Linking IZ Bib Records to the Network Zone

This document gives guidance on how to link local bibliographic records stored in the Institution Zone to the Alliance Network Zone.  Procedures for doing this on a record-by-record basis and as a batch process are provided.


To provide a foundation for collaborative work, both in terms of developing collections and cataloging, Alliance members share or “Link” the majority of their bibliographic records in Alma with the Network Zone (NZ).  In some cases, though, it may be best to have records reside solely in the Institution Zone (IZ) for a time (e.g., cataloging projects, lack of identifiers, etc.) and to link them with the NZ later.  There are two methods for linking records to the NZ, which are described in detail below.

Method 1: Linking a batch of records using a job

To link IZ records to their NZ counterparts in a batch process, you’ll need to first make a set in Alma of the records you’d like to link.  Set criteria will vary by scenario, but one helpful criterion is the “Linked Institution” index, which is available in all title-level search scopes (All titles, Physical titles, Electronic titles, Digital titles).  Using “Linked Institution Not Equals Network” as a search criterion can help ensure your set contains unlinked records.

Once you’ve created a set of the records you’d like to link, go to the Admin > Run a Job page.  From the list, find and select the Link a set of records to the Network Zone job. Use the following job parameters:

  • Serial match method: Unique OCLC Identifier Match Method
  • Non-Serial match method: Unique OCLC Identifier Match Method
  • Ignore resource type during matching: leave blank
  • Contribute IZ records: Select this option if you want to import any unmatched IZ records to the NZ as new records.

Once the parameters are configured, start the job.  You’ll receive a report when the job has finished that tells you how many records were successfully linked, how many were imported (or skipped) due to no match, and how many multi-matches were found (if any).

In the case of multi-matches, Alma found more than one record that matches the IZ record in question.  In order to link that record to the NZ, you can either: 

  • report the multi-match to the Program Manager for Technical Services and link the record when the multi-match has been resolved, or 
  • use Method 2 below to choose the preferred match in the NZ.

Method 2: Linking a single record in the Alma Metadata Editor

To link a single IZ record to the NZ, you’ll need to open the record for editing in the Metadata Editor.  With the record open, navigate to Record Actions > Share with Network.  

You’ll be prompted with “Do you want to see the record already in the system by the same name/OCLC #?” Select Yes. (If you select “no” here, you’ll create a duplicate bib in the NZ.) Alma will now display the possible matches in the NZ (which is typically just one).  Once you’ve identified the record you want to link your IZ record to, click the Link button next to it.

Alma will link your IZ record to the NZ record without creating a duplicate in the NZ.