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    Alma: Title deletion policies and procedures

    • Product: Alma, SFX KBs
    • Product Version: all
    • Relevant for Installation Type: all


    Accuracy of knowledgebases is dependent not only on the timely addition and updates of title information, but deletion of titles when appropriate, too.

    Ex Libris updates collections in the knowledgebases using files received from the content provider (whether the collection is from a publisher, content aggregator, portal, or other source). When these files are ingested into the knowledgebase (whether or not they are set up in our automated ingestion processes), they either (1) completely overwrite the contents of the collection in the knowledgebase, or (2) only new and updated records are processed.

    In general, our intent is to remove titles if they do not appear in the providers' title lists, unless a provider sells perpetual access to titles, for instance in a provider's "complete books A-Z" collection. Read below for more details on each collection update method. 

    Full Processing

    It is the best practice for content providers' files to completely process all of the contents (all adds, changes, and deletes) of their respective collections in the knowledgebase. The content provider is the authority on what titles belong in their respective collections and we generally avoid making decisions on what titles to include or not include that contradict the information in the file.

    The KBART Recommended Practice assumes that providers' files fully overwrite the contents in the KB, for the express purpose of removing/deleting titles that are:

    1. No longer available from that provider, and/or
    2. No longer available in collection that the file represents.

    Full Processing expects that titles will be occasionally removed/deleted for these reasons. Full Processing requires that we closely monitor metadata as it is ingested for irregularities (for instance, for an abnormally high number of titles added/deleted/changed in a collection). However, the deletion of one or more titles does not necessarily constitute an irregularity. For example, a subject collection from a content aggregator may have rights to content added and removed every month.

    Routine removal of titles in this fashion prevents "false positive" linking where the link resolver assumes rights are available to a particular title or article, but the link then results in an error ("content not found", "you do not have access to this document" or other similar errors).

    For providers and collections where you do NOT acquire perpetual access content, you should expect that records will be routinely removed from the KB as necessary.

    No deletes/only new and updated records processed


    Certain collections from certain providers may require Ex Libris to disallow the deletion of titles. In this scenario, regardless of whether or not a title appears in the file supplied by the provider, titles will not be removed from the collection.

    Ex Libris uses this update method primarily for providers who offer perpetual access to content, but their files do not include these perpetual access titles. The providers' files should include these types of titles, and, if they did, we would be able to update the collection using the "Full Processing" method above. However, some providers are unable to provide metadata for titles that they no longer offer for sale, even if some mutual customers still have access to certain content, and in these cases, we only process the new and updated records.

    Something to note about perpetual access in KBs in general, is that some libraries may have a perpetual access license for a title(s) within that collection, but others may not. This may cause one customer to see that a link broke, but another may still have access to that title and link is working for them. As Ex Libris cannot determine the rights for each customer, this is why we avoid removing titles from these types of collections. If you experience a broken link in this collection, you may be advised to simply de-activate the portfolio, and we may tell you that we cannot remove it from the collection, for the reasons above.

    Another problem with this update method is that "perpetual access" does not necessarily mean that the content will be available on the provider's platform in perpetuity. Rights to that content may be sold to another publisher or entity, and libraries' access to that content is then transferred to that new entity. Therefore, over time, there may be content that content that is no longer available on the original publisher's platform, but the title is still represented in the KB. This would obviously cause issues with access. While we may try to verify and remove these specific titles with the help of the content provider, this may not always be possible. As with the scenario in the previous paragraph, we may recommend that you de-activate the portfolio(s) that are causing the issue in these cases.


    • Article last edited: 02-Jun-2023
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