3.1 The Direct-to-Profile Process

Library Tasks

During implementation of ILL Direct Request, you create profiles (maximum 100) to determine which requests are eligible for automated processing.

Your system sends patron-generated requests to ILL Direct Request. This processing option matches those requests to profiles that include the names of holdings paths and constant data records.

Requests that ILL Direct Request cannot match to a profile are placed in your OCLC ILL Review File.

Patron authentication

Your system must perform the patron authentication. If you want to block a patron's access to electronic ILL services, your system must prevent that patron from creating and sending ILL requests to OCLC.

Direct-to-Profile process

When a patron-generated ILL request is transmitted to OCLC for the Direct-to-Profile option, the system:

  • Matches the request to a single WorldCat bibliographic record
  • Determines whether the request meets your criteria for unmediated ILL
  • Adds a lender string based on the Custom Holdings path you specify
  • Modifies the request based on your specifications
  • Sends the request to the first potential lender

Illustration: Direct-to-Profile process

OCLC ILL Direct-to-Process diagram

Validation and mapping to ILL workform

When your system sends a request to OCLC ILL Direct Request, certain requirements must be met or the request is immediately rejected. When a request is processed, the data from the ISO-10161 request is transferred to an OCLC ILL workform. The OCLC system applies additional validation rules to the request throughout Direct-to-Profile processing. If the request fails validations, ILL Direct Request puts the request in your Review File.

ILL Direct Request sends a status message to your system to indicate whether the request was rejected, put in your Review File, or sent to lender.

Matching a bibliographic record

If a request is accepted, the OCLC system searches WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog) for a bibliographic record on which to base the ILL request.

For the system to find a matching bibliographic record, the request must contain (in order of preference) an ISBN, an ISSN, or an OCLC number. If the ISBN or ISSN is invalid or does not retrieve a match, the system uses the OCLC number.

The system uses the following parameters when searching for a matching record:

  • If the OCLC number is cross-referenced to a different bibliographic record, then the referenced bibliographic record is considered a valid match
  • The OCLC system assigns the no microform search qualifier to ISBN and ISSN searches
  • A record must have holdings attached to be considered a valid match

If the search fails, ILL Direct Request places the request in your OCLC ILL Review file. If a valid matching bibliographic record is found, the system searches ILL Direct Request for a matching profile.

Matching a profile

ILL Direct Request ranks selected profile criteria for matching purposes. For a request and a profile to match, all the following requirements must be met in order:

If  profile contains Request must contain
Request Source Same source
Type of Request Same type of request ( loan or copy)
Patron Status One patron status valid for that profile
Patron Department One patron department valid for that profile
Amount Patron Pays Properly formatted amount which is greater than or equal to that element in the profile
Need before Date A date within the date range specified in the profile
Bibliographic Format Format valid for that profile (data supplied by matching bibliographic record)
Age of Material Age as calculated from Date1 in the bibliographic record must be within the range specified in the profile. If  Date1 is blank, contains u, or a future date, the profile and request do not match.
Language Either no language (including the values N/A or und), or a language valid for that profile (data supplied by matching bibliographic record)

A request must contain every ranked criterion for it to be considered a match. For example, if a profile has patron status defined and the incoming request does not, that profile does not match.

Matching multiple profiles

A request may match more than one profile if you have defined profiles that are nearly identical. In such cases, the system finds a "best match," based on the ranked criteria. For example, if a request matches one profile on patron department and also matches a profile on amount patron pays and bibliographic format, the profile matching on patron department is selected as it matches the higher ranked criteria.

After best match

Once a best match is found, ILL Direct Request uses the Custom Holdings path in the profile to find lenders and applies the constant data record if one is included.

The system applies more profile criteria after a best match is determined:

  • Number of lenders--For a request to be sent out it must contain the number of lenders required in the profile
  • Potential duplicate--If the best match specifies the routing of possible duplicates to the Review File, and the system has determined that the request qualifies as a potential duplicate, the request is routed to the Review File. If the best match contains no for this element, the request is sent to the first lender even if it is a potential duplicate (as long as all other conditions are met)
  • Held by institution(holding prohibition)--If the best match has the holding prohibition set to yes, the request is sent to the Review File if your institution holds the item. If the holding prohibition is set to no, the request is sent to the first lender even if your institution holds the item (as long as all other conditions are met)
  • Held by a specific Group--If the best match specifies a particular ILL Custom Holdings Group name, the request is forwarded to your Review File. The system supplies up to 5 symbols in :DIRECT NOTES: representing members of that Group who hold the item. If the best match contains no specific Group name, the request is sent to the first lender (as long as all other conditions are met)
  • Produce option--You specify in the profile whether the request will be produced in the OCLC Interlibrary Loan service and sent to the first lender, or not produced and placed in your Review File.

Failed searches for a profile

If there is no match, the search for a profile fails and the request is placed in your OCLC ILL Review file with a message in :DIRECT NOTES::

Message in :DIRECT NOTES: Occurs when
No profiles found. You have created no profiles.
No profile matched. Type the history command 'h pm' for more information. The request has no matching profile.
Unable to match profile because publication date is unknown or invalid. The age of the material cannot be determined from the data in the request.
Unable to match profile because need before date is invalid. The NeedBefore Date in the request is invalid
Unable to match profile because patron max cost is invalid. The Amount Patron Pays is invalid in the request.
Insufficient serial info supplied. The request is missing information required for serial processing, for example, titleOfArticle.
Record matching [ISSN or ISBN][number] is invalid choice: matched on wrong subfield. The matching ISSN or ISBN is not from subfield ‡a .

When a successful match is found, the system searches for a lender string.

Lender string

The source of the lender string can be:

  • Lenders you provide
  • Lenders ILL Direct Request provides
  • A combination of lenders provided by you and ILL Direct Request

ILL Direct Request supplies lenders from your Custom Holdings path. If you want ILL Direct Request to supply lenders in combination with lenders you supply, you must give ILL Direct Request permission to supply lenders.

Excluding lenders you provide

ILL Direct Request excludes from :Lender: any OCLC symbol you or your system provides that is:

  • Not a valid OCLC symbol
  • Not an OCLC supplier
  • Not a valid lender in OCLC Interlibrary Loan (for example, a selective user outside your GAC group)

ILL Direct Request places excluded symbols in the :LOCATIONS: field of the OCLC ILL request.

Number of lenders

The Direct-to-Profile option looks for 25 potential lenders for every request. When total lenders exceeds 5, the first 5 are written to the :Lender: file of the OCLC ILL request, the additional lender symbols (up to 20) are written to the :LOCATIONS: field.

ILL Direct Request selects lenders in this order:

  • Lenders you or your system provide in the request
  • The Custom Holdings path in the matching profile (does not duplicate any symbols that already appear in the request)

Permission to supply

If your system supplies lenders in the request, then you set the value of permissionToChangeSendToList in the ISO-10161 ILL-Request to indicate whether ILL Direct Request should supply potential lenders. If the value is true, ILL Direct Request supplies lenders form your Custom Holdings path. If the value is false, it does not.

Order of lenders

A preference code in the ISO-10161 ILL-Request allows you to restrict the order of symbols in your lender string. Set this option to ordered if you do not want ILL Direct Request to change the order of lender symbols you supply. However, this has implications for building a :Lender: field.


You set preference to ordered and provide 25 potential lenders in a request. The fourth symbol in your string of 25 is not a valid OCLC lender. ILL Direct Request puts symbols 4-25 in the :LOCATIONS: field. The request is left with only 3 potential lenders.

In the example, if reference is unordered, ILL Direct Request puts the invalid symbol in  :LOCATIONS: and continues to validate symbols until the :Lender: field is full.

Failed searches for a lender string

A search for a lender string can fail for several reasons. If the search fails, the request is placed in your Review File with 1 or more of the following messages in :DIRECT NOTES::

Message in :DIRECT NOTES: Occurs when
First lender is invalid. You provided lenders in the ISO Request, preference is set to ordered, and the first lender is invalid.
No valid lenders. You provided lenders in the ISO Request, preference is set to unordered, and all lenders in the ISO Request are invalid.
Item matched serial record. ILL Direct Request matched the incoming ISO Request to a bibliographic record with Bib lvl: s.
Holdings path record [name] not found. The path record specified in the profile does not exist.
Holdings path record [name] is invalid. The holdings groups specified in the path record do not exist.
No custom holdings. No institution in the path holds the item.
No preferred lenders. Institutions in the path are not valid lenders for your institution.
[symbol] is not in your group. A specific institution in the lender string you provided is not in your group.
[symbol] is not a supplier. A specific institution in the lender string you provided is not a supplier.
[symbol] is an invalid institution symbol. A specific institution in the lender string you provided is not valid.
[symbol] is your institution symbol. You included your own institution in the lender string.
[symbol] is a selective member A specific institution in the lender string you provided is an OCLC Selective member and not a supplier.
Not enough lenders. The total number of lenders is less than the number required by the profile.

If the search for potential lenders is successful, the ILL request is Produced or placed in your Review File, depending upon the profile.

Lenders for serials

ILL Direct Request generates a lender string based on the WorldCat Holdings symbols, not on Union list records. Direct-to-Profile processing treats serial requests for which you provide lender strings as any other request, provided one or more profiles include serials as a matching bibliographic format.