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Import purchase order data from MARC file

Discover how to import purchase order data from a MARC file and how orders are created from imported order data in WorldShare Acquisitions.

 Note: You can automate file retrieval and import. See Automate file retrieval and import.

Basics of importing order data

You can import order data in MARC format using the 9xx fields in the MARC record. Before importing order data, however, you will need to set up importing with your vendor. This may include sending the MARC order data fields to the vendor.

MARC order data

The following information should be included in the MARC order data file you receive from your vendor.

 Note: If decimal points are not used, the system adds them at the end. For example, 56 becomes 56.

MARC order data - Table
MARC Element in Acquisitions Input type Description
035 $a OCLC Number OCLC number in this format: (OCoLC)1553114 The OCLC number is used to identify the bibliographic record in WorldCat that the order item is attached to. If you do not include an OCLC number, the system tries to find a matching record in WorldCat based on other values in the bibliographic record provided (e.g. title, author, ISBN).
949 $h Branch Integer User-entered value; represents the WorldCat Registry ID of the Home Branch Location of an item.
949 $l Shelving Location String User-entered value; represents the Shelving Location of the Home Branch Location of an item.
949 $p Fund Code String (Maximum: 40 characters) User-entered value representing the code of the fund used for encumbering.
949 $q Copy Quantity Integer (Maximum: 999) Number of copies ordered.
980 $b Unit Price Decimal (Maximum: 9,999.99) Cost for a single unit of an item. (Do not include tax or discount, if you plan to include these as percentages in the 980 $h or $i.)
980 $c Service Charges (per unit) Decimal (Maximum: 999.99) Service charges for a single unit of an item (e.g. $1.00 for Quantity of 5 equals $5.00).
980 $h Tax Percentage Decimal (Maximum: 100.000) Percentage of tax applied to price by vendor.


  • You can assign a percentage value up to three decimal places (e.g., 7.745%).
  • Percentage values with four decimal places will be rounded off to three decimal places (e.g., 7.7454% will be rounded to 7.745%).
  • By default, the percentage value has two decimal places unless a third decimal place is entered.
980 $i Discount Percentage Decimal (Maximum: 100.00) Percentage of discount applied to price by vendor.
980 $k ISBN Integer ISBN of item being ordered. Not used for matching. The bibliographic 020 field is used for matching.
980 $m ISSN Integer ISSN of item being ordered. Not used for matching. The bibliographic 022 field is used for matching.
980 $s Shipping and Handling (per unit) Decimal (Maximum: 999.99) Shipping and handling charges for a single unit.
980 $x Exchange Rate Decimal Exchange rate for the order, if currency is not the same as Library Currency.
980 $z Currency of PO ISO 4217 Three letter currency code ISO Currency Code - for Order
981 $a KB Collection Identifier String Identifier for the WorldCat knowledge base collection being ordered.
981 $b KB Title Identifier String Identifier for the WorldCat knowledge base title being ordered.
981 $e External Order ID  String (Maximum 50 characters) Unique identifier for the order used by an external financial system.

 Note: You can import your External Order ID using MARC order data by having your vendor add the External Order ID in field 981 subfield $e of your MARC order records. Once imported, the External Order ID will be inserted into new orders created as a result of the MARC file.

  • If the value of 981 $e is greater than 50 characters, the input will not be imported and an error will display in the logs.
  • If the value of 981 $e is different for two records on the same order, the first External Order ID will be used and an error will display in the logs.
981 $g Account Number String Account or customer number, used by library for ordering and invoicing. (Also called "Subaccount")
981 $i Library Item Note String (Maximum: 256 characters) Notes provided for an item.
981 $l Order Name String (Maximum: 256 characters) Text string, representing name of order or cart.
981 $n Vendor Order Number String (Maximum: 256 characters) Internal number used to identify order by vendor. Provided to library for tracking purposes.
981 $v Vendor Note String (Maximum: 256 characters) Notes provided for an item by the vendor.
981 $x Library Order Comment String (Maximum: 256 characters) Comment on an order.

981 $z

Vendor Order Item Number

Required if importing invoice or shelf-ready data.

String (Maximum: 256 characters) Unique identifier provided by a vendor for specific item ordered.

Ways to import order data

When importing order data, you can use it to do one of two things:

  1. Create a new purchase order
  2. Add to an existing purchase order (to add items to an existing order, you must have the vendor order number in the 981 $n field of the MARC record).

Data delivery

There are two different times at which your data can be delivered to you:

  • Time of order (e.g., order data)
  • Time of shipment (e.g., invoice data)

 Note: If you import order data at the time of shipment, there is a possibility of the order items not being grouped as they are on the order.

Your data also might be delivered to you:

  • Directly from the vendor
  • Through WorldCat Cataloging Partners

How orders are created from imported order data

Order creation is based on the vendor order number in field 981 $n and the other factors below.

  1. If field 981 $n contains a vendor order number, the system checks for an unplaced order or plan with same vendor order number:
    1. Unplaced order exists, the system adds the item to it
    2. Plan exists, the system adds the item to it
    3. Placed order exists, an error results
    4. No order exists, the system creates a new order with the vendor order number from field 981 $n and adds all items with that vendor order number to it
  2. If field 981 $n is empty:
    1. The system creates an order using the order name in field 981 $l.
    2. If field 981 $l is empty, the system creates an order without a vendor order number or order name and puts all items in the file in it.

Import an order data file

Upload order data file

  1. On the left navigation, click Vendors.
  2. Search for the vendor whose files you are importing.
  3. From the vendor search results, click the Vendor Name.
  4. In the vendor record, click the Partner Exchange Services accordion.
  5. Click Upload File.
  6. In the Import Data window, from the Type list, select Import order data (MARC).
  7. Click Browse.
  8. Locate the order data file on your computer. Click Open.
  9. (Optional) Select the budget you want to use when importing the order data file from the Target Budget drop-down list. By default, the current budget period is selected.
  10. (Optional) Select the Display imported items in WorldCat check box if you want all imported items to appear with the status of On Order in WorldCat Discovery after the order is placed.
  11. (Optional) Select the Verify OCLC Numbers if provided check box if you want the system to use the OCLC number to find the WorldCat record and verify that the bibliographic information of the item matches the record.
  12. (Optional) Select the Include low confidence matches check box if you want the system to attempt to find a match in WorldCat for your record using all matching protocols. The system will first attempt to find a match using the standard matching protocol, and will then move on to using the following methods: 
    1. An algorithm that searches by standard identifier (using the value of the 020, 022, or 024 fields in the MARC record) and then uses the number of holdings to pick the best candidate record. This algorithm also filters results by Material Type using the value of the Leader/06 and the 008 Form (23 or 29).
    2. A title/author search.
  13. Click Upload.
  14. The system confirms your file has been uploaded.
  15. Click Cancel or the x in the upper right corner to close the Import Data window.

Review the order

After uploading an order file, you can review the order to check for any errors.

When to review

You can review the records selected during import at several points in your import workflow. There is no right or wrong time to review your records, but there are implications for when you review. You can review:

  • Immediately after import (before placing the order)
  • Immediately after placing the order
  • Before receiving
  • After receiving

Important notes about reviewing:

  • If you are sending the order to the vendor via EDI or E-mail, make sure the record selected is correct before placing the order.
  • If you want the system to display on-order items in WorldCat when placing the order, you may want to review the records selected before users have had time to place holds on these items. This is for two reasons:
    • So that users do not place holds on the wrong item.
    • So that you do not have to move the holds to the new record after using the Change resource functionality to modify the linked resource.
  • As stated above, if you review the records and change the resource after LHRs have been created (either on-order LHRs or received LHRs), the LHRs will move to the new resource, but any title-level holds will stay with the old resource and will need to be moved manually.

Review order items

The file you uploaded appears as the first line in the Processing Log. The Processing Log is the table listing all of the files you have uploaded for the vendor. If you do not see the file in the table, click the Refresh button (Refresh button) above the table.

  1. In the Processing Log, view the status of the import in the Status column. If the upload fails, it will be noted here.
  2. The Details column links to any orders created as a result of the upload. Click the PO link in the Details column to view the order (it will be the order number assigned to the purchase order or plan by the system, e.g. PO-2015-100).
  3. You will also receive an email notification that provides the status of the import and of each item. This email is also viewable by clicking the .html link in the details column of the processing log. 
  4. Make any other edits to the order items if needed.
  5. If the order is a purchase order, click Place Order. Make sure the Notify Vendor about this order check box is not selected. Click Place Order.

Watch a video

Import Order, Invoice and Shelf Ready Data Files (10:09)

Run time: 10:09

This video shows how to import order, invoice and shelf ready data files in WorldShare Acquisitions.