April 2021 Newsletter

SeamlessAccess.org is a service designed to help streamline the online access experience for researchers using scholarly collaboration tools, information resources, and shared research infrastructure. This service is governed as a coalition between four organizations: GÉANT, Internet2, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), and the International Association of STM Publishers. Participants include researchers, service providers, libraries, identity providers, and federation operators. We’re excited to bring you up to date on the latest news.

Welcome, Dr. Hylke Koers, CIO of STM Solutions Dr. Hylke Koers joins STM from a strong background in education, research, and scholarly publishing. He will serve on the SeamlessAccess governance committee as STM’s representative. More information on Dr. Koers and STM Solutions is available on the STM website.

Upcoming Events

On April 27, the STM Association’s Society Day will include a session on SeamlessAccess and GetFTR. The event is free for STM members, and only USD$50 for nonmembers. See more information on the meeting website: https://www.stm-assoc.org/events/stm-spring-conference-society-day-2021/.

If you’re interested in a different perspective on federation, education, and research, GÉANT’s TNC21 conference is always a great source of information. It is also free and entirely virtual this year. More information is available at https://tnc21.geant.org/.

The New REFEDS Entity Categories

Last year, the SeamlessAccess working group on Entity Categories and Attribute Bundles sent a proposal to REFEDS for three new entity categories: Authorization Only, Anonymous Authorization, and Pseudonymous Authorization. The purpose of an entity category is to make a simpler and more standardized way for both Service Providers and Identity Providers to request and share a very specific set of information about a user. While the Authorization Only category was not approved by REFEDS as conflating authentication (the ability to log in) with authorization (the access control information) is poor security practice, Anonymous Authorization and Pseudonymous Authorization were approved unanimously by the REFEDS Steering Committee after the community consultation. A blog post on the approved entity categories is available on the REFEDS blog. See https://refeds.org/a/2558.