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    Managing Digital Resources

    To manage digital resources, you must have the following roles:
    • Digital Inventory Operator
    • Digital Inventory Operator Extended (required for delete operations)
    • Collection Inventory Operator (required when adding a new digital representation)
    Digital resources are files that are owned by the institution, such as images, videos, sound recordings, and PDFs. Digital resources differ from electronic resources, which are resources to which the library subscribes. For an overview of working with digital resources, see Working with Digital Resources - Overview.
    Digital resources are organized in Alma in a three-tiered hierarchy:
    • Bibliographic record – The top level consists of the bibliographic record, which contains the metadata of the resource. (This is also true for physical and electronic resources.)
    • Representation – Under the bibliographic record level is the representation level. This level acts as a container for the digital files. Multiple representations can be attached to the bibliographic record. One representation can be the master copy and another a derivative copy and can differ in format, resolution, and size.
    • File – The third level is the file level – that is, the digital files of the resource. There can be several files in each representation.
    Digital Resource Hierarchy
    Digital Resources must be managed in a collection.
    There are two paradigms of how Alma maintains digital resources:
    • Remotely – Alma allows you to store your digital files remotely in a digital management system system while maintaining the bibliographic records in Alma.
    • Non-Remotely – You maintain all of the digital resource information in Alma, such as bibliographic records, representations, and files.

    Editing Representation Metadata and Content

    The Digital Representation Resource Editor allows you to edit representation level metadata and the representation's content.
    To edit digital representations:
    1. Search the repository for a digital title. Results, such as the following, appear:
      Digital Titles
    2. Click Representations for the representation you want to edit. The Digital Resource Editor opens:
      Digital Resource Editor
      A list of the representations of the title appears in the List of Representations section. See the Representation Details Field Descriptions table below (in Adding a Representation) for an explanation of the fields in the Digital Resource Editor.
    3. Click Add Representation to add a representation. For more information, see Adding a Representation.
      Click Delete to delete the representation, or select multiple representations and click Delete Representations to delete the representations.
    4. Click the resource description to see the metadata for the title.
    5. From the list of representations, select Actions > Edit for a representation or click the representation ID. The Properties tab of the Digital Representation Resource Editor opens (the fields displayed depend on the entity type selected - see step 8 below):
      Digital Representation Resource Editor
    6. Click the Delivery URL to view the representation.
    7. From the Access rights field, select the access rights policy to apply to the digital title. To configure these policies, see Configuring Access Rights Profiles for Digital Objects.
    8. From the Entity Type field, select an entity type for support of a partial representation. Additional fields are available, depending on the entity type you selected.
    9. Click Auto-Generate Label to generate a label according to the representation label template rules. (See Configuring Representation Label Templates.)
    10. Click Storage Path to see the path of the location of the representation.
    11. Edit the representation information and click Save.
    12. For digital resources maintained in Alma, click the Files List tab to view the files of the representation:
      File List
    13. To add files to the representation, click Add Files. The following appears:
      File Upload
    14. Click Add Files, select the files that you want to add, and click Save or Save and Edit.
    15. Edit a file label and click Save to change a file label.
      Click Delete for a file to delete the file, or select multiple files and click Delete Files to delete the files.
    16. Click Save File Order to save the file sort order so that the list of files appears according to the sorting preference in the Alma Viewer and the Resource Editor.
    17. Click the Notes tab to add notes to the representation using the Quick Add feature:
      Notes Tab

    Creating Digital Resources

    If a new digital representation is produced for a title, you must add the representation to the title in Alma so that it can be viewed by patrons. The digital representation can reside locally in Alma or in a remote digital repository.
    There are two basic workflows involved in creating digital resources in Alma:
    • MD import – used to create titles with digital content in bulk
    • Add representation – used to add digital content to an existing title in Alma or create a new bibliographic record and add a representation to it.

    Creating Digital Content in Bulk

    The workflow for bulk uploads in Alma consists of the following steps:

    Uploading the Files to Alma

    You use Alma’s Digital Uploader to perform a bulk upload of files into Alma. The titles (bibliographic records) are placed in the collection you select when uploading. For more information on collections, see Managing Collections.
    Each group of files that you prepare in Alma for uploading is called an ingest.
    Preparing the ingest is performed in four steps:
    • Creating an ingest
    • Adding files to the ingest (including MD files)
    • Uploading the files
    • Submitting the ingest
    Ingest folder information is stored in your browser's local storage. Therefore, if you access the Uploader from another browser (or from the same browser, but logged on as another user), or if you clear your browser’s local storage, you will not see previously created ingest folders. This does not affect data already submitted.
    To upload and submit files to Alma:
    1. Open the Digital Uploader page (Resource Management > Advanced Tools > Digital Uploader).
    2. From the Insert into drop-down list, select the collection in which to place the files and the digital import profile that defines the way in which the files are imported into the collection.
      Digital Uploader
      Digital Uploader
      Folder drag and drop is currently supported for Chrome only. Files can be dragged and dropped using all supported browsers.
      • Drag and drop – Add an ingest by dragging and dropping a folder into the List of Ingests and add files to an existing ingest by dragging and dropping them into an ingest in the List of Ingests.
      • With the Add New Ingest box:
        1. From the Digital Uploader page, click Add New Ingest. The following appears:
          Add New Ingest
          Add New Ingest
        2. Enter a name for the ingest.
        3. Click Add Files and select the files that you want to upload. The name of the file, the file size, and, if possible, an auto-generated thumbnail for the following file formats appear in the Ingest dialog box.
          • jpg
          • png
          • mp4
          • wav
          • m4v
          • pdf
          • doc
          • ppt
          • docx
          • pptx
          • Each file can be a maximum of 500 MB.
          • You can include a maximum of 1000 files in a single ingest.
          Start Ingest
          Start Ingest
          You can include a thumbnail file in the ingest, which will appear in the repository search results and the Alma viewer, for example. For more information, see Adding a Thumbnail File to the Ingest.
        4. Add one or more metadata files for the ingest (see Preparing the XML Metadata File or Preparing the CSV Metadata File).
          If you do not add a metadata file to the ingest, a warning icon Warning Icon appears in the list of ingests.
        5. To upload one file in the ingest, click Start. To upload all of the files in the ingest at one time, click Start Upload.
        6. Click OK to return to the Digital Uploader page. The list of ingests appears:
          List of Ingests
      The following information is available in the list of ingests:
      • The ID of the ingest
      • The name of the ingest
      • The number of files in the ingest
      • The total size of the ingest
      • The status of the ingest. The following are possible statuses:
        • New – The ingest does not contain any files.
        • Pending Upload – The ingest has not been uploaded.
        • Upload Completed – The ingest has not been submitted.
        • Submitted – The ingest has been submitted.
      • To remove a file from an ingest, select Actions > Edit for the ingest and then click Delete.
      • To delete an ingest, select the ingest and click the delete icon delete_button.png.
      • To hide an ingest (but not delete it), select Actions > Hide. This is used to remove submitted ingests from the list.
    3. To upload an ingest, select the ingest and click the arrow button or select Actions > Start.
    4. To submit the ingest for processing, select the ingest you want to submit and click the submit button or select Actions > Submit.
      The submit step is required so that you can continue to safely add files to your ingest, which is not processed until you click Submit.
    5. Typically, the MD Import job runs on a schedule. To run the MD import job manually, click Run Import Job.
      The MD Import job runs and the ingest is processed.
    Files older than 30 days (with the exception of lock files) are deleted by the weekly maintenance job.

    Preparing the XML Metadata File

    In order to use the Digital Uploader to perform a bulk upload of files, you can prepare a MARC XML file with metadata for the bibliographic records. Each metadata file can contain information for multiple bibliographic records. Alma creates the bibliographic records and representations for the files with the information in this metadata file.
    The record elements in the file should be nested in a single collection element.
    The type of information that is required in the metadata file depends on how you configured the import profile. For example, if you configured the import profile to look for the file name in field 856 subfield u, the metadata file must contain this information in this field.
    If the bibliographic record contains collection information, the record will be assigned to the collection indicated in the record. Otherwise, the record will be assigned to the collection selected as the Default collection assignment in the digital import profile.
    The import assigns the record to a collection according to the following rule priority:
    • If the MARC 787$w contains a valid Alma collection ID, the record is assigned to this collection.
    • If the MARC 787$o contains the values of the external system and external ID fields, as configured in an existing Alma collection, the record is assigned to this collection. The field must contain the system and ID in the following format: ({system}){ID},for example, (Rosetta)123454321 (similar to the 035 field structure).
    • If the MARC 787$t contains the name of a top-level Alma collection, the record is assigned to this collection.
    • If none of the above apply, the record is assigned to the Alma collection defined as the default for the import profile.
    When uploading a metadata file with a single record, no 856 field is required. The created record includes all files that are in the ingest folder.
    The following is an example of an XML metadata file:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <marc:collection xmlns:marc="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="">
            <marc:leader>01139cam a2200277 a 4500</marc:leader>
            <marc:controlfield tag="001">ocm27832725113 </marc:controlfield>
            <marc:controlfield tag="003">OCoLC</marc:controlfield>
            <marc:controlfield tag="005">20131108731707.4</marc:controlfield>
            <marc:controlfield tag="008">970910r19451931pk       b    000 0 eng  </marc:controlfield>
            <marc:datafield tag="035" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
                <marc:subfield code="a">(OCoLC)27832725113</marc:subfield>
            <marc:datafield tag="100" ind1="1" ind2=" ">
                <marc:subfield code="a">Representation of rec 1</marc:subfield>
                <marc:subfield code="b">jpg files</marc:subfield>
            <marc:datafield tag="245" ind1="1" ind2="2">
                <marc:subfield code="a">Record 1 - Civil war</marc:subfield>
            <marc:datafield tag="856" ind1="1" ind2="2">
                <marc:subfield code="a">Soldier on a Horse</marc:subfield>
                <marc:subfield code="u">civil war.jpg</marc:subfield>
            <marc:datafield tag="856" ind1="1" ind2="2">
                <marc:subfield code="a">North and South</marc:subfield>
                <marc:subfield code="u">civil2.jpg</marc:subfield>
            <marc:datafield tag="650" ind1=" " ind2="0">
                <marc:subfield code="a">Digital items loaded to Amazon</marc:subfield>

    Preparing the CSV Metadata File

    In order to use the Digital Uploader to perform a bulk upload of files, you can prepare a CSV file with metadata for the bibliographic records. The CSV file is inventory-based, meaning each row represents one representation. Each row can have full bibliographic information (which generates a new bibliographic record) or may reference an existing bibliographic record, matched by match rules, and add digital inventory to the referenced bibliographic record. File-level content is included in the same row, containing the full file path (relative to the ingest folder) and an (optional) label. Multiple files per representation are supported. Multiple representations per bibliographic record are represented by two rows containing the full bibliographic record (with rules to prevent the creation of multiple records). In this case the group_id column must be used.
    When importing metadata, you can provide CSV records with an external system and ID to assign them to a collection, in the collection_external column (with the same format as with MARC records). The field is repeatable.
    The CSV can contain four types of fields:
    • Collection – reserved for collection assignment. Contains the name or ID of a collection (collection_name is top-level collection only) to which the bibliographic record is assigned. This field is optional (if collection fields do not exist, the bibliographic record is assigned to the default collection defined in the MD import profile). Repeatable.
    • Bibliographic record-level fields – There are two sub-types:
      • mms_id and originating_system_id – used for matching records to existing records. Both fields may exist, if you want to match on mms_id and add an originating_system_id (this is handled by rules). mms_id is non-repeatable.
      • Other bibliographic record fields – map to target MD format according to the table (see the table on the developer's network ( See the table for repeatability details.
    • Representation-level fields – maps to representation properties. Reserved fields are non-repeatable (except rep_note).
    • File-level fields. Repeatable.
    CSV content should be created and handled according to Excel parsing. For example, fields with commas must be surrounded by quotes:
    War and Peace,“Tolstoy, Leo”,1862,...
    All characters supported in MARC XML are supported in csv.
    For an example of a CSV file, see Example CSV.

    Adding a Thumbnail File to the Ingest

    You can add a thumbnail file to the ingest (in jpg, png, gif formats only) with the same name as the digital file with the .thumb extension. For example:
    Thumbnail File
    This allows Alma to store the .thumb image as a thumbnail for the respective file. The thumbnail will appear in the repository search results, in the Alma viewer, and in Primo.

    Adding a Representation

    The Collection Inventory Operator role is required when adding a new digital representation. The page can be accessed with the Digital Inventory Operator, but the mandatory Collection field will not appear, so that anyone trying to submit the form receives an error message. For more information on collections, see Managing Collections.
    To add a representation to an existing title:
    1. Search for a digital title, click the Representations link, and click Add Representation.
      Add Representation
      You can also add a representation to an existing title from the Representation Details Page (Resource Management > Create Inventory > Add Digital Representation) by selecting Existing, searching for a title, and selecting a collection).
      The following appears:
      Representation Details - Existing Title
    2. Fill in the fields for the Representation Details section according to the following table:
      Representation Details Field Descriptions
      Field Description
      Representation Details
      Remote Clear the check box to add a representation maintained in Alma.
      Usage Type (mandatory) Select the usage type. Options are Derivative or Master. (The master is the original copy and the derivative is, for example, a copy with a lower resolution.).
      Library (mandatory) Select the owning library associated with the representation.
      Access Rights Policy Select an access rights policy to apply to the representation.
      The label of a representation is its precise description, which appears as part of the availability information. Enter a label for the representation. This label appears in the repository search results, when clicking View It.
      When editing the representation, you can auto-generate the label. See Editing Representation Metadata and Content.
      Note Enter a note for the representation. This is an internal note.
      Public Note Enter a public note for the representation. This note appears when clicking View It.
      Entity Type Select an entity type for support of a partial representation. When editing the representation, additional fields are available, depending on the entity type you selected.
    3. Drag and drop the files that you want to upload to Alma or click Add Files and select the files.
    4. Click Save.
    The representation is added to the exiting bibliographic record.
    To create a new bibliographic record and add a representation to it:
    1. Open the Representation Details Page (Resource Management > Create Inventory > Add Digital Representation). The following appears:
      Representation Details – New
    2. Enter the information for the title under the Descriptive Information section. This quick cataloging form allows you to enter basic metadata fields for the bibliographic record and then focus on creating digital inventory.
    3. Enter the representation details.
    4. Drag and drop the files that you want to upload to Alma or click Add Files and select the files.
    5. Click Save.
      A new record is created and the representation is added to it.
    To add a single remote digital representation:
    You can add bulk remote digital representations using an import profile. For more information, see Import Profile Types.
    1. Select Resource Management > Add Digital Representation. The Representation Details page appears.
    2. Fill in the the Descriptive information and Representation Details sections as described above.
    3. Select the Remote Representation check box. The Remote Representation Details section appears.
      Remote Representation Details
    4. In the Remote Digital Repository field, select the remote digital repository where the digital representation is located.
    5. The Source Format field displays the format of the metadata records that the remote repository instance supports for importing.
    6. In the OAI Base URL field, enter the OAI provider's URL. If you have configured a default OAI Base URL, it appears here. (For more information, see General Information Tab (Wizard Step 1)).
    7. Click Connect. Alma checks which metadata prefixes and record identifiers are available.
    8. Select the Record Identifier of the digital representation.
    9. Select the appropriate Metadata Prefix. If you have configured a default metadata prefix, it appears here. (For more information, see General Information Tab (Wizard Step 1)).
    10. Click Open Test Page to test the digital representation creation flow. (For more information, see Testing OAI Import Protocol Flow.)
    11. Click Done.
      The digital remote representation appears when clicking View It from the item in the repository.

    Viewing Digital Representations

    You can view digital representations that you discover when searching the repository.
    To view a digital representation:
    1. Perform a search in the repository for digital titles. For example:
      Digital Title Search Results
      Alma attempts to display a thumbnail image for the titles. If the title has a digital file, a thumbnail of that file appears. If no thumbnail is available, a generic image of the material type (book, video, music, etc.) appears.
    2. Click View It for a title. For each representation, the number of files and the file type appear.
      Number of Files and File Type in Representation
      The results that appear in the View It tab are determined according to the display logic rules for the representation delivery service. For more information, see Configuring Display Logic Rules for the Representation Delivery Service.
      If you do not have access rights to the representation, a message, such as the following appears:
      Access Denied Message
      This message is customizable when configuring the access rights for the representation.
      If you have copyrights configured for the representation, an icon appears when clicking View It.
      Copyrights Icon
      If there are a large number of representations for the bibliographic record, the More... link appears.
      More Link
      Click More... to display the complete list. For example:
      Multiple Representations for a Bibliographic Record
      You can sort and search the list using the options at the top of the list.
    3. Click the link to open the Alma viewer:
      Alma Viewer
      The viewer consists of three panes:
      • The left pane displays the files of the representation. You can click an image to display it. Click the icons at the top of the pane to switch between thumbnail and list view. This pane is displayed only for representations with multiple files.
      • The center pane displays the image, controls for an audio file or video file, and text of a PDF file. Click the arrows at the top of the pane to move between files.
      • The right pane displays the bibliographic information.
      On mobile devices the panes are displayed vertically.
    4. Click the Download icon download_icon.png to download the file.
    5. Click the Globe icon globe_icon_image.png to display the Languages drop-down list that allows you to customize the language of the viewer.
    6. Click the Share icon share_icon.png to display a link to the representation.
    7. Click the Copyrights icon copyrights_icon.png to display the copyright statement for the file (if copyrights are configured for this file).
    Alma stores all file formats. Alma's viewer displays jpg, gif, and png images, PDF documents (with browser support), and audio/video formats supported by HTML5 (the list may vary between browsers). If a file cannot be displayed, a download link is presented to the user. For example:
    Unsupported File Types Download Link
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