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CUNY Aleph Catalog Optimization Projects: P&E Records


Each Alma migration requires a Physical to Electronic record conversion. In order to have a successful migration and prevent much more manual work down the line, we need to separate physical items and electronic holdings out at the title level to different bibliographic records. All electronic titles will be identified by Item Status 21 & 22. We are primarily interested in bibliographic records which have both electronic holdings and physical holdings records.

Recommended Target Date for Completion

Attach physical holdings to physical records & electronic holdings to electronic records (with physical separate from electronic) before May 1, 2019.

Project Description

In a Library Services Platform, electronic records are handled in a very different way than many legacy ILS systems. The data structures are different, as they look to manage these records in a more sophisticated way. For example, the link resolver is taken into account. This requires that the current record structures must be transformed at the time of migration. Both serials patterns as well as acquisitions orders are impacted.

One important pre-migration goal is to separate physical items and electronic items out at the title level, before Physical to Electronic record conversion. We are primarily interested in bibliographic records which have both electronic holdings and physical holdings records. This mix of holdings records need to be separated to different bibliographic records.

There are a number of titles in our catalog where one bibliographic record has both physical and electronic HOLDINGS on it. In some cases physical items are incorrectly identified as electronic records (by the bibliographic record's marc data). At least some electronic records are incorrectly identified as physical print items. There are also physical physical items where the library also has access to full electronic text.

As we look to other libraries that have successfully migrated we find a repeated recommendation: "Separate your physical items from electronic items before migration." There are a variety of problems that arise by not separating these records. It absolutely requires a great deal more manual work to sort out and rebuild your catalog records if a library does not. This goes beyond not following modern RDA standards. For example, under certain conditions electronic items can show up “as if” they are physical items, which is a problem.

Another goal is for print items to have a print version of a bibliographic record. Electronic and print item bibliographic records have different marc record field information. For example, print and electronic records can have separate OCLC numbers for the same title. They may have a URL for an online resource that the library does not have access to use.

OCLC numbers become increasingly important in an LSP environment as the primary match point. This will facilitate functionality such as replicating the CLICS borrowing that we currently enjoy.

It would be useful for libraries to also review these three types of listings, as they target different electronic resources. Please use ALL FOUR methods.

The first two methods are based in Bibliographic fields. (These are now automated scheduled reports.)These two methods are used in the below reports named XX_print_electronic_mixed_006 & XX_print_electronic_mixed_008. Both are looking for bibliographic records with both physical and electronic items. They are also looking for electronic Bibs where the items are not Aleph Item Status 21 / 22. If the reports show Bibs that are only being used for physical materials, please overlay the Bib with the correct one for print (including the OCLC number).

These are the first two methods:

Marc Field





'O' or 'E'




The third method uses CCL searches across physical and electronic collections. Please run the below searches with your own collections. These should be run for all of your collections that contain electronic records (including ebooks and serials).

* CCL Commands:

wow=XX and wcl= < web collection > and wcl= <regular stacks collections >

The fourth method is to your electronic collections for any items with an Aleph Item Process Status other than 21 or 22.

Please review the most recent XX_cltn_count report for your library, and check any items in an electronic resources collection that is not using item status 21 or 22. Also, please consider physical item collections with item status 21 / 22. Reports are available on request. (Please specify which specific collections or item statues that you want included.)

Institution Reports

Please look in Task Manager for the most recent version:

  • XX_print_electronic_mixed_006.xls
  • XX_print_electronic_mixed_008.xls