VDX FAQ for ILL Staff
Last updated 2 Feb. 2009
1. How to update campus calendars
Link says: Get directions
Link to the document: how-to-modify-campus-calendars-vdx-v3.doc
2. How to set up Calendars for Holiday closures
a. If all campus libraries have the same holiday closure hours.
Setting up your Calendar for holiday closures ensures that new requests will come into
your “InProcess” queue from UC requesters with a delayed expiration date according to
your calendar settings.
For example, if your library is closing from 21-DEC-2006 to 01-JAN-2007, the
expiration date would be 9 Jan 2007.
This avoids the unwelcome condition where requests would be automatically routing out
to OCLC rather than waiting for a UC location to be open.
Editing the “Local Holidays” on the bureau level Calendar causes the same edits to be
made to all lower level Calendars.
This is all you need to do; you do not need to update the calendar for each unit.
b. If some campus library units have different holiday hours
First update the bureau calendar. Next go to the Calendar for the unit that has different
holiday hours and update that Calendar with the unit specific hours.
Link says: Get directions
Link to the document: VDX-calendars-holiday-closures.doc
3. How to set a VDX suspension date:
This is done from the ILL details section of the Location record. Suspension does not remove a
Location from the rota, but if a Location is suspended for any reason, the VDX automatically
moves the request on to the next Location in the rota.
Select one option:
Cannot be picked for rota (no Requests should be sent here - location is skipped);
Will be skipped when rota moved on (when a location answers ‘cannot supply’ the rota
moves on, but if the next location is ‘suspended’ then this location is skipped too);
Cannot make requests (this location cannot initiate Requests to any other location).
The date limits of the suspension are selected from the calendar by clicking the drop down in the
Suspended From and Suspended To fields.
Note: If you have docfind-requester implemented, and only one location is found for the rota
and that location is suspended or not available, then the request will go to status Check Manual.
There is also an error message on the audit page:
Location XXX rejected: Location is suspended
Link says: Get directions
Link to the document: set-vdx-suspension-dates.doc
4. How dates and times are handled by ISO. (Why does the request have
ISO ILL requires Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for all date–time fields.
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VDX uses local time internally and does not do any date-time conversion for the items it
receives in ISO messages.
VDX ISO messages sent outside of UC’s VDX group follow the ISO rules and the date-
time data is converted to GMT. This means that any requests going out from VDX after
4pm California time will be dated the following day!
For example, a request sent at 4:30pm on July 28, would show up as being received by
OCLC on July 29, and a response could be received in VDX on July 28 with a date of July
5. Actions that set the expiry date
Items that are processed within VDX: the expiry date is set by the responder
Items that come into VDX from WCRS: the expiry date is set by OCLC
a. Outgoing actions that set expiry date:
b. Incoming action that sets expiry date:
c. Most common reason for short expiry date
Items that come in over the weekend may not have the full five days, e.g. expiry is
five days but two are weekend days.
6. VDX scripts for patron privacy, auto-completion, date correction and archiving
a. Patron Privacy script run automatically 60 days after the item has been completed.
These scripts break the link between the patron record and the ILL record.
b. Auto-complete script for non-returnables are automatically applied to items received
30 days before the current date. This script automatically completes the ILL transaction.
c. Expired user record deletion script runs the first Sunday of every month and checks
for patron records that have an expiry date before the calendar date the script runs.
Expired patron records with active requests are retained. Expired patron records with
no active requests attached are deleted.
d. Status-change date script runs daily and identifies records that are eligible to be
archived. This script sets the status-change date on requests that meet the following
criteria to be the same as the entry date:
the status change date field is empty
the status is idle
the auth-status is complete and
the entry date is less than 60 days before the current date.
e. Reset bad shipped and received dates script runs and resets the bad dates created
during a batch process to the correct dates
The scripts are run every night, after 10pm.
f. Archiving scripts are run manually. The archive script bases its action on the status-
change date in the record. Archiving is complete through Dec. 31, 2005. This script
moves the records out of the VDX database to an archive. We keep the current year
plus two full preceding years, For example in 2009 we will have 2007, 2008 and 2009.
7. How Request builds the VDX rota
A non-lending location does not lend items. (Request has a list of the non-lending and
special collections locations.)
UC campus Special Collections units may lend to a Special Collections unit on another
Net borrowing campuses:
UCD, UCI, UCM, UCR, UCSB, UCSC, UCSF, UCSD
Net lending campuses:
Northern campuses (closest to NRLF):
UCB, UCD, UCM, UCSC, UCSF
Southern campuses (closest to SRLF):
UCI, UCLA, UCR, UCSB, UCSD
Building the VDX ROTA
The Request resolution service keeps track of the lenders used within a calendar day in a table. This
table is used for load balancing.
SRLF & NRLF, (the closest to the requestor’s campus is put first)
The non-special collections UC locations at net borrowing campuses
The non-special collections UC locations at net lending campuses (B, D, LA)
The special collections locations at net borrowing campuses
The special collections locations at net lending campuses
The CRL location, if it occurs.
If there are non-special collections locations, only the RLFs, the non-special locations and
CRL are used. Locations that are Special Collections are not added.
These are used in the order they appear above. The non-special UC locations at net
borrowing campus and the non-special UC locations at net lending campuses are each load
balanced so that the most requested location is moved to the bottom of those lists.
If all the holdings are from Special Collections locations,
If all the holdings are from special locations, only the RLFs, and the Special Collections
locations are used in the order they appear above.
Note: in the Request interface the patron is prompted and asked to confirm they want to
continue or want to skip the request. If they continue it is set to idle in the home campus
VDX review queue.
8. What circumstances send items to the home campus review queue
Campus allows users to override the “available on home campus” message and ask for
ILL and the user’s home campus has Request send these to VDX for home campus
review instead of direct to lender.
Item is not owned by any UC campus
All UC holdings for item are Special Collections locations
All UC locations are non-circulating
Insufficient information in the Request to determine holdings. The check to determine
journal holdings is based on publication year, if the Request lacks a publication year,
Request cannot obtain holdings and cannot build a rota for VDX
If no UC holdings AND no ISBN or ISSN or OCLC number present, PIR sets the
“MaterialType” to "Other" in VDX, which sets VDX status to idle and prevents items
from auto-authorizing. If there is no ISBN or ISSN in the request, PIR does a
publication title search in Melvyl to try to find a match and supply the ISSN/ISBN as
part of the VDX request. Requests that are missing both ISSN/ISBN’s and
OCLC numbers will be rejected by OCLC.
Some campuses VDX configurations do not automatically add OCLC to the rota.
9. What do the different notes types in VDX do?
VDX Note Type Meaning
Client Instr. This is a note from the end user made at the time of request creation. When
the end user places a request they can enter a note in Client Instructions.
Request Msg Send this note on the first action to each responder the request is sent to.
Send Messages Transmit this note with every message for this request from the requester.
Send No This message is a local note. It is never sent to the other party in the
Send Yes This note type is sent with the current transaction only.
10. How to create or delete ILL staff VDX accounts
Link says: Get directions
Link to document : how-to-add-new-user-062008.doc
11. Reasons that Requests get locked in VDX
a. The request is in an authorized auth state
b. The current rota location doesn't have a protocol record setup with a sequence number
c. The driver associated with the protocol for the current rota location is slowly processing
12. Can I get a list of all ISO statuses and see how they are used?
Link says: Get documentation
Link to document : ISO-ILL-statuses.doc
13. What is the difference between Request; PIR and PIRAuth?
Request is the program that controls the interface that the patrons see. (more info)
PIR is the program that controls the processing for the requested item. (more info)
PIRAuth is the program that handles patron authentication.(more info)
a. Request functions
Request is the patron interface, it handles all human interactions
o Request form collects user’s patron data (form is campus specific)
Barcode/PIN; home campus, pickup location, etc.
o Collects Copyright acknowledgement
o Displays situation specific messages to user
Error messages (many are campus specific)
Asks user to choose specific actions, e.g., use DDS or skip an item
Request can handle multiple items in a single transaction
Request receives all bibliographic data from services such as Melvyl; UC-eLinks and
Citation Linker (SFX); and UC’s multi-item service from PubMed (via “Order”
button) and captures bibliographic data from direct user input within the Request
session for Requests initiated from a Melvyl journal record.
Interacts with the Melvyl User Profile to obtain user’s profiled data, e.g., barcode
Uses SFX API to look for systemwide licensed online journals when Request is
initiated from a journal record in Melvyl and provides a link to the electronic version
Passes data to PIR and receives data from PIR
b. PIR functions
Handles all ILL and DDS processing (one item at a time)
Interacts with Request patron interface
Interacts with PIRAuth to authenticate patrons
Returns error/success codes to Request
For Requests originating outside of Melvyl checks Melvyl via Z39.50 for
Interprets location and circulation status messages to determine the availability of an
Passes data to VDX, OCLC ILL service, and campus DDS systems
Creates III bridge records for UCSF and UCI
Creates and load balances the rota for VDX/lender strong for OCLC
c. PIRAuth functions
Authenticates patrons against campus library circulation or LDAP system
Interacts with PIR
14. What happens when I de-ISO an ILL request in OCLC WCRS?
If you choose to de-ISO a Request in WCRS then the link to the item in VDX will be broken.
All future actions must be done in WCRS. Because the link to VDX will be broken, you will
need to manually update the VDX record to keep it in sync with the WCRS record.
15. How can I find out who authorized a Request?
In the controls tab, look at the details section and then look at the entry in the authorized by line.
16. Why did an item come in from WCL via UC-eLinks without UC holdings, when I
see UC holdings for that item.
When a Request is initiated in WorldCat Local, the information passed to UC-eLinks in the
OpenURL is from the specific record the user is viewing , and the holdings are based on OCLC number. It
does not include any holdings for other items in OCLC with that title but with a different OCLC
number. If the OpenURL does not include an ISBN or ISSN Request cannot attach holdings.
When you do a title search, you may retrieve more than one matching record.
WCL uses the OCLC number as the key for matching. Only a single record will match on this
In current Melvyl we use ISBN or ISSN for matching. There may be multiple records that match.
CDL and OCLC are working on ways to get better holdings as part of the WCL Request project.
17. How can I add locations to the rota using the OCLC symbol?
Enter “OCLC:” followed by the OCLC symbol. For example:
18. For OCLC WCRS locations we list the location multiple times to allow them
more time to fill the request. Should I list the location for one of UC’s ISO
partners multiple times?
No. VDX allows us to set a specific number of expiry days for our ISO ILL partners.
Library and Archives Canada (NLD) is set to 20 expiry days (equivalent to listing 4 times in
Stanford (ST2) is set to 15 expiry days (equivalent to listing 3 times in OCLC WCRS)
19. When I sent a Conditional-Reply-No to OCLC WCRS, why did the WCRS
request get canceled?
The ISO-ILL protocol requires VDX to cancel the WCRS request when you send a conditional-no.
From the ISO protocol: (ISO 10161 section 8.3.2)
“A Conditional-Reply with the Answer 'NO' is to be mapped onto the subtransaction (ED: ie
must be relayed to the supplier). Note that in this case the intermediary may not initiate a new
sub-transaction with another responder.”
This means that if a brokered-to supplier sends an answer:conditional to the broker, the Broker is
mandated to relay the answer conditional to the requester. The Broker is also mandated to relay any
response to this conditional to the current supplier. If the requester responds NO – then the broker
must relay this to the current supplier, thus in one go both the sub-transaction and the
requester/broker transaction have to go to Not-Supplied. AND the broker is explicitly forbidden
from starting a new sub-transaction.
When OCLC are brokering as part of an ISO transaction they should NOT continue through their
lending string if one of their suppliers gets a NO in response to an Answer:Conditional.
20. How are OCLC locations handled in VDX?
Currently, there are two ways that OCLC locations are handled in VDX:
option a: only one lender in the WCRS request
option b: 'stacking' multiple lenders into one WCRS request, for example, items that are sent
to OCLC as “direct to profile”
21. Why is there no payment type on this OCLC WCRS request?
According to the WCRS instructions the payment type is supposed to be left blank if they enter the
word "free", which is why there is no payment type in the parent VDX request. Any time a payment
type is blank on the picklist or in the request, the max cost (if any) should be ignored and assumed to
Link says: WCRS instructions in prose above.
Link resolves to:
22. Why isn’t the item brokering?
If you tried brokering it over to another location but the Request won’t move, check to see if you
changed the “Auth status” on the item to “Authorized” when you did the brokering action. If you
did not, then try again but changing the Auth Status.
23. We received a Conditional because we forgot to pick CCL/CCG
For VDX/OCLC borrowing requests you can't directly change the CCL/CCG, maxcost, or shipping
address fields once has gone out to OCLC WCRS. Doing a local change does not modify the
current. Request. Once a Borrowing request has gone out to OCLC WCRS just about every field on
the OCLC request is "frozen" as it was originally transmitted for the life of that request string.