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About Requests




What is a request?

A Request is an Inter-Library Loan message that incorporates the bibliographic details of a document that a user wishes to borrow, access or 'own' a copy of. These request messages take place between a requesting location and a responding location. The requesting location is the one that instigates the request on behalf of an end user, the responding location is potentially the location that can satisfy the request by delivering the document. When you operate the VDX Web Admin.Client requests that you send out to other institutions on behalf of your end users are 'outgoing requests '; 'incoming requests ' are requests that are sent to you from other institutions.

Example Work-flow: Copy

Example Work-flow: Loan

How are request messages transmitted?

VDX uses three communication methods each empowered by its own Protocol driver . These drivers monitor the database continuously to identify requests for processing and they perform actions with the requests depending on the ILL protocols being supported.

Location records

Target institutions or suppliers to which you send requests are recorded in the VDX database as locations. These can be academic institutions, commercial or national suppliers for example. The location record specifies what protocol driver is supported by that target institution.

The progress of a request

When an end user searches remote targets using ZPORTAL a document is identified and the user requests it through ZPORTAL . The request subsequently arrives in the VDX database with the status To Be Authorized. The ILL Administrator using the Web Admin.Client checks the request and the rota of potential suppliers and authorizes it. The appropriate protocol driver processes the request, sending it to the first supplier on the rota . The responding location (possibly the first supplier on the rota) picks up the request message and responds positively with a 'shipped ' message and sends the document. The ILL administrator at the requesting location receives the ILL message and the document, and supplies it to the end user. VDX can perform many actions automatically, so that the request status is constantly updated to reflect the true status of the request to the End User without intervention from the ILL Administrator; however, it is still necessary to perform certain actions, such as indicating that the item has been received. For the stages in this simple scenario there are corresponding ILL Actions and Statuses.


There are variations on this scenario. For example -

If the document is non-returnable then the request process is closed. If not then further request messages are sent in connection with returning and receiving the item.

Any number of state transitions can take place in connection with the request.

VDX can be configured to automatically process requests - Auto-mediation - so that authorization by the ILL administrator is not required.

If a request does not pass the auto-mediation checks it is marked as Check Manual thereby requiring ILL Administrator intervention. Alternatively if configured, the request can be automatically rejected as part of auto-mediation.

Throughout the process, if configured, the end user can be notified of the status of the request via 'user-alerting' - emails that indicate the up to date progress of the request. 

Request routing

A Rota allows other locations to be tried for the request if the initial location cannot supply it. In the Web Admin. Client, locations can be added manually for the request or, if automatic routing is set up a ‘request route’ is automatically defined which can then be edited. This consists of a sequenced list of locations that a request will be sent to on successive forwarding or non-delivery. The initial request is sent to the first supplier on the rota, if that supplier responds negatively then the system will automatically forward to the next supplier on the list and so on.

What can you do using VDX Web Admin.Client? 

Find and authorize new requests from your end users.

Create new requests by filling in a blank form.

Create new requests using bibliographic details resulting from a search.

Monitor and process outgoing requests that are ongoing.

Monitor and process incoming requests that are ongoing.

Integrate ILL requesting with a Circulation service (NCIP)

Related Topics


About Reporting

Creating New Requests Using Blank Form

Creating Requests Using Retrieved Catalog Details

ILL Statuses



[Doc#: 1026 - About Requests]





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