How does the Central Discovery Index (CDI) work and what do I need to know?


Table of Contents:

Role needed: CDI Operator (won’t see Activate for CDI searching without it) 

CDI Overview: 
  • Anything full-text is automatically searchable in unexpanded and expanded search, including any articles from full-text journals or book chapters. No extra “search package” needs to be turned on. 
  • SUNY uses the fully flexible CDI model. CDI search activation = "yes" only affects searching for content that you don’t have full-text, AKA "expanded" searching. 
  • You do not need "alternative coverage" for EBSCO content because all titles will publish to the CDI as available and match on search records.
  • SUNY Content migrated from the Primo Central Index (PCI) to the Central Discovery Index (CDI) on November 17, 2019, so if you find a collection in your system that was created on that date, it was probably migrated from the PCI.

Activating/Deactivating CDI Search: 
  • New electronic collections: Look up collection in CZ, click three dots at right to activate for CDI searching. You don't need to "Activate" a collection to make it Active for Search. If you don't see the Activate for CDI search option, check your roles to make sure you have CDI Operator. 
  • Package already in IZ: do the same except look it up in the IZ 


  • Not all vendors provide search records to the CDI, so some won’t have option to activate 
  • Packages only active for search and not for both search and fulfillment have black icon next to them in the IZ 
  • Some packages, like EBSCO, say that you can turn them on for search, but EBSCO is not actually part of CDI. Full-text will be searched whether or not you activate for CDI searching.
  • If you decide that you no longer want to search a package in the expanded search, you can choose to deactivate for search, but if the package is only in CZ for searching, it's best to just delete the whole thing.
  • eBook chapter searching can now be separated from eBook bib record searching, although it is all packages or no packages. To hide title level ebooks from showing in your search results but keep the chapter level search, go to Discovery>Search Configuration>Search Profiles. Any profiles that include the Central Discovery Index (CDI) are considered "Blended" profiles. Click the three dots to the right and choose Edit if you would like to filter that content. The Exclude CDI Books checkbox will prevent duplicate entries for title level bib records from showing in Primo. Leaving it unchecked will display both a bib record from Alma and one from the CDI.

  • It should take no longer than 48 hours for changes to go into effect for activating or deactivating
  • Active or inactive for CDI search will only affect expanded searching
  • Full-text content activations should appear as available and in unexpanded searching within 48 hours

Search Rights:

  • We will continue to have "Restricted for search" / "Search Rights = Subscription" collections in CDI. Be careful activating these for search and only activate those for which you have a subscription. You can identify them by CDI fields Search Rights: Free or Search Rights: Subscription
  • If Search: equals “subscription,” this means that you need to have a subscription to this product in order to search it. If you subscribe to a collection and have it set up so that users don’t have to login to use it from inside of a specific IP range, then users would be able to search without logging in from inside of that range. But, if a user was outside of that IP range and did not login before starting their search, they’d get no results from that database index search. They might still get fulfillment links to that database if the indexing overlapped with another collection that allowed free searches, but they wouldn’t be able to search that specific database index.


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  • Last Updated Sep 08, 2023
  • Views 5846
  • Answered By Michelle Eichelberger

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