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Alma Acquisitions Resource Guide

This guide covers all aspects of the Acquisitions process, which includes setting up funds, ordering, receiving physical items, activating e-resources, and invoicing. This guide also covers Serials patterns and arrival/check-in.

Ordering Serials/Continuous Orders

Continuous Orders

There are three primary differences when you're ordering continuous materials (serials or standing orders) are:

  • Adding renewal information
  • Prediction patterns and receiving issues based on prediction patterns
  • Adding the enumeration and chronology when the materials arrive



Manual Renewal or Automatic Renewal?

The Manual Renewal check box indicates whether a serial will be renewed automatically by the system or manually by staff.

  • If the box is unchecked, the POL’s renewal is processed automatically by a system job.
  • When the box is checked, the POL appears in the Renewals task list when the material is due for renewal. Further processing of this PO line must be performed manually.

A note about automatic renewals: Renewals will never be sent to vendors automatically; it’s just renewed in Alma. This instance of Alma does NOT have the renewal notification to vendors enabled to automatically send that communication. Please follow current workflows regarding communicating with vendors about renewals.


Subscription and Renewal Dates

The Subscription from date field is the start date of the subscription, usually January 1st of the year the subscription begins. You can click on the calendar at the end, or just type in the field to set the Subscription from date.

The Subscription to date is very powerful, and is not recommended for use with automatic renewals. Why? Because when the automatic renewal job detects that the Subscription to date has passed, it will automatically close the POL and the order. In other words, if you tell Alma that you want the subscription to end on a certain date after a number of automatic renewals, it will do that for you. Alma is designed to help automate and maintain serials subscriptions, and this is one way it does that.

In contrast, for manual renewals, the Subscription to date will help Alma provide you with a reminder that this subscription needs to be renewed, along with the renewal date and cycle information.

The Renewal date determines when the order will first appear on the Renewals task list for renewal. After that date, it will automatically be incremented according to the value in the Renewal cycle field.

  • For new serials orders in Alma, the recommended best practice for automatic renewals is to input the date 12/31/2099, effectively making it renew until you cancel it.
  • For new orders with manual renewal, enter a renewal date a few weeks or months before the subscription ends.
  • For migrated Aleph orders, this date comes from the value in the Aleph Subscription record.
  • If there was no Renewal date in the Aleph subscription record, the Renewal date for migrated orders is 12/31/2050, so you’ll be able to tell a migrated order.


Renewal Cycle & Renewal Reminder Period

Beneath the Renewal date is the Renewal cycle field, and this is required for automatic renewals. The values are 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years. This field only appears filled in with a value for automatic renewals, if the Manual renewal box is unchecked.

The Renewal reminder period (days) can be left at zero (0) for automatic renewals because you won’t need a reminder to renew. For manual renewals, this determines the number of days before the renewal date that you want to be reminded about the renewal (that is, the number of days before the renewal date that you want the renewal added to the task list). It can be as low as 0 days and as long as 120 days.


Manual Renewals

To set up manual renewals:

  1. Start your PO Line as usual
  2. Click on Manual Renewal, and set the Subscription from date as close as possible to the order date.
  3. Add a Subscription to date based on your subscription length (e.g., 2 years from the Subscription from date)
  4. Set a Renewal date just slightly before the end of the subscription.
  5. Add a Reminder period of 30 days (or longer, if you need that much lead time).
  6. Notice that the Renewal Cycle field disappears for a manual renewal.


Creating Expected Item Records Using Prediction Patterns

If this is the first time you’re ordering a new serial and you want to use prediction patterns to create items, you can do it after you’ve created the bib and placed the order.

  1. Find the bib record using an All Titles search (because there is probably not any inventory information yet)
  2. Click on the Holdings link to view the List of Holdings page.
    • If this is the first holdings record, you may need to open the bib record in the Metadata Editor first, and add a holdings record from there. Then, skip to step 5.
  3. Click on Edit in the row action item list icon for the holdings record you want to add predicted items to
  4. The holdings record will open in the Metadata Editor
  5. If your library has set up Serials prediction templates, click on the Edit menu, then on Expand from Template. Choose the template you want to use, then click OK.
  6. If your library is not using templates, create or add an 853 field.
    • The Next predicted item information box will pop up
    • Add the First level enumeration and First level of chronology
    • Update the Issue Date and any other information as needed
    • When finished, click Close to save
  7. Notice that there is now a binoculars icon next to the 853. This tells us that the field contains Next predicted item information. After this line is created, you can return to the holdings record and click on the binoculars to edit it at any time.
  8. Go up to Tools, pull down to MARC21 Holdings and click on Open predicted items
  9. A Predicted Items window appears with a list of the item records you’re about to add to your holdings record.
  10. Click Save
  11. Save and Release the holdings record with its new predicted items records attached.