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Alma Resource Management

Working with the Metadata Editor in the Institution and Network Zones. Includes indication and normalization rules.

SUNY Cataloging Basics

All cataloging takes place in OCLC except for:

  • Brief bib records for ordering
  • Local notes (known as Local extensions in Alms)
    • Local note are the ONLY MARC fields that should be added/edited in the MD Editor


Cataloging should take place in OCLC for everything, except adding local fields. When to catalog in OCLC:

  • Original cataloging
  • Adding MARC fields/content to a master bib records
  • Edit MARC fields/content to a master bib record


All bib records should be exported to the Network Zone (NZ) from OCLC except for exceptions defined in MSP-3. The following MSP exceptions and ebooks not in the Community Zone (CZ) should be exported to the Instution Zone (IZ) from OCLC:

  • Personal-copy course reserves
  • Titles borrowed on ILL from outside the consortia
  • Inventory control of equipment
  • Host bibliographic records for bound-withs
  • Suppressed bibliographic records
  • Vendor record sets that the library is not allowed to share


All NZ bib records are required to have an OCLC number in MARC 035 $$a, except brief bib records that are created for ordering. OCLC bib records in the NZ match on the OCLC number in MARC 035 $$a. NZ bib records are updated from OCLC master record imports on a daily basis for new, updated, and merged bib records. 


NEVER overlay/edit/delete an OCLC number from MARC 035 $$a in NZ bib records. The exception to the rule is for brief bib records that have been created for ordering. Brief bib records can be edited to add an OCLC number in MARC 035 $$a. Once an OCLC number has been added to a brief bib record it should not be overlayed, edited, or deleted.

MSP-28: SUNY Libraries Consortium Metadata Policies Policy: Working in Alma and the Network Zone

Bibliographic Records Training Videos

MMS ID - Metadata Management System Identifier

The MMS ID (Metadata Management System ID) is the unique record identifier in Alma. You may be asked to supply the MMS ID when troubleshooting in Alma and it is important to be able to provide the correct MMS ID. 

All records in Alma are assigned an MMS ID:

  1. Network Zone (NZ) MMS IDs end with 4801                                                                                                                                                              
  2. Institution Zone (IZ) MMS IDs end with the 4-digit unique identifier assigned to the institution
    • Bib records in an IZ will all have an MMS ID with the 4-digits for the institution                                                                                        
    • NZ linked records will have an IZ and an NZ MMS ID                                                                                                                                       


Searching NZ MMS IDs in the Institution Zone (IZ)

Related Titles in Alma

Ex Libris Documentation