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Alma Resource Management

Working with the Metadata Editor in the Institution and Network Zones. Includes indication and normalization rules.

Rules Overview

Rules are used in Alma to identify, modify, or combine bibliographic and holdings records. Users can use rules on individual records, sets of records, and Import profiles.

Use Cases:

  1. To identify bib records for:
    • Correcting content
    • Weeding
  2. To correct content in a bib or holdings record
    • Add content
    • Edit/Replace content
    • Delete content
  3. To merge and combine inventory when multiple bib records exist in the repository
  4. To identify the cataloging level of a bib record

There are several types of rules that are supported in Alma. The following types of rules are used in SUNY:

  1. Indication rules:
    • Filter a set of records based on criteria in the indication rule
    • Do not modify data
    • Can be applied individually in the MD Editor or on a set of records using a filter
    • XML indication rules are used for Dublin Core
  2. Normalization (norm) rules:
    • Modify data based on the criteria in the norm rule
    • Can be applied to bib and holdings records
    • Can be applied individually in the MD Editor or on a set of records using a normalization process
  3. Merge rules:
    • Define how to merge two matching MARC21 bib records (035 $a) based on criteria in the merge rule
    • Impacts the primary record only, by adding or removing information and deletes the secondary record
  4. Brief level rules:
    • Determine the brief level of a bib record based on the brief level rule
    • Up to 10 brief levels can be defined (01-10)
    • SUNY has defined brief levels based on OCLC's LDR position 17 for NZ records and NZ linked records
      • MSP-42: Brief Levels Rules are applied from the Network Zone

Roles Required for Rules

One of the following roles is required to created rules:

  • Cataloger
  • Catalog Manager
  • Catalog Administrator


The following role is required to create a normalization process for normalization rules:

  • Catalog Administrator

SUNY Rules and Naming Convention

IMPORTANT!!! - SUNY rules have been created by SUNY Library Services for specific purposes and they should not be edited or deleted as they could have an impact on SUNY-wide import processes. DO NOT edit or delete rules beginning with "SUNY." If you want to edit the rule for your own use, copy it and edit it locally.

Examples of SUNY rules:

  • SUNY OCLC Import Normalization Rule
  • SUNY - Remove SUNY 3 digit in 035

Placement of New Rules

It is very important to make sure the placement of rules is set to the correct Zone when creating them in the MD Editor.

  • The "Placement of new rules" initially defaults to the Network Zone (NZ), and rules created in the NZ can't be used as a normalization process at the institution level.
  • Normalization rules need to be created as local in order to be applied to a set of records.
  • The Zone will default to the last Zone used to create the new records, new templates, and new rules.

To configure the placement of new rules to local (institution):

  1. Open the MD Editor
  2. Click on the Records tab
    • NOTE: Placement options are only available from the "New" menu when the Records tab is selected
  3. Click New>Placement Options
  4. Click on the radio button next to "Local" under the "Placement of new rules"
  5. Click Save

Placement of New Rules Configured to Local

Navigating Rules in the MD Editor

Navigating Rules Functionality in the MD Editor


  • Click the Rules tab to access the Rules area
  • Click on the desired Rules type to display the folders/rules that are available in the records list
  • SUNY Rule types:
    • Normalization
    • Merge
    • Indication
    • Brief level
    • Authority headings
    • Normalization DC
    • Normalization XML
  • Use the Filter list to finetune your rule search
  • Use the Search list box to search for a rule

Rules Search with an Unexpanded Folder

Rules Search with Folder Expanded

  • Left-click to open the rule in the main pane of the MD Editor
  • Right-click for the following options:
    • User Created Rules (blue house and network icons): Edit, Duplicate, Contribute to Community, Properties, Delete
    • "Out of the box" (grey house and network icons): Duplicate, Contribute to Community, Properties
    • Community (people icon): View, Duplicate, Properties
  • Use the Editor split mode if you need to open another editing pane to test a rule
  • Main Menu Editing pane is used to:
    • View rules
    • Create rules
    • Edit rules. DO NOT edit rules created by other users in your institution or SUNY
    • Test rules
    • Apply rules on individual records