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Ex Libris Knowledge Center

Getting Ready for Esploro Implementation


The purpose of this document is to provide you with an overview of the Esploro implementation process and help you get ready. This document discusses:
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Data preparation and migration
  • Integration of external systems with Esploro 

Roles and Responsibilities

Ex Libris

  • Get the institution up and running successfully with Esploro
  • Coordinate all activities related to Esploro implementation and perform all activities that are Ex Libris’ responsibility as detailed in the project plan (for example – data migration, configuration, training, implementation support, documentation, and so forth).
  • Allocate an expert implementation team to work with the institution implementation team and deliver agreed upon services to meet the “Go Live” date.
  • Perform Esploro implementation, including Esploro configuration and data migration
  • Provide documentation and deliver functional workshop, if applicable per contract, to the institution implementation team in support of the Esploro implementation, provide detailed project plans, coordinate testing activities with the institution project manager.
  • Provide executive project reports and regular communication with the institution project manager.

The Institution


Implement Esploro within the agreed upon timeframe, according to the agree upon contractual scope.

Form an institution implementation team of functional experts and appoint a project manager who serves as the primary contact for the Ex Libris project manager and manages the institution implementation team.

Manage the internal institution implementation team

Review accuracy of migrated data

Test workflows end-to-end in the Esploro production environment and provide feedback to the Ex Libris implementation team concerning any necessary configuration modifications.

Esploro Project Team Roles/Skills
Project Manager
  • leads and coordinates activities related to the implementation of Esploro for the institution
  • responsible for ensuring that institutional staff resources are available to assist as necessary
  • manages internal and external communications about the status and priorities of the project
  • keeps the project moving and on track
  • helps to mitigate project risks
  • acts as primary point of contact with the Ex Libris project manager – including the following specific activities:
    • preparing source systems for data extract based on the requirements of the source system
    • arranging access to data and delivering data
    • managing the institution implementation team in determining and reviewing migration and configuration settings
    • preparing, scheduling, and training the institution staff in a timely manner and within the timeframe of the agreed upon Go Live date
    • attending project meetings
    • reviewing project plans
    • managing and overseeing the testing processes and providing feedback
    • setting and communicating relevant priorities with the Ex Libris project manager
Project Team - Functional Experts
  • Research Assets – has overall familiarity with data and workflows in the current system(s)
  • Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) – has overall familiarity with workflows in current system(s)
  • Additional Data Experts
    • Organization Units – has knowledge of the institutions organizational structure or access to source system where the organizational structure is stored
    • Researchers – has knowledge of the institutions SIS/Users integration profile, access to researchers source system data and ability to create/modify the Alma SIS import file to include researcher information
  • Public Services Staff – Primo Expert


As part of Esploro implementation, data from your source systems will be migrated to Esploro.

Migration Scope

The scope of data migrated is specified in your contract and may not be expanded during the Esploro implementation project. Requests for migration of additional data not specified in your contract may be submitted to your Ex Libris account manager prior to the beginning of the implementation project.


As Esploro is a hosted solution, no secure private data such as social security numbers or other sensitive information may be stored or passed to Esploro.

Areas to be Migrated

The Esploro data model is based on three major entities: organization units, researchers and research assets.

Organization units represent the colleges, faculties, departments, research centers, institutes, laboratories, etc. of your university that engage in research activity. Esploro models these organization units in a hierarchical structure, starting with the university at the top and becoming more granular. (Esploro supports up to 6 hierarchical levels in the organization unit structure).

Fairly early in your Esploro implementation project, you will be asked to provide formatted input concerning your organization units that conforms to the input requirements of Esploro migration and that contains relevant information about your organization units (e.g. hierarchical relationships, optional contact information). Specifications regarding the required format can be found in the document Organization Units Data Format.

Since organization units are deeply tied to the other data elements - researchers and research assets - and are unlikely to have frequent changes, they are migrated only once and are retained throughout the project. Any subsequent changes to your institution’s organization units can be reflected in Esploro by updating the organization units via the Esploro user interface.

The researcher record is an extension of the Alma user record. In other words, in order to create a researcher record in Esploro, the researcher must have a user record in Alma. In order to add researchers to Esploro via the Alma user loader (SIS), it is necessary to enhance the incoming record with two things:

  1. Flag the Alma user as a researcher or at least a potential researcher. Faculty and some staff are generally at least potential researchers.
  2. Add researcher related information. The single most important data element is the researcher’s academic unit affiliations – at minimum, the primary affiliation.

The organization unit codes in the researcher record must match the organization unit codes in Esploro.

Researchers can be added via the Alma user loader (SIS) in two ways:

  1. As part of an existing SIS load procedure. The existing integration profile can be modified to load user records and researcher records. The SIS load file should be enriched with the researcher tag and additional researcher data elements.
  2. As a separate load procedure. A new integration profile can be configured to load only researcher records. (User records for new researchers must already exist in Alma). The load file should contain the researcher tag, additional researcher data elements, and a unique identifier that can be used as the match point with the Alma user record (usually the Alma primary identifier).

These options are not mutually exclusive. If you have researcher data in multiple systems, you can import distinct researcher information from each system, provided that each load file contains a unique identifier that can be used to match the existing Alma user record.

As early as possible, you will be asked to provide a list of your institution’s researchers that includes the researcher’s name, Alma primary identifier and any additional information that can assist in uniquely identifying the researcher, such as name variants, organization unit affiliations and researcher identifiers such as ORCID. If you subscribe to Pivot and your researchers have Pivot profiles, information from their Pivot profiles will be imported to Esploro.

Subsequently, you will be asked to provide fuller researcher records for purposes of migrating your researchers to Esploro and, ultimately, you will be asked to provide this information in the XML format required by Esploro for ongoing import/update of your researcher records in Esploro, much as you likely do now in Alma using the SIS integration. Specifications of the required format for importing researchers are in the document Researchers Data Format.

The reason for this “phased” approach has to do with internal Ex Libris workflows and the recognition, based on experience, that many customers may not be able to provide the required researcher information in the required format until later in the project.

For more information about researcher records, see Managing Researchers in the Esploro online help.

Research assets and file streams are migrated from customers’ source system(s) as defined in their Esploro contract. Generally, a single metadata format per source system, identified by Ex Libris as being the “richest” for Esploro purposes, is used to migrate all assets to be migrated. Customers will be asked to extract from their current system(s) metadata in this format and file streams for all research assets to be migrated to Esploro. This extract will be used for the initial test load of your data. Prior to go live, you will be able to provide a fresh extract in order to capture any changes that may have occurred to your data since the initial extract. The extract must conform to the format provided to you by Ex Libris.

DSpace customers are requested to submit their data using the native DSpace AIP format.

Since Esploro is a research repository, digital assets which are not of a research nature (e.g. library collections, personal/institutional/historical archives) are best managed in a digital asset management system such as Alma-D.

In preparation for the final migration of your research assets to your Esploro production environment, we suggest you minimize any backlog of research records that have been deposited to the source system but not yet included in the repository (e.g. in process, not yet approved).

Historical Usage Data

You can choose to supply Ex Libris with historical usage statistics for your research assets. These statistics will be migrated to Esploro and be available for reporting purposes in Analytics.   For information on how to import the Usage data in various formats, see


You may choose to integrate other systems with Esploro, for example to publish research assets from Esploro to an external source; to update Esploro researcher records from an external source; and to import research assets to Esploro. If you choose to integrate other systems with Esploro, you must verify that all technical requirements have been satisfied (e.g. IP addresses are accessible and ports are open). For specific information, refer to Technical Requirements for Alma and Discovery Implementation in the Ex Libris Knowledge Center.


Research assets managed in Esploro are published to the Esploro Research Landing Page. In addition, you can choose to publish Esploro research assets to your library’s Primo site, for which you can configure a distinct view and/or search scope to separate Esploro research assets from other library data discoverable in Primo.


It is highly recommended that you configure ongoing updates of the researcher records in Esploro. Researcher updates can be handled as part of your Alma SIS load or as a separate load. Your Ex Libris implementation team can assist you with this.

Ongoing Bulk Import of Research Assets

Research assets that you continue loading into your current research management systems can be imported into Esploro via file upload, ftp or OAI, using an import profile configured via the Esploro user interface and a drools-based crosswalk template that you may need to customize for your specific asset metadata format. Your Ex Libris implementation team can assist you with this during the implementation project.

Digital Object Identifiers (DOI)

Esploro currently supports minting DOI for research assets via CrossRef and DataCite. Minting a DOI requires that your institution be registered with one or both DOI registration agencies (or some other organization that works with CrossRef or DataCite, such as ANDS). DOI are migrated from your source systems as part of the asset migration. Upon going live with Esploro, DOI minted within Esploro will be registered with the appropriate agency, and your DOI registration agency will be updated with the necessary information concerning your Esploro instance.


Recorded Esploro training sessions are available in the Ex Libris Customer Knowledge Center (CKC). You are welcome to begin to explore these sessions, as well as the Esploro online documentation, also available in 10 the CKC. Esploro training is an integral part of the implementation project and the recorded sessions, together with live review sessions, are scheduled as part of the project.

Researcher Engagement

Esploro provides each researcher with their own profile page in the Researcher Center, designed to enhance visibility of their research output. Researchers can login to their profile page in order to customize its look and feel, as well as to upload additional content as part of the deposit workflow. Researchers’ assets that are stored in Esploro automatically display in the researcher’s profile.

Appendix A: Optional Data Preparations

As you prepare for migration to Esplorio, Ex Libris recommends that your institution take advantage of the opportunity to perform some data clean up. While completely optional, undertaking some data clean-up efforts will improve the migration process and provide the best possible outcome as you make the transition to Esploro.

The following are a few suggestions for preparing your data. Not all of these cleanups must be done now – many can be done in Esploro later.


When importing research assets, Esploro uses a proprietary author matching algorithm for linking assets to existing affiliated researchers. Authors which do not match an affiliated researcher are created as new nonaffiliated researchers.

The results of this algorithm depend on the accuracy of the information in your researcher records and its consistency with the names used by the researcher in their published output. Thus, by reviewing the information in your existing researcher records prior to migration, you may be able to improve the results of the author matching algorithm.

  • Verify that the name information accurately reflects the names of the researcher as they appear in their publications. Nicknames (e.g. Bob for Robert) are helpful if the researcher publishes under those nicknames. Otherwise, the presence of nicknames in the researcher record will decrease the accuracy of the matching algorithm. So, too, maiden names if they were never in formal use for publications.
  • Middle names and initials can increase the accuracy of the matching algorithm, but only if they are used in the researcher’s publications.
  • Name prefixes, such as Mr, Ms, Dr and suffixes, such as PhD, Editor, Author should not be part of the name, per se, but can be in the Prefix/Title and Suffix fields of the researcher record.
  • Incorrect names (first, middle or last) greatly reduce the accuracy of the matching algorithm.
  • Verify that the source of the researcher records to be migrated to Esploro contains an indication of the affiliation(s) of the researcher with his/her organization unit(s). (To create these affiliations in Esploro automatically upon migration of your researcher file , the organization units contained in the researcher record must match the code of the organization units in Esploro, as defined in the Organization Units file you provide to Ex Libris).
  • The presence of information concerning the researcher’s areas of research or interest can enhance the accuracy of the matching algorithm.

As an example, if the researcher’s name will be migrated as Matilde Washington Smith, there is no need to add any of the following variants, since they will already be considered by the matching algorthim:

Matilde Smith

M Smith

M W Smith

Matilde W Smith

The algorithm will match on these variants even if they have not been added explicitly in Esploro.

However, if the researcher’s name is migrated as Matilde W Smith but she sometimes publishes under her full name, Matilde Washington Smith, adding her full name as a variant can provide a more accurate match, and prevent an incorrect match with someone called Matilde Wilson Smith, for example. If she does not publish under her full name, do not add the full name as a variant.

If the researcher sometimes publishes under a nickname, for example “Tillie”, adding the nickname as a name variant, for example Tillie Washington Smith or Tillie W Smith, can improve the results of the matching.

Research Assets

The research asset type (e.g. journal article, dataset, conference paper/presentation) is a mandatory field in Esploro. As such, verify that your research assets to be migrated to Esploro contain an indication of the research type (e.g. <document-type>article</document-type>; <resourceType resourceTypeGeneral="Dataset">Dataset</resourceType) and only one such indication per asset.

Research assets can be affiliated directly with one or more of your organization units. To affiliate your assets with organization units during migration, verify that your data contains an indication of such affiliations. (Affiliations in your source data do not need to reflect the exact code or name of the organization units in Esploro. Rather, values in your data can be mapped to the appropriate Esploro organization units based on input you will provide to Ex Libris prior to migration).

ETD assets should contain indications of the Degree grantor (usually the university), the Awarding academic unit (could be the university or one of its colleges, faculties or schools) and the degree awarded. These metadata fields are mandatory in Esploro.

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