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    Using Ex Libris Products to Manage Electronic Resources (ERM)

    Ex Libris helps libraries to manage their electronic subscriptions and gain access to all content available to them on the providers’ platforms through the Electronic Resources Management (ERM) knowledgebases (implemented through Alma, SFX or 360 products) and the Central Discovery Index (CDI) that powers Primo and Summon discovery products. Our goal is to offer librarians easy workflows and procedures and the best end-user experience when performing a search in our discovery products.

    The Content Operations team in Ex Libris works to keep the knowledgebases and the CDI aligned and up-to-date with the providers' offerings and the most recent metadata. This work is a key factor in providing our users with the most accurate and relevant results, easily leading them to the provider's platform.


    Activation in knowledgebase

    1 image.PNGAlma, SFX, and 360 knowledgebases (KBs) include providers' offerings and titles. When customers purchase content – either a collection or a specific title from a provider – they are able to find and activate it in their ERM knowledgebase. KBs, like library catalogs, keep track of what a library has in their collection and help to connect a library user with the information they seek.

    The knowledgebases are also used to mange license information and proxy/linking credentials. Since most institutions spend more on their online resources than print, knowledgebases are crucial to day-to-day library operations and for getting users from the library’s collection to your content. KBs are driven by data supplied from organizations like yours to KB vendors.

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    We prefer KBART files to populate the collections and if content changes regularly, we will set up automation so that those changes are published in our systems as soon as possible. Technical specifications and more information available in the Content Submission Guide. Note that this guide covers Alma and SFX as well.

    MARC Enrichment

    Both Alma and Client Center/Intota (via 360 MARC) offer clients the ability to manage MARC records. The overall aim of MARC enrichment is to reduce the need of each library to invest in improving bibliographic records by cataloging, or load additional descriptive records when acquiring electronic resources. Full, descriptive electronic records allow librarians to more easily manage their electronic resources. In turn, this creates an integrated experience between their library catalog and purchased titles, enabling easier access to full text on your content platform.

    Technical specifications and more information available in the Bibliographic record enrichment: Content Submission Guide

    For 360 MARC, please send an inquiry to

    Rights in CDI

    Alma/S2 image.PNGFX/360 and CDI products work together. For each customer, the system checks their holdings and activations with various providers in their ERM product. Based on the results of this check, CDI displays an indication of full text availability for each record returned for the end-user's search query. The end-users can also choose to expand their search beyond the library's holdings and review the results for which they do not have subscriptions.

    More information on CDI is available here: The Ex Libris Central Discovery Index (CDI) – An Overview

    In order to have content ingested and made discoverable in the index, please refer to this guide for metadata requirements and formats: Ex Libris Central Discovery Index (CDI) Content Submission Guide


    End user discovery

    3 image.PNGThe end users are searching in the discovery user interface (UI) of either Primo or Summon. Here the end-user finds results from the local library catalog together with results from CDI. CDI consists of rich metadata records for articles, book chapters, newspapers articles and many other content types. These records are supplied for the index by various content providers (publishers and aggregators) and by our customers.  

    Alma/SFX/360 and CDI also work together for linking to the providers' platforms. Once the end-user finds a record and wants to click to see its full text, the ERM link resolver is able to generate a direct link to the article's page on the provider's platform. Moreover, if a library has access to a specific resource from various providers, the end-user will see all available options and will be able to choose any the them.


    Product demos

    Product demos are available in our Demo Center:


    • Article last edited: 04-Jan-2022
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