The Alma repository includes metadata records, which include bibliographic records, authority records, and inventory records (holdings and items for physical material, portfolios for electronic resources, and digital representations and files). Metadata records belong to one of three zones:
- Institution Zone
- Community Zone
- Network Zone
The Institution Zone is the basic level of data and workflow management in Alma, in which records are managed by the institution. An institution can link its inventory records to the metadata records in the Community Zone or the Network Zone, either of which eliminates the need to download these records to the local catalog. In addition, an institution can copy catalog (or download) records from shared catalogs (Community or Network) into the local Institution Zone catalog.
The Community Zone consists of the following three elements:
- The Central KnowledgeBase (CKB), which describes vendor offerings for electronic resources and is maintained by Ex Libris. For detailed information on the CKB, including a current list of resources that the CKB contains, see Central KnowledgeBase (CKC).
- Global authority catalogs that are synchronized against the relevant authorizing agency, enabling individual institutions to have access to the benefits of authority control without having to invest their local resources in synchronizing the authority files themselves. For information on the authority vocabularies maintained by Alma, see Working with Authority Records.
- A Community Catalog of records. This catalog serves as a source of descriptive records for all Alma institutions, and allows libraries to work directly in a collaborative metadata management environment. Institutions can attach holdings directly to a community record, copy community records to the local catalog, or edit and update community records. They can also contribute collections add portfolios of the type Free E-Journals, Miscellaneous E‐Journals, Miscellaneous Free E‐Books, and U.S. Government Documents to collections. For information on contributing to the Community Catalog, see Community Zone Contribution Guidelines.
The Network Zone provides a shared record catalog for collaborative networks working with a Network Zone. For detailed information on working with a Network Zone, see Managing Multiple Institutions Using a Network Zone and particularly, Network-Managed Records in a Network Zone and Repository Search in Collaborative Network.
For information on the metadata schemas and cataloging formats supported in Alma, see Format Support and Standards.
For information on the different types of resources in Alma (physical, electronic, digital), see Introduction to Alma Inventory.
You manage metadata records directly in Alma using the Metadata Editor (or MD Editor). To start using the MD Editor, see Opening the Metadata Editor.