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Alma Resource Management

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

Matching and Merging Overview

Duplicate bib records may exist in Alma due to the following:

  • They came into Alma during migration
  • A brief bib may have been created for ordering and a record now exists in the NZ
  • Records were accidentally exported multiple times to the NZ


  • The OCLC number in MARC field 035 $$a is the match point.
    • IZ and NZ Non_Serial_match_profile: com.exlibris.repository.mms.match.OCLCMatchProfile
    • IZ and NZ Serial_match_profile: com.exlibris.repository.mms.match.OCLCSerialMatchProfile
  • There should be only one instance of a title bib for each OCLC number in any zone, except for in cases where the CZ uses a print OCLC number for an electronic title.
    • The IZ and NZ have also been configured SUNY-wide to not match on CZ records. Ignore_cz_records: True
  • Matching bib records do not always require action
    • Review the matching record to determine in action is required
    • DO NOT merge an NZ linked bib record with a CZ bib record that is linked to the NZ with matching OCLC numbers

Merging Bib Records:

  • Bib records must exist in the same zone to be merged, and may only be merged in the IZ and NZ
  • Bib Records will merge based on the merge rule that is selected
  • The following associated inventory and entities will be moved from the secondary record (record being merged) to the primary record (record it is being merged with):
    • PO Line
    • Electronic Collections
    • Electronic Portfolios
    • Physical Items
    • Digital Representations
    • Loans
    • Requests
    • Reading Lists
    • Related Record Relationships

Matching Records

  • Alma has been configured to match bib records on the OCLC number in the IZ and the NZ.
  • A match will be identified based on the OCLC number regardless of zone.
  • This means that an IZ record will produce a match if there is a bib record with a matching OCLC # in the NZ and vice versa.

Matching bib records can be found:

  • By selecting "Find Matches" (Ctrl+M)
  • Saving a bib record in the MD Editor by clicking the Save icon or Save and Release a Record (Ctrl+Alt+R)

Merge Rules

Merge rules are used to merge bib records with existing records in the Institution Zone (IZ) or the Network Zone (NZ) based on the merge rule that has been selected.

Merge Rules Best Practices:

Importing bib records from OCLC:

  • OCLC IZ Integration Profile MUST use the "SUNY - Overlay All But Local Fields" merge rule.
    • Alma's out of the box "Overlay All Fields But Local" does not work the same as expected.
    • The "SUNY - Overlay All But Local Fields" was created to address the fact that the out of the box merge rule was not removing fields that no longer existed in the OCLC master file.
  • OCLC NZ Integration Profile uses the "SUNY Merge Rule for OCLC/MARC Records"

Importing bib records using import profiles:

  • IZ Import Profiles: use "SUNY - Overlay All But Local Fields"
  • NZ Import Profiles: use the "SUNY Merge Rule for OCLC/MARC Records" per MSP-44

Merging records and combining inventory:

  • Use "SUNY - Overlay All Fields But Local"
  • SUNY campuses may create Institution Zone merge rules to be used on IZ only records if the pre-existing merge rules to not meet their needs


NOTE: DO NOT EDIT SUNY created merge rules! They can be duplicated to be used at the institution zone. Once a merge rule has been duplicated, it can be edited to meet the needs of the institution.

Merge Records & Combine Inventory

Library staff will be alerted to title record matches when saving changes on a bib record in the MD Editor. A "Confirmation required" pop-up message will appear asking "Matched record/s exist in the catalog, do you want to view them before saving?"

To review the records and determine if a merge is warranted:

  1. Click Yes
  2. The matching record opens in the right-side of the split screen editor
  3. Click View from the record
  4. Compare the records to make sure they match
  5. Determine if the record in the left-side of the MD Editor is the primary bib record
    • The record on the right-side of the MD Editor is the secondary record
    • The secondary record merges with the primary record
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the record on the right-side of the MD Editor
  7. Select Edit
  8. Click Execute
    • If the record on the left-side (primary record) is not the primary record:
      • Click the "X" in the upper right corner of the primary record to close it displaying in the MD Editor
      • The Secondary record (right-side of the MD Editor) will open fully in the MD Editor
      • Click the "Editor Split Mode" icon
      • Click on the record you closed using the X from the records list in the MD Editor
  9. Click into the record on the right-side of the MD Editor (primary record)
  10. Click< Record Actions
  11. Click Merge & Combine
  12. Select the Merge routine
    • NZ records - use SUNY - Overlay All Field But Local Fields
    • IZ records - use SUNY - Overlay All Fields But Local or select the merge rule that merges the IZ only records as desired
  13. Click Show merge preview to view how the merge will look
  14. Update Holdings Call Number:
    • NZ: keep unchecked
    • IZ: check only if you want the holdings call number of the secondary record to be changed to the call number from the primary record
  15. Secondary Record: Delete. Delete the secondary record or it will remain in the repository and continue to cause matches
  16. Click Ok
  17. Click Save>Save and Release Record (Ctrl+Alt+R)


Ex Libris Documentation