Alma Glossary

Term Definition
Access provider The party that provides access to electronic goods or services; may or may not be the vendor that sells the access.
Access rights The area in Fulfillment configuration where permissions are granted to patrons that allow them to access digital and electronic resources. See Configuring Inventory Management Groups.
Activation The process of enabling access to e-resources for patrons. Includes confirming that the library has access to the resource and setting up technical information so that patrons have access. See Activating Electronic Resources.
Active (Analytics) Not deleted from Alma.
Administrative/Consortial structure The hierarchical structure of management within Alma. The levels are Consortium, Institution, and Library
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). See Adding a Local Electronic Collection.
Alerts (Alma) Messages or warnings found throughout Alma that direct users to actions that need attention, for example: “Items already exist in the repository.”
Alerts (Primo) You can save a search query and set up a reoccurring search to be performed automatically. An alert notifies you if there are any new search results.
All titles (search) When searching “All titles,” that really means “All records,” i.e. you’re searching all indexed fields in all records, so you can enter an ISBN or other metadata in that basic search box.
Allocated balance The total amount of money initially available for the fund. This amount doesn’t change when expenditures are made or encumbrances assigned to the fund; the available balance changes. You can increase a fund’s allocated balance by adding money to the fund. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
Allocated fund A representation of an actual budget used for purchasing. See fund, and also see Fund Transaction Terminology.
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. For more information, see the training video Alma Link Resolver.
Alma-C/Alma-D/Alma-E/Alma-P Delivery categories for Primo for physical, electronic, digital, and digital collection resources. See Delivery Settings for Local Primo Records Harvested from Alma.
Alternative Call Number The full call number of the item, containing both the classification portion for the set and the sequence portion (the unique portion of the item’s call number containing item volumes). The Item Call Number (Item Call Number=Alternative Call Number) field was populated for multi-part items at migration. In Alma, the sequence portion is intended to go in the item record Description field.
Analysis The querying option within Analytics that allows a user to create a report.
Analytics Alma component used to manage data reports and the dashboard. See Introduction to Analytics and Terminology.
Assignments The tasks or records worked on by operators. Assignments can be the responsibility of the user who is logged in, of others, or they can be unassigned. Assignments may be changed if the appropriate permissions allow this.
Attachment A file that is associated with an entity at the system level, is stored in the system, and can be accessed from the entity details.
Audit Event A logged action taken in the system. The event includes the user that took the action and the time the action was taken.
Auditing Reviewing the actions taken on a record or entity.
Available balance The money that is available for use in an allocated fund. [Available balance] = [allocated balance] – [(encumbrances – disencumbrances)] – [expenditures]. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
Base Status (Analytics) Availability of the item in its permanent location (in place/not in place)
Blended search (Primo) A search in which several search engines are used to create a single results list. The most common blended search is between Primo and Primo Central.
Boost (Primo) A positive value applied to groups of records to allow them to appear earlier in the search results list when sorted by relevance. See Deboost.
Borrowing request A resource sharing [ILL] request placed by local patron and fulfilled by another institution’s resource. Otherwise known as a resource sharing outgoing request. See Requests in Alma.
Brief Display (Primo) The information (such as the title and availability status) that displays for each record in the brief results and allows users to determine whether a record is available and contains the information for which they are looking.
Brief level Not currently utilized at Vanderbilt. A record’s brief level (1 to 10) reflects the amount and quality of bibliographic information. A brief record is one that Alma considers to have a less than ideal amount of information. Level 10, intuitively enough, indicates the most complete records – the LEAST brief. See also: Brief record. 
Brief record Users can define rules that set the brief level of a record based on how much information is present in certain fields of the record. A lower number is more brief; a brief level of 10 is a full record. In addition, an administrator can set the brief level threshold from 0 to 9; any record whose brief level is below the threshold is considered to be brief. See also: Brief level.
Brief Results (Primo) A configurable tile in the Views wizard. After the user searches for a specific item, the results appear in this tile.
Bursar Transaction ID A unique ID sent to the bursar system together with fines and fees, in order to enable Student Accounts to let Alma know when a fine or fee is paid. See Configuring Transaction IDs.
Campus A collection of buildings that belongs to a given institution. Users may be affiliated with a specific campus where they can request library services. Libraries may be affiliated with a specific campus, which is where their physical inventory is expected to circulate.
Cash balance The money that is currently in the fund/ledger. [Cash balance] = [allocated balance] – [expenditures]. Does not count encumbrances or disencumbrances. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
Catalog The record repository of information in Alma. The catalog contains all descriptive metadata managed by a library, institution, consortium, or community. The Institution Catalog contains the institution’s local records. The Community Catalog contains records provided to all institutions, by Ex Libris or community-contributed. The Network Catalog contains records centrally managed in a Network Zone.  See Searching in Alma and Introduction to Alma Inventory.
Central Knowledge Base (CKB) The part of the Community Zone that contains linking information to electronic resources around the world. See Introduction to Alma Inventory
Circulation Desk The location in the library that processes the borrowing and return of materials. One library can have multiple circulation desks. Circulation desks do not have to directly serve patrons (ex. Annex Desk). See Circulation Desk Operations.
Citation An item that a student should read or watch in a course. Otherwise known as “reading list citation”. A citation is an element of a reading list. A citation can be a library resource, such as an item in the repository, a URL, an uploaded PDF, or nearly anything else. See Managing Citations.
CKB Central Knowledge Base within the Community Zone.
CKB package A collection of electronic portfolios (titles) made available from one provider.
Claiming date The number of days from the expected receipt/activation date to the date on which the PO line is sent to the claims task list
Cloud computing The delivery of software and storage of data at a location (a server) remote from the physical location of the library, accessed using the internet. Alma is a cloud computing based service.
Code Table An Alma feature for configuring a list of items, typically so that they can appear in a drop-down list elsewhere in Alma. See Code Tables.
Collaborative Network (CN) The overarching concept for all types of collaboration (for example, cataloging, acquisitions, fulfillment) between libraries and institutions. In Alma, it is used particularly when referring to a consortium model of collaboration.
Collection An Alma catalog entity (top level collection or sub-collection) that groups any number and type of resources together, allowing for enhanced organization of mixed-type materials based on topic-based hierarchical structures. See Managing Collections.
Community Catalog (CC) Metadata records stored in the Community Zone, which are updated as required by Ex Libris or by contributions from the community. Inventory records can link to these records; alternatively, the current versions of these records can be copied to the institution and maintained locally. See Introduction to Alma Inventory
Community Zone (CZ) The Alma Community Zone. Incorporates the Knowledge Base, a Community Bibliographic Catalog, and Global Authority Files. Can be accessed by any institution that is part of Alma for Acquisitions and Collection Development purposes.
Context object A metadata container that holds attributes pertaining to the OpenURL.
Context service A container of potential services collected according to specific attributes.
Continuity (Analytics) PO Line status. Possible values are Continuous, One-Time or Standing Order
Continuous order Includes both standing orders and serial orders.
Controlled Vocabulary (CV) A list of acceptable values for a subfield in the Metadata Editor. For example, a controlled vocabulary offers options when selecting Library of Congress subject headings. See Configuring Controlled Vocabulary Registry.
Copyright clearance The process of getting permission to use copyrighted works. A digitization process may require performing copyright clearance. See Approving/Rejecting a Request for Digitization.
COUNTER Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources compliant usage statistics is explained here: See Managing COUNTER-Compliant Usage Data.
Creator (Analytics) Most commonly the staff operator who creates/imports an Alma entity (such as a PO Line or bibliographic record); However, Creator can sometimes be the entity principally responsible for the creation of a work
Dashboard (Alma) The opening page of Alma after a user signs in. Its contents vary according to a user’s role. The dashboard may include reports, widgets, and a task list.
Dashboard (Analytics) A personal or shared collection of Analytics reports. See Creating a Dashboard.
Data source (Primo) The data source from which the Publishing Platform harvests records. A single source system may contain several data sources. For example, in terms of SFX, Primo harvests a single SFX instance. A single SFX installation may include several instances (that is, data sources). In Aleph and Voyager, every bibliographic database is a separate data source. A single installation of Aleph or Voyager may include several bibliographic databases that are harvested by Primo.
Database A type of electronic collection whose resources cannot be individually managed through an interface. See Working with Database Type Electronic Collections.
Deboost (Primo) A negative value applied to groups of records to prevent them from appearing earlier in the search results list when sorted by relevance. See Boost.
Deleted (Analytics) Status for past loans, user records, etc., removed from Alma.
Delivery Enabling the patron who requested access to a digital resource to view or access a copy of that resource. See Configuring Digital Fulfillment.
Delivery restricted scopes (Primo) Restricted delivery scopes indicate access restrictions for online resources.
Delivery rules Rules that determine how content is delivered to users and external systems. See Configuring Electronic Document Delivery Rules.
Department An area in the library where dedicated physical inventory actions take place, such as receiving acquired physical material and digitizing physical material. See Configuring Departments.
Deposit The Deposit feature allows patrons to submit digital content to Alma to be added to the repository. For more information, see Deposit.
Deposit flow The process of making digital material part of the institution’s permanent inventory.
Descriptive Metadata (DMD) Descriptive Metadata. Typically, DMD appears in records in the Metadata management system (MMS).
Digital resource A file or group of files with metadata that exists on a local network, a server, or in the cloud. It may include, among other possible formats, streaming media, e-books, video, or images. Digital resource files can be stored and managed externally, but the metadata is managed by Alma. The resource generally requires a viewer on the user’s machine. See Managing Digital Resources.
Digitization approval The process of approving a digitization request. The process may include receiving copyright clearance from the proper agencies. See Digitization Processing.
Dimension (Analytics) Tables that contain descriptive attributes (or fields) that are typically textual fields or discrete numbers behaving like text. Dimension attributes such as Library Code, Vendor Name, or Loan Date give facts context.
Discovery The interface that allows a patron to find records and inventory from the Alma Repository. Primo [the Library catalog] is Ex Libris’ system to provide discovery. See Primo.
Disencumbrance The removal of an encumbrance. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
DLF Electronic Resource Management Initiative (DLF ERMI) An industry-wide, standardized solution developed by the Digital Library Federation. DLF ERMI handles the specifications and tools needed for managing the license agreements, related administrative information, and internal processes associated with collections of licensed electronic resources. See Adding ONIX-PL-Formatted Licenses.
DNX representation The complete record of the inventory in the DNX XML including the attributes contained in ORACLE tables.
Document delivery The supply of journal articles, chapters, and other digital items to individuals who make requests.
DOI Digital object identifier. For more information, see
Domain-normalized XML (DNX) A normalized version of inventory‐related metadata that is not bibliographic (for example, material type for the Title/ Resource level or the policy, location, or barcode for the item level).
Double metaphone (Primo) The double metaphone search algorithm is a phonetic algorithm and is the second generation of the metaphone algorithm. It is called “double” because it can return both a primary and a secondary code for a string. For example, encoding the name “Smith” yields a primary code of SM0 and a secondary code of XMT, while the name “Schmidt” yields a primary code of XMT and a secondary code of SMT. Both have XMT in common.
Drools A business rules management system based on the JBOSS Rules engine. In Alma, normalization rules are formatted in a similar manner to this system. See Working with Normalization Rules.
Dublin Core A standard to describe web and physical resources. See
Due back (Scan In Items) When a due back date arrives, an automatic job places a restore request on items shelved at temporary locations. Items in turn appear on the Pick from Shelf task list. Items not Scanned in will be automatically assigned to Missing within a designated timeframe.
E-shelf (Primo) E-shelf lets you save search results in your Basket.
Electronic Licensed material to which the institution subscribes and gets activated/de-activated.
Electronic collection A collection of electronic resources that can contain packages (which include electronic portfolios) or databases (which include URLs). See Managing Electronic Collections. Electronic collections are bundled together in a vendor interface.
Electronic Data Exchange (EDX) A file delivery method for the transfer of data by standard File Transfer Protocol (FTP) whereby OCLC provides an Electronic Data Exchange account into which OCLC posts bibliographic records and reports.
Electronic resource A digital object that is stored and managed externally from the local library or Institution Zone. See Managing Electronic Resources.
Embedded order data (EOD) record A record with vendor-supplied fields that describe the library’s purchase order for a resource (known as “embedded order confirmation record” by some vendors). Alma imports the EOD record, enters the description into the MMS, and turns the embedded order information into a PO line. See Import Profile Types.
Encumbered balance A fund’s encumbered balance is the sum of its encumbrances minus disencumbrances.
Encumbrance A notation in a fund that a certain amount of the current cash balance is allocated to an impending purchase. Typically created as a result of a PO line. Encumbrances are canceled by disencumbrances (of the same amount) and typically replaced with expenditures (of the same amount). See Fund Transaction Terminology.
Enhancement A tool within the metadata editor that allows normalization rules to be applied and thus improves the quality of the record.
EOD MARC files from vendors with embedded order information. In Alma, they be used to create bibliographic records, holdings records, item records, an d PO lines
EOD import profile A software component that takes fields from a source record and maps them to a normalized PO line structure. Each profile may have an EOD import syntax check associated with it.
Evaluation The workflow to decide whether to purchase an electronic resource. One evaluation instance is a trial. See Evaluations and Trials.
Event An action that involves at least one entity or agent in the system. Used for audit trail purposes, you can view events associated with a job on the Running and History tabs of the Monitor Jobs page, as well as in Analytics. See Viewing Completed Jobs and the Events subject area in Analytics.
Expenditure A notation in a fund balance that an invoice was paid. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
Expenditure balance A fund’s expenditure balance is the sum of its expenditures
Explicit Ratio A set exchange rate between the currency type of an invoice and the currency type of a fund
External system An institution’s existing data management system that Alma may use as a source or target for information. Examples are a student information system or an ERP (enterprise resource planning system such as PeopleSoft). See Integrations with External Systems.
External user management A model whereby an external system is treated as the authoritative source for user information. External user data is considered owned by the external system and is read‐only in Alma.
Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) A process that extracts data from the operational database and builds the Analytics data warehouse. See Data Privacy FAQs.
Facets (Alma) Facets are used in search results lists in order to filter the results. For example, PO lines may be filtered by fund, location, or digital format. See Facets, Filters, and Secondary Search.
Facets (Primo) A configurable tile in the Views wizard. The tile opens relevant links that might interest the user, determined from the search that was made.
Form editor A page that is accessible from the metadata editor and allows one to edit or add fixed fields.
FRBR Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (see Library of Congress [PDF])
FRBR (Primo) The Primo Publishing Platform process in which records are grouped using the principles in the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records published by the IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records.
Front End (Primo) The user interface that is responsible for all interactions (such as discovery and delivery) with the end user.
Fulfillment The process by which patrons borrow and return physical resources, or access electronic or digital resources. See Introduction to Fulfillment.
Fulfillment policy Stipulations of Terms of Use. See Physical Fulfillment.
Fulfillment unit A number of shelving locations with similar lending/return policies and blocks. See Physical Fulfillment.
Full Display (Primo) The details of an individual record that displays on its own page. This page typically displays after clicking a record’s title in the brief results.
Full text service A service that provides the user with access to the full text of the e-resource. See Discovery Interface Display Logic.
Fund Budgets for funding acquisitions. Funds are aggregated in a ledger. An allocated fund represents an actual budget. A summary fund is a collection of related or similar funds. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
Fund Area (Analytics) Filters funds as Endowed, Gift, General, Grant, or Income
Fund Code Three levels of funds (broad to narrow) – ledger, summary funds, and allocated funds. Allocated funds have the actual money attached and are used for ordering.
Harvesting (Primo) The Primo Publishing Platform process in which new, modified, and deleted records are gathered from a data source
(such as an ILS). This information can be obtained with one of the following harvesting methods: FTP, copy, or OAI-PMH.
Headings file A file containing the collection of all the headings in all the bibliographic or authority records, with references to the records where they are used. Headings from bibliographic and authority records are managed separately, in different headings files.
ILL incoming (lending) request See Resource sharing incoming (lending) request.
ILL outgoing (borrowing) request See Resource sharing outgoing (borrowing) request.
Import Profile An Alma feature defining how records from a file are imported, normalized, and mapped to Alma records. See Record Import.
In review Orders (PO Lines and POs) and invoices that Alma flags as containing errors. They must be manually reviewed.
Institution A group of campuses/libraries managed together, the basic unit managed using a single Alma installation. Multiple institutions can share services and management tasks using a collaborative network. For example, a university may be an Institution consisting of a main library, a science library, a business library, and several specialized libraries. See Configuring the Institution and Its Libraries.
Institution Catalog The Institution Catalog contains the institution’s local records. The Community Catalog contains records provided to all institutions, by Ex Libris or community-contributed. The Network Catalog contains records centrally-managed in a Network Zone.
Institution Zone The area of the Metadata Management System comprising local institutional data such as locally managed bibliographic records, locally activated electronic portfolios, and local physical holdings. See Introduction to Alma Inventory.
Institutions A group of libraries managed together. For example, a university may be an Institution consisting of a main library, a science library, a business library, and several specialized libraries.
Integration profile A mechanism for integrating the import and export processes between Alma and an external system. See External Systems.
Intellectual entity (IE) A resource that is being managed and described in the Alma system. An IE may have one or more holdings or digital representations. See Introduction to Alma Inventory.
Interested user (Acquisitions) A user who will be notified that an in-process order has been received by the Acquisitions department.
Interface In Alma, interfaces refer to vendor interfaces—that is, sites maintained by the vendor—only.
Interlibrary loan (ILL) See Resource sharing.
Internal user management A model whereby the user information is managed wholly within Alma.
Inventory The resources that are owned or licensed by or associated with a particular library, institution, or consortium. Incudes physical holdings and items, electronic portfolios, digital representations, and deposits. All descriptive bibliographic metadata resides in the repository and can be edited using the Metadata Management System (MMS). See the Introduction to Alma Inventory.
Invoiced but not paid balance Invoices that have a “ready” status but have not been paid yet (based on the invoice status).
Item The inventory level of a resource for fulfillment and usage. Items may include bar codes and other identification details. See Introduction to Alma Inventory.
Item Call Number See Alternative Call Number
Item Policy Stipulations of Terms of Use. Typically exception policies to the default policies for a Fulfillment unit. See Physical Fulfillment.
Item Type See Material Type
Itemized set A group of objects whose set members are determined at the time the set is saved. The set is created after searching for items using a search query, but there is no stored relation between the set members and the query from which they were derived. The data in this set is static. See also Logical set. See Managing Search Queries and Sets.
Job A scheduled, invoked, or on-request process that runs in the background. See Overview of Jobs.
KnowledgeBase See Central Knowledge Base.
LCCN Library of Congress Control Number for an item. See Creating a Borrowing Request.
Ledger A collection of funds, either summary funds or allocated funds. Ledgers have a fiscal period (they are relevant for a certain period of time, such as a fiscal year) which is inherited by the funds. See Managing Funds and Ledgers.
Lending request A resource sharing (ILL) request placed by another institution’s patron and fulfilled by a resource of the local institution. Otherwise known as a resource sharing incoming request. See Requests in Alma.
Library The basic level in the hierarchical structure of management within Alma, which is collaborative network, institution, campus, and library. A library can have departments that handled work orders, as well as locations and circulation desks that are well-known to the library patrons. See Configuring the Institution and Its Libraries.
License A contract between the library and a vendor for the lease of one or more copyrighted bibliographic databases or online resources. See Managing Licenses and Amendments.
License management The management of a contract between the library and a vendor for the lease of one or more copyrighted bibliographic databases or online resources. This includes creating, updating, and deleting licenses.
Lifecycle (Analytics) Active = Item record has not been deleted (using the Withdraw feature) in Alma; Deleted = Item record has been deleted in Alma using the Withdraw feature
Limited trial An e‐resources trial type.This trial is limited to a group of defined trial participants. They are the only ones that have access to the resource during the trial.
Loan An issue of a resource to a user (patron). Formerly referred to by some institutions as issue.
Loan Status (Analytics) Active = On loan; Complete = Returned; Inactive = Deleted from Alma
Local catalog Materials managed at your local institutions. See catalog.
Local Param (Analytics) Fields indexed per a request to Ex Libris. As of 10/2019: Bibliographic Local Param: 01=300 (physical description); 02=951 (local cataloging data); 03=999 (migration data)
Local portfolio A portfolio that exists in the Institution Zone. See Portfolio.
Localizing Creating a local copy of something, such as an electronic resource. The item is copied from the Community Zone to the Institution Zone. For electronic resources, this is typically done before or while activating the resource. See Activating Electronic Resources.
Location A physical place where items are stored (for example, a shelving location). See Physical Locations.
Logical set A saved search query. The items in the change every time the set is run based on the most current results of the query. See Managing Search Queries and Sets.
Main pipe (Primo) The main ILS pipe is generally run during the night and includes all updates to bibliographic records and related holdings and authorities.
Management tags Can be set from within the metadata editor to suppress records from the discovery layer, to export to WorldCat, or to indicate that the record is brief.
Mapping Table An Alma feature for configuring settings for a list of items, such as customer parameters. See Mapping Tables.
MARC record A Machine Readable Cataloging record, a standard record format for library cataloging information, including bibliographic, authority, and holding records. See
Match method Defined methods Alma uses to identify duplicate records during a record import. When a record is loaded, Alma attempts to find a similar record based on the enabled match method. See Match Methods – Explanations and Examples.
Material supplier The vendor supplying the material being ordered
Material type (Items/Inventory) See also Material type (Titles). The type of material, such as a book or electronic journal collection, from which an item takes its form. Unless hidden, an item’s material type appears in Primo’s Get It/Details tabs. Material types are defined by Ex Libris, but they can be enabled or disabled and their labels can be configured. See Configuring Physical Item Material Type Descriptions.
Material type (Titles) Note that Material type can mean two things in Analytics. The version of Material Type associated with Bibliographic Details in analytics is a broad category for materials describing the type of bibliographic record associated with the item: Book, Computer File, Journal, Map, Mixed Material, Music, Unknown, or Visual Material. See Material Type (Items/Inventory) to define Material Types for Physical Items. See also Resource Type.
MD Metadata
Member institution An institution that is part of a collaborative network. For example, one of the institutions implementing a shared Network Zone.
Metadata editor The tool for editing and creating bibliographic and holdings records in Alma. See Navigating the MD Editor Page.
Metadata form A form used to fill in metadata information regarding a deposited object. May be used for a PO line description.
Metadata import profile A metadata profile used for importing records. An import profile may store embedded or inventory data.
Metadata management system (MMS) The interfaces, functions, and data that define institutional systems and allow them to manipulate their descriptive metadata. The MMS includes a Community Zone and a Library Zone. See Introduction to Alma Inventory.
Metadata profile A set of configuration parameters that define the cataloging environment you use when working in the MD Editor. See Configuring Cataloging.
Metadata registry The repository for information about all metadata schemas supported by Alma. It can include Marc 21 Bibliographic, Marc 21 Holdings, Marc 21 Authority, and Dublin Core. The registry is the basis for a variety of data services such as validation, normalization, and mapping.
Metaphone (Primo) Metaphone is a phonetic algorithm for indexing words by their sound, when pronounced in English. The algorithm produces keys as its output. Similar sounding words share the same keys and are of variable length in the metadata form.
MMS Management Tags Tags attached to each MMS record that define attributes to be used for further management of the record, such as exporting, publishing, and enhancing.
Net Price A calculation of the total price for the PO line based on the list price per copy, the discount, and the number of copies ordered
Network number (Analytics) 035 field data. The 035 contains system numbers, including OCLC numbers.
Network Zone (NZ) A management tool used by a collaborative network to centrally manage certain features, such as configuration tables, licenses, and records. A virtual institution (also called the Network Zone) is used as the management interface and central repository and catalog. See Managing Multiple Institutions Using a Network Zone.
Non-bibliographic item An item that is not classified as a bibliographic item but that needs to be managed by the system. Usually, this is a physical item (such as a computer) that is bought for the library.
Non-repository citations Titles that are used for a course’s reading list, with no link to an Alma repository item. These are typically faculty resources that are not part of the institution’s inventory, such as an article at an external website. See Adding Citations to a Reading List.
Normalization mapping set (Primo) The set of normalization rules that convert source records to the PNX.
Normalization rule sets (Primo) Normalization rules are applied to the source data. These rules are used to translate the data source into a PNX format.
Normalization rules A set of rules that can be built and applied to bibliographic records in order to enhance the record. These rules may add fields, remove fields, or make changes to fields. The rules can be applied to an individual record during bulk import and as part of the global update process. See Working with Normalization Rules.
OCLC control number / OCLC number WorldCat Online Computer Library Center control number. See
OCLC holding library code Identifies a collection or campus under an OCLC symbol.
OCLC symbol A unique identifier assigned by OCLC to member and participating institutions.
One-time order An order for a one-time resource, for example, a book, a print journal, and a one-time electronic book.
OPAC via Link (OvL) (Primo) The delivery method in which Primo links out to the ILS’s user interface and displays it within a Primo i-Frame or new browser tab. From this interface, users can interactively perform requests and check their library cards.
OPAC via Primo (OvP) (Primo) The delivery method in which Primo uses APIs to support the following OPAC functions within its native interface: My Account, inventory display (holdings and items), and material requests.
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. For more information, see
Operator Staff member who performed a task in Alma. The Staff Operator associated with a fee in Analytics is the staff member who designated the fine as waived or paid in Alma.
Organization unit A library which can be configured for fulfillment and which controls the fulfillment unit collections under its control.
Out-of-the-box (OTB/OOTB) The features, settings, and configurations that come with the installation of a product and are available as soon as the product has been installed.
Owning Library (Analytics) Having to do with ownership of items associated with fines or fees. Keep in mind that the Annex is a library in Alma.
Package A type of electronic collection whose resources can be individually managed through an interface.
Packaging An automated method by which PO lines are passed through normalization and validations and are brought together into a purchase order, ready for approval. See Packaging PO Lines into a PO.
Patron digitization request A request by a patron for the digitization of a resource. See Digitization Processing.
Patron Directory Service (PDS) A back-end Web component that facilitates user authentication and signing in to the system. PDS is part of the standard calling application package, but it is a distinct and separate component. It does not have a user database of its own. It works with the institution’s authentication server(s) and user database(s), such as an LDAP directory service. See Alma and Patron Directory Services.
Patron group See User group
Patron services area A portion of Alma used by library staff to perform fulfillment functionality (loans/transactions, requests) on behalf of a patron.
Persistence layer (Primo) An Oracle database that is part of the publishing platform in which PNX records are stored before they are retrieved by the search engine.
Persistent Menu Also known as the “blue bar”; lists all the actions and areas that a user can work in depending on what role(s) they have been assigned.
Persistent search box A search box consisting of various search options. The persistent search box is always available from the top middle of any Alma page. See Searching in Alma.
Physical “Physical” refers to anything with a holding/item, excluding “Print” items (print books, print journals). Note you can have a holding without an item but not an item without a holding.
Physical titles (search) “Physical titles” will search all indexed fields from records with “physical” inventory
PID Alma system number for an inventory entity. It can be used, for example, by the Portfolio Loader for matching purposes. The PID can be 8 to 19 digits long. See Configuring Search Indexes.
Pieces The number of separate components that comprise one item.
Pipe run (Primo) Every execution of a publishing pipe is called a pipe run
Pipes (Primo) The pipe is the set of steps that the source information goes through before being turned into the PNX record.
Plug-in A software module that adds a specific feature or service to a larger system.
Plug-in manager An infrastructure component for installing and managing plug‐ins.
PMID PubMed identifier. See more information about PubMed.
PNX (Primo) The Primo normalized XML format. This is the common format to which all source records are converted.
PNX record (Primo) Primo normalized XML record. The source record is translated to this format and loaded into the Primo database.
PO (purchase order) A group of PO lines sent to a single vendor. Otherwise known as an order. Sending a PO is known as ordering. For more information, see Purchasing Workflow.
PO (purchase order) line One or more copies of a bibliographic item purchased by a library. Purchases can be physical, electronic, or digital, and they may be one-time, continuous (for example, subscriptions), or standing orders. For more information, see Purchasing Workflow.
PO (purchase order) line type Also purchase type. Defines the type of inventory and continuity (one-time or continuous) of the PO line. For more information, see Explanation of Purchase Types Workflow & Inventory.
PO Line Owner Unit/Library responsible for creating the order (often responsible for receiving and paying for order as well)
Policies Stipulations of a Terms of Use contract.
Policy type Specifies the policy influence area (for example, due dates or fines).
Portfolio (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. It may include administrative/access information. See Managing Local Portfolios and Managing Electronic Resources for more information.
Portfolio (Inventory) The specific coverage, services, and link information relevant for a particular title within a package. May include administrative/access information. May be local or global. Analogous to SFX KB Object Portfolio.
Primo Authentication Manager An alternative authentication method that supports the authentication of users using SAML, CAS, LDAP, Alma, Aleph, and social logins. In addition, this method supports the ability to use separate authentication systems for bor_auth and bor_info requests.
Primo Central Index Primo’s central database. A mega-aggregation of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources of global and regional importance. These include journal articles, e-books, reviews, legal documents and more that are harvested from primary and secondary publishers and aggregators, and from open-access repositories. See here for more information.
Primo Central Index (PCI) A mega-aggregation of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources of global and regional importance. These include journal articles, e-books, reviews, legal documents and more that are harvested from primary and secondary publishers and aggregators, and from open-access repositories.
Primo/Primo VE (the Library Catalog) Ex Libris’ discovery system for patrons. A single search interface that provides a gateway to a wealth of scholarly content, including print, electronic and digital collections. See here for more information on Primo. See herefor information on Primo VE.
Privileges Permissions to perform certain actions in Alma, or to access specific pages, fields, or options in Alma. A user role is defined by the privileges that it grants the user. See Managing User Roles.
Process A job run on a set of records. See Working with Normalization Processes.
Process (Bulk process) A job (mass modification) run on a set of records. See Working with Normalization Processes.
Process Status (Analytics) Status of the item: NORMAL (on shelf), CLAIMED_RETURN, FOUND_ITEM (billed and returned), RECALL (recalled), RENEW (renewed)
Process Type How a resource is currently being processed (processing stage or work order type). See Requests in Alma.
Public trial An e‐resource trial type. In the public trial, the resources are part of the library collection and are available to all end users.Trial feedback may be received from a predefined trial participant group and from general users.
Publishing A process that extracts and formats metadata for external uses, such as for discovery in Primo. See Resource Management.
Publishing pipe (Primo) Within the Publishing Platform, PNX records are created by publishing pipes. In principle, every data source has its own pipe with its own normalization mapping set.
Purchase order line type Also goes by PO line type and purchase type. Defines the type of inventory and continuity (one‐time or continuous) of the PO line. For more information, see the following table in the Alma Acquisitions Guide: Repository Search, Recommended Purchase Types, Workflow & Inventory on page 17.
Purchase request An item requested to be purchased by an instructor or patron (or on behalf of an instructor or patron). Also known as a Patron Purchase Request (PPR). See Purchase Requests.
Quantity For Pricing (Analytics) The number of items to be paid for.
Reading list A list of citations for a specific course. See Managing Reading Lists. Reading lists may be divided into sections.
Receiving The process of accepting physical items shipped to the library by vendors. See Receiving Material.
Receiving department In Alma, receiving physical material is organized within receiving departments. A user must be at a certain Receiving department to be able to receive the orders associated with that department. Select the receiving department with the location icon or drop-down list (one or the other based on your setting) on the persistent menu bar. The current location is listed there. In the drop-down list, make sure that the Always Show Current Location box is selected. In some cases, the receiving department corresponds to the PO line owner.
Receiving note A text note intended for the receiver (receiving operator).
Record A discrete, manageable entity in Alma. Examples include repository records (bibliographic records, authority records), inventory (physical items, electronic portfolios, digital representations, deposits), PO lines, users, reading lists, vendors, and so forth. Does not included stored configuration information, such as your configured code and mapping table information, your institution’s logo and IP information, and other institution-specific information stored in the Alma database.
Record List An Alma list that displays a list of Alma records. See Record Lists.
Regular expression A series of characters that define a search/match pattern. See MSDN’s Regular Expression Language – Quick Reference.
Remote storage An off-site storage facility. A location that is used to store physical library materials at a distance from the library. Remote storage facilities can be shared by a number of institutions and managed by a system other than the institution’s library system. See Requests to Remote Storage Facilities.
Reporting code An attribute of a PO line or invoice line that codes a type of material within the ledger and fund system. For example: monograph, e-journal. This allows reporting on funds by attributes other than the funds hierarchy. See Configuring Reporting Codes.
Repository All information that Alma has about library material, including inventory, such as physical titles and items, electronic titles, electronic collections and electronic portfolios, digital titles and representations, deposits, management collections, and authorities. The repository title record (located via an All titles, Physical titles, Electronic titles, or Digital titles search) is the bibliographic record for the title (that can be edited in the MD Editor using one of the cataloging standards such as MARC 21). The repository includes titles for which your institution may not have any inventory, as well as your institution’s normalization, merge, and indication rules. All descriptive metadata can be edited using the Metadata Management System (MMS).
See Navigating the MD Editor Page and Searching in Alma for more information.
Representation The digital record level under the bibliographic record level. This level acts as a container for the digital files. Multiple representations can be attached to the bibliographic record. One representation can be the master copy and another a derivative copy and can differ in format, resolution, or size. See Managing Digital Resources.
Request A resource request (or just “request”) is for the acquisition, manipulation, movement, or processing of inventory. An external request, such as an OpenURL request, is a request to locate a resource originating external to Alma, such as a request from Primo.  For more information, see Requests in Alma.
Requester The user for whom a request is made. The request form can be filled out by the requesting user or by a staff user on behalf of the requester. See Creating a Request from the Institution.
Resource request A request to make a library resource available at a specific location for a specific purpose. The resource request may be triggered by a patron‐initiated request or by an internal library work order request, such as:
o Moving items to reserves
o Sending items out to the bindery
o Sending items to digitizationResource requests vary in:
o The requester type (patron, library, department)
o The resource format (physical/digital)
o The delivery method (move physical item to a location, send link to a digital resource, and so forth)
Resource Sharing Resource sharing enables a request by a patron in one institution fulfilled by another institution. The fulfillment of the request is invisible to the patron: the patron requests and returns the item to the patron’s local institution. See Resource Sharing Workflow.
Resource sharing incoming (lending) request A request placed by another institution’s patron and fulfilled by a resource of the local institution.
Resource sharing outgoing (borrowing) request A request placed by local patron and fulfilled by another institution’s resource.
Resource sharing partner An institution or a distinct external ILL system that participates in a resource sharing process, either as borrower or as lender. See Resource Sharing Partners.
Resource type The type of item in the repository (based on existing bibliographic fields, such as the LDR and 008) or being ordered. A resource is physical, electronic, or digital, but may have a more specific type (not including its physical material type). See The Resource Type Field and Creating/Editing an Import Profile: Inventory Information.
Restricted search scopes (Primo) By defining restricted search scopes, you can restrict discovery of groups of records to specific users.
Role parameter A role modifier or limiter. For example, a Circulation Desk Operator who is permitted to operate only at a specific Circulation Desk.
Rota list A list of potential lending partners that are searched to fulfill the sharing request. See Resource Sharing Partners and Rotas.
Rules Table An Alma feature for configuring a list of rules that are processed in order in order to control some functional flow. See Rules Tables.
Scopes (Views) (Primo) Scope is a general concept referring to creating a relevant set of resources by limiting all available resources by attribute(s).  Primo has four types of scopes:
Search scopes
Restricted search scopes
Restricted delivery scopes
Blended search scopes The term “scope” is also often used to refer to search scopes, which are defined per view.
Search Engine (SE) A system that retrieves library metadata from the local PNX database table and transforms it into useful information to provide relevant search results. In regards to Primo Central, the SE provides relevant search results based on metadata as well as full text.
Search scopes (Primo) Search scopes are defined per view and define a group of record that can be searched together. There are two types of search scopes:
A local scope is a subset within the Primo repository. The default is the entire local repository.
A remote scope is a list of records in a remote location outside the Primo repository.
Secondary search A search field that appears above some tables and lists. Use this search to search within the table or list. See Facets, Filters, and Secondary Search.
Selective full text service A service that provides the user with access to selective portions of the e‐resource, rather than the full text of the eresource.
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). See Adding a Local Electronic Collection.
Service A resource that can be purchased by a library, with or without inventory. For example, a library might purchase access to a particular website as a service. See Manually Creating a PO Line.
Service unit A unit that provides services to other organizational units. It may have staff users, a physical (billing) address, departments, a circulation desk, funds, and other objects associated with it.
Services registry A list of actions that may be performed on metadata records. Each action is a service, and services may be grouped together for bulk data updates.
Set A group of items or a saved search query. A set is created so that multiple items can be worked on by a job. See Managing Search Queries and Sets. A set is either logical or itemized.
Set management Activities performed by authorized staff users that involve creating and administering logical and itemized sets.
Set member A bibliographic record or inventory item that belongs to an itemized set or the output of a logical set’s query.
Similar items (Primo) You can create a search for similar items. Similar items creates a search based on the author of the item from the previous search.
Sip ID A number for a transitory set of records affected by a job. See Configuring Search Indexes.
SIP2 A protocol from 3M that provides a standard interface between a library’s automated circulation system and library automation devices. See Configuring SIP2 Bin Configuration.
Slice (Primo) The Primo Search Engine supports multiple slices to reduce retrieval time for very large data sets.
Smart request Patron requests for library materials that are satisfied by providing the most appropriate resources to a patron across resource types, locations, formats, and preferences. See also Fulfillment plan.
Source amount (Analytics) Invoiced currency/Non-USD amount
Source currency (Analytics) Type of currency on original invoice.
Source record (Primo) The individual record from the data source that is converted to the Primo normalized record (the PNX).
Source system (Primo) The system from which the Publishing Platform harvests records—for example, Aleph, Voyager, and SFX.
Staff user An individual who has permissions to work in Alma. Also known simply as a user. See Managing Users.
Statistical Category (Users) User group subcategories, such as Visiting Scholar.
Subject Area (Analytics) Data in Alma Analytics that is organized into subject areas such as Funds Expenditure, Fulfillment, Users, Fines and Fees, and Physical Items. Subject areas contain folders, measure columns, attribute columns, and hierarchical columns.
Summary funds Funds that are used for aggregate reporting on the subordinate (child) funds. Summary funds can contain other summary funds or allocated funds. Summary funds are not used for ordering or invoicing. See Managing Funds and Ledgers.
Suppress Mark a record to prevent it from displaying in the Library Catalog. See Suppress from Discovery for more information.
Synchronization A process that ensures that data in Alma is updated, at relevant times, with the latest values from the owner of the data.
Tagging (Primo) Users can add reviews and keywords to any item.
Target An electronic collection in Alma terminology. See Electronic collection above. For more information, see the SFX Target and Alma E-Collection Configuration Guide.
Task An operation waiting for manual user intervention. See Tasks in the Task List. Alternatively, a single step in a process, such as a normalization process. See Working with Normalization Processes.
Task chain An ordered list of tasks.
Task list A list of action items requiring a staff user to take some action on a resource in order to move it forward in its lifecycle. For example, a PO line may need to be manually approved before it can be automatically sent.
Terms of Use A list of predefined fulfillment policies that defines the institution/library commitment to the patron and under which the service will be provided or disconnected. See Configuring Terms of Use.
Terms of Use type Terms of Use that can be assigned to a specific type of a fulfillment activity (such as Loans).
Total Amount/Price Price plus any associated costs of acquisition, such as shipping
Transaction A financial activity that may impact the fund’s balance. See Performing Fund Transactions.
Transaction Entry A component of a transaction header that affects the balance of a single fund.
Transaction Entry Type The reason for a transaction entry that is changing a fund balance. A transaction entry type could be an allocation, an encumbrance, or an expenditure.
Transaction Header An action with all its entries that makes up a complete business action, affecting the balances of one or more funds.
Transit Slip A printed slip attached to a physical item that is placed in transit. The slip identifies the requested material and its destination. For example, see Managing the Hold Shelf.
Transit time The time it takes for a physical item to make it from one location to another. See Configuring Transit Time Rules.
Trial An instance of an evaluation of a resource before purchasing it. See Managing Trials.
Unified resource management (URM) The Ex Libris resource management framework that allows libraries to optimize technical support, purchasing power, collections, and staff knowledge and resources. See The URM Vision.
Update Inventory The process of loading enhanced-cataloging records
URD(2) Universal Resource Discovery (and Delivery). The Ex Libris framework for end‐user services that focuses on search, delivery, and other library services. Offerings such as Primo are part of the URD2 framework.
URL Uniform Resource Locator. A path to a file stored on the Internet or on an internal network.
URM Unified resource management. The Ex Libris resource management framework that allows libraries to optimize technical support, purchasing power, collections, and staff knowledge and resources. Alma is based on a URM framework.
User A person with an Alma user account: a staff user, an instructor, or a patron. See User Management.
User blocks Flags on a user’s account that can prevent various fulfillment activities such as requests or loans. See Blocking and Unblocking Users.
User group A user record category, such as Faculty, Staff, or Undergraduate Students.
User management/ maintenance An area of Alma designed for managing users and contacts.
User record The collected information stored in Alma about a user. This user may be a student, an Alma operator, faculty, staff member, or organization. The record consists of a core set of information plus repeatable segments for such items as multiple addresses.
User registration The process of defining a person as an authorized user of the system. Registration may be performed at the Circulation Desk, online using the user management system, or through user import options.
User role profiles A predefined group of roles (including scopes) that may be attached to users in one action.
User roles The privileges that a user has to work on Alma. The privileges as defined by the user’s roles determine a user’s access to certain pages, fields, options and areas on certain pages, as well as the ability to run certain jobs and processes. A user role may have a specific scope, related to a specific library. See Managing User Roles.
User segment A repeatable section of the user record with grouped information. Examples are addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, notes, and blocks.
User-submitted job A combination of a task chain and a set of resources that the task chain will run on, initiated by the user.
Vendor The supplier of physical or electronic goods or services. For physical goods, the vendor is a material supplier. For electronic goods or services, the vendor is the access provider, or there may be a third-party access provider. See Managing Vendors.
Vendor account A subset of the vendor; may contain business rules for specific types of data. For example, a rush account may contain contacts and instructions on how to handle this material. See Managing Vendors.
Vendor Code The supplier of physical or electronic goods or services. For physical goods, the vendor is a material supplier. For electronic goods or services, the vendor is the access provider or a third-party access provider.
Vendor interface A collection of electronic collections offered by a vendor. A vendor interface is also known as a platform. See Managing Vendors.
Vendor invoice number A number assigned to all PO lines uploaded from the same invoice file from an EOD. See Embedded Order Data (EOD) Field Mapping.
Versioning Sequentially numbering committed updates to a record for the purposes of retrieval and rollback. This applies to MARC records in the metadata editor.
View (Primo) The View is the Primo user interface. You can define one or more views. Each view can have a different “look and feel” and list of search scopes.
Vocabulary A specified list of terms developed by creators of catalogs and databases to ensure precise and comprehensive searching. The terms may vary from database to database. See Configuring Controlled Vocabulary Registry.
Widget A small visual link found on the dashboard, which can be controlled by the operator. Examples include reports for graphs suitable for your area of interest, or access to a calendar, local weather, or a link to notifications. See Managing Widgets.
Withdraw Delete from Alma, but not Analytics, or PO Lines if associated
Work order An internal library request to route physical materials for internal processing. A work order sends an item to a work order department (marking it as not available on the shelf), where it can be managed according to internal statuses. Both departments and statuses are configurable and can be used to manage tasks according to a library’s local needs. See Managing Requests and Work Orders.
Z39.50 A client–server protocol for searching and retrieving information from remote computer databases.