Podcast/feature: Towards the future with federated access management
The moves to federated access management have ‘propelled academic libraries into the forefront of matters related to identity management, ensuring seamless access to an ever widening range of online resources and services, both within and outside institutional and national boundaries.’
So says Masha Garibyan of the LSE (London School of Economics) and the JISC Access Management Outreach team in an article entitled ‘Towards the Future’ in this month’s Library and Information Update, now available online.
The article outlines the reasons that led JISC to investigate and then to support the uptake of new technologies in this field, that is to say, ‘the need for more secure and simplified access to e-resources of all kinds, the support of complex e-learning and e-research collaborations and the need to allow institutions to take greater control over access to resources.’
In November 2006, JISC and Becta launched the UK Access Management Federation, with JISC inviting further and higher education institutions to join the UK federation and adopt federated access management technologies. At the time of writing, membership of the UK federation was ‘more than 250’, Masha reports (it is now nearly 350).
As Masha argues, the benefits of federated access management are considerable: ‘there is no need to administer and remember multiple usernames and passwords, as users can simply use their institutional username and password to access online resources and services they are entitled to. This meets institutional requirements for a single access management system for e-learning, e-research and library-managed resources.’
JISC is also working with publishers and service providers to encourage them to join the UK federation, Masha reports, and while many major service providers, such as Elsevier, have already joined, many others are planning to do so by July.
Planning is key to successful library implementation of federated access management, Masha continues, outlining the steps libraries should take to prepare for the changes taking place from July this year when ‘some online resources will only be available via the UK federation.’
The moves to federated access management in the UK, mirrored across the world, Masha notes, ‘call on libraries to work closely and strategically with IT departments to ensure that the benefits of federated access management are realised by users. The challenges in all this are significant, of course, but the opportunities are even greater.’
To access the full text of the article please go to: Update article
For further information on the UK Access Management Federation, please go to: UK Federation
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