Related product I-Share

Primo VE and the EBSCO Databases

December 2, 2019; Revised March 11, 2020

General Background

Although EBSCO databases that you subscribe to can be activated in Alma for link resolving, EBSCO does not allow Primo VE users to search your EBSCO-provided databases' content or indexing directly. In order to do this, the EBSCO databases must be set up as a separate scope in Primo VE using the EBSCOhost API so that users can fully search for your institution's EBSCO-provided materials in Primo VE.

Known Limitations of the EBSCO API search in Primo VE

Note that only users who are signed into Primo VE or on campus at the time of their search will see EBSCO databases in their search results, and the facets for an EBSCO API search may be different than what a user would see in the results of a standard Primo VE search. Off-campus users that have not signed into Primo VE will see the EBSCO API scope offered (if configured) and can do a search, but the search results will return zero records.

In addition, the EBSCOhost API does not support the following functions within Primo VE:

  • "Starts with" option for title searches. The API will return all results, not only the titles that start with the specified search term.
  • Pre-limiting the search by a specific language
  • Record counts for facets for EBSCOhost searches (record counts will be visible for non-EBSCO results)
  • Most facets, other than Resource Type
  • Advanced search options

CARLI Implementation of Alma/Primo VE and the EBSCOhost API

After consultation with EBSCO, CARLI and EBSCO have determined that it will work better for our I-Share institutions and for EBSCO Support if each I-Share institution has Alma-specific EBSCO API credentials to be used only in Alma.  EBCSO provided CARLI with a set of new, custom EBSCO API credentials for each I-Share library along with a full list of database codes (as of Dec. 2019) for each I-Share library’s current EBSCO subscriptions.  As of Feb. 19, 2020, CARLI staff have updated the EBSCO API Search Profile in each Institution Zone (IZ) to include the institution's new Alma-specific credentials.

  • If the EBSCO API Search Profile did not previously exist in your IZ, CARLI staff created it and the corresponding Search Profile Slot in order to add the new credentials and database codes and test that they worked, but we have left the Search Profile Slot toggled "Off." Your institution may choose to turn it "On" in order to experiment with the EBSCO API search feature in the future, or you may continue to leave it “Off.”
  • The EBSCO API search scope is optional.  Each institution can decide whether or not enabling the EBSCO API search scope in Primo VE is appropriate for their users.
  • Any other EBCSO API credentials that your institution already has may continue to be used with other non-Alma applications as needed.
  • CARLI can provide each institution with their Alma-specific EBCSO API credentials upon request, but please note that these credentials are only to be used in Alma and should not be used with other applications.

After additional testing and discussion with Ex Libris, CARLI has decided that users will be best served if we do NOT separately manage the 13 CARLI-purchased databases in the Network Zon (NZ) . Rather, these 13 databases are now included in the list of EBSCO database codes configured in each I-Share library’s IZ.

The 13-database package that CARLI purchases for all members:

Database Name Database Code

Instructions for How to update EBSCO API database codes in Alma

If your list of database codes is incorrect for any reason (you have added or deleted a subscription) the EBSCO API search will return zero results in Primo VE. It is important to keep your list of database codes up to date and accurate. In Feb. 2020, CARLI Staff added the list of databases provided by EBSCO as of December 2019 to your IZ.  You may also wish to refer to the EBSCOhost Database Short Names List.

To view or edit database codes, log into Alma as a User with the Discovery Admin role.

  • Use the Gear icon from the main page to access Alma Configuration



  • Then go to the Discovery side tab > Search Configuration section > Search Profiles

  • From the Search Profiles screen, navigate to the Other Indexes tab. Select "EBSCO_API" (may also be called "EBSCO") and click on the button with the three dots on the right side of the screen. Select "Edit."

You will be taken to the "Define Ebsco Scope" configuration page.

  • DO NOT edit the Username or Password. In Feb. 2020, CARLI set up each institution's EBSCO_API scope with Alma-specific credentials that we received from EBSCO for this purpose.
  • DO edit the Database code list if needed and as appropriate. Database codes should be separated by a comma with no space before or after.
  • Don’t forget to click Save when done!

Instructions for How to toggle on/off the EBSCO API search profile slot in Alma

  1. First, log into Alma as a User with the Discovery Admin role.
  2. Next, use the Gear icon from the main page to access Alma Configuration and choose Discovery.
  3. Go to Discovery > Display Configuration > Configure Views and click the ellipsis button to Edit the View.
  4. Navigate to the Search Profile Slots tab.
  5. Toggle on/off the Active slider for the "EBSCO_API" Search Profile.
  6. Navigate to the General tab and Click Save.

Please contact with any questions.