Watching Brief

The UK Access Management Focus keeps a watching brief on a variety of areas of interest to access and identity developments in the UK. Please find a description of each below and a recent update on the status.


eduGain has signed off an initial first draft of its policy documents and will now be moving in to a testing phase with the pilot federations. The UK federation Board has been advised that the UK can now meet the policy requirements for eduGAIN, and is currently looking at the cost – benefit profile for joining. Eduserv have also been advised to review the eduGAIN policy for OpenAthens.

Kantara ULX / eduID work.

The disparate work on discovery and access management is merging together with a proposal to REFEDS entitled the ‘Discover Project’. This suggests promoting a single discovery process based on one entry word – ‘login’. For providers who feel this is a step too far, a secondary ‘eduID’ style slogan will be developed. REFEDS will make a decision on this by the end of 2010. More information is available on the REFEDS wiki.

Federation Lab.

The Federation Lab is helping to answer important questions such as ‘what do we mean by standards compliance?’ It provides a series of tools for testing and debugging software installations, standards compliance and metadata validation. Eduserv have been advised to test OpenAthens using this framework.

Attributes work.

There is general interest in extending the use of attributes within the UK. The UK Access Management Focus has made a recommendation to JISC Collections to promote the use of eduPersonEntitlement: to identify JISC Collections Representatives in institutions and eduPersonPrimaryOrgUnitDN, where ou=library to identify library staff. This will benefit a range of use cases for JISC Collections and could provide useful reference points for publishers.

Levels of Assurance.

In light of the significant amount of work put in to levels of assurance, JISC maintains an interest in taking this work forward and has earmarked this with the JIR committee. The UK Access Management offered to review requirements in this area due to restrictions in tendering. A meeting was arranged at the Internet2 meeting for interested parties. It was agreed that a federation profile of the Kantara Identity Assurance Framework would be the best solution. A proposal will be made to REFEDS to form a working group, including representatives from ISOC, GN3 and interested federations.