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Combined Institution and Network Search Results

Ex Libris, Combining Institution and Network Zone Search Results.

CARLI is testing out Alma search functionality that allows you to see shared Network resources in an institution zone search. The option of Combining Institution and Network Zone Search Results is currently active in the premium sandbox for University of Illinois Chicago. CARLI staff believes that all institutions will want to implement this option, so we invite library staff to test and comment on this functionality. CARLI staff plan to request this change for libraries in August 2022.

Enhancing Institution Searching with Network Search Results

Normally, the institution zone search provides results only for an institution’s local inventory.

  • Physical searches show those resources where the institution has a physical holding record and item records.
  • Electronic searches show those resources where the institution has an electronic collection and/or electronic portfolios.
  • All Titles searches show both electronic and physical inventory, as well as any bibliographic records not associated with inventory.

CARLI provides a number of shared electronic collections in the Network Zone, such as the CARLI Ebook Program and Open Access resources for all members, and eRead Illinois and OverDrive collections for members that have selected into those group packages. To view these records in Alma, a staff member must select the Network tab in order to see if there are relevant resources in the network. When viewing a resource from the Network tab, it may not be obvious if your institution has access to the resource.

With the combined institution and network search option available, it is possible to see any electronic resource that your institution has in its local inventory or available from shared network inventory. The default setting is for search of your institution only.

An image of the Alma search results header for an All Titles search, the institution tab is active, the search scope option is highlighted and is set to Institution.

Click the search scope, which appears above the first result in the results list, and you will see a check box to apply Combined Results. Ticking this box will apply changes instantly.

An image of Alma's search scope box that displays after clicking the search scope option. An information note reads "Display results from the institution and the network," and a checkbox is visible for "Combined results."

Ticking the Combined results box will apply the new search scope instantly, and Alma will refresh the contents of the Institution tab and the number of results will change based on the number of matching resources shared with your institution. Any shared resources in the results will have a tag of "-From Network"; under the MMS ID, and expanding the inventory section will show the collection that is shared with your institution.

An image of the Alma search results header and screen for an All Titles search of title "hello world," with the "Search scope" highlighted and set to "Combined Results." A set of institution facets is highlighted in the lower left.

Additionally, the results screen will now include an additional set of facets under the heading Institution. Selecting CARLI NETWORK will limit the results to the shared network resources. Likewise, changing the facet to your institution will show only your institution's resources, but it also keeps the combined search results scope in place.

An image of Alma's search results screen and header for an All Titles search of "hello world" with the search scope of "Combined Results," and the "CARLI NETWORK" institution facet selected. Titles from the network have a "From Network" note listed.

To remove the combined results search scope, click the search scope option, then untick the Combined results box.

Questions and answers

Q: Could we select the option to combine results before entering a search?

A: The combined results option only becomes available after a search is performed. Changing the option, either to combine results or choose institution only, applies your choice immediately. Your choice will remain in place for any future searches. 

Q: Could we select combined as the default search for our institution?

A: CARLI has asked Ex Libris to identify whether this is an option.

Q: What is the difference between combined results and the contents of the network tab?

A: The network tab shows all resources that are found in the Network Zone for your search. Some of those records will represent physical titles, some records will represent electronic titles in other libraries’ collections, and some records will be for shared electronic collections. The combined search results option updates the institution tab to include any resources from shared electronic collections along with your institution's electronic inventory.

Q: I did a physical titles search with combined results active. Why didn't the results change?

A: The Network Zone does not contain any physical inventory (holdings records and item records).