Alma OCA Normalize Process


Normalization rules can be grouped together and packaged into a single process which can then be used in both import profiles and external system configurations (e.g., the Alma configuration for OCLC’s Connexion imports) to modify all bibliographic records being imported into Alma.

OCA Normalize

The OCA Normalize process was intended to be developed so it included all Alma normalization rules that the Alliance agreed should be applied to all bibliographic records being imported into Alma from OCLC’s WorldCat database, either via import profiles or via Connexion, and other import processes as appropriate. As of July 2016, the OCA Normalize process only contains the following tasks:

  • MARC 21 Bib Re-Sequence
    • Developed by: Ex Libris
    • Function: Sorts the bibliographic fields according to their field tags, for example 001, 100, 200, and so forth. Fields between 500 and 899 are sorted only on the first digit (retaining the field order in the incoming bib record).
  • OCA Remove 029
    • Developed by: Alliance
    • Function: Removes all 029 fields from incoming bib records. This was done since a) the OCLC 029 fields contain Other System Control Numbers which normally are vendor numbers used for internal OCLC WorldCat maintenance processes and serve no function within Alma, and b) shortly after migration to Alma we discovered that a significant number of WorldCat bib records contains so many 029 fields that Alma processes were unable to process the full WorldCat bib records.

To get to the “OCA Normalize” process in the NZ account, go to Alma > Configuration > Resources > Cataloging > Metadata Configuration > Active Profile: MARC21 Bibliographic > Tab: Normalization Processes

Any Ex Libris-supplied task or Alliance-developed normalization rule can be added to the OCA Normalize process, but the tasks and/or normalization rules must be created in the Alliance’s NZ account. The OCA Normalize process can be used in any import profile or configuration in an institutional IZ account as long as the import profile or configuration it is used in loads records into the NZ.

A different approach to modifying WorldCat bibliographic records prior to being imported into Alma is to use WorldCat Collection Manager’s ability to customize WorldCat bib records. This approach, however, can only be used to modify records being imported using Alma import profiles to load daily WorldCat update files. The approach cannot be used to also modify bib records imported into Alma using Connexion or to load records from a non-OCLC vendor.


The Shared Content and Technical Services Team (SCTS) is responsible for approving changes to the OCA Normalize process. Suggestions for changes to OCA Normalize, including adding new tasks, should be submitted via email to the Technical Services Program Manager. It would be a good idea to discuss any possible changes on the Technical Services Discussion List before submitting an idea.