Summer 2022 Newsletter

Note: Going forward, we will be sending out this newsletter on a bimonthly schedule.


Just before the summer period, SeamlessAccess was discussed in a number of events and conferences. In case you missed it, slides and recordings are available:

Here are some upcoming events where SeamlessAccess will be presented as we head towards the fall:

  • 14 Sept: Presentation about SeamlessAccess at the “Trust and Identity” track of the 31st NORDUnet Conference, focusing on value for federation operators.
  • 18 Oct: Frankfurt: SeamlessAccess will be one of the services discussed during a panel session about “New Collaborations” at the 2022 STM Frankfurt conference.
  • 2-4 Nov: Charleston Conference. SeamlessAccess will be featured in a session called “In It Together: Bold New Collaborations for Researchers and Publishers” - more details to follow!

Also, Heather Staines will be attending the ALPSP annual conference (14-16 Sept) and the SSP New Directions Seminar (Sept 21-22) - don’t hesitate to say hi when you’re there!

WAYF Entry Disambiguation recommendations

We’re happy to report that the WAYF Entry Disambiguation Working Group, which we introduced in last October’s newsletter, has finalized its recommendations. This Working Group has looked at an important usability challenge in federated authentication, namely when different identity providers (IdP) present themselves with identical, or very similar, names to the end-user - which is a well-known source for confusion and broken user journeys.

GIven the significance of this problem, we are very glad that the Working Group has now delivered recommendations for institutions, federations and other stakeholders to address this problem. You will find the recommendations here (PDF doc) or here (HTML, including recommendations together with the earlier ‘challenges’ white paper).

Advanced Integrator workshop

At the end of June, we organized a workshop for Advanced Integrators to discuss the expected impact of upcoming changes to browser technology, in particular changes that will break current mechanisms for third-party access to cookies and other information held by the browser. The workshop provided valuable insights into how services are using the Advanced Integration pattern today, and how the different organizations are preparing for the upcoming changes in the face of many uncertainties.

If you find yourself wondering “what browser changes?”, we’d highly ecommend checking out these references:

In addition, the W3C Federated Identity Community Group, who offer a forum to discuss incubating web features that will both support federated identity and prevent untransparent, uncontrollable tracking of users across the web, recently published a draft report.

SeamlessAccess will continue to monitor and update stakeholders as the situation unfolds.

Cambridge University Press and De Gruyter join SeamlessAccess

SeamlessAccess continues to grow with two additional academic publishers implementing the service: Cambridge University Press and De Gruyter.

Cambridge University Press has integrated SeamlessAccess with their Higher Education platform. Peter White, Digital Partnerships Manager, explains: “The implementation of the SeamlessAccess button on the Higher Education login page is the latest step in a programme of development from Cambridge that aims to transform the experience of end-users of Shibboleth-based institutional authentication. Back in March we released a new Discovery Service – or WAYF (‘Where-Are-You-From’) display – designed to speed up and improve the authentication journey of end-users who choose to start the institutional login process on either Cambridge Core or the Higher Education website.” In the coming months, Cambridge University Press will add the SeamlessAccess button to Cambridge Core, accelerating access to more than 1.8 million journal articles and more than 46 thousand monographs and other books.

De Gruyter, an independent academic publisher disseminating excellent scholarship since 1749, has completed an Advanced Integration on their platform “De Gruyter is excited to now provide our customers with an easier login experience through SeamlessAccess. With the help of LibLynx, who provide our authentication and identity management system, we have integrated SeamlessAccess and now show the SeamlessAccess button on our WAYF page and on all product pages. This integration also gives us more control of the institution names as they appear in our institution selector, which helps our customers finding the correct entry for their login”, says Ulrike Engel, Product Owner Delivery Platform at De Gruyter.

We’re excited to have these two publishers joining SeamlessAccess!

Welcome, Bojhan and Zacharias

SeamlessAccess has two new team members: Bojhan Somers (UX) and Zacharias Törnblom (Product Manager).

Bojhan joins the team as User Experience Designer. He brings many years of experience in academic publishing as well as working with (open-source) communities. He is passionate about bringing simplicity to complex design challenges, and eager to apply that passion to SeamlessAccess.

Zacharias joins SeamlessAccess as Product Manager with a background in the public transportation sector, where he has been managing end-user facing products with a focus on accessibility, usability and privacy. Upon joining, Zacharias noted, “I’m impressed by the ease of use with SeamlessAccess, and excited for the coming changes we have planned. These will make the SeamlessAccess-button easier to implement and maintain and will grant users access whether their login method of choice is through a federated institution or a non-federated service.” 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.