Policy: Working in Alma and the Network Zone


This policy sets out the overarching principles regarding working in the Network Zone that Alliance members must understand. When specific policies are not yet in place, libraries should act in line with these principles.


  • The Network Zone (NZ) in Alma is the shared bibliographic environment for the Alliance. The goal is to have bibliographic records, brief or full, reside in the NZ with inventory attached.
    • This provides a foundation for collaborative work, both in terms of developing collections and cataloging. All bibliographic records should reside in the NZ (see the “Alma Network Zone” policy for the few exceptions).
  • It is important to avoid adding duplicate records (records with the same OCLC number in 035$$a) to the NZ.
    • Always search the NZ first before “Sharing with Network” in Alma or exporting from Connexion Client.
    • Avoid adding duplicates when doing batch imports such as vendor EOD or WorldCat Cataloging Partners records.
  • It is important not to change the OCLC number in an existing NZ record.
    • If you need a different OCLC record, move your Alma inventory to the desired record, rather than changing or overlaying the record that is there. (You may need to export the OCLC record you want if it is not already in the NZ.) Remember that for each OCLC record in the NZ there are Alliance holdings set on OCLC. It may not be the record you want, but it belongs to someone.
  • Editing of bibliographic records should be done in Connexion rather than in Alma.
    • This is in line with the bibliographic mandate that cataloging is done at the WorldCat level. In addition, daily OCLC loads by the Alliance will overlay existing bibs in Alma whenever the OCLC WorldCat record is edited, so any changes made in Alma will be lost. This means:
      • No manual editing of bibs in the Metadata Editor (exceptions: adding localized fields, adding boundwith marker field, adding OCLC numbers to brief bibs)
      • No batch processes to edit Network Zone bibs using Normalization Rules or Run Jobs in Alma, except for the addition of localized fields.
      • Do not use the “Derive New Record” feature in the Metadata Editor to create new records for bibliographic resources in the NZ.


Software: Alma

Status: Approved

Written by: Collaborative Technical Services Team

Approved by: Collaborative Technical Services Team on 2/24/2014

Nature of last update: minor update