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Documenting Issues with Alma Response Time

When actions in Alma consistently take longer than expected, we need to document via video to report to Ex Libris.  Contact LTS Support to request help with recording software or to submit a video of an issue not previously reported.  Issues that have been reported to Ex Libris are listed here.

Please vote for these enhancements 


ProblemImpactCreated DateSalesforce CaseExpected resolution
Scan in Items and Manage in Process Items show POL description instead of bib titleFor items where the POL description (bib info at time of order) is different from the current bibliographic record title, the information in the display after using Scan in Items or Manage in Process items will be confusing or appear incorrect3/11/1900661936 
Error when re-linking itemless holdingsAttempting to re-link a holding (e.g., FIG) without an item to another bib can result in an error. In addition, the 843, 852, and 856 of the holding may be added to the target bibliographic record. Adding an item allows the holding to be re-linked without error; the target bib then needs to be restored to the previous version.6/17/2019698666November 2019

Item Process Type - Migration issues

Item Process type: Technical Migration, Status: Item not in place

Status: In Process

Expected Resolution Date: 11/30/2018

Items that had the following characteristics migrated to Alma with the status "Item not in place" and a process type of "Technical - Migration."  These items display in HOLLIS but are not requestable.

Aleph IPS
Aleph order status
Alma Item Process type
Alma Item status
Primo display
Primo Functionality
OI: Order initiatedall othersTechnical (Migration)Item not in placeTechnical; Not availableCan not request
OR: On orderall othersTechnical (Migration)Item not in placeTechnical; Not availableCan not request
RE: Ordered-Receivedall othersTechnical (Migration)Item not in placeTechnical; Not availableCan not request
NA: Not arrivedall

Some Technical, some Acq

Item not in placeTechnical or On order 
CL: ClaimedAllTechnical (Migration)Item not in placeTechnical; Not available

Can not request


The Alma WG co-chairs will discuss and determine the best options for handling these migrated items. Since Alma does not utilize IPS, most new items of these types will be tracked via work orders. See Items Process Type: Technical Migration - Analysis/Cleanup for detailed remediation plan and status.

  • BD - At Bindery
  • BP - Bindery Prep
  • CT- Cataloging
  • CL - Claimed
  • CO - Conservation
  • DP - Digitization in Progress
  • MS - Lost
  • MI - Missing
  • NA - Not Arrived
  • OI - Order Initiated
  • OR - On Order*
  • RE - Order Received

Item Process Type:  Acquisition, Status: Item not in place 

Items that had the following characteristics migrated to Alma with the status "Item not in place" and a process type of "Acquisition".

Aleph IPS
Aleph order status
Alma Item Process type
Alma Item status
Primo display
Primo Functionality
OI: Order initiatedNEWAcquisitionItem not in placeOn orderCan request
OR: On orderNEW, SV, RSV, DNBAcquisitionItem not in placeOn orderCan request
RE: Ordered-ReceivedNEWAcquisitionItem not in placeOn orderCan request
NA: Not arrivedall

Some Acquisition, others Technical

Item not in placeTechnical or On order 
CA: Cancelled + Item status NOT 88SVAcquisitionItem not in placeOn orderCan request

Items have a Process type of Acquisition because they had not been arrived in Aleph prior to migration. The items display as On order in HOLLIS and are requestable. Resolving these items will involve identifying sets that are likely on shelf and changing the status to received in Alma. An API is under development to do this work in batch. See Orders for received material that was not arrived in Aleph for detailed remediation plan and status. 

  • Ongoing analyses using Analytics of records where the item is "not in place" has begun. There is some low hanging fruit in items that are actually in place at HD based on their separate inventory system. This has resulted in a list of 6176 items which can have the Process Type removed and be marked In Place.
  • The APIs for doing this work in batch need to be developed.

ALL 02 items are now requestable for in-library use only. This is a change from Aleph, when only 02 remote storage items were requestable.

Item Records

Editing Item Record Barcodes

  • Barcodes input into Alma will not be re-indexed immediately if paired with other edits. This results in not being able to search via the barcode in Alma or HOLLIS.
  • Ex Libris  is aware of the issue and currently working to resolve it as soon as possible.  In the interim, if you need to make edits to a record including updating a barcode you will need to complete this in two parts:
    1. Edit all other parts of the record as needed, but DO NOT change the barcode.
      1. Save and Release the record
    2. Re-open the record and update the barcode only
      1. Save and Release the record 
      This will force a refresh and the barcode will be indexed and searchable.

Metadata Editor

AreaProblemImpactWorkaroundCreated DateSalesforce CaseExpected resolution

Ctrl-Q to quit MDE does not work if there is no open record

Mousing required 7/30/201800580065 
ShortcutsAlt+F for File Menu, tabbing/arrows don't appear until you get to enabled menu item (they are invisible until you key enough times to get to active menu item)ConfusionKeep tabbing/arrowing until you get to enabled menu item(added to existing case) 8/20/2018


(Also Yoel report)

Split paneIn some circumstances, a record can be opened in both left/right pane at the same time and both be editablePossible data integrity problemWhen working with holdings, keep bib in left pane and use View Inventory to open the holding on the right, rather than manually usually split pane, shifting focus to left, and clicking on an already open holding7/17/1800575575Early 2019
HoldingsOnly the first few lines of the record display (sporadic, cannot reproduce on demand)Appears as if data is missing although it is notReload holding. If that option is greyed out, release the holding, return to the bib, and re-open the holding. Do NOT save it while you only see the incomplete record.7/13/201800575243Q2 2019
HoldingsLanguage coding of 008 is ignored (This has been fixed for predicated items but not for 866/7/8). Chron/enum data appears in EnglishNone - continue to code while we wait for a fix8/14/201800584698
HoldingsMultiple 007 in holdings generates warnings due to Harvard local practice not adhering to MARC standard-Ignore warnings for multiple 007s   
Templates(Unable to replicate) Two templates were created that could not be edited Create new template; report problem template to LTS for deletion by ExL9/27/1800601781None

Browse Bib Headings

GeneralProblemImpactWorkaroundCreated DateSalesforce CaseExpected resolution
 Miagkii znak and Ayn need to be searched as a space or apostropheImpossible to get the proper browse resultsSearch two ways to see all relevant results (omitting the character, and including the character or a space/apostrophe). Or, use the Primo browse.3/5/1900659615 
 Apostrophes filing as if they were spacesHeadings not filing in expected order. Alma order:
  • Plato revived
  • Plato's academy
  • Plato through Homer

Should be:

  • Plato revived
  • Plato through Homer
  • Plato's academy

You may need to search multiple ways.

Heading Type: Source CodeProblemImpactWorkaroundCreated DateSalesforce CaseExpected resolution
Name240 is missing from index entries for 100 / 110 / 111Name-title entries are incomplete because they include $t from 6XX/7XX but not 240 with 1XX 6/21/1700434000Working with ExL to develop new, separate name-title browse
Name: Personal

$t is missing from entries based on 700.
It is present for entries based on 600.

Name-title values from 700 are listed as only names and not names with titles.

Name-title values from 600 are listed as names with titles.

Name-title values file separately when they are 700 vs. 600 due to inconsistency of title display

 4/6/1800538042Same as above
Name: Personal$q is missing from entries based on 100/700.
It present for entries based on 600.

Names with qualifiers from 100/700 are listed as only names without qualifiers

Names with qualifiers from 600 are listed as names with qualifiers.

Names with qualifiers file separately when they are 100/700 vs. 600 due to inconsistency of qualifier display

 4/6/1800538043 (AAFG cites #00635825)Planned to be fixed Q1 2020
Series: Uniform Title490/1 is included490/1 is not a controlled heading, therefore the list cannot be used to verify whether the series headings in controlled fields have the correct term
12/18/2018 00634250Case closed. Needs to be enhancement or Ideas Exchange. Forwarded to ELUNA Authority Task Group.

240 uniform title is missing

740 title is missing

600 $t is missing

  4/9/1800538863Working with ExL to develop new, separate name-title browse

Authority Control

SeverityTitleImpactCreated DateSalesforce CaseExpected resolution
CriticalPreferred term correction job incorrectly flips headings with important subfield code differences: |x |v |t

Loss of data. Example of improper flips:

  • 600 10 Shakespeare, William, $d 1564-1616 $x Comedies.  flipped to:
  • 600 10 Shakespeare, William, $d 1564-1616$t Plays. $k Selections

Note - as of 6/25/18 this appears to be limited to 600 fields. The example below no longer occurs:

  • 650 $$a Motion pictures $$x Periodicals $$x History.  flipped to:
  • 650 $$a Motion pictures $$x History $$v Periodicals 
10/16/17479439Under analysis by ExL
Critical830 series with initial articles get flipped but indicator does not changeA leading article may be removed in the process of flipping but the 2nd indicator is not updated by the flipping process, meaning that the heading gets evaluated incorrectly for browsing and future matching. A heading such as 830/_3 $$a Chemin will get handled as "min" which matches to an xref of a different series and will get flipped to that series, such as Museums of the Nile Delta, which will file as "eums of the Nile Delta"5/9/1900685024Q4 2019
HighPresence of |t prevents authority name from linking/flippingName headings with $t will only link if there is an authority for the name/title10/16/17479457Needs to be handled as part of ELUNA Alma Authority Advisory Group

Preferred term correction process won't flip headings if the field number changes. It only reports them.

(E.g. bib headings is 110 and matches 410 xref, and preferred term is in 130)

These show up on the "Preferred Term Correction - BIB heading found no authorized term" report and need to be flipped manually.5/13/18551952

Case 00551952 closed by ExL. Instructed to submit this via Ideas Exchange. Please vote for this Idea.



High"Preferred Term Correction - BIB heading found no authorized term" report includes superfluous line itemsWastes staff time. Some line items do seem to be linked to authorized headings but they are showing on this report anyway (e.g. some subdivided headings)4/24/1800545875February 2019 release
HighSubject headings that include subdivisions beyond subdivisions in authority record won't be flipped

If the authority is for the subdivided form of a heading, and the bib heading is further subdivided, it will not be flipped when the heading changes. Only the subdivided form that exactly matches to the authority will be flipped. For example, this authority changed from:

$a Germany $x Politics and government $y 19th century


$a Germany $x Politics and government $y 1789-1900

Bib headings that exactly matched that $a $x $y were flipped. Bib headings that were further subdivided did not, such as:

$a Germany $x Politics and government $y 19th century $v Congresses

4/11/1900674542Needs to be handled as part of ELUNA Alma Authority Advisory Group
MediumLCSH headings with matching xrefs in LCKIDS won't link automatically

Headings need to be linked manually (or not linked until the problem is corrected).

When a heading coded for LCSH (2nd ind = 0) is an exact match to LCSH 1XX, but also a match to LCKIDS 4XX, the heading shows up on the report "Linking - BIB heading found multiple matching AUT headings (ambiguous)." This should not occur because they are different vocabularies and coded with different 2nd indicators in bib headings.

12/20/1800635056Under analysis
MediumPersonal series name headings not always linkedThe presence of some punctuation prevents certain headings from linking. For example, the presence of a semicolon at the end of $f or $l prevents the field from linking.9/4/1900724600
MediumSubfield 3 of 830 is moved to end of statementConfusing display in HOLLIS. Inconsistent with other $3 displays (usually first subfield to display)10/7/1900738708
LowIncorrect indicators / thesauri when flipping LCSH to LCGFT

When a 655 field is coded for LCSH and matches a non-preferred term in LCGFT, Alma flips the heading to the preferred LCGFT term but does not update the coding (it should change the 2nd ind to 7 and add $2 lcgft). This does not have an effect on patrons using HOLLIS, but the incorrect coding may cause problems in future linked data projects or migrations. Genre terms in other thesauri are not affected (aat, etc.). Data correction needs to occur in Alma for flips where the LCGFT term DIFFERS from the LCSH term, such as Comics (Graphic works), Screenplays, Thrillers (Fiction), Academic Theses.

Please vote on the Ideas Exchange. (Clean-up of these is also on the project request list). More background on LC FAQ on LCSH/LCFGT. At Harvard generally only legacy records use the 655/0 LCSH term. Current records generally use 655/7 LCGFT.

Note that the issue was discussed at length at ExL, and derives from the fact LC provides the LCGFT in the LCSH file, rather than as separate feeds.

 (U-Minn case 00189209)


Please vote on the Idea  

LowPCT does not correct capitalization or diacriticsIf you have a heading in an Alma record that differs from the established heading in terms of capitalization or diacritics, Alma will link to the authority record, but it will not change the heading in the bib record to match the authority in terms of capitalization or diacritics. For example, "Förster, Rudolf" should not have an umlaut. It is linked to the correct authority. 2/27/1900657458 
LowFamily names in subject fields (MARC field 600 first indicator 3) do not link to authority recordsHeadings will not be controlled. (Count of family name subject headings in catalog ~ 50k)2/15/18521982 
LowPreferred term correction - BIB heading found no match: some records appear in the report twice, for consecutive days

Creates duplicative items on task list

Workaround: export report and sort by heading so the duplicates appear next to each other

LowPreferred term corrected completes with errorsThe PTC job completes but some headings are not corrected due to errors. The job report indicates the number of errors but not which headings were not corrected.8/20/18586510Q4 2019
LowNot all CZ records have current headingsIsolated cases have been found where CZ bib headings do not get updated through authority control. These are visible in Browse Bib Headings.4/9/1800538880 


AreaProblemImpactWorkaroundCreated DateSalesforce CaseExpected resolution
FundsOverencumbrance allowed in excess of rule limit when using order templatePossible to overcommit fund despite rule.
4/17/2019678250Pending Development
FundsCreating an invoice via PO for a continuous order releases remaining encumbrance, regardless of whether that box is checked on the invoice lineEncumbrance for continuous orders that are invoiced multiple times per fiscal year might not be accurate.Not an issue for invoices created manually.8/2/2019See Knowlege Article.TBD
InvoicesMay be unable to create invoices from PO if PO has 100+ POLsIn some cases, when a PO contains 100 or more POLs, the PO cannot be found when searching during the Create Invoice From PO process.Use Alma's create invoice from Excel functionality9/10/2018

593872 (High)

Was December 2019 - now Q1 2020.

Fix requires redesign of major Alma components.

InvoicesUser without proper role can delete approved invoiceA user without invoice operator extended is able to delete an approved and closed invoice via the EDI file reload functionality 11/9/2018620424Pending Development
InvoicesAlerts for invoice approval rulesAn invoice approval rule for a negative discount does not trigger an alert. 1/17/2018508728Pending Work Plan
InvoicesEDI invoices won't load on new sandboxAttempting to manually load an EDI invoice file on the new sandbox returns an "Input file does not exist" error.Use the old sandbox for testing4/11/2019674447Pending Development
InvoicesError when reloading EDI invoiceAttempting to reload an EDI invoice file with a long file name via the reload function on the vendor record returns a file not found error. (The same is true when reloading via the EDI tab of the vendor record or via the Create Invoice From File function.)Manually shorten file name before reloading4/24/2019680093Pending Work Plan

How Alma determines whether enough money exists in a fund to pay an invoice line

Ex Libris documentation states that Alma checks for a disencumbrance, then calculates available balance with the disencumbrance applied. However, absent an overexpenditure rule, a fund with a negative available balance cannot be added to an invoice line, regardless of whether there will be sufficient available balance to cover the charge once the disencumbrance is applied.

7/19/2019709722Pending Development (Ex Libris says this is a product defect)
Import Profile

When large files are split, sometimes the POLs and items are not created for all records

Alma can load multiple files and automatically splits large files of records into smaller files during the import process. Occasionally, some of these files will load bibliographic records, but fail to load orders and inventory, returning the error: File Failed in Additional Services Processing

 7/12/2018574700Pending Development
Order LetterExL added the 490 and 830 to the Order List Letter. However, non-roman script may not display properly.Orders for CJK materials in particular may not display these values.None may be needed. Other fields (e.g., Title, Creator, and ISBN/ISSN) will display properly. Can also place order directly with vendor.6/15/2018566481Pending Work Plan
Order LetterVendor name on the order letter includes a value not found in Alma.There is a known issue where a last name field can be associated to a vendor, and it can lead to a value that cannot be edited in the vendor record. The value can only be removed by Ex Libris support.Submit Salesforce case2/25/2019656219 TBD
Order TemplatesAmpersand in template name causes errorIncluding an ampersand in a template name causes a Java error when attempting to apply to a new POL. 2/14/2019652356Pending Development
POLCreating order via template allows use of fund not authorized for POL owner

Manually creating a POL does not allow the use of a fund not authorized for the POL owner. However, using an order template to create the POL does allow the use of a fund not authorized for that owner.

Pending Work Plan
POLPOLs stuck at Auto Packaging

A small percentage of manually created POLs get stuck at Auto Packaging, seemingly because they are assigned to a user. The History tab of the POL will show the user assignment being released as the POL moves from In Review to Auto Packaging, then seconds later the user assignment is added back. There is no way for anyone other than the assigned user to edit the POL. 

Assigned user should use Order Now to move the POL out of Auto Packaging.4/10/2019673591Was November 2019, moved to January 2020 release
POLSent orders have user assignment

We have POLs with a status of Sent that are assigned to users. Only the assigned user can edit the POL.

(Since the POL is no longer In Review, there is no task list through which other users can edit the order or release the user assignment.)

Send list of POLs to Ex Libris.5/28/19690392TBD
PredictionMonths for prediction patterns are always in English despite Lang of holding (Fixed for most but not all langs)The March 2019 release addressed the issue where the months for prediction patterns were only in English. However, certain languages (e.g., Russian) still display in English. (This is true for seasons, as well.) 3/5/2019659548Sent to ExL Development on 5/16/2019
Receiving ListInvoice not Found in Receiving List via Invoice Search

Occasionally, searching for a known invoice in the receiving list via the Invoice Search returns no results.

Search for the invoice via the All search2/4/2019648342With Development as of September 2019, but no timeline for fix
SearchingPO Line Type search for Physical - Standing Order Monograph returns results for Physical Standing Order Non-MonographsSearch results for this PO line type are not accurate within Alma.Use Analytics3/12/2018531720Pending Work Plan
VendorsA user without permissions can make vendors inactiveA user with read-only acquisitions administrator and purchasing operator roles–but not vendor manager–is able to use the toggle to make vendors inactive. 10/10/2018607817Was to have been fixed in March 2019 release. Now Pending Work Plan


AreaProblemImpactWorkaroundCreated DateSalesforce CaseExpected resolution
Portfolio LoaderAdding Electronic Material Type via Portfolio Loader using loading policy type: incremental and operation: add new does not work for CZ bibs.Additional work to add Electronic Material Type.Re-run the same file as as policy type: incremental and operation: update.8/14/2019717989Pending Development
Portfolio LoaderUsing an input file with an ampersand in the name causes an error when attempting to view the Analyzed File via the Job Report on the Jobs History tab.
Don't include an ampersand in the input file name.8/29/2019722359December 2019

Resource Sharing

Scan and Deliver

Status: Development Requested from Ex Libris

Expected Resolution Date: TBD

System behavior change in when links display. We do not have the ability to display Scan Del links in Alma with the same granularity that we had in Aleph. Therefore, sometimes Scan Del links will not appear for items in Alma that did appear for the same items in Aleph. Scan and deliver eligibility is no longer driven by item policy in Alma. Whenever you see that link appear, behind the scenes work is being done by resource sharing to source the scan. Resource sharing has a list of eligible Harvard locations. If your item is in a location that is eligible, the scan request would come to you; if it is not, it will be sourced elsewhere or outside of Harvard.

Form Issues.  ILLiad form changes resulted in issues with request form for patrons.

Status: In Process

Expected Resolution Date: Remaining Issues TBD

  • RESOLVED  10/29/2018: Fields missing from requests- some fields are missing from the Scan and Deliver form. 
  • RESOLVED  10/29/2018:  Wrong form is being sent (book instead of article)- this may be an ILLiad configuration setting.
  • Diacritics issues - characters aren't properly populating the ILLiad form with the correct encoding.


Searching characters interchangeably

These characters should be searched interchangeably but cannot be at this time. This has been reported to ExL (Salesforce 00680063).

    • 研 (U+7814) and 硏 (U+784F)
    • 囯 U+56EF and 国(U+56FD)

Browsing titles

Vernacular titles from paired 880 fields do not show up in Browse: Title. (ExL case 00496918, Dec 5 2017, est. H1 2019)

Migrated non-Latin data

Mispaired non-Latin fields and corresponding loss of non-Latin data in paired fields for controlled headings when fields are mispaired

    • For a period of time prior to the Alma migration, records exported from OCLC with paired fields were delivered with the non-Latin in the wrong sequence. If the mispaired fields are in controlled headings in Alma, they will be flipped from non-Latin to vernacular. 
    • A project to replace these records with newer copies from OCLC is on the EOC prioritization list. 
 Click here for more information

Full text of notice to HL-cat list

Date: Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 2:28 PM
To: hlcat-list <>
Subject: Issue with vernacular headings in some records


For an unknown length of time during the last fiscal year, Connexion exports from OCLC had the vernacular text in the wrong sequence for paired fields. This meant that when records were exported from Connexion to Aleph, the paired fields had the vernacular in the first part of the pair instead of the second. When Aleph exports data, it converts the 2nd part of the pair to an 880 field, where vernacular is stored. Because the vernacular/Latin were in the wrong order, the Latin was stored in the 880 instead of the vernacular. When records were migrated from Aleph to Alma, records were again converted to have 880 fields. Because the vernacular/Latin were in the wrong sequence, when the text was in field that is a controlled access point, the vernacular was flipped to the Latin if it matched a cross-reference in an authority record, as part of Alma's authority control process.


For example, if the vernacular is in a 100 field instead of an 880 field, Alma matches it to a NAR. When it finds a match in the 4XX of the NAR, Alma then flips the heading to the form in the 1XX, which is Romanized. So now we have a 100 Romanized, and a linked pair that is also Romanized, and we have lost the vernacular altogether.

LTS is investigating the scope of this problem and working to find a solution that will involve replacing the affected records with new copies from OCLC.


In the meantime, if you come across access points in the course of your work (1XX/7XX/6XX/8XX) in Alma that are Romanized with paired Romanized fields, do not try to just type in the vernacular in the first field of the pair. If you do that, it will just flip to the Romanized again. Instead, you can overlay the record with the OCLC copy. The vernacular will then become the 2nd field of the pair in Alma. PLEASE NOTE that this record may still be overlaid as part of our batch updates to resolve this issue. 

Alma Analytics Known Issues

See page at Analytics & Reporting for Alma Analytics Known Issues

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