Merging Bibliographic Records in Polaris

A handy feature in Polaris is the “Replace / Check for Duplicates” button. You can find this button when you are working in a bibliographic record in Polaris. This tool is also run automatically at the time you save a bibliographic record.

No Duplicates Were Found

When you click on the Replace / Check for Duplicates button, you will get a new window that is a tool for identifying and removing possible duplicate records. If there are no duplicates, it will let you know that as well. If there are no duplicates, you can click on Cancel

Duplicates Found - Merge Records


Starting with a new example, if there is a possible duplicate it will show the record(s) in the lower part of the screen. Check each one carefully because they are not always true duplicates. There is a column on this window that will list the fields that caused the record to be detected as a duplicate.

To review the record, double click on the possible duplicate bibliographic record that you would like to check.  Arrange the two bibliographic records side-by-side and check the match points.

The bibliographic record that you want to keep must be the first one you search. If the 2nd record is better, close the first record and the replace/check for duplicate box and start again.  Notice in this case, that the 2nd record does not have an OCLC control number, but everything else matches. After determining that the first record is best and that they do indeed match, we close the 2nd record, make sure that the record is still highlighted, and choose “Replace Selected.”

You will get a message asking if you are sure.  Click OK.

All item records attached to both records will be moved to the saved record. The bibliographic record number that was merged will appear in a new 035 field.

Duplicates Found - Don't Merge Records


Not all duplicates found should be merged. If there are two separate OCLC numbers, the OCLC database should be checked in case the records were merged in OCLC.

In this case the records look like duplicates but there are two separate records in OCLC. In this situation, click on the Cancel button so no records are merged.

No Duplicate Found When There Is a Duplicate


There are times when you know you have a duplicate record but it does not populate in this window. This may happen with Provisional Bibliographic Records where you need the control number in order to merge the records.


To bring up the duplicate, click on the Magnifying Glass with a Plus Sign icon to do a search to find that record. 

A new search tool will pop up. Do a search for the record that you know is a duplicate. In this example, a search was done by the specific control number of the record.

Double click on the title and the title should now appear in the check for duplicates window. you can then click on Replace Selected to merge the two records.

NOTE: Be careful if you have multiple titles appearing. You may need to select just one of the titles to Replace Selected instead of Replace All.

Deduplication Rules


There is a table in Polaris System Administration that is used to identify potential duplicates. The rules are applied in groups to more efficiently determine a duplicate. Two records must meet all the rules in at least one group to be potential duplicates.

This is a screenshot of the rules as of March 2, 2018.

Kathy Schmidt