ERM Working Group

Reviewed and Revised by ERM CommitteeYES
Revision DateAugust 15, 2019


Electronic resources are managed very differently than physical resources in Alma. While physical items rely on item records to provide access and availability information, Electronic Portfolios are used to manage this information for electronic resources. The IZ, NZ, and CZ also play very different roles with electronic resources compared to physical items. Electronic Collections and Portfolios will generally only reside in the NZ for centrally purchased or negotiated resources. For resources that are purchased individually, Electronic Collections and Portfolios will reside in the IZ, even if several different CSU campuses own the resources. Additionally, while some localization may occur, the CZ will be the source for most Electronic Collection and Portfolio information.

Policy Statement for Electronic Resource Management

These documents provide best practices and procedures for selecting and activating new e-Resources in the Institution Zone (IZ) as it relates to IZ: Local Only.   These resources will continue to be locally acquired, licensed, and managed by the individual libraries.  SDLC and the Electronic Resources NZ administrator will activate, maintain, and in some cases, order e-resources that will be shared by some or all of the libraries in the NZ.  These procedures and best practices are for Network Zone - ECC and Network Zone - Opt-in resource management and acquisitions in the NZ admin instance.  Please Note:  E-Books and Media will have a different policy.

These are also best practices for maintaining and updating e-resources and portfolios that are already activated in Alma. This would be for updating date thresholds, activating or removing portfolios, updating parse parameters (jkeys/bkeys/URLs) and updating linking parameters.

Often it is necessary to make local changes to linking and availability information for e-resources when the information from the community zone is either inaccurate or does not match local details. While this localization is sometimes required, always keep in mind that updates to the CZ information may come later, so be sure to look carefully at update notes when localized information is involved.

When discussing electronic resource management, it’s important to keep in mind the types acquisitions available, local IZ and NZ:

  • Institution Zone: Local Only
    The local acquisition, licensing, and e-resource management by the individual libraries. Libraries will continue to manage acquisitions of their own e-collections in the IZ.  
  • Network Zone: ECC (Central Only)
    The centralized acquisition, licensing, and e-resource management of the ECC e-resources in the NZ. The Chancellor's Office will manage the acquisition and payment for the e-collections included in the ECC.  
  • Network Zone: Opt-ins (Mixed Central & Local).
    The centralized negotiation and management of the Opt-in e-resources in the NZ and local acquisitions by libraries in the IZ. License terms and fees are negotiated by the Chancellor's office and purchasing and invoice processing is done by the individual libraries. Libraries will need to create a vendor for the Chancellor's Office in the IZ for the Opt-in e-collections. The library will use the CO as a vendor to pay for the Opt-in resource. 

E-Resource Acquisition and Activation 

Institution Zone, Local only: Best Practice Recommendations and Procedures.Final
Maintaining and Updating Active E-ResourcesInstitution Zone, Local only: Best Practice Recommendations and Procedures.Final
OpenURL, Proxy, Discovery Interface Display Logic, and Troubleshooting in the IZInstitution Zone, Local only: Policy Statement, Best Practice Recommendations and Procedures.Final
Collection Development for Shared e-Resources
Network Zone, ECC & Opt-ins.Final
Shared E-Resources (ECC & Opt-Ins)

NZ ECC & NZ Opt-ins: Instances where SDLC and the Electronic Resources NZ administrator will set up and maintain shared e-resources. Includes 4 sub-sections:

E-Books and MediaIZ and NZ: Policy Statement, Best Practice Recommendations and Procedures for handling non-serial electronic resource records.Final
Electronic Collections: The following example illustrates a single title that is offered by two vendors. (ERM)

Physical Record: The following example illustrates an ongoing serial with three issues with holdings in Periodicals. (Cataloging)

Workflow of Catalog items and ERM items:


  • OCLC imported to NZ. Master Record is in the NZ.
  • CSU-wide library catalog is in the NZ.
  • Local fields, holdings and items, located in the IZ.
  • NZ and IZ records linked.


  • NZ linked to the CZ for ECC/Opt-in e-collections.
  • IZ linked to the CZ for local subscriptions to e-collections.
  • NZ and IZ e-collections are not linked. Shared e-collections will not appear in the IZ.

Related Policies

Tech Services: Provider-Neutral Records & Use of Database-Level RecordsRecommends the use of Provider-Neutral records for electronic resources to eliminate proliferation of records describing essentially the same content.


Acquisitions:  Ordering using the Alma Network Zone

Supplemental Information

ERM Best Practices, Policies and Procedures OUTLINE (Jessica's notes.)

Policy and Procedure FORMAT