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Alma Electronic Resources Management

Working with and managing electronic resources in Alma.


The Alma Electronic Resources Management Guide is organized according to the six stages of the electronic resources life cycle, following TERMS: Techniques for Electronic Resources Management.

  • Investigate new content for acquisition
  • Acquire
  • Implement
  • Ongoing Access and Evaluation
  • Annual Review
  • Cancellation and Replacement Review

The ERM functionality in Alma supports each life cycle stage.

Roles in Alma

To manage electronic resources in Alma, you must have one of the following roles:

  • Electronic Inventory Operator
  • Electronic Inventory Operator Extended (required for delete operations)
  • Repository Manager
  • CDI Operator

ERM Vocabulary

  • Electronic Collection: A collection of electronic resources that is either a package of electronic portfolios (i.e. aggregator package or selective package) or a databases (which does not include portfolios or full text service).
  • Electronic Portfolio: Electronic resource (inventory) that maintains the specific coverage (local or global), services, and link information relevant for a particular electronic title that may also be part of an electronic collection. Electronic portfolios have material types such as ejournal, ebook, or streaming video, among others.
  • Database: A type of electronic collection whose resources cannot be individually managed through an interface. (No service).
  • Aggregator Package: A type of electronic collection that includes all titles (as opposed to a selective package, which includes only some of the collection’s titles).
  • Selective Package: A type of electronic collection that includes only some of the collection’s titles (as opposed to an aggregator package, which includes all of the e-collection’s titles).
  • Full Text Service: A service that provides the user with access to the full text of the e-resource.
  • Access Provider: The party that provides access to electronic goods or services; may or may not be the vendor that sells the access.
  • Knowledge Base: A collection of library holdings data, such as publisher, platform, and individual titles for journals and books.
  • Alma Link Resolver: Alma component that responds to external requests with a menu of physical, electronic, and digital services. For physical resources, requests are offered; for electronic resources, context-sensitive links are provided; for digital resources, direct links to the digital object are provided. The Alma Link Resolver responds to OpenURL requests as well as requests from systems such as Primo.
  • General Electronic Service: In addition to services found in your own collection (such as full text, requests, and so forth), Alma enables you to define general HTTP services (such as searches in ProQuest dissertations and, Ask a Librarian, and so forth) to present to patrons in the View It, Get It, and How to Get It sections on the Services page. Services that allow users to access or purchase the materials are considered delivery-related and will appear in the View It, Get It, and How to Get It sections on the Services page.
  • OpenURL: A type of Uniform Resource Locator (URL) that contains the address of an OpenURL Web site combined with the item's identification. The Alma Link Resolver responds to OpenURL requests and directs the patron to the resource.
  • COUNTER: Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources. A Code of Practice that outlines the recording and reporting of online usage statistics in a consistent, credible, and compatible way.
  • SUSHI: Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative. A NISO protocol that provides instructions for automating the collection of usage statistics from vendors.
  • Cost per use (CPU): A common metric to measure the continued value of electronic resources. To calculate cost per use, the total cost of the resource is divided by the number of times the resource was used during a given subscription period.
  • Turnaway or Denial: Requests to download a full text article, book, or book chapter that were denied by the publisher platform because the library did not have a current subscription, an access issue, or the threshold for number of concurrent users was met.


Definitions from the Alma Glossary and Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Management.

ERM Documentation and Training