EDS Custom Catalog Questionnaire

| Resume a previously saved form
Resume Later

In order to be able to resume this form later, please enter your email and choose a password.


Thank you for choosing EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS). In order for us to build your Custom Catalog, we need you to complete the following questionnaire.

Please note that some questions relate to your existing ILS. If you have questions about your export process and linking structure, you may need to contact your ILS provider’s support team directly. They are the most appropriate contact for these questions, as every ILS software is different.

For questions about mapping your metadata and your Catalog’s display in EDS, please contact your Implementation Project Manager or email support@ebsco.com.

This questionnaire will cover the following topics:
  • Basic information about you and your institution
  • Your metadata format and ILS provider
  • How you would like us to map your metadata for display in EDS
  • Details about library locations and record types, which allow us to maximize discoverability and relevancy for your users
  • Information for setting up Real-Time Availability Checking (RTAC)

For your reference, an overview of the EDS Custom Catalog process is available on the EDS Support Site:

General Information

To help us better serve you, please provide the following:
EDS Custom Catalog Description

The name should make sense to your users, who will see it here and here.
About your ILS

Metadata and Direct Links

If you need assistance exporting records, we recommend contacting your ILS provider’s support team.

If you have questions about a data format which is not listed here, please contact your IPM or Catalog Specialist.

An example of a harvest URL can be seen here. Please note that if your harvest URL is ever updated, you will need to contact us immediately to ensure regular updates.

The syntax should include an identifier that is unique to a given record and can be found in a specific field of your metadata. An example can be seen here, although this URL will look different depending on the ILS software you use. If you are not sure what your URL syntax is, we recommend contacting your ILS provider’s support team for assistance.

Unique identifiers are sometimes known as control numbers or record numbers. Examples can be found here for MARC21 and here for MARCXML.
Location Mapping

If your Catalog data includes more than one type of class / call number, we recommend choosing just one for display in EDS. We also recommend using call numbers in your local item/holdings field, but this is not required. An example of a record with two call numbers can be seen here.

Location codes might refer to a shelf, collection, department, or building where items are located. An example can be seen here. You can also provide a static location such as “Main Library” if your institution does not use multiple locations.
Location Lookup Table

Using the location codes from the field and subfield mentioned in question #8, we can set up limiters and facets that allow users to narrow their searches to specific locations. If necessary, we can also translate your location codes so they appear in a more “user friendly” format in EDS.
  • For example, we can use the location code “YA” to create a “Young Adult Section” limiter or facet for your users.
  • We can also translate the location code “YA” so that it displays as “Smith Library - Young Adult Section” in the location field of each YA record.
If you would like to set up location limiters or translate your location codes, we will need a Location Lookup Table. This is where you provide us with a list of your location codes and tell us how they should display as facets and limiters. A Location Lookup Table looks like this:

Location Lookup Table

A detailed explanation of how the values from each column appear in EDS is available on our Support Site: https://help.ebsco.com/interfaces/EBSCO_Discovery_Service/EDS_Catalogs_IRs/EDS_Custom_Catalog_Location_Lookup_Table_Overview

URLs in Records

The most common field and subfield for URLs is 856 $u. An example can be seen here.

The most common field and subfield for link texts is 856 $y. An example can be seen here.

If you do not have a link text encoded in your data, you can specify a static link text. If you leave this question blank, we will use “Online Access."

The most common field and subfield for public notes is 856 $z. An example can be seen here.

The most common field and subfield for material types is 856 $3. An example can be seen here.
eBooks, Audiobooks, and Full Text

eBook records will frequently include “electronic book” or “ebook” in the 245 $h or 655 $a subfields. An example can be seen here.

Audiobook records will frequently include “audiobook” in the 655 $a subfield. An example can be seen here.

Common responses to this question include:

• All records
• All records with “[ebook]” in the 245 $h subfield
• All records with a URL in the 856 $u subfield

If you decide that anything with a URL in the 856 $u subfield should return when the Full Text limiter is applied, we recommend checking that none of the URLs lead to non-Full Text resources such as abstracts, publisher descriptions, etc.

Additional information on EDS’ Full Text limiter is available on our Support Site:
Suppression Filters

We have the ability to add suppression filters to your Catalog. By default, we will automatically suppress Catalog records which match records from your EBSCO-provided eBook subscription databases. This ensures that users do not see duplicate records in their search results.

Real-Time Availability Checking (RTAC)

RTAC allows us to display real-time locations, call numbers, and statuses (i.e., “Available,” or “Checked Out”) for Catalog items. To set this up, we need to establish a connection to your OPAC via a z39.50 or REST service. If you’re not sure whether you have either of these, we recommend contacting your ILS provider for assistance.

If your institution uses a firewall, you will need to grant EBSCO access to your z39.50 server to set up RTAC for your Catalog. In order to make sure that your RTAC service is uninterrupted, please add the following EBSCO IP address range to your firewall:

IP Details with Wild Card notation: 140.234.*.*

You should open your z39.50 server’s specific port number in order to allow RTAC to connect to it. If you are not sure what your port number is, we recommend contacting your ILS provider’s support team for assistance. 

Please note: Real-time information retrieved via RTAC overwrites the static call number and location mapping set up in questions #7 and #8, as well as the “Copy_Display” column of your Location Lookup Table from question #9. Instead, RTAC will display real-time call numbers directly from your z39.50 / REST server.

Real-Time Availability Checking (RTAC) User Guide:

Here’s an example of what RTAC looks like when enabled in EDS:

z39.50 Server Authentication

In order to connect to your z39.50 server, we need the following information.
REST Service

The REST URL should include the base URL for your institution, the query string, and a unique identifier for the record. An example can be seen here.

Please contact us if you would like to add RTAC to your Catalog at a later date. Status will display as “View Catalog Record” if RTAC is not enabled.

Additional Contacts
19) If you would like to send a copy of your Catalog Questionnaire to others, please enter their email addresses, separated by a comma. If you have an Implementation Project Manager, please include their email to ensure they receive a notification of your submission.
Note: You will receive a copy of your Questionnaire at the email address you provided in the Account Information section.


For questions, comments, or concerns in regards to your general EDS implementation, please contact your Implementation Project Manager or email support@ebsco.com.