Serial records in the Alma Community Zone are updated by Ex Libris on a weekly basis. Updating the serial records in the Community Zone is a multi-part process. The high-level workflow for this process is as follows:
- Source records are identified and obtained from resources outside of Alma. One resource provides brief serial records from which to start and the other source is CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials Program) that is managed by the Library of Congress.
- The source records are filtered to identify which ones have changed since the previous Community Zone update.
- Using an enrichment mechanism (external to Alma) that identifies certain record characteristics, the CONSER records that have changed since the previous update are used to enrich the brief records to provide fuller records for updating the Community Zone serial records.
- Using an internal import process managed by Ex Libris, the resulting enriched records are imported into the Alma Community Zone.
Currently, CONSER is the primary resource used by Ex Libris for enriching the brief records. Since the CONSER database may contain multiple records for a single title due to the different types of records such as print, electronic, CD, microform, and so forth, a specially-designed, weighted program is used to identify the appropriate CONSER record to use to enrich the corresponding brief record. Key to the logic of this program is identifying an electronic CONSER record with an ISSN. In some cases, when the electronic version of the CONSER record does not contain an ISSN, but a full print version is found with an ISSN, the print version of the CONSER record is used to enhance the brief record.
In some cases, no CONSER record is found for enriching the brief record. When this happens, the brief record is used for updating the Alma Community Zone.
This enrichment process is also supplemented with data provided by the German Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB).
When the enriched records are imported into the Alma Community Zone, the following merge logic is used:
Ignore the following fields and do nothing:
- 001 (MMS ID)
- 760 - Main Series Entry
- 762 - Subseries Entry
- 765 - Original Language Entry
- 767 - Translation Entry
- 770 - Supplement/Special Issue Entry
- 772 - Supplement Parent Entry
- 773 - Host Item Entry
- 774 - Constituent Unit Entry
- 775 - Other Edition Entry
- 776 - Additional Physical Form Entry
- 777 - Issued With Entry
- 780 - Preceding Entry
- 785 - Succeeding Entry
- 786 - Data Source Entry
- 787 - Other Relationship Entry
- For CJK records, the original CJK language is maintained in the title field in the enriched record. During record import and merge into the Alma Community Zone, additional titles (in the 210, 245, or 246) may be added to the CJK records.
- In some cases, the 245 $a and indicators are overwritten during the import merge process for CJK records depending on the existence of CJK in the brief record and/or the CONSER record.
Since the record enrichment process is dependent on the changes to CONSER records, the schedule of changes in the Alma Community Zone is determined by the release of CONSER records updates from the Library of Congress. Since CONSER record updates are provided on Wednesday, Alma Community Zone changes are made the next day, on Thursday, on a weekly basis.