Alma/ Primo Glossary of Terms

This is a list of terms developed and defined by staff at UGA. Ex Libris has a more official glossary on their site.


Circulation Desk - Location selected in Alma where circulation or fulfillment activities are handled. Often associated with a physical location.

Community Zone - Resources maintained by Ex Libris which include inventory or catalogs contributed by all Alma libraries, the Central Knowledge Base (sometimes referred to as the CKB - contains linking information to electronic resources around the world) Global Authority Files.

Creator - When performing a repository search, the Creator selection (via the “where” drop-down in a Simple search, or under the Title column in an Advanced search) searches 100, 110, 111, 700, 710 and 711 fields simultaneously. Visit Alma’s online Help documentation for specific subfields included in the search. (see also Names)

Creator/Created by - The staff member who originally cataloged or imported a record. Records migrated from Voyager will have the creator “import.” In the View Versions tab of the MD Editor, you can see previous saved versions of the record. In this view, “Created by” refers to the person who modified and saved that particular version.

Digital Resource - A file or group of files with metadata that exists on a local network, a server, or in the cloud. It may include, among other possible formats, streaming media, e-books, video, or images. Digital resource files can be stored and managed externally, but the metadata is managed by Alma.

Electronic Resource - A digital object that is stored and managed externally from the local library or Institution Zone.

Fulfillment - The equivalent of Voyager’s Circulation module. Checking out, returning, processing requests, course reserves, etc.

Institution Zone - The Alma database is divided into three Zones. The Institution Zone contains data specific to your particular institution (in our case, all UGA libraries), such as item-specific information and local note fields. Also, Institution records might not be linked to the Network Zone because they lack a valid OCLC control number. (see also Network Zone and Community Zone.

Inventory - The resources that are owned or licensed by or associated with a particular library, institution, or consortium.

Item in place - Under the Status column in the Items view, this indicates that the item is where it is supposed to be (its permanent or temporary location), rather than being on loan, in the Cataloging department, etc. This results in the slightly confusing “in place” status for withdrawn items, which simply means that they are in place, in the dumpster.

Names - In a Simple repository search, the Names option (found via the “where” drop-down in a Simple search, or under the Title column in an Advanced search) searches the following fields: 100, 110, 111, 245, 400, 410, 411, 505, 508, 511, 600, 610, 611, 653, 689, 696, 697, 698, 699, 700, 710, 711, 720, 751, 752, 754, 774, 800, 810, 811 (for specific subfields indexed, see Alma’s online help documentation). (see also Creator)

Network Zone - This is the main Zone in the Alma database. These records are available to all libraries in the USG system.

Portfolio - The specific coverage, services, and link information relevant for a particular electronic title within an electronic collection. May include administrative/access information. May be local or global.

Publishing - A process that extracts and formats metadata for external uses, such as making a record in Alma discoverable in Primo.

Repository - The catalog: physical (print), electronic and digital inventory.

Role - See User Roles

Technical - Migration - Some item statuses in Voyager have no direct analog in Alma (for example, “Missing” and “In Cataloging”). During the Alma migration, these statuses were copied to an item’s “Internal note 3,” and the Process type set to Technical - Migration.

User Roles - Accessible by clicking on your name (in the upper-right-hand corner of Alma) and selecting User Details from the drop-down menu. User Roles define various tasks and work areas in Alma. A user’s Roles are tailored to their particular job duties, and can change what that user can see, access and modify in Alma.

Withdraw items - Button option in the Items view. This button deletes the selected item(s), permanently removing it/them from Alma. Note: in order to retain as much information as possible for future audits and other work, the Cataloging Department has established a separate procedure for withdrawing material. The “withdraw” button should only be used for deleting items that were created by mistake, or as placeholders.