March 2020 Newsletter

SeamlessAccess is a service designed to help streamline the online access experience for researchers using scholarly collaboration tools, information resources, and shared research infrastructure. This is the monthly update for March 2020 where we catch up on the latest activities within

SeamlessAccess in the News

Choice, one of the publishing units at the Association of College & Research Libraries (a division of the American Library Association), is releasing a series of podcasts this month on digital access to scholarly content. The podcasts feature interviews with Heather Flanagan, Program Director for SeamlessAccess, and Laird Barrett, Digital Product Manager at Springer Nature This is a four-episode series, and the first two episodes are available now at and

In addition to the podcasts, you may be interested in the collaborative session notes from the NISO Plus session, “Seamless Access — A Conversation between Service Providers and Librarians.” These are community-authored notes from the 90-minute session presented by Ralph Youngen (ACS) and Lisa Hinchliffe (University of Illinois).

If you find these notes interesting, you’ll be even more interested in an upcoming webinar, currently scheduled for May 13. Additional details will be provided in next month’s SeamlessAccess newsletter.

Outreach Survey

The SeamlessAccess Outreach Committee has created a survey to help us better understand how federated identity management is implemented at higher education institutions. The survey is available online and will remain open until 27 March 2020:

#Community Engagement

The Entity Categories and Attribute Bundles Working Group is currently reviewing proposals for three new entity categories:

  • Anonymous access - indicating the Service Provider does not want any attributes from the Identity Provider
  • Access with pseudonymous identifier/entitlement/affiliation - indicating the information required by the Service Provider to allow for authorization decisions
  • Access with personal data/entitlement/affiliation - indicating a request to include personal data

The goal of these entity categories is to help ease the burden of configuration on the part of the Identity Providers; ultimately, it is the Identity Provider that will decide whether or not to support these entity categories in their systems.

All proposed entity categories will go through a public comment process, and will ultimately feed into a new working group that will focus specifically on appropriate contract language to define the terms of attribute release between a library and a publisher.

Stay tuned for more information next month, where we will talk about monitoring services and future webinar opportunities! is a service, governed as a coalition between five organizations: GÉANT, Internet2, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), ORCID, and the International Association of STM Publishers. Participants include researchers, service providers, libraries and identity providers and federation operators, vendors, publishers.