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Alma Resource Management

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

Prediction Patterns (Serials)

Prediction patterns are used to automatically create serial items in advance for receiving and claiming purposes. They allow users to:

  • Track and predict future items
  • Experience easier and more efficient check-in
  • Ensure naming consistency
  • Claim

Prediction Pattern Requirements

  • Description templates
    • Description templates are used to create description formatting for display in the item record and Primo VE
    • Pattern will use the default description template if other description templates have not been configured
    • Description templates are created based on ANSI NISO standards or an institution’s internal policy
  • POL with a POL type of Journal - Subscription
    • Predicted items use the Issue date + Subscription interval to create the Expected date of arrival
  • Active subscription. Subscription from date is within the range of the items being predicted
  • POL status of “Waiting for renewal”
  • MARC Holdings field 853, 854, or 855: Publication frequency and dates are created from these fields
  • Next predicted item information
  • Expected item populated

Description Templates

To configure description templates:

  1. Go to Configuration>Resources>General>Description Templates
  2. Click Add Rule
  3. Description Template Setup screen opens:
    1. Name: [Type in a name for the rule]
    2. Description: [Add description of the rule]
    3. Click Add Parameter
      1. Add parameters based on the rule with the appropriate conditions
      2. Add as many parameters as necessary
    4. Fill out the Output Parameters based on the rule
    5. Click Show Template to view how it will display
  4. Click Save

Detailed FAQ on configuring description templates

MARC Holdings 853/854/855

Required MARC Holdings fields for publication patterns:

  • 853 - Captions and Pattern - Basic Bibliographic Unit
    • Series volumes
    • Journal issues
  • 854 - Captions and Pattern-Supplementary Material
    • Supplement
    • Loose-leaf releases
  • 855 - Captions and Pattern-Indexes
    • Includes indexes

MARC 853, 854, and 855 are made up of:

  • Enumeration captions
    • $$a - $$h
  • Chronology captions
    • $$i - $$m
  • Publication pattern subfields
    • $$u - $$y
  • Other fields and subfields
    • $$t – Copy
    • $$8 – Field link and sequence number
    • 590 – Local holdings notes field

Adding MARC 853 with a Template

  1. Open the physical serials record in the MD Editor
  2. Click Editing Actions>Expand from template (Ctrl+E)
  3. “Expand from Template” screen pops-up
    • Choose Template: [Select the template from the drop-down]
    • Applying Method: [Select one of the methods]
      • Override - will override existing MARC holdings fields with the MARC holdings fields in the template
      • Add Missing - will only add missing MARC holdings fields in the template
      • Add All - will add all MARC holdings fields in the template and may create duplication
  4. Click Ok
  5. Fields from the template have been added
  6. Edit MARC 853 if applicable
  7. Edit MARC 590 if applicable
  8. Add corresponding 863 (not required for prediction patterns)
  9. Click Editing Actions>Add Field (F8)
    1. Type 863 in the MARC tag
    2. Select the appropriate indicators
    3. Add appropriate subfields
  10. Click the Save icon

Next Predicted Item Information

NOTE: MARC Holdings 853 is being used as the example, but the same workflow can also be applied to MARC holdings 854 and 855.

To populate the "Next predicted item information":

  1. Click into MARC 853 
  2. Click on Record Actions>Next Predicted Item’s Information
  3. The “Next Predicted Items” screen pops-up
    • Populate the enumeration/chronology fields from MARC 853
    • Edit the "Issue Date" if applicable
  4. Click Close

Next Predicted Item's Information Pop-up Screen

Expected Item Information

To populate the “Expected Item Information”:

  1. Click Record Actions>Open Predicted items
  2. The “Predicted Items” screen pop-ups
    1. Review the predicted item description information
    2. Click one:
      1. Discard
        • Click discard if the description information is incorrect
        • Edit the “Next predicted items information” and/or MARC 853
      2. Save
        • If the description information looks correct
  3. Save and Release (Ctrl+Alt+R) the holdings record after the predicted items have been generated

Creating Next Items for Receiving from the "List of Items"

To create new predicted items from the “List of Items” the following is required:

  1. MARC 853, 854, and/or 855 in the MARC holdings record
  2. Previously predicted items that contain:
    • Next predicted item information
    • Expected item populated

To created new predicted items from the “List of Items”

  1. Perform a repository search for the serials title
  2. Click Items from the ellipses
  3. Click the Manage Selected drop-down menu
  4. Click Open Predicted Items
  5. Click Save Items

NOTE: Any changes that need to be made to the predicted items and/or serials items publication pattern changes must be done in the MD Editor.

Automating Summary Holdings Tasks for Serials

Alma provides out-of-the-box rules that are applied when holdings records are saved using "MARC21 holding normalize on save."

  • The out-of-the-box tasks included in the "MARC21 holding normalize on save" rule are applied to a holdings record when it is saved and when items are received from predicted items.
  • Additional tasks can be added to the "MARC21 holding normalize on save" rule to automate summary holdings tasks for serials.
  • Adding tasks to the "MARC21 holding normalize on save" rule will not impact monograph holdings records.

The following summary holdings tasks for serials holdings records can be added to automate the creation and maintenance of holdings records:

  1. MarcDroolNormalization: (uses normalization rule "SUNY - Remove 863/4/56/7/8 (holdings)")
    • Removes previous 863/864/865/8666/867/868 fields unless they contain $$8 9 
    • Creates new updated 863/864/865/8666/867/868 fields to reflect the latest holdings information
  2. MARC21 Expand Holding By 863/4/5 Task:
    • Creates the 863/864/865 fields
  3. MARC21 Expand Holding By 866/7/8 Task:
    • Uses the results of “MARC21 Expand Holding By 863/4/5" Task to create the 866/867/868 fields

Adding the three additional tasks will, when added in the correct order, delete MARC 863/864/865 and MARC 866/867/868 and create new MARC 863/864/864 and 866/867/888 automatically when items are received under Acquisitions>Receiving and Invoicing>Receive.

Automate Summary Holdings Task Workflow


  • It is recommended that you run a MARC holdings normalization rule/process on existing serials holdings records and add "$$8 9" to the MARC 863/864/865/866/867/868 fields you want to retain prior to adding the additional tasks to automate summary holdings in Alma.
  • If "$$8 9" is not added to these fields prior to adding the additional tasks, they will be deleted the next time the holdings record is saved or a predicted item is received.
  • Note that any additional 866/867/868 will display in Primo VE with the library's holdings, which may cause confusion for the end user depending on how they have been structured.

Configure Additional Tasks:

  1. Go to Configuration>Resources>Cataloging>Metadata Configuration
  2. Click on MARC21 Holding
  3. Click on the Normalization Process tab
  4. Click Edit from the ellipses of "MARC21 holding normalize on save"
  5. Click on the Task List tab
  6. Click Add Task
  7. Check the boxes next to:
    • MarcDroolNormalization
    • MARC21 Expand Holding By 863/4/5 Task
    • MARC21 Expand Holding By 866/7/8 Task
  8. Use the arrows to reorder the tasks in the following order so they work correctly:
    1. 852 normalization field (in the original rule)
    2. MarcDroolNormalization
    3. MARC21 Expand Holding By 863/4/5 Task
    4. MARC21 Expand Holding By 866/7/8 Task
    5. MARC21HoldingClearEmptyFieldsTask (in the original rule)
  9. Click Add and Close
  10. Click on the Task Parameters tab
  11. Select the Drools file key: "SUNY - Remove 863/4/5/6/7/8 (holdings)"
    • The "SUNY - Remove 863/4/5/6/7/8 (holdings)" rule must be duplicated/created as a local normalization rule in order for an institution to use it in the "MARC21 holding normalize on save" rule
  12. Click Save

"SUNY - Remove 863/4/5/6/7/8 (holdings)" normalization rule syntax:

rule "delete 863 4 5 6 7 8 if it does not have subfield 8 9"
  removeField "863" if (not exists "863.8.9")
  removeField "864" if (not exists "864.8.9")
  removeField "865" if (not exists "865.8.9")
  removeField "866" if (not exists "866.8.9")
  removeField "867" if (not exists "867.8.9")
  removeField "868" if (not exists "868.8.9")

To duplicate the "SUNY - Remove 863/4/5/6/7/8 (holdings)" normalization rule:

  1. Open the MD Editor
  2. Click File>Options
    1. Click the radio button next to local for the "Placement of new rules"
    2. Click Save
  3. Click Rules
  4. Expand the Normalization rules folder
  5. Expand the Shared Folder
  6. Left Click on the "SUNY - Remove 863/4/5/6/7/8 (holdings)" rule
  7. Click Duplicate
  8. Edit the Name to begin with your institutions Alma three letter identifier
  9. Make sure Shared and Enabled are selected
  10. Click Save

Values to Use in Alma for Year or Season

Prediction patterns use numeric values to represent months and seasons, unless description templates have been configured to allow the user to use the alphabetic representation of the month or season.