Every time an action changes the status of a request (i.e., Request, Shipped, Received, Returned, Answer Non-Supply, Cancel, etc.), RACER sends a message to the other library in the transaction. RACER also receives messages from external library systems and from web forms like the SFX form and the External Library form at http://illforms.scholarsportal.info/vdx_illreq_regU.htm

The two most commonly used protocols for sending and receiving messages in RACER are ISO ILL and Generic Script (GS). These protocols are simply two different ways of encoding messages so that RACER can interpret them.

Each location record in RACER (except the British Library which uses a protocol called ARTEmail) is associated either with the ISO or with the GS protocol. This tells the system in what format to expect the messages and how to decode them. Locations using ISO send and receive messages either via email or via IP (similar to what Ariel uses). Locations using GS send and receive messages via email. The External Library form sends messages into RACER formatted for GS.

GS is the 'default' protocol for those locations not using an ISO system like VDX. A detailed list of locations and their protocols can be found on this chart (requires wiki login).

It is usually irrelevant which protocol a location uses; however there are some exceptions, as summarized in the chart below:



Generic Script (GS)

Can I use “Resend Last Message”?



Can I use “Answer Hold” and “Answer Conditional”?


Not recommended – these actions make the request Not Supplied

How do “Cancel” and “Terminate Request” work?

Wait for a “Cancel Reply Yes” or “Cancel Reply No” from the lender

When you action the request it automatically expires at the current lender and moves to the next one (or to the end of the rota)

What should I manually complete (for work queue maintenance purposes)?

Requests with Auth Status = Check Error or Check Manual (if at end of life cycle)
Any requests that have gotten out of sequence but are at the end of life cycle

Borrowers: returned loans
Lenders: shipped articles; cancelled requests

In addition to the actions noted in the chart above, protocols become relevant when messaging goes wrong. A common example occurs when borrowing libraries that are associated with the ISO protocol in RACER use the External Location form to submit requests

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