The Pilot Project for Improving Document Delivery Services between Japan and the United States (the ANUL Pilot Project) was undertaken jointly by the Association of National University Libraries of Japan (ANUL) and the AAU/ARL/NCC Japan Journal Access Project (Japan Project) in North America. Conducted during late 1999 and 2000 the ANUL Pilot Project provided valuable experience for all participants.
Specifically the project demonstrated the strength and breadth of demand for materials in many fields throughout the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and technology fields in both countries. The project also clearly demonstrated the operational feasibility of electronic document delivery technologies. Additionally, the project forged strong working relationships among ILL professionals and project organizers in both countries upon which further collaborations have since been built.
The ANUL Pilot Project was evaluated at a bi-national conference held in Tokyo on January 31 and February 1, 2001. That conference reviewed the technical aspects of the pilot and made recommendations about strategies that must be undertaken and problems that needed to be solved before a fully international ILL initiative could be established.
Following the conference the National Institute of Informatics (NII) developed linkages with OCLC employing the ISO ILL Protocol (International Organization for Standardization) for communicating ILL requests and developed a system of payment using OCLC's ILL Fee Management (IFM) system.
As a result of the lessons learned during the ANUL Pilot Project in May 2002 the Global ILL Framework (GIF) initiative was launched and now functions between Japanese and North American libraries.