Learning Center

A key part of our mission is to improve understanding of the technologies that support our SeamlessAccess experience. To date, a significant proportion of our outreach activity has been in-person presentations at meetings and conferences, but we also work to gather resources for our community that are useful for understanding both the Seamless Access service and the broader federated authentication infrastructure.

Terminology

There are a number of words and acronyms used in the federated identity context. We’ve put together a list of acronyms, terms, and definitions to help you navigate the language of federated identity.

Browser FAQ

This FAQ is intended for librarians and IT departments. It will also be useful for librarians communicating with their end-users, whether that is a student, faculty, or practitioner of any kind. It is intended for the scholarly library ecosystem to advise, explain, and provide some suggestions on how to recognize if an access issue stems from this specific browser problem. This FAQ can also be helpful when working with technical staff to problem-solve a solution for your library and institutional needs. When you hear a patron say, “I can’t access this content,” we hope this FAQ may provide clues for you to use, to either rule this issue “in” as the cause; or, to rule it “out.” It is a sneaky thing, this browser problem. https://seamlessaccess.org/posts/2021-07-06-browserchanges/

Case Study

We have worked with the Georgetown University Medical Center Library to produce a simple case study that outlines the benefits of using SeamlessAccess for their users, as well as outline their process and rationale behind the choice to emphasize federated authentication for those users.

Seamless Access/Georgetown University Medical Center Library Case Study

Video

This video series is designed to help answer basic questions about both federated authentication and how SeamlessAccess fits into the authentication ecosystem. All are designed to provide accessible overviews for a non-technical audience, and we hope to add more over time.

  • Access Apocalypse: Be Prepared for Anything was originally presented at the NISO Plus 2022 Conference, and walks through current and evolving changes in access methods to explore how the information community can maintain workflows that minimize access friction for users, deliver an engaging and personalized experience for service providers, and protect data privacy.

  • How Federated Authentication Works provides a conceptual understanding of how this technology enables more seamless and privacy-preserving access, including definitions of key terms, such as Service Provider, Identity Provider, and Identity Federation.

  • Privacy, Attributes, and Why They’re Important builds on the previous video to describe the role that Attributes play in preserving user privacy, and the particular challenge that libraries face in configuring library access.

  • Seamless Access and the User Journey Outlines a description of the early researcher point of view, and how SeamlessAccess makes the process much more straightforward and simple. Narrated by Georgetown University nursing student Esther Yang.

  • Problems with IP Authorization A video from the Seamless Access project that outlines some of the difficulties in the use of IP based authorization and authentication.

Future videos will address other core topics around the use of the SeamlessAccess service, as well as implementation guides covering the various user communities, such as libraries, technical departments, and publishers.