Web Magazine for Information Professionals

JEDDS: Joint Electronic Document Delivery Software Project

Kerry Blinco provides details of a global electronic document delivery project.

JEDDS is the Joint Electronic Document Delivery Software [1] project. The project aims to develop electronic document delivery to the desktop based on MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions). It also seeks to improve the efficiency of document delivery services by providing links between document delivery systems and interlibrary loan management systems, and to foster the adoption of document delivery standards. JEDDS is partly funded under the eLib [2] Programme.

Why is someone from the Antipodes managing an eLib project? The Australian version of the Follett Report and eLib began in 1994 when the Australian government granted funding to the Australian Vice- Chancellors’ Committee to undertake a set of programs known as Projects for the Development of Library Infrastructure. Dr Brian Cook, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Information and International Services at Griffith University, was appointed to chair the Program on Improved Information Infrastructure – Network Information Services, which included projects targeted at improving document delivery services in Australia. The conditions of the funding included directions to avoid duplication of effort and to take into account the work being done within Australia and overseas.

JEDDS thus came into being. Cook’s vision was of desktop electronic document delivery to the client. The imperative was to develop the ability to deliver documents by e-mail using MIME. We looked for opportunities within Australia to develop co- operative relationships with organisations who shared this vision. The National Libraries of Australia and New Zealand soon became partners.

Brian Cook and Lynne Brindley (Chair of CEI) initiated discussions between the Australian and UK programs during 1994, but it was not until the announcement in June 1995 of the funding of four eLib electronic document delivery projects that detailed exploration of the potential for co-operation could occur. As a result, the EDDIS project (Electronic Document Delivery – the Integrated Solution) [3] was nominated as the liaison partner on behalf of eLib. As the project progressed, the other UK electronic document delivery projects have also become active in JEDDS.

The Research Libraries Group (RLG) in the US confirmed that it was interested in adding MIME delivery to its document delivery product, Ariel, and the JEDDS partnership was complete.

The last few months have been particularly exciting as the project is starting to deliver real product. After successful testing, Ariel for Windows 2.0 will be released in February 1997. In November, training for international Support Office staff was conducted at the National Library of Australia. The software developed by JEDDS will be marketed worldwide as Ariel for Windows. Each partner will distribute Ariel to their member organisations for the next five years, and a Support Office will be established in each country. The project will also contribute significantly to developments in document delivery standards over the period of the project. Development will be completed in the fourth quarter of 1997.


  1. JEDDS Web Site,
  2. eLib programme Web Site,
  3. EDDIS project flyer,

Author Details

Ms Kerry Blinko,
JEDDS Project Manager
email: K.Blinco@gu.edu.au
Tel: +617 3875 7231
Fax: +617 3875 7845
Address: Division of Information Services, Griffith University, Queensland 4111, Australia