Skip to Main Content

Alma/Primo VE Documentation: Primo VE

What am I searching?

Primo VE search scopes

(Articles & More) + (Books & More). Physical + Electronic
*Includes some EBSCO results (see custom scope below)

*Includes Databases, eResources, & Tools A-Z list (Springshare)
*Includes institutional repository content (KiltHub)

*Includes archival Finding Aids (ArchivesSpace)

*Does not include Digital Collections

Articles & More Central Discovery Index (CDI) records for our activated sources.(*formerly known as PCI) 
Electronic only.
Articles, citations, images, proceedings, streaming audio & video, book reviews, etc
See all Resource Types indexed in CDI
Books & More/ Library Catalog MARC records that migrated from Symphony, as well as local records we've added to our Alma repository since implementation. Physical + electronic.
Books, journals, eBooks, databases, scores, music, newspaper titles, multimedia
*Includes institutional repository content (KiltHub)
*Includes archival Finding Aids (ArchivesSpace)
EBSCO EBSCO subscription content from these databases. Electronic.
*Users must be logged in to see EBSCO results
Ebooks Books that are 'available online.' Electronic.
Special Collections Fine and rare books in Hunt Library and Posner Center.
Databases, eResources, & Tools Databases, eResources, & Tools A-Z list is indexed in Primo VE as an external data source. A job runs daily at 04:00 to catch changes made by the LibGuides team in Springshare.


Where do Primo VE results come from?

  • Records maintained in Alma are displayed in Primo. 
  • Records from the Central Discovery Index (CDI) appear in Primo as well.  CDI records are maintained by Ex Libris rather than the CMU library. See more information about the CDI


Visit the Content tab to read more in detail about content sources.

How do I search Primo VE?

Simple search is the default for Primo VE, but you can also use Advanced search for known items.

See the End User Help documentation for tips on searching for phrases, wildcard characters, excluding keywords, etc.  

How are MARC fields mapped in Primo VE?

View the Primo VE Mapping Guide to see how MARC fields are indexed for display, facets, and search in Primo VE.

How quickly are records from Alma searchable in Primo VE?

Changes to records in Alma appear in Primo in about 15 minutes.  More information is available here

How quickly are CDI changes searchable in Primo VE?

When a Central Discovery Index (CDI) collection is activated or deactivated, it takes about 72 hours for the changes to appear in Primo (48 hours is the target timeframe, and expected in the near future).  

How does Primo VE eliminate duplicate search results?

Read documentation about the FRBR and Dedup process used in Primo VE

Primo includes duplication detection (Dedup) to improve search results.  Each Alma MARC record is compared, and when identical records are found they are displayed as a single result in Primo.  

Additionally, Primo uses FRBR guidelines from IFLA to find similar records and display them as a single result in Primo.  Records grouped in this way will display a link labeled "Multiple sources exist.  See all." 

* The FRBR/Dedup process has been disabled for the following at CMU:

  • Music resource types (audio, scores)
  • Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation (entire library)

The Central Discovery Index (CDI) uses a 'Match & Merge' process to create a logical record. Matching is based on identifiers for like items in order to create a master record with robust metadata. 

Note that these CDI resource types are excluded from the match & merge process:

  • Archival Material
  • Image
  • Microform
  • Music Recording
  • Patent
  • Report
  • Technical Report
  • Standard
  • Video Recording