Skip to main content
  • Subscribe by RSS
  • Ex Libris Knowledge Center

    Open Access Indication in Primo

    If you are working with Primo VE and not Primo, see Open Access Indication in Primo VE.


    Primo displays a flag and can filter items with content that is open access. Because this feature is a work in progress (or “beta”), we work with our customer community and publisher/provider partners to define and identify what is appropriate Open Access content to flag in the Central Index. In addition, there may be issues related to linking, proxying of content, and/or the grouping of records in the Central Index that may impact user expectations. Issues uncovered through customer feedback require investigation and may take some time to resolve. We appreciate your patience during this investigation.

    This article describes the Open Access indication and facet, how the feature works, and how items are flagged as open access.

    This feature is available in the new Primo UI only.

    Open Access Indication and Facet in Primo

    When items are marked as open access in the Central Index, an Open Access indication appears in the brief results and the full view of the record in Primo so that users can easily identify items that are not restricted to view their content.


    Open Access Indication in Brief Results

    In addition, an Open Access facet enables users to filter results to display only open access content. For Primo, the Availability facets do not display the record counts.


    Open Access Facet in Brief Results for Primo
    • At this stage, the open access indication appears only on records that are flagged as open access in the index. In cases in which a group contains both open access content and restricted content, the represented item in the group may be restricted, but other records in the group may be flagged for open access after the user selects the All versions link.

    • If the user is using the Open Access facet to filter the results list, the representative record in the group is automatically changed to the open access record.

    • Currently, the Open Access facet does not provide a count due to groupings that contain mixed content, which makes it difficult to provide an exact count.

    Hiding the Open Access Indication

    If you would like to hide the Open Access text and icon, add the following lines to your view's CSS:

    /* Hide the open-access text and icon */

    .open-access-mark span {

         display: none;


    .open-access-mark-icon md-icon {

         display: none;


    Open Access Content Sources Flagged in the Central Index

    Content in the Central Index is considered Open Access if it meets the following general criteria:

    • An item is freely available and openly accessible without requiring authentication by the user.

    • An item is identified by the provider/publisher as Open Access.

    • An item resides in a known Open Access repository, database, or journal collection that we determine to be Open Access.

    We recognize that there are different flavors and models of Open Access that depend on where the article is published, who is responsible for the cost of publishing, reuse rights, embargo periods, and so forth. We do not distinguish or differentiate between any of these models. Instead, we identify Open Access content based on the broad criteria described above and the methodologies described below.

    We have identified more than 100 Million items in the Central Index as Open Access content across dozens of content types, including journal articles, books, thesis, technical reports, patents, images, archival documents, and more. In most cases, links for Open Access items in Primo lead to the full text of an article, thesis, book (PDF or HTML), image, patent, technical report, or to just the descriptive metadata (such as a Table of Contents or an abstract) in the case of some open access repositories.

    For more information, see the following documents:

    How Open Access Content is Defined in the Central Index

    In the Central Index, content can be identified as Open Access at the collection level for Open Access repositories and open websites.

    There is no consistent way to identify open access content across different providers and content types. As such, metadata for all collections from participating providers must be carefully analyzed to determine the best methods for identifying whether content is open access or not. In many cases, we must apply conditional rules and logic to the metadata at indexing time to be able to correctly identify and differentiate open access content from subscribed content.  

    In the case of collections with hybrid content, for example, collections of primary publishers where some articles from a journal are open access and others are not, we usually separate the collection into two collections (one collection for subscribed content and the other for open access content), regardless of whether the open access content is coming from full open access journals or from hybrid journals. Over time, you can see an increasing number of those collections appearing in the Central Index.

    Linking to Open Access Content from the Primo Results Page

    Linking in CDI is supported either by the Alma/SFX Link Resolver or by the link within the CDI records. The proxy configuration is managed accordingly in two different places. Both places allow to create exceptions for records that are flagged as open access.

    • In Alma/SFX you can define the proxy settings for links that are generated by the Link Resolver (LinkResolver collections). For more details, see Managing Electronic Resources (Alma) and SFX General Users Guide (SFX).

    • In Primo you can define proxy settings for Link in Record type of links. For more details, see the configuration options under the EZproxy field section.

    With the Primo November 2022 release, a new Open Access indication is available for links returned by CDI. For all CDI links that have this link-level Open Access indication, the proxy configuration settings in Primo are used to determine whether a proxy is added or not. For more details on this link-level Open Access indication and how it affects linking, see Remove Proxy Prefix for Open Access Links.

    Open Access Content from the Community Zone

    Relevant journals from the Alma Community Zone are enriched with the following MARC information so that they display the Open Access indicator in Primo:

    506 0_ $f Unrestricted online access $2 star

    This indication is automatically added only to bibliographic records that are linked to Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) portfolios.

    Adding the Open Access Indicator to Local Records

    While the previous sections covered content from the Central Index and the CZ, you can also display the Open Access indicator for local Alma records by adding the following MARC information to them:

    506 0_ $f Unrestricted online access $2 sta

    Displaying the Open Access Indicator in Primo 

    To add the Open Access indication and facet to Primo records:
    1. Update the normalization rules to map the source records to the Primo PNX records. For Alma, update the Alma - MARC template using the following table:

      Field Description


      This field is used to display the Open Access icon for the item. The field's value should be free_for_read.


      This field is used to flag the open access records. The field's value should be free_for_read.


      This field is used to filter the results list by the Open Access facet. The field's value should be open_access.

    2. Edit the facet_tlevel_values mapping table and add the mapping row:

      • Value name Open Access

      • Value open_access

    3. Reload the pipe and re-index.


    • Was this article helpful?