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Ex Libris Knowledge Center

Community Zone for Providers

Provider Platform - Opening Community Zone Content for Provider Access Initiative

Opening the Community Zone content for providers is set to allow each provider to review their own content exactly the way that Alma users are viewing the content while working with Alma's Community Zone. Each provider has their own unique user name and password which will allow them to access the Community Zone and review their content, when accessing the Community Zone each provider will be able to view only their content and not content from other providers. This initiative is set to achieve the following goals:

  • More transparency –

    Providers will be able to see how their content is represented in the Community Zone, and they can flag any errors or inconsistencies. This will help to ensure that the Community Zone is a reliable source of information for librarians and other users.

  • Easier collaboration –

    Ex Libris and providers can work together more easily to improve the quality and accuracy of the Community Zone content. For example, providers can suggest changes to their records, or they can help Ex Libris to resolve customer issues.

  • Better alignment –

    Providers can check the alignment of their content in the Community Zone to ensure that it is consistent with their own records. This can help to reduce the risk of errors and confusion.

  • Faster resolution of customer issues –

    Ex Libris and providers can work together to resolve customer issues more quickly.

In case you are a provider and you do not have the credentials to access the Community Zone and view your content, please contact the Provider Relations team at: to ask for access. This email address can also be used for general support questions.

Working With The Community Zone interface

The interface which providers can access is set to expose multiple pieces of information regarding the specific provider's content. Below are the main elements which compile the interface.

Logging on to the Community Zone

To access your content:
  1. Contact the Provider Relations team at: and ask for access URL and credentials (user name and password)

  2. Access the URL provided by Ex Libris and place your credentials


After you first logon, you will be asked to update your user name and password.

Searching the Community Zone

After logging on to the CZ, the Search bar appears at the top of the page.


Use the following options to search the CZ: 

  1. Advanced search – Select this option to open the Advanced Search box. For more information, see Using Advanced Search (the documentation link holds general information regarding all the advanced search capabilities, the Provide's search capabilities are limited to the elements which are relevant for provider content search)

  2. First drop-down list – Specify one of the following entity types to search in the CZ:

    • Electronic Portfolios – Returns search results list that holds all relevant electronic titles matching the search criteria.

    • Electronic Collection – Returns search results list that holds all relevant collections (packages) matching the search criteria. Electronic Collections can hold multiple Electronic portfolios (titles).

  3. Second drop-down list – Select the search field in which to match your search terms, or select Keywords for a general search on multiple search fields. You can enter part or all of a search field name to filter the list of fields. 

  4. Search field - Specify the search terms for your search. 

Reviewing the Search Results

After typing your search terms and initiating the search, the interface lists the search results that hold the list of Electronic Collections/Electronic Portfolios (titles), metadata regarding each search result as well as a facet panel, enabling you to refine your search if needed.


The search results consist of the following main elements:

  1. Page title indicating the search area (Electronic Collection / Electronic Portfolio) and the search term.

  2. The name of the Electronic Collection / Electronic Portfolio (title).

  3. Metadata regarding the search results.

  4. Facet panel, presenting the user with a breakdown regarding the search results and allowing the user to limit the search results according to pre defined criteria.

  5. Actions:

    • For Electronic Collection search results, the following actions will appear:

      • Portfolio list, including counter of the number of portfolios (titles) - This action will navigate the user to a new search page holding the list of portfolios (titles) which appear under the Electronic Collection

      • Descriptive record - This action will navigate the user to the descriptive metadata for the selected title

    • For Electronic Portfolios (titles), the following actions will appear:

      • View - This action will open the Electronic Portfolio's editing page where the user can review all the information regarding the portfolio, specifically and most importantly, the "Test Access" function located under the portfolio's "Linking" tab, this allows the user to make sure that the linking parameters defined on the portfolio are working as expected and that an Online Services page appears as indicated in the image below.

        • "Test Access" function:


        • Services:


  6. Pagination - The pagination allows the user to navigate to the next/previous search results page as well as navigate to a specific page

  7. Export - This action allows users to export their search results to Excel

  8. Customization - This option allows the user to customize the information which appears for each search results (as explained in bullet #3 above) 

Frequently Asked Questions   

Question Answer

Can I break anything in the Platform?

No. Currently the Provider Platform is in View Mode. In the future we may enhance it to allow providers to utilize more of the platform, we will inform before implementing any additions.

Can I share my credentials with my team/colleagues?

Yes, the credentials provided above can be shared internally. It is not made for external use and should not be shared with customers.

What if I do not see all of the content which I expect to see in the Provider Platform?

In case you encounter with missing collection/s, this does not necessarily mean it is not in the Community Zone, there may be an interface which was not exposed to you in your Provider Platform.

Please reach out to the provider relations analyst you normally work with (or email to and inform them about the issue/question. Please name of at least 1 of the missing collections, so we will be able to analyze why it was not added to your platform and ask for it to be added.


Why does my Electronic Collection have different title count from the title count that I have?

  1. For some collections, Ex Libris does not remove titles that are no longer supported by the provider, this is in order to keep supporting titles that may have been activated by the customer and are still in use by them.
  2. For some providers, new titles are updated daily while for other providers, new titles are updated on a different interval, this may result in missing new titles until the next title update.
  3. In cases where the quality of the metadata, given to Ex Libris by the provider, is low, title/s will not be added to the Community Zone until basic metadata and linking information is passed to Ex Libris.
  4. In case you would like to contact Ex Libris and discuss title mismatch, please contact your Ex Libris PR focal point, or email
Why is the Community Zone Electronic Collection name different from the actual name of the Electronic Collection as provided by the provider? There are some cases where the Electronic Collection name in the Community Zone was adjusted to better reflect to the users the actual content of the Electronic Collection, in other cases, Electronic Collection names were adjusted to overcome name similarity with other Electronic Collection.
Can I browse my full list of our collections instead of always have to perform a search?

Yes, this can  be achieved in 2 ways:
1. "Official" way:
Use the simple search and set the search parameters to "Electronic Collection" and "Interface Name" as can be seen below: 

clipboard_e7c678a12daaebccf501642e2fbe958bd.pngType in the name of the interface as it appears in the Community Zone, this name can be found in the Facet panel after sunning a search. Here is how this appears for the provider Ebook Central:


Now that we have the interface name, we can run the search and view all the collections under this interface:

clipboard_e3e2d1a030ef98b39398087fc1fdff5a1.pngIn case you have more than 1 interface, you will need to run a dedicated search for each interface.

2. "Un-official" way""
Even though there is no official support for this functionality, there is an option to run an "Interface Name" search for the character asterix (*) or the characters (&&) as can be seen in the images below, these may cause the search to load slower than the usual but the expectation is that as a result you will see all the interfaces and all the collections under it, here is how the simple search bar should look:

Asterix search:


&& search:



Where can I find more information regarding elements which I see on the search results and in the specific pages which I can navigate to from the search results?  The Provider Platform has an interface that is very similar to the one Alma users are working with, therefore you can use the Alma documentation in case you need to better understand a certain feature/functionality.

Detailed explanation about the "Collection editor" and the "Portfolio editor" pages can be found here

Manifest - Ensuring Content Alignment Between Providers and Ex Libris

The Manifest is a file, maintained by the provider, which holds comprehensive record of all collections that the provider offers.

The Manifest file serves as a crucial component for maintaining data integrity and consistency between Ex Libris Knowledgebase and external providers. It acts as a comprehensive inventory of all supported collections within the provider's ecosystem, enabling Ex Libris to effectively track and manage changes in the provider's collection offerings. This file, maintained and updated by the provider, is regularly uploaded to an FTP/MFT server, prompting Ex Libris to compare the latest version against the existing collections in Ex Libris Knowledgebase. Through this comparison process, any discrepancies between the Manifest file and the actual content provided by the provider are identified and flagged for further investigation.

This proactive approach ensures that Ex Libris Knowledgebase are always aligned with the provider's latest collection offerings, preventing potential gaps or inconsistencies in data availability. The Manifest file's unique format streamlines data exchange and simplifies the process of identifying discrepancies, safeguarding the integrity of Ex Libris's Knowledgebase.

The list of collections within the Manifest file is only used in order to identify discrepancies, it will not serve as the actual ingest of new collections into Ex Libris Knowledgebase.

How to Deliver a Manifest

To ensure that mutual customers can find the collections they need within Ex Libris Knowledgebase, multiple providers already furnish Ex Libris with a Manifest file. This file serves as a comprehensive index of all supported collections.

To successfully ingest the Manifest file, Ex Libris has established a set of minimum requirements:

  1. Download the Manifest file templateManifest Template_March_2024.xlsx
  2. Populate the Manifest file: Each row in the Manifest file represents a collection. Fill in the columns for each collection as described in the Manifest Template Structure table below.
  3. Mandatory fields: Two mandatory fields must be populated for every collection:
    1. providerCollectionName - The name of the collection as offered to mutual customers by provider
    2. providerCollectionId - The ID of the collection as recognized at the provider system

Populating the remaining columns in the Manifest file with additional information can significantly enhance the ability to locate discrepancies.

  1. First time only: Contact Ex Libris Provider Relations team at:  to coordinate whether the Manifest file will be placed on Ex Libris servers or the Provider's servers.
  2. Ongoing: Update the Manifest file whenever a collection is added/removed from your catalog and load it to the server.
  3. Ex Libris will query the server on a daily basis in order to see if a new Manifest file was loaded.

Manifest Template Structure

The table below provides a detailed explanation of each column in the Manifest template file:

Column # / Mandatory? C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z AA AB
Column name CollectionName  CollectionID CollectionURL  CollectionType  FileName FileLocation  DateAdded DateFileUpdated  RecordCount  UpdateFrequency  LinkingSupported  CollectionDescription PreviousCollectionName  FreelyAccessible  Notes ExlibrisCollectionType ServiceType  ContentType  DataFormat  CharacterSet  DateAddedToPlatform  CollectionStatus  Perpetual  FullOverwrite  FileUrlOrSftpSite  DirectoryPath exlibrisCollectionName exlibrisCollectionID
Column explanation The name of the collection as identified by the provider in their system The ID of the collection as recognized by the provider internal system - this ID must be unique and should not repeat in other  AKA "Level URL" - the URL used to access the content of  collection as seen by the end user

Possible values which are under the NISO standard:

  • Full-text
  • Upcoming Full-Text
  • Discovery-only
The name of the KBART list file

This path is relevant for the followinf 3 use cases:

On what date was this collection first included in the Manifest file?

This should be formatted in the following format:


Date of the most recent update to the collection's title list file

Number of titles within the collection

Possible values:

  • weekly
  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • [No Update] - Leave this cell blank and populate "Static" in column O

In case the above values do not match the update frequency, please add a custom value

AKA "Linking Level"

  • book
  • chapter
  • journal
  • article
Up to 255 characters

This column should be populated in cases where the collection name has changed.

THe column should include the name which the collection had preior to the newly given name

  • Paid
  • Free
  • Hybrid

Free text.

General note, this will not be reflected to users.

Possible values which are supported by Ex Libris:

  • Aggregator package  - This collection is offered in full to the customer, and not title by title

  • Selective package - Customers can select individual titles to purchase for this collections 

  • Database  - AKA "Discovery-only" Collection with no titles (if selected, the value in column Q should be "None")


Possible values which are supported by Ex Libris:

  • Full text - All titles in this collection leads to the full text
  • Selected Full Text- Only some of the titles in this collection leads to the full text 
  • [None] - Leave this cell blank

Possible values which are supported by Ex Libris:

  • Books - Also known as monographs
  • Serials - Also known as journals

Possible values which are supported by Ex Libris:

  • txt
  • csv
  • MARC
  • XML
  • tsv

This is relevant only for the collection level - MARC feeds are not part of the expected information.


(This is the value ExLibris works with)

When was the collection added to the provider platform?

This should be formatted in the following format:


  • Dynamic -  This collection gets updated
  • Static - This collection does not get updates

Does the collection contain perpetual items?

  • Yes
  • No

AKA as "negative load"

  • Yes
  • No

When updating a collection in the KB and we see that there are less titles in the KBART file, from the past load. If marked as yes, the missing titles will be deleted. If selected as No, the titles which do not appear in the new feed will be preserved 

File location where the  KBART title list of the collection can be found

This path is relevant for the following 3 use cases:


In which directory is the file located?

  • Populate this cell in case where the file is located either on the provider server or on Ex Libris server
  • Leave this cell Blank in case Ex Libris retrives the file from the provider website

Leave Blank

For Ex Libris internal purposes

Leave Blank

For Ex Libris internal purposes