Do's and Don'ts of Using the ALERT Field

Tip of the Week September 19, 2013

When should you use the ALERT field in ILL requests managed through OCLC’s ILL services?


The ALERT field is provided for one very specific use: This is the field lending library staffs use to send Article Exchange document information to borrowing libraries. Lending library staff members enter the custom Article Exchange tinyURL and password for a requested document in the ALERT field, where staff at the borrowing library can retrieve it.


ALERT is used in this way so staff at the borrowing library will see the ALERT and know that the information in this field needs special attention. This is particularly important because Article Exchange URLs are time-sensitive and require immediate action. When borrowing library staff see transactions in the ALERT category, they should focus their attention on those ALERT transactions.


Notification that you have received Article Exchange information in an ALERT

When a borrowing library sees transactions in the ALERT category, they should focus their attention on those ALERT transactions

ALERT field with an Article Exchange tinyurl and password

Article Exchange ALERT entries for ILLiad libraries

ILLiad® 8.4 has integrated Article Exchange into its application so the ILLiad software automatically populates the ALERT field with a document’s tinyURL and password when an ILLiad 8.4 lender supplies an article via Article Exchange. ILLiad 8.4 does not use the e-mail function of Article Exchange. It is very important that ILLiad borrowing libraries also retrieve the Article Exchange tinyURL and password and pass it along to the document requestor as quickly as possible.


Planned enhancements to the ALERT field

In the future, OCLC plans to further integrate Article Exchange into WorldShare ILL to streamline delivery of articles through the tool. Here are some enhancements we plan to add:

·         WorldShare ILL will automatically place the tinyURL and password into the ALERT field. 

·         The label of the ALERT field will change to “AE ALERT” to help you remember that this field is to be used exclusively for Article Exchange document access information. 

·         The ALERT field will accept only Article Exchange tinyURL and password information. Staff will not be able to enter other types of messages in this field. 


A note about NOTES

The NOTES field can be used for conveying other kinds of information about the status of an ILL request to staff at other lending or borrowing libraries.   


For additional information:

·         Consult Article Exchange documentation: OCLC® Article Exchange in OCLC WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan documentation.

·         Contact OCLC Customer Support at or OCLC Support in your region for assistance with using Article Exchange for document delivery.