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ASERL Documents Disposition Database: Matching Needs to Offers

A short guide to using this tool


After entering or editing a needs specification, the system will immediately check to see if any available offers match your need.  If a match is found, you will get an immediate notification on the screen informing you of the number of matches.  Also, an email will be sent to your institution's email address listing the details of the matching offers.  Another easy way to check your matches is by choosing an Items Matching My Needs search.  See Parts of the Screen | Search Offered Items for more information.

After this initial check, the system will continue to check nightly for newly available offers which match your needs.  If a match is found, an email will be sent to your institution alerting you that there are new matches.  The nightly check also creates the link between the offer and the need.  Please allow 24 hours for a newly offered item to show up in an Items Matching My Needs search.

If you have selected the Auto-Claim option for a needs-spec, the system will execute the claim process for the first offer which matches the spec.  See the Claiming an Item tab for details regarding the status changes and emails sent when an item is claimed.  Once an Auto-Claim needs-spec finds a match, it is inactivated to prevent multiple claims of the same item.  An inactive needs-spec is indicated by a gray circle in the far right column of the needs list.  Click on this circle if you wish to reactivate or delete the needs-spec.

Your Needs List will be matched to available offers using AND-logic.  This means that the more information that is supplied in a needs-spec, the more specific (and limiting) a search will be*.  Conversely, the fewer pieces of information supplied, the more general the search will be.  All of the needs-spec search fields are optional, but at least one of the following fields must have a value in order to create a needs specification:

  • SuDoc Number or Stem
  • Word or Phrase in Title
  • Publication From Year
  • Publication To Year
  • Item Format

The Display Title and Comment fields are also optional but they are for information only and are never evaluated when matching needs to offers.  Use them to make your Needs List more human readable. 

As an example, if you are looking for a particular item and you know its SuDoc number, enter the entire SuDoc number in the SuDoc field and enter the item's title in the Display Title field.  Do not enter any information in the other fields.  Since the item you want is exactly defined by the SuDoc number, additional fields will only complicate your search, not help it.  The Display Title can be filled in because it is not used during matching.

*More complex logic is used when Needs are matched against Multi-Item Offers.  This logic ensures that Needs which are defined by a complete SuDoc number will still match on Multi-Item Offers where the SuDoc number of the Offer can only be partially supplied due to the range of items offered.

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