Shared e-Resources (ECC and Opt-in) - Alma Activation Procedures

Reviewed and Revised by ERM CommitteeAugust 19, 2019


There are e-resources that are either negotiated and paid-for or just negotiated by the Chancellor's Office Systemwide Digital Library Content (SDLC). See Collection Development for Shared E-Resources (ECC & Opt-in) for more information. The Electronic Resources Manager will work with SDLC in activating the correct e-resource in the Alma NZ instance.  See the Alma documentation for more information about electronic inventory.

Policy Statement

This document provides best practices for selecting an e-collection in the Alma's Community Zone (CZ) that best matches the subscription centrally negotiated by Systemwide Digital Library Content (SDLC) for the Electronic Resources in the NZ admin instance.  The e-collection will be maintained and managed in the NZ by the Electronic Resources NZ Administrator.  Also, included are the best practices and procedures for activating a new e-resource in Alma's Network Zone (NZ), including setting up the Group Settings for each institute.  Group Settings are a function of the Alma Inventory Management Groups used to manage a set of libraries, campuses, or institutions that have access to certain portfolios or electronic collections.  Libraries will be added to Group Settings for those full text e-collections and database-level resources they will share in the NZ.  Both of the Electronic Core Collection (ECC) and Opt-in e-resources will be included in the NZ.  The portfolios included in the full text e-collections will be maintained by the Electronic Resources NZ Administrator and SDLC.  Libraries will have view-only access to these full text e-collections managed in the NZ.  The e-collections in the NZ are not connected to the e-collections in the IZ, they are separate entities.  This document also provides recommendations for libraries for these new e-resources added to the Network Zone (NZ).  Included in this document are best practices for Provider-Neutral Records (Database-level records).  

Best practices

  • SDLC negotiates for a specific package or e-resource from a vendor.  That package name for the subscribed resource will be used to locate the best matching e-collection in the CZ to be shared in the NZ.  
    • Use Electronic Collection search option in Alma to locate e-resource.  Search query help can be found in Helpful Alma Repository Search Queries.  The Electronic Resources NZ Administrator will activate and order the new e-collection.
  • Once the best matching e-collection has been located, go through procedures (below) for setting up the new e-collection in the NZ.  See Alma's documentation on activating an e-collection.
  • Once a new e-resource has been activated, both subscribed and Open Access (OA), libraries will be notified the e-resource is available to share in NZ.  An email will be sent out the Tech Services Working Group to inform them that a new e-collection has been added. Also, each week, an ERM update will be sent out on Friday's.  ERM Weekly Updates are available here.
  • If the e-collection is available from the Chancellor's Office as part of the Electronic Core Collection (ECC), it is recommended the library contact the Electronic Resources NZ Administrator to set up the shared e-collection in the NZ admin instance.  
  • If the e-collection is part of the ECC, libraries should NOT click on the Order link.  Ordering will be done by the Chancellor's Office and the NZ Administrator. 
    • If a library clicks on the Order link, this will cause duplication of data and also will interfere with proxy settings.  The proxy will stop working.  
  • If the e-collection is part of a centrally negotiated contract (Opt-in) but is not part of the ECC, contact SDLC or the Electronic Resources NZ Administrator to check if library has a subscription to the Opt-in e-resource.  
    • If the library does have a subscription for the e-collection, it is recommended the library contact the NZ Administrator to add the library's name to the Group Settings the shared e-collection.  
    • Before the library clicks on the Order link for the Opt-in e-collection, the library needs to be associated with (shared) the e-collection and linked to the license.
  • If a library has a subscription separate from the ECC or Opt-in subscription from the same vendor for the same e-collection, it is recommended to share the e-collection in the NZ and then activate the same e-collection in the Institution Zone (IZ).  Create a separate order in the IZ for local subscription.
    • The IZ e-collection would only include those portfolios subscribed to outside of the central office (SDLC) negotiated subscription.  The same e-collection would be active in both the NZ and IZ but with different portfolios. 
      • Example would be if a library subscribes to the centrally managed Opt-in e-collection, Sage 2014, but also locally negotiated with the vendor for portfolios not included in the centrally negotiated title list.  The portfolios negotiated outside of the central subscription would be activated in the IZ.
  • The NZ Administrator will use list of titles supplied by the vendor to create file to import into Alma to activate and update portfolios included in subscription.
    • Only need title list if subscription is a partial list of what is available from the vendor for a selective package e-collection.
  • Set up trials of full text e-collections in the NZ and set up task to remove when trial is over unless e-collection has been added to ECC or available Opt-ins.
    • If the e-collection in the trial is added to ECC or Opt-in, add the name of the e-collection to list of e-resources maintained in the NZ.  The list is maintained by the NZ Administrator.
  • E-book recommendations for existing and new packages are addressed in the E-book and Media Policies and Procedures document.
  • See Alma Scenarios and Workflows for whether or not to choose an e-collection from the CZ or create a local collection.
  • PNR Provider-Neutral Records
    • Follow the PCC’s (Program for Cooperative Programming) practice to use a provider-neutral approach for electronic resources, print on demand reproductions and photocopies of textual materials, scores, and cartographic materials, as described in the PCC Provider-Neutral guidelines or the LC-PCC PS for RDA 1.11
    • Before adding an Alma Descriptive record from the CZ, check the IZ and then the NZ for the bib record to avoid duplication of the record in the NZ.  See detailed description for avoiding duplicate records in the NZ.
    • Alma CZ Descriptive records will not be activated in the NZ for e-resources that are the database-level records for full text e-resources.
    • An Internal Note will be added for Database-level records: "Used for ordering"  since the record is only used for ordering Opt-in databases from the NZ.
  • PROXY- It is recommended to have proxy settings set to Selective in the IZ Alma configurations.  The NZ administrator would then click on Yes in Group Settings, not at the service level.  The proxy needs to be set to Yes for each library listed in the Group Settings.  If a library changes their Alma configuration proxy setting to Yes in the IZ, then all proxy settings for the library will need to be set to No in the Group Settings in the NZ.  

Procedures in Alma

These procedures are for the central office and the NZ Administrator.  From the NZ admin instance, the ECC or Opt-in e-collections will be activated and ordered from the CZ and then maintained in the NZ.  Libraries that subscribe to an e-collection with no assistance from the central office (SDLC) in negotiating or payment, will activate and order from the CZ and maintain the e-collection in the IZ.  More information about the local IZ e-collections, see the policy for IZ Acquiring and Activation new e-collection.

  1. Setup shared resource in NZ

    1. Locate e-resource using search query for Electronic Collections (see recommended query) in the CZ logged into the NZ admin instance.

    2. Activate the new e-resource (see Activating Electronic Resources).
    3. Suppress the bib record so that the Descriptive record will not be activated in the NZ.
    4. Check Activate this electronic collection service and Mark service available and click the Next button.
    5. Click Next on the Service Linking Parameters page - Do not fill in parameters on this page.
    6. Activate portfolios, there are 3 options.  See e-Resources, available from SDLC, for which option is necessary.  Some e-resources are aggregators and all titles would be activated.  Some e-resources are select packages where SDLC negotiated for a specific list of titles and the individual titles would need to be activated.
      1. Activate All -Activation of the complete electronic collection with no selection of portfolios (examples EBSCO, ProQuest, Gale, JSTOR).
      2. Activate electronic collection and selected portfolios via Excel file upload (examples Sage, Project Muse, Wiley, Elsevier, Springer) .
        1. Update e-resource using Excel file and directions for Bulk Loading.
        2. Recommended data needed from vendor
          1. ISSN or ISBN and TITLE
          2. Full Text Coverage in either YYYY/MM/DD or YYYY/VOLUME/ISSUE 
      3. Manual activation - activate electronic collection and manually select portfolios (examples AIP, ASC, AMS).
      4. Use the Elsevier Science Direct Autoload e-resource.  Elsevier will update the e-resource with CSU's holdings.  Other e-collections that are updated using autoload are ProQuest Ebook Central Perpetual and Springer AutoHoldings.
    7. Activate the e-resource and once processed, search for new e-resource in NZ.
    8. Locate e-resource in the NZ and set up Group Settings for libraries subscribing to central e-Resource.

      1. See list of subscribed libraries in SDLC's Subscription Log, which can be found under the NZ License, Subscription Log.

      2. Click on Edit Service.

        1. add Internal note indicating if e-resources is Opt-in or ECC.  Must have this note so that libraries can locate which resources they are sharing in the NZ that are either ECC or Opt-in.  
      3. Click on Yes on Activate new portfolios associated with service automatically, if necessary for this e-resource.  This would be for aggregator e-collections.
      4. Click on Group Settings tab to add instances sharing the e-resource.
        1. Click on Add Settings for Group, choose the Group name that matches the library name.
        2. Each instance added in Group Settings needs Proxy set to Yes.

        3. If needed, add Linking Parameters for each library and Save Settings.
          1. Linking parameters must be entered for each Group Setting not the Linking Information tab at the service level.

  2. Test new e-resource 
    1. Test shared e-resources from CO IP range -connect via VPN.
    2. At e-resource page, click on View It.
    3. Resource should appear in the Alma menu and after clicking on e-resource name, proxy login page for library should appear.
  3. Set up Provider-Neutral Records (Alma's Electronic Collection Records)
  4. Ordering the e-resource steps are located in  Shared e-Resources (ECC and Opt-in) - Consortial Acquisitions 


Introduction to Alma Inventory

Activating an electronic collection in Alma

Orbis-Cascade Provider-Neutral records

Provider-Neutral/Database-level records in Alma

Action log

 Action Log

SectionPoint Person

Expected Completion Date

Last action takenNext action required

Articulate the need for the policy (background)


8/23/2016- ERM Task Force discussed the ERM policy and procedures outline and assign a policy to a task force member. Jessica assigned the policy and procedures for shared resources in Alma.

Draft for Shared Resources due September 30th. Send draft to Tech Service Working Group Leads

Rough Draft for Shared Resource policies and procedures

Jessica Hartwigsen


 Sent Drafts to Tech Services Working Group Leads

ERM Task Force meet to discuss rough draft of policies and see if there is any feedback from the Working Group Leads

Jessica Hartwigsen


 ERM Task Force met to discuss policies and procedures

Send rough drafts of policies to Tech Services-discuss policies in Open Forum. Ask for feedback from working group.

Jessica Hartwigsen


 Link to Drafts were sent out to the Tech Services Working Group

ERM Task Force will go over the feedback received from the ULMS IMP Team and the Tech Services Working Group. Meet with other TS Working Groups to discuss overlap of policies and procedures. ERM Task Force will meet  

Final "live" Draft for Shared Resources is dueJessica Hartwigsen


Final drafts for policies is December 9th. All policies for all task forces are due this date.
ERM Task Force meet to discuss final drafts of polices and see if any feedback from the Working Group LeadsJessica Hartwigsen