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Completed/Inactive Working Groups and Task Forces

Alma Glossary

Full glossary:


Activation makes an e-resource available for publishing for discovery (via Primo). This is the mechanism that reveals or suppresses (deactivates) the MARC bibliographic record linked to the database e-resource. See Activating Electronic Resources.

Aggregator package

A type of electronic collection that includes all titles (as opposed to a selective package, which includes only some of the collection’s titles). See Adding a Local Electronic Collection.

Examples: JSTOR Arts & Sciences I, Project MUSE

Alma Link Resolver

The Alma component that responds to external requests with a menu of physical, electronic, and digital services. For a physical resource, a request is offered; for an electronic resource, a context-sensitive link is provided; for a digital resource, a direct link to the digital object is provided. The Alma Link Resolver responds to OpenURL requests as well as requests from systems such as Primo. For more information, see the training video Alma Link Resolver.

Central Knowledge Base (CKB)

The part of the Community Zone that contains linking information to electronic resources around the world. See Introduction to Alma Inventory

Community Catalog

Metadata records stored in the Community Zone, which are updated as required by Ex Libris or by contributions from the community. Inventory records can link to these records; alternatively, the current versions of these records can be copied to the institution and maintained locally. See Introduction to Alma Inventory.

Community Zone

A data management zone with data supplied by Ex Libris and other libraries worldwide using Alma. See Alma Community Zone Into and Task List.


A type of electronic collection whose resources cannot be individually managed through an interface. See Working with Database Type Electronic Collections.

Examples: Abstracting & Indexing databases, e.g., Medline, PsycINFO


Enabling the patron who requested access to a digital resource to view or access a copy of that resource.

Digital resource

A file or group of files with metadata that exists on a local network, a server, or in the cloud. It may include, among other possible formats, streaming media, e-books, video, or images. Digital resource files can be stored and managed externally, but the metadata is managed by Alma. The resource generally requires a viewer on the user’s machine.

Electronic collection

A collection of electronic resources that can contain packages (which include portfolios) or databases (which include URLs). Aggregator packages, selective packages, and databases are all forms of electronic collections. Electronic collections are in turn accessed via a vendor interface. See Managing Electronic Collections.

Examples: Any database or e-journal/e-book collection, e.g., Project MUSE, Medline, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Ebsco EJS

Electronic resource 

A digital object that is stored and managed externally from the local library or Institution Zone. See Managing Electronic Resources.


The workflow to decide whether to purchase an electronic resource. One evaluation instance is a trial. See Evaluations and Trials.


The process by which patrons borrow and return physical resources, or access electronic or digital resources. See Introduction to Fulfillment.

Institution Zone

A data management zone with data for and by only the individual institution.

Local Collection


Creating a local copy of something, such as an electronic resource. The item is copied from the Community Zone to the Institution Zone. For electronic resources, this is typically done before or while activating the resource. See Activating Electronic Resources.

Network Zone

A data management zone with data managed by a network of libraries using Alma: in our case, the SUNY Libraries Consortium. See Introduction to the Network Zone.

OTB - Out of the box

Portfolio (Inventory)

The specific coverage, services, and link information relevant for a particular electronic title within an electronic collection. May include administrative/access information. May be local or global. See Managing Local Portfolios.

Examples: A single e-journal, a single e-book


A process that extracts and formats metadata for external uses, such as for discovery in Primo. See Resource Management.

Selective package

A type of electronic collection that includes only some of the collection’s titles (as opposed to an aggregator package, which includes all of the e-collection’s titles). Only the portfolios that you select from a selective package are activated. See Adding a Local Electronic Collection.

Examples: Ebsco EJS, Gale Virtual Reference Library


The supplier of physical or electronic goods or services. For electronic goods or services, the vendor is the access provider, or there may be a third-party access provider. See Managing Vendors.

Examples: Ebsco, Ithaka, Oxford University Press, ProQuest

Vendor interface

A collection of electronic collections offered by a vendor. A vendor interface is also known as a platform. See Managing Vendors.

Examples: EBSCOhost, Artstor, JSTOR, Oxford Academic Journals, Oxford Reference, ACS Academic Core

Example structures:

Vendor - ProQuest

↳ Vendor interface - ProQuest Databases

↳ Electronic collection (aggregator package) - ProQuest Education Database

↳ Electronic collection (aggregator package) - ProQuest Sociology Database

↳ Electronic collection (database) - ERIC

↳ Electronic collection (database) - Sociology Abstracts

↳ Vendor interface - Ebook Central

↳ Electronic collection (aggregator package) - Ebook Central Academic Complete

↳ Electronic collection (selective package) - all individual eBooks on Ebook Central

↳ Portfolio - Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention, Second Edition

Vendor - Ebsco

↳ Vendor interface - EBSCOhost

↳ Electronic collection (aggregator package) - PsycARTICLES

↳ Electronic collection (aggregator package) - Newswires

↳ Electronic collection (database) - MEDLINE

↳ Electronic collection (database) - PsycINFO

↳ Vendor interface - EJS

↳ Electronic collection (selective package) - EJS

↳ Portfolio - Journal of Contemporary History

Vendor - Ithaka

↳ Vendor interface - JSTOR

↳ Electronic collection (aggregator package) - JSTOR Arts & Sciences I

↳ Electronic collection (aggregator package) - JSTOR Arts & Sciences VII

↳ Electronic collection (aggregator package) - JSTOR Business I

↳ Electronic collection (selective package) - JSTOR Journal Hosting Program

↳ Portfolio - Journal of Fair Trade

↳ Vendor interface - Artstor

↳ Electronic collection (aggregator package) - Artstor


vendor interface examples


Term comparison with Serials Solutions Client Center:

  • Providers = Vendors
  • Databases = Electronic collections
    • Database with all items tracked = Aggregator package
    • Database with selected items tracked = Selective package
    • Database with no items (i.e., no full text) = Database
  • Individual books and journals = Portfolios
  • Holdings = Inventory

Term comparison with COUNTER reports:

  • Publishers = Vendors
  • Platforms = Vendor interfaces
  • Databases = Electronic collections
  • Books, journals, multimedia resources = Portfolios