Alma Glossary
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<Alma base URL>The base URL to connect to Alma, not including the path of any specific page. This URL is provided to your Alma administrator by Ex Libris. See Your Alma Domain Names.
Access providerThe party that provides access to electronic goods or services; may or may not be the vendor that sells the access.
Access rightsThe area in Fulfillment configuration where permissions are granted to patrons that allow them to access digital and electronic resources. See Configuring Inventory Management Groups.
Acquisitions LibrariesThere are no 'Order Units' in Alma, only 'Libraries'. Aleph Order Units have been condensed and mapped into a list of Acquisitions 'Libraries' in Alma.
Action menu
In the persistence menu, there are actions available according to the user role. For example, Tasks, Recent Entities and RFID. See The Alma User Interface - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (
ActivateSee Localize.
ActivationThe 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.
ActiveSee Available.
AFNSee Fulfillment network.
Aggregator packageA 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.
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 metdata in that basic search box.
Allocated balanceThe 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 fundA representation of an actual budget used for purchasing. See fund, and also see Fund Transaction Terminology.
Alma Link ResolverAlma 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 ViewerAn Alma tool for viewing digital representation files. See The Alma Viewer.
Delivery categories for Primo for physical, electronic, digital, and digital collection resources. See Delivery Settings for Local Primo Records Harvested from Alma.
AnalysisThe querying option within Analytics that allows a user to create a report.
AnalyticsAlma component used to manage data reports and the dashboard. See Introduction to Analytics and Terminology.
Article Request
Request for an article or pages of an article.
Electronic resource that can be accessed via Alma Link Resolver.
Available balanceThe money that is available for use in an allocated fund. [Available balance] = [allocated balance] - [(encumbrances - disencumbrances)] - [expenditures]. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
Bibliographic Material TypeOne of seven predefined formats for a bibliographic record as defined by Library of Congress and referred to at​: Books (BK), Computer Files (CF), Maps (MP), Music (MU), Continuing Resources (CR), Visual Materials (VM), and Mixed Materials (MX).   For additional information see table "Scope of Bibliographic Format" at Material Types in Search Results. This field is significantly more general that the more specific Bibliographic Resource Type. 
Bibliographic record
A bibliographic record is an entry in the  library catalog, which represents and describes a specific resource.
Bibliographic Resource TypeOne of several descriptions of the bibliographic record as defined by a combination of fields, predominantly being the LDR and 008.  This field is significantly more specific than the Bibliographic Material type, thereby allowing the Alma staff user to search or facet in a more precise manner.  For additional information see The Resource Type Field .
A physical book which is referred to as monographic (any nonserial publication) represents a bibliographic unit that is physically attached to or contained in another unit such that the retrieval of the component part is dependent on the identification and location of the host item or container. Book can also be provided as an electronic book which can be referred to as eBook.
BorrowerSee Requesting Library.
Borrowing request
A resource sharing 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 levelA 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 recordUsers 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.
Bursar Transaction IDA unique ID sent to the bursar system together with fines and fees, in order to enable the bursar system to let Alma know when a fine or fee is paid. See Configuring Transaction IDs.
CampusA collection of buildings that belongs to a given institution. Patrons 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. See Configuring Inventory Management Groups and Defining Display Logic Rules at the Campus Level.
CancelSee Reject.
Cash balanceThe money that is currently in the fund/ledger. [Cash balance] = [allocated balance] - [expenditures]. Does not count encumbrances or disencumbrances. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
CatalogThe 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.
CatalogingSee Metadata Management.
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
Central Discovery Index (CDI)CDI is a central discovery index – leveraging existing assets - that supports both Summon and Primo and delivers enhanced discovery, streamlines library management, and provides operational efficiencies.
ChargesSee Shipping Costs.
Check in Item
Return a physical item to the library.
Circulation DeskThe location in the library that handles patron fulfillment. See Circulation Desk Operations.
CitationAn 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.
Cloud computingThe 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 TableAn 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 NetworkThe overarching concept for all types of collaboration (for example, cataloging, acquisitions, fulfillment) between multiple institutions. In Alma, collaboration may include resource sharing, a fulfillment network, and/or the implementation of a Network Zone.
CollectionAn 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 CatalogMetadata 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 ZoneEx Libris maintained resources available to all Alma institutions. Incorporates the Knowledge Base, the Community Catalog, and Global Authority Files. Can be accessed by any institution that is part of Alma for cataloging purposes. See Introduction to Alma Inventory
ConsortiaSee Network Zone.
Continuous orderIncludes both standing orders and serial orders. See Subscription.
Contract leadThe institution that manages its own sandbox, or its own sandbox and the sandboxes of other institutions. See Alma Sandbox Environments.
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.
Copy RequestSee Digital Request.
Copyright clearanceThe process of getting permission to use copyrighted works. A digitization process may require performing copyright clearance. See Approving/Rejecting a Request for Digitization.
COUNTERCounting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources compliant usage statistics is explained here:​. See Managing COUNTER-Compliant Usage Data.
DashboardA personal collection of Analytics reports. See Creating a Dashboard.
DatabaseA type of electronic collection whose resources cannot be individually managed through an interface. See Working with Database Type Electronic Collections.
DeliveryEnabling the patron who requested access to a digital resource to view or access a copy of that resource. See Configuring Digital Fulfillment.
Delivery rulesRules that determine how content is delivered to users and external systems. The rules are configurable by the customer. See Configuring Electronic Document Delivery Rules.
DepartmentAn area in the library where dedicated physical inventory actions take place, such as receiving acquired physical material and digitizing physical material. See Configuring Departments.
DepositThe Deposit feature allows patrons to submit digital content to Alma to be added to the repository. For more information, see Deposit.
Descriptive MetadataDescriptive Metadata, which appears in records in the Metadata management system (MMS).
Digital Request
Request to receive an item in digital format, typically as a scanned digital file, a.k.a ‘document delivery’.
Digital resourceA 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.
Digitization approvalThe process of approving a digitization request. The process may include receiving copyright clearance from the proper agencies. See Digitization Processing.
DiscoveryThe feature that allows a patron to find records and inventory from the Alma Repository. Primo is Ex Libris' system to provide discovery. See Primo.
DisencumbranceThe removal of an encumbrance. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
Distributed Electronic Resources
The ability of Alma institution to manage electronic resources separately for a group of library/campuses.
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.
Document DeliveryRequest to receive an item in digital format,  typically as a scanned digital file, a.k.a ‘digital request’.
DOIDigital object identifier. For more information, see
DroolsA 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 CoreAs standard to describe web and physical resources. See
ElectronicLicensed material to which the institution subscribes and gets activated/de-activated.

Electronic collectionA 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. Also see Package.
Electronic resourceA digital object that is stored and managed externally from the local library or Institution Zone. See Managing Electronic Resources.
Embedded order data (EOD) recordA 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.
EncumbranceA 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.
EntitySee Record.
EODMARC files from vendors with embedded order information. In Alma, they be used to create bibliographic records, holdings records, item records, an d PO lines
EvaluationThe workflow to decide whether to purchase an electronic resource. One evaluation instance is a trial. See Evaluations and Trials.
EventAn 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.
ExpenditureA notation in a fund balance that an invoice was paid. See Fund Transaction Terminology.
External systemAn 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.
Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL)A process that extracts data from the operational database and builds the Analytics data warehouse. See Data Privacy FAQs.
FacetsFacets are used in search results lists to filter the results. For example, PO lines may be filtered by fund, location, or digital format. See Facets, Filters, and Secondary Search.
FNSee Fulfillment network.
FRBRFunctional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (see Library of Congress [PDF])
FulfillmentThe process by which patrons borrow and return physical resources, or access electronic or digital resources. See Introduction to Fulfillment.
Fulfillment network
A  group of institutions that allow directly requesting hold and digitization requests from one another. Patrons of any institution can directly place requests of any type on items of any other institution in the network.
Fulfillment policyStipulations of a Terms of Use contract. See Physical Fulfillment.
Fulfillment unitA number of shelving locations with similar lending/return policies and blocks. See Physical Fulfillment.
Full text serviceA service that provides the user with access to the full text of the e-resource. See Discovery Interface Display Logic.
FundBudgets 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 CodeThree levels of funds (broad to narrow) - ledger, summary funds, and allocated funds. Allocated funds have the actual money attached and are used for ordering.
General Publishing
The General Publishing process provides the ability of Publishing bibliographic, authority and holdings records to third-party systems.
See Publishing and Inventory Enrichment (General Publishing) - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (
Import ProfileAn Alma feature defining how records from a file are imported, normalized, and mapped to Alma records. See Record Import.
In Reading Room
An item that is shelved and intended to be used at the reading room only, a.k.a ‘non circulating’ item.
In reviewOrders (PO Lines and POs) and invoices that Alma flags as containing errors. They must be manually reviewed.
Incoming RequestSee Lending Request.
InstitutionA 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 CatalogThe 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 ZoneThe 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.
Integration profileA mechanism for integrating the import and export processes between Alma and an external system. See External Systems.
Interlibrary loan (ILL)See Resource Sharing.
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 userA user who will be notified about changes to a PO line. See Manually Creating a PO Line.
InventoryThe 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.
ItemThe inventory level of a resource for fulfillment and usage. Items may include bar codes and other identification details. See Introduction to Alma Inventory.
Item PolicyStipulations of a Terms of Use contract. See Physical Fulfillment.
Itemized setA 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.
JobA scheduled, invoked, or on-request process that runs in the background. See Overview of Jobs.
A journal is a publication that comes out on a regular basis and contains articles. See Periodical and Serial.
KnowledgeBaseSee Central Knowledge Base.
LCCNLibrary of Congress Control Number for an item. See Creating a Borrowing Request.
LedgerA 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.
LenderSee Supplying Library.
Lending request
A resource sharing 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.
Lending StringSee Rota or Rota Template.
LibraryThe 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.
Library Use OnlySee In Reading Room.
LicenseA 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.
Loan RequestSee Physical Request.
Local catalogMaterials managed at your local institutions. See catalog.
Local portfolioA portfolio that exists in the Institution Zone. See Portfolio.
Linked copy of Community Zone electronic resource in the Institution Zone, resource.
LocalizingCreating 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.
The automatic process of identifying potential resource sharing lenders that own the resource being requested.
LocationA physical place where items are stored (for example, a shelving location). See Physical Locations.
Logical setA 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 menu
The main menu is used to navigate in Alma. It is also referred to as the navigation bar. The main menu is comprised of main entries, categories and menu entries.
Management tagThe record's brief level, as well as fields that determine whether to publish records to a discovery system or export the record. Publish and export fields can be set during record import or from within the Metadata editor. See Navigating the MD Editor Page.
Mapping TableAn Alma feature for configuring settings for a list of items, such as customer parameters. See Mapping Tables.
MARC recordA MAchine Readable Cataloging record, a standard record format for library cataloging information,including bibliographic, authority, and holding records. See​.
Alma supports MARC21 records (a North American standard), and can also support alternate MARC formats such as CNMARC (a Chinese standard), UNIMARC (a European standard), and KORMARC (A Korean standard).
Match methodDefined 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 type
The type of material, such as a book or electronic journal collection, from which an item takes its form. Note that the material type does not control the PO line workflow and can be modified when creating/editing a PO line. Unless hidden, an item's material type appears in Primo’s Get It/Details tabs. Material types are system-defined, but they can be enabled or disabled and their labels can be configured. See Configuring Physical Item Material Type Descriptions.
Member institutionAn institution that is part of a collaborative network. For example, one of the institutions implementing a shared Network Zone.
Menu iconsSee Action menu.
Metadata editorThe tool for editing and creating bibliographic and holdings records in Alma. See Navigating the MD Editor Page.
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 an Institution Zone. See Introduction to Alma Inventory.
Metadata Management System ID (MMS ID)The record ID number. The MMS ID can be 8 to 19 digits long (with the first two digits referring to the record type and the last four digits referring to a unique identifier for the institution). See Record Numbers and Exporting Metadata for more information.
Metadata profileA set of configuration parameters that define the cataloging environment you use when working in the MD Editor. See Configuring Cataloging.
MonographSee Book.
Multi CampusSee Distributed Electronic Resources.
National Union Catalogue (NUC)Printed catalog of books from the Australia library of congress. See Publishing to Libraries Australia.
Navigation barSee Main menu.
Network Zone
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-repository citationsTitles 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 rulesA 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 numberWorldCat Online Computer Library Center control number. See​.
One-time orderAn order for a one-time resource, for example, a book, a print journal, and a one-time electronic book. See Single order.
OpenURLA 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​.
Operational Record (OPR)An internal record, processed from MarcXML, used for different purposes, for example, for the Bibliographic Details table in Analytics. This is a normalized mapping from the different MARC formats to align them into one operational record to ease the development.
OrderSee PO (purchase order) line.
Organization unitAn institution or library. Also, a library which can be configured for fulfillment and which controls the fulfillment unit collections under its control. An organizational unit may have staff users, a physical (billing) address, departments, a circulation desk, funds, and other objects associated with it. See Library.
Outgoing RequestSee Borrowing Request.
A type of electronic collection whose resources can be individually managed through an interface.
PackagingAn 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 requestA 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.
Periodical is a broad term, meaning anything that is published periodically. It could be newspapers, magazines, newsletters or journals. See Journal and Serial.
Persistent menu
The top section of Alma is called the Persistent Menu. This section is always available through all Alma screens. It contains the institution logo, Persistence Search box and Action menu.
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, including "Print" items (print books, print journals).  Note you can have a holding without an item but not an item without a holding.
Physical Request
Request to receive an item in physical format, i.e. as a physical book.
Physical titles (search)    "Physical titles" will search all indexed fields from records with "physical" inventory
PIDAlma 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.
PMIDPubMed identifier. See more information about PubMed.
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
A Purchase order line is an entity that is set to record in the system an order to acquire a resource. There are various types of Purchase Order Lines in the system for various types of materials (physical, electronic, digital and more). For more information, see Purchasing Workflow.
PO (purchase order) line typeAlso 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 OwnerUnit/Library responsible for creating the order (often responsible for receiving and paying for order as well)
Policies DirectorySee Terms of Use.
(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.
Primo/Primo VEEx 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 here for information on Primo VE.
Primo Central IndexPrimo'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.
PrivilegesPermissions 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.
ProcessA job run on a set of records. See Working with Normalization Processes.
Process TypeHow a resource is currently being processed (processing stage or work order type). See Requests in Alma.
Public trialTrial feedback may be received from a predefined trial participant group and from general users. See Managing Trials.
PublishingA process that extracts and formats metadata for external uses, such as for discovery in Primo. See Resource Management.
Publishing platformSee General Publishing.
Purchase requestAn 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.
Reading listA list of citations for a specific course. See Managing Reading Lists.
Reading lists may be divided into sections.
ReceivingThe process of accepting physical items shipped to the library by vendors. See Receiving Material.
Receiving departmentIn 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 noteA text note intended for the receiver (receiving operator).
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 ListAn Alma list that displays a list of Alma records. See Record Lists.
Regular expressionA series of characters that define a search/match pattern. See MSDN's Regular Expression Language - Quick Reference.
Lender refusal to fulfill a request.
Release and Release UpdateAlma releases include new features and functionality, and also fixes and improvements (performance improvements, etc.). Release Updates include only fixes and improvements in the software, but do not include any new features. Release updates are provided one week after the main release. 
Remote storageAn 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 codeAn 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.
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.
Repository search
Alma’s Repository Search gives the Alma staff user a single point of access to all forms of resources in a wide variety of business workflow contexts. searching across all types of material – print, electronic and digital. See Searching in Alma - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (
RepresentationThe 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.
Access rights policies defining who can access digital resources and to which extent.
RequestA 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.
Request Mediation Rules
A rule that determines whether a resource sharing borrowing will be sent automatically to a lender or require staff mediation.
Request Send RulesSee Request Mediation Rules.
Requesting Library
The resource sharing library that is requesting on behalf of a patron.
RequesterThe 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 requestA 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.
For more information, see Requests in Alma.
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 partnerAn 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.
Return item
Return a physical item to the library.
List of potential lenders that a borrower library assigns to a borrowing request.
Rota Assignment Rule
Automatic rules that determine the list of potential lenders that will be assigned to a borrower resource sharing request.
Rota listA list of potential lending partners that are searched to fulfill the sharing request. See Resource Sharing Partners and Rotas.
Rota RulesSee Rota Rule Assignment.
Rota Template
Groups of potential lenders for fulfilling a borrower resource sharing request. Rota templates are assigned automatically to borrower resource sharing requests by  rota assignment rules.
Rules TableAn Alma feature for configuring a list of rules that are processed in order in order to control some functional flow. See Rules Tables.
Scan inSee Check in item or Return item.
SearchSee Locate.
Search field
The Search field is a field, group of fields or metadata elements that are indexed by a search index and used by the various staff search.
See Searching in Alma - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (
Search indexSee Search field.
Search TypeA search type is based on an entity (see Record) which is discrete, managed and searchable in Alma staff search. 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.  See User Roles for Search Types.
Secondary searchA 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 packageA 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.
Send ItemSee Ship.
Serial is a broad term, meaning anything that is published serially, or in a series. It is most often used to mean academic journals. See Journal and Periodical.
Serial RequestSee Article Request.
ServiceA 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.
SetA 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.
The resource sharing lender action of sending a requested resource to the requesting borrower library. The resource may be a physical resource that is physically sent, or a document that is sent digitally (as a link or as a digital file).
Shipping Costs
The library expenses for fulfilling a request, either as a borrower or as a lender.
Simple searchSee Persistent search box.
Single order
A single order, also known as "One time order" is a type of Purchase Order Line which is set to record an order to acquire a single purchase from a vendor, when the material/s arrive, the order is complete.
Sip IDA number for a transitory set of records affected by a job. See Configuring Search Indexes.
SIP2A protocol from 3M that provides a standard interface between a library’s automated circulation system and library automation devices. See Configuring SIP2 Bin Configuration.
Staff search
Staff search is the general ability of library staff using Alma for searching all Search Types. Another known capability is the patron search which is referring to the ability of a patron to search in other systems than Alma.
Staff userAn individual who has permission to work in Alma. Also known simply as a user. See Managing Users.
The action of depositing digital material to Alma, either by staff, automated jobs or end users.
A subscription, also known as "Continuous order" is a type of Purchase Order Line that is set to record an order to acquire multiple items over a defined period of time (journals for example), when the material/s arrive, the order will "wait" for the next resource in the sequence to arrive. The order will be complete once the subscription date defined on the order will arrive.
Summary fundsFunds 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.
Supplying Library
The lending library that fulfills the request, either in physical form or in digital form.
SuppressMark a record to prevent it from discovery. See Suppress from Discovery for more information.
TargetAn electronic collection in Alma terminology. See Electronic collection above.
TaskAn 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 listA list of user tasks appearing in the persistent menu. See Tasks in the Task List.
Tax, also known as VAT, is a compulsory financial charge associated to invoices. Invoices can have the tax associated to it in 3 main ways:
  • Inclusive: The invoice total amount includes VAT.
  • Exclusive: VAT is added above the invoice total amount.
  • Line Exclusive: The invoice's total amount includes VAT (similar to Inclusive), but the VAT amount is calculated outside of the invoice lines' total value and is not factored into the individual invoice lines.
For more information, see Creating Invoices.
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.
TitleSee Bibliographic record.
Title SearchSee Repository search.
TransactionA financial activity that may impact the fund’s balance. See Performing Fund Transactions.
Transit SlipA 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 timeThe time it takes for a physical item to make it from one location to another. See Configuring Transit Time Rules.
TrialAn instance of an evaluation of a resource before purchasing it. See Managing Trials.
UnfillSee Reject.
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 InventoryThe process of loading enhanced-cataloging records
UserA person with an Alma user account: a staff user, an instructor, or a patron. See User Management.
User blocksFlags on a user’s account that can prevent various fulfillment activities such as requests or loans. See Blocking and Unblocking Users.
User role profilesA predefined group of roles (including scopes) that may be attached to users in one action. See Configuring Role Profiles.
User rolesThe privileges that a user has to work on Alma. A user's roles (actually, the roles' privileges) 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.
In general, people use user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) design interchangeably. However UI is part of the broader term of UX. UX include the following criteria a UI should address: Useful, Usable, Desirable, Findable, Accessible, Credible, Valuable. See User Experience Design (
VendorThe 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 accountA 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 CodeThe 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 interfaceA collection of electronic collections offered by a vendor. A vendor interface is also known as a platform. See Managing Vendors.
Vendor invoice numberA number assigned to all PO lines uploaded from the same invoice file from an EOD. See Embedded Order Data (EOD) Field Mapping.
A service delivering digital content to end users, displaying digital files, metadata, copyright statement and more.
VocabularyA 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.
WidgetA 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.
Work orderAn 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.
Z39.50A client–server protocol for searching and retrieving information from remote computer databases. See Z39.50 Search.
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