VDX (library software)

VDX (library software)

VDX (standing for "Virtual Document eXchange") is a software product for interlibrary loan (ILL) and document request management. VDX was developed by UK company Fretwell-Downing Informatics, a company which in 2005 was taken over by OCLC PICA, itself wholly acquired by OCLC Online Computer Library Center in 2007.

VDX allows library staff to create and manage document borrowing and lending requests between participating libraries. Basically, VDX manages all the stages of the ILL process. It is also an efficient way to collect copyright fees for copyright holders such as authors and publishers.

How VDX works

ILL requests are sent to VDX through a process called automediation. VDX validates the request for the necessary information — author, title, date of publication — and searches for the item again. It then creates a routing list (or "rota") of libraries that own the requested item. The request is sent to the first library on the rota and it indicates whether it can supply the item.

If the library cannot lend or process the request, it will be automatically directed to the next library on the routing list and so on until a library is found that can supply the document. Then the document is forwarded to the requesting library. Throughout the document exchange process, the requesting library can check the status of the request at any time in the process.

ISO ILL protocols

VDX is based on ISO protocols. The protocol is the ISO 10161 protocol. This is the international standard for ILL that defines the communication protocols for ILL and guarantees that ILL information can be communicated between ILL systems even though they reside on different hardware and use different software (such as VDX and similar products).

There is ISO 10160 which determines the terminology that is used for ILL transactions across various document exchange systems.

External links

* [http://www.fdgroup.co.uk/fdi/products/vdx4.html VDX page] at Fretwell-Downing Informatics
* [http://www.oclcpica.org/dasat/index.php?cid=100831&conid=0&sid=cf9e0ee20f208f8f3faa68ee2b149a6a VDX page] at OCLC PICA
* [http://www.accesspa.state.pa.us/VDX2.7/introduction.htm VDX Interlibrary Loan Manual] at Access Pennsylvania

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