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A collection of documentation guides for Acquisitions tasks and processes.


Activation: the process of "turning on" an electronic resource in Alma, which in turn makes it discoverable in Primo.

Alma: the staff side interface of the public catalog

Bibliographic Record: aka "bib", contains title-level descriptive information about materials we own or have access to, ie, title, author, publisher, identifying numbers such as ISBN or ISSN.

Community Zone: aka CZ, a knowledge base of bibliographic records, portfolios, and electronic collections that can be conveniently localized for use in the Institution Zone (IZ) to provide links to access free and subscribed resources, thus reducing the need to create records manually or source records from third parties.

Electronic Collection:  (usually) provider-level container of electronic inventory.  Think of it like a 3-ring binder and every page in the binder is an inventory item.  Best practice is to maintain separate collections for journals and ebooks, paid and open access content. 

Holdings record: Location-specific information about physical materials we own, or have previously owned.  Location (ie Main, Lab, Annex, etc.), call #, volumes held.

Interface:  a semi-collection of electronic collections; an identifier of access providers at the vendor level.  For example, if vendor JoeBob is identified as an access provider in the Alma vendor profile, an interface must also be configured, which can, in turn, be attached to all collections of resources that JoeBob provides.  The interface makes it easier to locate content from specific providers in Alma.

An interface can also be attached to a stand-alone portfolio, but this is not good practice for long-term maintenance and reporting on electronic inventory.


For physical materials, item records, which allow for circulation and other inventory control and tracking of materials we currently own, previously owned, or have on order. 

For electronic content, portfolios, which contain links, coverage dates (if applicable), and indication whether EZProxy authentication is required.

MARC: MAchine-Readable Cataloging. A widely used formatting standard for the representation and exchange of bibliographic, authority, holdings, classification, and community information data in machine-readable form.

OCLC: Online Computer Library Center. American nonprofit cooperative organization serving over 17,000 libraries worldwide.  Provides our library with high-quality MARC records and support for ILL activities for an annual fee.

Platform: The online interface for accessing provider content.

Portfolio: electronic inventory

Primo: the public catalog, aka BOSS (Big Orange Search System), fed by Alma as well as integrations in Primo Central. One week delay for most changes coming from Alma.

Provider: The publisher or content host of online resources. 

POL: Purchase Order Line.  Fundamental Acquisitions record for physical or electronic inventory.  Required for invoice tracking and some physical inventory management.

Service:  For electronic content, an optional intermediate container within an electronic collection that includes linking parser parameters (if applicable) and indicates whether active content is Full text or Selected Full text. 

Stand-alone:  a portfolio that is not part of an electronic collection.

Vendor: who we pay for materials and resources.  Sometimes the vendor and the provider are the same entity, but usually the vendor is merely a distributor who pays providers / publishers on our behalf.  The vendor is, in most cases, the starting point for reporting lack of access to content that we should be able to access.  Vendors can provide first-party documentation of our purchase and entitlement that we sometimes cannot.

WorldShare Collection Manager: aka WCM; a cataloging tool from OCLC that helps streamline and automate the management of records for electronic and print collections in one place to save staff time while improving collection discovery and access.