Minnesota-based liberal arts university Macalester College has chosen to work with OpenAthens, which provides federated identity and access management services to a global client base.
As part of the relationship, Macalester College also supported OpenAthens in joining the InCommon Federation as a sponsored partner. The InCommon Federation, operated by Internet2, is the US education and research identity federation, providing a common framework for trusted shared management of access to online resources.
Close to 1,000 institutions across the United States – including colleges, universities, government and non-profit laboratories, research centers, agencies, and industry partners – rely on InCommon’s identity management framework or take advantage of the InCommon Certificate Service for securing their web infrastructure.
Working with Macalester College
Commenting on the benefits the partnership with OpenAthens brings to the college’s community, assistant library director at Macalester College Katy Gabrio said:
“We now have access to a much wider range of content. Prior to working with OpenAthens we were unable to log in to the full HathiTrust library. We were accessing content via a proxy and were relying on using a web browser which limited the information we could access. We are now able to offer our staff and students more functionality – they can create collections and access whole books, not just extracts as before, which adds real value to our community. Another great benefit has been that we are able to offer people on our campus who have visual difficulties greater access to material than ever before.”
Macalester College was referred to OpenAthens by EBSCO which is working towards increasing the configuration of the number of resources available.
Commenting on the set up and reporting processes offered by OpenAthens, Katy said:
“The process of access is very straightforward for students and staff and they can source much more material than ever before. We found the OpenAthens’ team very helpful at every stage of the set-up process and I find the system very intuitive. The quality of reporting and analytics is also good. We can access usage data easily and this helps to ensure we’re providing a system that serves our community’s information requirements.”
Neil Scully, IT director at OpenAthens said:
“We’re delighted to be working with Macalester College and being able to facilitate a wider range of information resources for their community.”
InCommon sponsored partner
OpenAthens is also now a sponsored partner of the InCommon Federation which will enable greater access to resources for other organisations in the OpenAthens community.
Mike Brooksbank, managing director at OpenAthens said:
“Joining the InCommon Federation as a sponsored partner will help provide the US education and research community with wider access to online content via federated access. We also work with InCommon and other access management federations around the world on international standards for federated single sign-on technologies.”
As an InCommon participant, OpenAthens supports the policies and technology behind the InCommon Federation, including attributes that will improve the tailored user experience, such as methods to recognise what specific market a user is from, and whether it be education or research.
According to Ann West, associate vice president of trust and identity at Internet2,
“Enabling single sign-on for Macalester College faculty, staff and students to HathiTrust and other services, while preserving privacy and security, is what InCommon Federation is all about. Through InCommon, Macalester College can access thousands of national and global services while HathiTrust can connect to more schools more quickly. And OpenAthens brings it all together by helping Macalester College connect in to the InCommon Federation.”
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