Skip to main content

VDX FAQ for ILL Staff


Questions? Contact Discovery & Delivery Team (

How do I set up Calendars for Holiday closures?

1. 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 “In Process” queue from UC requesters with a delayed expiration date according to your calendar settings.

For example, if your library is closing from 21-DEC-2010 to 01-JAN-2011, the expiration date would be 9 Jan 2011.

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.

2. 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.

back to top

How do I set a VDX suspension date?

A requesting library will always be able to add your location to the Rota of a new request, even when it is suspended. The system will automatically skip your location if it is suspended and it will be moved to the end of the Rota. Your location will automatically be retried if your suspension finishes before the request reaches the end of its life.

There are two types of suspension, “Requests OK” and “No requesting”. Do not use “suspended No Requesting”. This will prevent your campus end users from making requests during your suspension.

If DocFind-Requester is on for your location, and the only location in the rota 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

back to top

How are dates and times are handled by ISO? Why does the request have tomorrow’s date?

ISO ILL requires Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for all date–time fields. VDX uses Eastern Time time internally. VDX ISO messages sent outside of VDX 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! The audit trail is sorted by audit number so the messages appear in the order they occurred. The time sort may not match due to the shift of time zones.

back to top

What actions set the expiry date?

  • Items that are processed within VDX: the expiry date is set by the responder
  • Items that come into VDX from WSILL: the expiry date is set by OCLC
    • Outgoing actions that set expiry date:
      • Hold
      • Will-supply
      • conditional response
    • Incoming action that sets expiry date:
      • conditional response
    • 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.

back to top

VDX scripts for patron privacy, auto-completion, date correction and archiving

  • Patron Privacy scripts: Patron privacy scripts selects items completed 60 days before the current date and then breaks the link between the patron record and the ILL record. Completed items appear in My ILL Request (Zportal) only for 60 days.
  • Copy non-returnable auto-complete script: This script automatically completes ILL transactions for non-returnable items received 30 days before the current date.
  • Expired user record deletion script: The expired user script checks for patron records that have an expiry date before the calendar date the script runs and that have no active ILL items associated with the user record. Expired patron records with no active requests attached are deleted. This script runs the first Sunday of every month. .
  • Reset bad shipped and received dates script: This script resets the incorrect dates created during a batch process to the correct dates. It runs every night, after 10pm.
  • Archiving scripts: Transactions for the current year, plus two preceding years are kept in the active database. For example in 2010, we have all the records for 2008, 2009 and 2010. The archiving scripts move the completed records for previous years out of the active VDX database to an archive based on the completion date in the record. Active records from earlier years, if any, are not archived, they remain in the active database. The archiving scripts are run manually. Archived records are available for reporting in the data warehouse via ILL Reports

back to top

How does Request build the VDX rota?

If non-special collections holdings are located (any special collections locations not added in this case):

  • SRLF & NRLF, (the closest to the requestor’s campus is put first)
  • The UC non-special collections locations at net borrowing campuses
  • The UC non-special collections locations at net lending campuses

If all the holdings are from Special Collections locations:

  • SRLF & NRLF, (the closest to the requester’s campus is put first)
  • The UC special collections at the net borrowing campuses
  • The UC special collections at the net lending campuses

back to top

What circumstances send items to the VDX idle 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.
  • The Request has insufficient information to determine holdings, thus the citation is marked incomplete
  • The ROTA is empty, there is no ISBN/ISSN, and the item lacks an OCLC number or has multiple OCLC numbers
  • All UC copies are non-circulating or all UC locations are Special Collections.

Many items are sent to idle by setting the item format type to OTHER. You may need to change the format type in VDXWeb in order to see part (article, book chapter) information.

back to top

What do the different notes types in VDX do?

VDX Note Type Meaning
Client Instruction This is a note from the end user made at the time of request creation.
Item Note Send this note on the first action to each responder the request is sent to.
Public Note This message is a local note. It is never sent to the other party in the transaction.
Private note Transmit this note with every message for this request from the requester.
Patron note This note is created by IL:L staff to send directly to the patron making the request.

back to top

What are the ISO statuses and see how they are used?

ISO ILL Statuses for ISO 10161

back to top

What is the difference between Request; PIR and PIRAuth?

Request controls the user interface.

  • Request is the patron interface, it handles all human interactions
    • Request form collects user’s patron data (form is campus specific)
      • Barcode/PIN; home campus, pickup location, etc.
    • Collects Copyright acknowledgement
    • 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 when necessary
      • Confirmation screen
  • 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 if available.
  • Passes data to PIR and receives data from PIR

PIR controls the processing for the requested item.

  • Handles all ILL and DDS processing (one item at a time)
  • Interacts with Request patron interface
  • Interacts with PIRAuth to authenticate patrons
  • Validates data
  • Returns error/success codes to Request
  • For Requests originating outside of Melvyl checks Melvyl via the AQ service for holdings/circulation data
  • Interprets location and circulation status messages to determine the availability of an item.
  • Passes data to VDX, OCLC ILL service, and campus DDS systems
  • Creates and load balances the rota for VDX/lender strong for OCLC

PIRAuth handles patron authentication.

  • Authenticates patrons against campus library circulation or LDAP system
  • Interacts with PIR

back to top

Why did an item come in from WCL via UC-eLinks without UC holdings, when I see UC holdings for that item?

The searching algorithm is detailed in Request and the OCLC Availability Query (AQ) Service.

back to top

How can I add locations to the rota using the OCLC symbol?

Enter “OCLC:” followed by the OCLC symbol. For example:OCLC:B2Q

back to top

For OCLC WSILL 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?

Multiple listing of OCLC locations is no longer necessary; the response by time is set in the lenders OCLC Policy Directory record.

back to top

When I sent a Conditional-Reply-No to OCLC WSILL, why did the WSILL request get canceled?

The ISO-ILL protocol requires VDX to cancel the WSILL 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.

back to top

How are OCLC locations handled in VDX?

Currently, there are three ways that OCLC locations are handled in VDX:

  1. only one lender in the WSILL request
  2. multiple lenders added in VDX, each lender will have single WSILL request number.
  3. direct to profile, up to five lenders identified in custom holdings will be added to single WSILL request.

back to top

Why is there no payment type on this OCLC WSILL request?

According to the OCLC WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan documentation for Lending charges 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 be $0.

back to top

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.

back to top

We received a Conditional because we forgot to pick CCL/CCG, can we fix this?

For VDX/OCLC borrowing requests you can’t directly change the CCL/CCG, maxcost, or shipping address fields once has gone out to OCLC WSILL. Doing a local change does not modify the current request.

Once a Borrowing request has gone out to OCLC WSILL just about every field on the OCLC request is “frozen” as it was originally transmitted for the life of that request string.

back to top

How are the Work queue dates set?

  • Borrower Pending > 2 weeks: The time span is calculated from Entry date to Current date
  • Borrower Shipped > 2 weeks: The time span is calculated from Date Shipped to Current date
  • Lender Overdue sent > 4 weeks: Actual service date

back to top

How are the entry dates set? WSILL entry dates and VDX dates seem different

  • For a UC to UC Lending request: The Entry Date is the date the request entered the Borrower’s queue.
  • For an incoming OCLC request: The Entry Date is the date the request entered the Lender’s queue.

back to top