If you are unfamiliar with RDA, I would suggest the D-Lib article, RDA Vocabularies: Process, Outcome, Use, by Diane Hillmann, Karen Coyle, Jon Phipps, and Gordon Dunsire, cited by the webinar announcement as a starting point.
The article concludes (in part, emphasis added):
But the benefit of using a modern and fully registered standard is not only to others — library reliance on data standards that require that all data be created by hand by highly trained individuals is clearly unsustainable. In a recent presentation to an audience at ALA Annual in Chicago, Jon Phipps demonstrated that continued library use of a standard only we understand has cut us off from reuse of data being built exponentially by entities such as DBpedia, which are clearly, for a host of reasons, choosing not to access and reuse library data [Phipps] [DBpedia]. Only by changing what we do in library environments can we hope to participate with other large users of data in building better descriptive data that we can then hope to reuse to improve our own services.
I don’t disagree with the assessment but am not altogether sure about the solution. That is to say that what constitutes the “common standard” varies from time to time. Cataloging in Latin would have been the most accessible once upon a time. And those records still exist.
As we chase another “standard,” what provision have we made not to cut ourselves (and users) off from prior information?
While we pursue exposing users to the equivalent of an coarsely edited annual Almanac of fact, surmise and rumor.
I don’t think you will find the answer with RDA.
Still, you may find the webinar informative (if a bit pricey).
From the post:
DATE: 16 November 2011
TIME: 1:00pm – 2:30pm EDT (17:00-19:30 UTC)
ABOUT THE WEBINAR
During a meeting at the British Library in May 2007 between the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA and DCMI, important recommendations were forged for the development of an element vocabulary, application profile, and value vocabularies , based on the Resource Description and Access (RDA) standard, then in final draft. A DCMI/RDA Task Group  has completed much of the work, and described their process and decisions in a recent issue of D-Lib Magazine . A final, pre-publication technical review of this work is underway, prior to adoption by early implementers.
This webinar will provide an up-to-the-minute update on the review process, as well as progress on the RDA-based application profiles. The webinar will discuss practical implementation issues raised by early implementers and summarize issues surfaced in virtual and face-to-face venues where the vocabularies and application profiles have been discussed.
Diane Hillmann is Vocabulary Management Officer for DCMI and a partner in the consulting firm Metadata Management Associates. She is co-chair (with Gordon Dunsire) of the DCMI/RDA Task Group and is the DCMI Liaison to the ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description and access, the US body providing feedback on RDA Development.
Thomas Baker, DCMI Chief Information Officer (Communications, Research and Development), was recently co-chair of the W3C Semantic Web Deployment Working Group and a W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data (report pending).
For registration and webinar technical information, see http://www.niso.org/news/events/2011/dcmi/rda. Registration closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on 16 November 2011.