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If record already exists in Alma

(warning) Please make sure that you are familiar with the definitions and instructions for common scenarios outlined on the OCLC Data Sync (Maintaining Holdings in WorldCat) page before proceeding.


There is more than one way to do this. We have outlined the following BEST PRACTICE

Best Practice: Copy and Merge
  1. Search for copy in Connexion
    In Alma, open the target record in the Metadata Editor

    1. We should search in Connexion to make sure we have the best possible record.
    2. This recommendation exists because of the advanced search capabilities in Connexion, where it is easier to deal with large numbers of search results. 
    3. You may also begin right in Alma if you do not generally encounter many OCLC records for your materials. 
  2. Choose Tools --> Search External Resources
  3. A form opens in the right pane. Click the Clear button

  4. Copy the OCLC number from Connexion (Ctrl+T) and paste it to the field labeled "system number" in the form in the right pane in Alma.

  5. Click Search

    1. (Should be rare: if you get more than one hit, view the records in Alma and choose the correct record)
  6. Click on the ellipsis and choose "Copy & Merge"

    1. Do NOT choose Copy & Overlay. Do NOT choose IMPORT since that creates a duplicate record in Alma.
    2. Note - Copy & Merge removes the 998 field in the original record if present and makes it eligible for future OCLC overlays if it is a monograph. 

(info) Exception for serials: 998 No-Overlay fields are added to serial records via a normalization rule.

 8. Save and release the record.


Alternate method, NOT best practice: 

  1. Make sure the target record in Alma has the right OCLC number in it. Make sure the target record is NOT open in the Metadata Editor. (If it is, no changes will be made to it). 

    1.  If you need to add OCLC number, format following this example: 035__ $$a(OCoLC)459287
    2. Save & Release the record.
  2. From Connexion, with the preferred record open, Export the record. 
  3. The Alma record with the matching OCLC number will be replaced with the Connexion record (local fields retained)

    1. If Alma has multiple records with the same OCLC number, the export will fail. OCLC will have a pop-up box that says: "Import failed. Reason: Multi matches found for this record."

    2. Solution: where multiple records exist, examine for possible erroneous duplicates (always being sensitive to different cataloging practices in the Special Collections communities), then use the Best Practice method.

If there is no record in Alma

  1. With the OCLC record on your screen, choose “Export” from the Action menu (key shortcut <F5>).

  2. The OCLC Gateway Export Status box will appear on your screen. 

  3. When the status changes from “Waiting for local system response” to “Export processing completed”, the record has been successfully exported and can be used and edited in Alma. 

  4. The MMS ID number will display in the Host Messages box. Copy and paste this number into Alma to retrieve the record. You may also search for the record through normal methods in Repository Search

  5. Make sure to use the "All titles" index in Alma. If you use "Physical titles" you will not retrieve the record because it does not yet have physical inventory.

  6. Once you are satisfied that the record has been correctly exported, you may close the OCLC Gateway Export Status box. 

  7. If export is unsuccessful, record the message that appears on the screen and contact LTS.

  8. The record in Alma will indicate that it was "Created by Ex Libris," and "Modified by System." If the record is later saved by a staff member within Alma, the "Created by" will change to the staff member's name, but the timestamp of the "Created by..." remains that of the Connexion export date.

If you make a mistake

  • If you accidentally modified a record, go to View Versions and revert. 

    See Metadata Editor (MDE): Navigation and Overview for more information on Record history.

  • If you accidentally brought in a new record you don't want, delete it.

    If you do not have permissions to delete records, use the File > Assign Record to Another Cataloger option to assign it to a colleague who can delete it.

Other Tips

  • If you add information to the OCLC record and do not replace the record in Connexion, that information will still export to Alma.

  • Unlike Aleph, Alma uses OCLC numbers to match records during export from Connexion.

  • Before you export a Connexion record to modify an existing Alma record, make sure that you have saved and released the Alma record (Does not apply to Copy & Merge).

  • The 035 with the Aleph number is in the Alma bib record for migration purposes. It does not need to be retained. The Aleph number continues to be searchable in the 900 local field.

  • Do not remove $0 fields when you encounter them. This field is used for linked data:





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