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This FAQ was put together by Bob Thomas to update the community on the issues.


Background

In the Alma September 2015 Release, Ex Libris introduced a new option in import profiles titled ‘Do not override/ merge record with an older version.’ This functionality was developed in direct response to an Alliance request for a tool that would prevent overlaying a newer version of a bib record with an older version during record imports. An overview of this new functionality, along with detailed step-by-step instructions for its use, are on pages 18-31 of the Alma September 2015 Release Notes, so I won”t repeat that information here. Rather, this document is intended to inform you of the work that has been done to support this functionality, some assumptions I”ve made, and the results of a recent test.

Basically, the new function operates by comparing the incoming bib record”s date/time in the 005 field, against the date/time of the existing bib record”s ‘Originating System Version’ field. This new field can be viewed in the simple record view as shown below:






With the release of the new functionality in September, 2015, each time a bib record was imported into Alma, the Originating System Version field was automatically populated with the date/time in the 005 field of the incoming record. For existing bib records, however, the new field was empty and therefore the date/time comparison would not work. Ex Libris created a process that would populate the new field for existing records, but it exhibited a number of problems which took until last month to fix. Over the last few weeks I have run the process for all bib records in the Alliance Network Zone and all NZ bib records now have the Originating System Version field populated. Note that if you want to use this function when loading records into your IZ, you will need to follow the instructions in the release notes to populate the new field in your IZ bib records. Instructions on how to do this are in the September 2015 Release notes, and the process you create should look like this:








Testing

So, once we had the Originating System Version field populated in all NZ bib records, I was able to test whether the new functionality achieved our desired goals – and it does. For those interested, here are some edited notes on the test I ran today:

Test record:

OCLC #43475968

MMS ID:  9320185321601451


Test #1

Before:

Version: 6 Created By: W00840694@01ALLIANCE_WWU (01/25/2016 07:25:13 PST)

Originating System Version:  20150311090058.2

Record Loaded: 

OCLC43475968old.mrc

005  20140210000000.0

After:

Version: 6 Created By: W00840694@01ALLIANCE_WWU (01/25/2016 07:25:13 PST)

Originating System Version:  20150311090058.2

Results: The existing record was NOT overlaid by the incoming bib record, as the incoming bib record was an older version based on the date/time in the 005 field.


Test #2

Before:

Version: 6 Created By: W00840694@01ALLIANCE_WWU (01/25/2016 07:25:13 PST)

Originating System Version:  20150311090058.2

Record Loaded: 

OCLC43475968.mrc

005  20160210020529.0

After:

Version: 7 Created By: W00840694@01ALLIANCE_WWU (02/10/2016 14:39:15 PST)

Originating System Version:  20160210020529.0

Results: The existing record WAS overlaid by the incoming bib record, as the incoming bib record was a not an older version based on the date/time in the 005 field.

OCLC Connexion

I have not modified the NZ configuration used when exporting records from Connexion to Alma, as by definition the WorldCat bib record is ALWAYS the most recent version of WorldCat master record, and therefore of a bib record in the Alliance NZ. Also note that when Connexion exports a record from WorldCat to Alma (or any destination), Connexion changes the date/time in the bib record”s 005 field to the date of download – it is NOT the date the record was last modified in WorldCat. This is a fixed behavior of Connexion and cannot be changed (I”ve complained to OCLC and they showed no interest in considering a change in behavior).

Vendor Records

Where this new functionality really is important is when any Alliance institution imports a file of vendor bib records that contain OCLC numbers. Those records could have been pulled from WorldCat years ago, and the vendor keeps providing the same set of out-of-date bib records to each customer. So, whenever you set up an import profile to load vendor bib records, you should set the ‘Do not override/ merge record with an older version’ option to ‘Ignore Originating System’ as shown below:












I”m not sure when we would want to use the ‘Consider Originating System’ option, as the release notes states for this option, ‘When a matching record is found, the system does not overlay or merge an older record with a newer record if the Originating System value in the existing record and the imported record are the same and the Originating System Version date in the existing record is newer than the date in the 005 field of the imported record.’ Often we don”t care where an incoming bib record is from, whether a vendor or OCLC, we simply don”t want an older version of a record to overlay a newer version. So for most imports, choose ‘Ignore Originating System.’

If you have an import profile where you have selected ‘Use NZ Record’ as the ‘Upon match’ action, the ‘Do not override/merge record with an older version’ option is irrelevant, as the date/time comparison is ONLY made when you select ‘Merge’ or ‘Overlay’ as the ‘Upon match’ action. Selecting ‘Use NZ Record’ as the ‘Upon match’ action would be the normal option selected when you have vendor-provided bib records that are not from WorldCat, but which contain OCLC numbers. In these cases, you don”t want to overlay an OCLC bib record in the NZ with a vendor record.

Selecting the ‘Disabled’ option for ‘Do not override/merge record with an older version’ (if ‘Merge’ or ‘Overlay’ has been selected as the ‘Upon match’ action) will result in the incoming record always overlaying the existing record, as you have ‘disabled’ the date/time comparison.



Software: Alma

Current phase: NA Written by: Bob Thomas

Approved by: NA
Last updated: 2/11/2016
Staff Contact: Cassie Schmitt Nature of last update: NA

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