Federating the Researchers

If you don’t have time to read all of this blog, I will jump straight to the chase! If you work in a library, we would love you to fill out this survey. If you are a researcher, we would love you to fill out this survey. Both will help direct an EU study that is trying to improve access and identity management within research and for researchers.

If you have some time, read some more below!

In cooperation with TERENA, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Debrecen, LIBER is conducting a study which will explore the conditions for the implementation of a single European access and authentication infrastructure (AAI) for research information, or put more simply a ‘researcher passport’ that will allow European researchers to access all the research resources they need with one credential.

I’m really glad to be taking a small role within this study, as an expert advisor from the web SSO environment. Access and identity management is particularly complex for researchers in the current environment as they struggle with affiliation to host institutions, research groups, virtual groups, social groups – and the ongoing battle of just accessing the output of research in the traditional journal form. Throw this together with network access and the complexities of access to high-end computational resources – and it’s a bit of a mess.

This study comes directly on foot of the Riding the Wave report, in particular the recommendation to create a directive to set up a unified authentication and authorization system in order that researchers from any discipline can find, access and process the data they need. Within the context of our study, these data encompass not just primary scientific data, but all data that a researcher needs to conduct research.

The surveys asks you to think about what a ‘research passport’ (as proposed by the report) might look like.

The first survey is for libraries: We would particularly like institutional repository managers and librarians providing research support (e.g. subject librarians) to fill this survey in.

The second survey is for researchers. We would appreciate it if you could send this on to your researchers and/or put it on your library website.

The results of this survey will help form recommendations for a directive for the implementation of a single access and authentication system for research information.

This work is nicely completed by recent activity lead by CERN to examine the role of federations in supporting researchers. This group has produced a really useful paper, that I’d urge you to read if you are interested in the area.