Individual e-books can be ordered using GOBI for several e-collections. Prior to Alma migration, for all but two e-book subaccounts, orders and e-book holdings were created manually to accommodate the single record approach and because e-book holdings could not be created using the order loader. While two e-book subaccounts had the order loader turned on to load orders and invoices, they required a lot of manual clean up for every title loaded.

Best practice in Alma - implemented 7/6/2021

Contact the Dataloads Librarian to script Import Profiles to automatically load orders and invoices for individual e-books. This can automatically add the community zone portfolio to the activation queue, or create a local portfolio when the CZ portfolio does not (yet) exist.

Past practice in Alma

Manually create order and activate e-book, as documented below. This process was sunset on 7/5/2021

PLEASE NOTE: Alma uses the multiple record approach for electronic and print versions of a title. This means One time eBook orders via GOBI will have a separate bibliographic record and order from the print version in Alma.

1. Place order in GOBI

The order is placed on GOBI by a selector or acquisitions staff-member. This order will contain information on supplier/collection, number of simultaneous users and fund/budget codes, which can be used to set up the order in Alma. No longer need to edit portfolios such as the simultaneous user information and etc..

If this is not the first order for this ebook, the new order will match on the existing bib record, meaning that no further additional action is needed when this happens.

2. Editing the order in Alma, if needed

The stub bib record, inactive portfolio, and order record will load overnight, following the order's placement on the GOBI platform. The turnaround time for these should be the same as for print firm orders.

Once the order record has been created in Alma by the dataload, it can be edited, if anything needs to be added or updated.

  • Notifications for Patron Requests: If there is a patron request for the title, add them to the Interested Users tab.
    1. Search Order Lines for the title of the book
    2. Click Edit
    3. Click the Add Interested User Tab
    4. Enter the patron info
    5. Check off "Notify user upon receiving/activation"Click "Add and close"
  • Notes: if useful, you can record order-specific information (like the Request Tracker ticket number) on the Notes tab by clicking "Add Notes".
    • The Technical Specifications given to GOBI will include feeding the number of simultaneous users for an ebook into the portfolio note, so adding this information as a note either in the PO Line or in the portfolio should not be necessary.

7-10 days following the order load in Alma, a second load occurs.

  1. The brief bib record is overwritten with a full record
  2. A link is added to the portfolio
  3. The portfolio is activated and published to Hollis

There is no need to monitor the NOA notifications or to go into the e-activation task list to make the title available. Instruction 4 below provides how this may be done, if it is needed in a case by case basis.

3. Paying the invoice

  • Submitting the invoice for approval will lead to the PO Lines closing
  • Testing has shown that if the PO Lines are closed before the full bib comes in from GOBI, that the auto-activation process used in Alma will not work – the bib will stay suppressed, and the portfolio will remain inactive
  • For that reason, submitting the invoice for Approval must wait until at least one title per invoice has been confirmed as active in Hollis – this process takes an average of five days from the time the invoice appears in Alma.

3a Checking to see if a title is active in Hollis

  1. Search for the POL in Alma
  2. Click on the title of the POL to open it
  3. Check the color of the house icon next to the title, under the inventory area
    1. Grey = inactive
    2. Blue = active

4. If needed, providing the link to a patron or Access Services before the title appears in Hollis

  • If a title is a rush order, and needs to be made available before the full record has loaded, once the GOBI NOA email message has arrived, and access has been confirmed:
    1. Locate the URL from the NOA email message
    2. Prepend the proxy prefix to the front of the URL to ensure it works from off campus –
    3. That would make the URL above look like this:
    4. Paste this URL into a web browser, and confirm access by trying to open a chapter.
    5. Send this URL to the interested faculty member/reserves/requestor. Some canned text that can go with this message:
      Dear (NAME),
      Harvard Library has ordered the ebook title that you have requested, (TITLE). Online access to this title has been confirmed.  A record for this title will appear in Hollis within the next week.  Until it appears, the book may be accessed directly on the publisher's site at:
      Please report any difficulties you encounter with this title, by submitting a problem report at
      Harvard Library Acquisitions
  • NB: Because the dataloads will take a week for firm orders to appear in Hollis, selectors who would like to track the progress of their orders should be instructed to monitor them in Alma. This page on preorder searching provides several strategies for how this can be done.

GOBI e-book suppliers & Linking details

GOBI e-book supplier

Parser Parameter format

Parser Parameter creation instructions



Brill Onlinebkey=<titleID>
Cambridge UP online (GOBI)

jid=[ebook code]

Ebook code is the 32 symbol string in the ebook URL, for example:

de Gruyterbkey=e-ISBNde Gruyter eBooks Complete - Electronic Collection Parser Parameter Creation Instructions
EBSCOhostID=Accession #EBSCOhost eBooks - Electronic Collection Parser Parameter Creation Instructions
Elsevier ScienceDirectbkey=ISBN
Gale GVRLbkey=e-ISBN

IGI Global Online


Oxford Medicine Onlinebkey=10.1093/med/E-ISBN.001.0001/med-E-ISBN
Oxford UPSO Title-by-Title (GOBI)
Project MUSEbkey=Accession #
PROQUEST EBOOK CENTRALbkey=DOC ID Ebook Central Perpetual, DDA and Subscription Titles - Electronic Collection Parser Parameter Creation Instructions

Rittenhouse R2 Digital Library

Avoid using this vendor if possible, due to strict simultaneous user limit

Sage Knowledge (GOBI)

Taylor & Francis eBooks (GOBI)
bkey=e-ISBNTaylor & Francis eBooks Complete - electronic collection parser parameter creation instructions