“For us, OpenAthens is a bridge”

01 December 2023 • Michael Smith, marketing officer

If 'show, don't tell' was good enough maxim for Chekhov and Hemingway, it's good enough for OpenAthens. And it's a useful thought to bear in mind if you want your content to appeal to visual learners, or to teach a practical skill or technique. Just ask Cadmore Media...


'Don't post your videos. Publish them' says Cadmore Media's website. The company provides a media management and streaming service that enables scholarly and professional organizations to publish their video and audio assets, boosting their discovery, accessibility and engagement. More than 30 learned societies and publishers in the UK and US rely on Cadmore to increase the reach and impact of their content. 

And while streaming may be relatively new for scholarly content, publishers of video and audio content have concerns about access management that are very familiar. 


In many cases, Cadmore delivers content to be hosted on an existing webpage and streamed from there. In this case, user authentication can be taken care of without Cadmore’s involvement. But increasingly, the company is building dedicated sites for media content. When it does so, Cadmore uses a novel multi-layered approach to access management that piqued our interest here at OpenAthens.  

Our identity management system asks other single sign-on services about who we're looking at depending on the choice they've made about how they want to log in

Simon Inger, Chief revenue officer at Cadmore Media

“Often, it’ll be their society’s member database that we check against. But it could be their events system, if the user attended an event that gave them permission to access the resulting resources. Or perhaps the requested content is linked to a proceedings journal. In that case, we can poll the journal platform’s authentication system to check if their institution has subscribed to it. We give users a choice about how they want to log in. ” 

“If all these can’t help, we can authenticate through OpenAthens. And so while our use of OpenAthens is low, it actually fulfils a very important role for us.” 

Simon says that Cadmore’s approach to identity management for most of its publisher customers “does not require that we host the authoritative view of authentication and permissions for any given site.” 

Into the future

The Cadmore team are seeing the use of video for scholarly communication becoming more common. 

“The shift towards video is inevitable, so societies and publishers will want to embrace it,” says Simon. “We’re building more websites, including some where societies want us to play a more central role in authenticating users. This will change how we use OpenAthens, and its characteristics like security features, reach, reporting and end user privacy will become a sales point for us.”  

Librarians looking at granular usage stats

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