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Alternatives for International Document Availability


The AIDA project aimed to establish Italian and Portuguese library networks in order to provide an international interlending and document supply service for Italian and Portuguese documents. In tandem the service may be used by Italian and Portuguese customers for access to foreign documents.
Impact and results :

The project created a set of standards for Italy and Portugal, allowing considerably improved access to IDS services, including full ISO ILL, in those countries, and to services in Europe by Italian and Portuguese nationals.
The regulation of services and standardisation (and lowering) of charges for document retrieval should lead to a dramatic increase in IDS transactions and a consequent surge in access to a hitherto under-utilised resource.


The specification documentation and software within the pilot implementation are classified as restricted or confidential.
Management reports from the end of each phase are publicly available, as is the study on IDS market needs and potential demand, which covers both Italian and Portuguese national markets and their relationship to the wider European market. Due for publication in early 1996 are:

Report on the assessment of the pilot service results
Information dissemination report
Final report
Technical approach:

There were three phases to the project, each of which covered a number of workpackages:

Phase 1 - Design

Market analysis of existing and potential IDS services
Conceptual specifications
IDS agency specifications
Network and software specifications

Phase 2 - Software development and network implementation

Software for teleprocessing, service centre applications and the World Wide Web
Prototype networks in Italy and Portugal

Phase 3 - Training and start-up

Seminars for library staff
User support
Assessment of services, exploit-ation plans and information dissemination

Key issues:

demonstrator effect, by providing a basic model for ILL services in Italy and Portugal;
the project will seek to demonstrate the viability of such services in a market where current services are expensive and under-used.

The project encompassed:

a consortium of libraries, each with an AIDA client system (IBM-compatible 486 PC, with Windows and SQL*Net TCP/IP software), connected to a single Server (with Oracle RDBMS);
implementation of the full ISO ILL (Interlibrary Loan) protocol;
concern not only with document delivery but also requesting mechanisms and administrative points, such as copyright aspects and tariffs, charging, invoicing and receipts;
Internet as the main carrier, with search and retrieval via a World Wide Web interface and e-mail services from and to the AIDA network;
a system initially designed for library operators rather than end-users, but with wider employment envisaged.

Documentation is available from the contact and from

Appel à propositions

Data not available

Régime de financement

Data not available


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