Exciting things are happening with the implementation of VDX (UC’s Consortial Borrowing System Software project), which provides the behind-the-scenes processing for UC’s Request service (both Melvyl Request and UC-eLinks Request).  Here’s a brief status report.

VDX (UC’s Consortial Borrowing System Software for Interlibrary Loan [ILL] and Document Delivery Services [DDS]) went live at UCLA, UCSB and SRLF on October 1, 2003. On that day, the Requests from patrons at UCLA and UCSB began being processed by VDX and SRLF began responding in VDX to the same category of requests.  While we are still identifying and correcting small details in the Request server processing and data mapping, VDX processing seems to be going well.

Additionally, ILL staff in the UCSD Libraries are using the test system to develop their workflows and UCSD will probably be the next campus to ‘go live’ with the VDX system.

You can find more information about the VDX project at http://www.cdlib.org/inside/projects/request/ .

Installation of VDX version 2.4

Version 2.4 of VDX will be installed in the UC test VDX system on Thursday, October 16th. CDL, UCLA, UCSB, and UCSD staff will work with the new version to tune the configuration details and test new functionality.  Programming changes will be made to the Request server to take advantage of the new functionality; examples include the addition of OCLC bibliographic record numbers to requests (when available), and the inclusion of copyright information.

Once the new version is configured to the satisfaction of its users, the version can be installed on the production instance.  It is anticipated that this will happen some time in early November.  Staff at CDL and in the UC Library ILL units are currently receiving training on aspects of version 2.4.

Blank Citation Linker forms available for ILL

This service is based on the UC-eLinks Citation Linker function.  Users select a form for the type of item they need (Book, Book Chapter or Article) and then enter the information they have about the item.  If the minimum requirements are met (ISSN or ISBN or book/journal title plus a year) the user is taken to the familiar UC-eLinks menu and can choose to follow a full text link, or check library holdings or initiate a Request.  Campuses that wish to use this form in place of their current online ILL request forms may do so at any time, and ILL staff at several campuses are already using these forms for behind-the scenes ILL processing purposes.

UCSB has recently replaced all its traditional ILL web forms with the Citation Linker forms.  If you’re interested, click on the Book, Book Chapter, or Article Request forms located mid-screen at: http://www.library.ucsb.edu/depts/access/ill.html

Requests for titles when full text is available online

Currently, when the full text of an article is available online, the UC-eLinks window does not present the option to Request the article via Interlibrary Loan. UC’s Resource Sharing Committee (RSC) has been asked to discuss removing the block on requests for items in journals when full text is available online.  If RSC recommends removing the block, patrons would be able to choose between viewing the online version and submitting a Request through UC-eLinks for the item.

Assistance for other campuses and next steps

CDL is in the process of identifying an individual who can spend the next few months working with other campus ILL units as they being to develop their VDX workflows.  This person will have an in-depth knowledge of the VDX system and be able to explain configuration options and system interactions.

Other campuses are encouraged to begin looking seriously at the VDX test system by the end of October.  Once version 2.4 is installed in the production instance, the system will be ready for live participation by everyone.