Related product I-Share

CARLI I-Share Alma Title Count Reduction Project

Revised: March 30, 2023

Current Project Status

As described in the March 30, 2022 announcement, CARLI and Ex Libris have reached an understanding about how bibliographic titles will be counted in I-Share that takes advantage of bibliographic title record sharing through our consortial Alma Network Zone and e-resource record sharing via the customer-wide Alma Community Zone. This clarified understanding puts the CARLI consortium well within our current Alma contractual number of bibliographic titles, but it provides further incentive for our consortial efforts to reduce record duplication in Alma. Using a shared consortial bibliographic record whenever appropriate, helps keep our title count from becoming inflated and improves discovery and resource sharing of materials held by multiple I-Share institutions. 

CARLI continues to contract with the Illinois Heartland Library System's Catalog Maintenance Center to employ catalogers to assist the CARLI Office staff and I-Share member library staff in identifying duplicate titles and consolidating these records where appropriate. CARLI staff are also currently working on documentation for I-Share libraries on how to clean up duplicate records in their own IZs.

Project History

I-Share libraries need to reduce our total number of Bibliographic Titles.  CARLI’s Alma subscription currently allows us to have over 46 million titles across the entire consortium, i.e., 89 Institution Zones (IZ) plus the Network Zone (NZ).  We are currently over our allowance, but we know many duplicates were introduced as the result of our migration to Alma from multiple sources, including Voyager, SFX, and other e-resource systems like 360.

Ex Libris and CARLI have identified three areas where we have an excess of records that we can reduce by performing record clean-up:

1. Most I-Share libraries have activated electronic resources in their IZs that are identical to collections that already are or may be provided centrally by CARLI via the NZ. This carryover of practices from Voyager isn't unusual, but it is the largest source of duplicate titles across the consortium.

  • Our first priority will focus on Open Access and Free E-Collections that are shared from the NZ. As freely-available resources, these resources do not require patron authentication nor acquisition transactions, and do not need to be in the IZ.
  • Next, we expect to move on to electronic resources that CARLI has purchased for all members.  We will start with non-EBSCO resources first, then the EBSCO resources.
  • Finally, we’ll work to centralize CARLI-brokered collections as much as possible.

2. Many IZs and the NZ contain bibliographic records that have no inventory. While there are several reasons why a bib may be present without inventory, we expect that a fair number of these records are artifacts from Voyager, in particular bibs used on purchase orders where the inventory has been moved or removed since the initial order.

3. Many IZs and the NZ contain duplicate bibliographic records. In some cases, duplicates are identical or nearly identical copies of the same WorldCat bib. In other cases, the duplicates were cataloged initially using different WorldCat bibs that OCLC has since merged.

CARLI will contact each I-Share library as work begins in their IZ to outline the clean-up that will be done.  When possible, CARLI will provide I-Share libraries with instructions on how they can help with the clean-up themselves, if they are willing and able to do so.

Rounds of Cleanup

Project Announcements and Presentations

Title Count Reduction FAQ

Why are we doing this?

Alma pricing is based on a metric that counts titles, e-journals, and named users. Ex Libris monitors these numbers as part of managing their cloud environment, and CARLI I-Share is currently over our Alma subscription allowance of 46 million titles across the entire consortium. As these numbers can directly impact our Alma costs and none of us want unexpected cost increases, it is in our shared best interest to not store duplicate bib records or have e-collections active in Institution Zones (IZs) that can be reasonably managed in the Network Zone (NZ).

Furthermore, the contract titles count is not the only goal in this effort. Alma provides a number of efficiencies for managing shared data, particularly electronic resources data, that we haven't yet been using fully. Ex Libris informs us that at this stage of a consortium's implementation, they would be working with institutions to reduce duplication from legacy systems and legacy processes, and take more advantage of Alma's functionality. Whatever decreased title count we're able to achieve, by engaging in this work, now, we expect to improve our processes for sharing electronic resources metadata, and we believe we can produce cleaner, updated data in the NZ and IZs as well. This work should also help position us better to move forward with other future metadata objectives!

Who are the project catalogers that CARLI has hired from the Illinois Heartland Library System?

CARLI has contracted with the Illinois Heartland Library System’s Catalog Maintenance Center to engage a team of their professional catalogers to work on Alma record deduplication and cleanup under the supervision of CARLI Office staff. These staff will start by working on the free/OA collection cleanup. For more information, see the Sept. 1, 2021 announcement sent to I-Share Directors and Liaisons.

How many titles is my library allowed to have according to our Alma subscription?

As our contract and Alma pricing is based on aggregate totals for the consortium, we do not have limits per institution.

Do brief bibliographic records that we’ve created for Course Reserves or for ILL through OCLC count towards the titles count?

Yes, a bibliographic record with an MMS ID for your institution counts as a record.  As long as you are removing these records when they are no longer needed, you shouldn’t need to stop this practice.

In our IZ we have bib records for items withdrawn in Voyager in a location named Withdrawn. Are these counted toward the total? If so, can we remove them?

Yes. In Voyager, you could not delete records that were associated with Purchase Orders, but in Alma you can. You should follow the Withdrawing Inventory and Deleting Records workflow to remove the records from Alma.

Will Local Extensions be removed if duplicate bibliographic records are merged in the NZ?

No, Local Extensions are stored in the IZ and will persist.  When duplicate bib records are merged in the NZ, they will be transferred to the record that is kept.

What about NZ bibs that have no items that still show in our IZ? How can we delete these?

Send the record to the Metadata Editor and use the Record Actions > Copy to Catalog first to make a local copy of the record in your IZ, then use Record Actions > Delete Record to remove it from your IZ.

Who should we report broken links to?

If the linking in Primo VE says "Activated by CARLI" or "Provided by CARLI" send the report to . CARLI staff will investigate and, if needed, change the portfolio or e-collection once to assist all I-Share libraries. CARLI staff will send support cases about the NZ titles as needed.

What if we have permalinks to titles within e-collections that are deleted in the IZ in favor of managing the e-collection from the NZ?

Some library web pages or LibGuides may use Primo VE permalinks to Alma MMS IDs for titles in e-collections that are activated in your IZ.  If those IZ e-collections are deleted, any permalinks using these now deleted MMS IDs will no longer connect. You should check your library pages for any such links and make a note to replace the permalinks with new permalinks to the resources in the NZ after the e-collections have been deleted from your IZ.

What does this process do to POLs?

Alma allows the deletion of bibliographic records that are associated with purchase order lines. The POL will retain a copy of the basic bibliographic details, which preserves the ability to search Alma for POLs. Alma Analytics also retains data on bibliographic records that were deleted.

What does this do to my Institution Zone collection size statistics?

Your IZ collection totals may decline from e-collection deletions. However, CARLI's I-Share Electronic Stat 1 report shows institution electronic collection stats from both IZ-activated titles and titles inherited from NZ.

Are there reports that we can run ourselves or customize to include more information?

Yes, you may navigate in your Analytics catalog to /Shared Folders/Carli NETWORK 01CARLI_NETWORK/Title Count Reduction Project Reports. You may run these reports in place, or to customize them further, copy the report and paste into your institution's shared analytics folder. Available reports to run are documented on the Shared Analytics: Title Count Reduction Project page.

Other Resources

Illinois Heartland Library System. The CMC Dives into Database Cleanup. (Accessed 30 March 2023)