationship links in the clone record to other records.


In the RIMMF record display, level describes the amount of indent or branching of an element in relation to its parent element and/or sub-elements, as applicable.


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

RIMMF Identifier

The RIMMF Identifier is a RIMMF element, which, along with the Authorized Access Point (another RIMMF 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 (over 50) discrete occurrences of RIMMF Identifiers as elements in the various element sets (templates), each with its own underlying unique numeric ID; but, the label name displayed to the user will always be, simply, “RIMMF Identifier”

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