Identity Without the Individual – Institutional Authorization in Publishing

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Identity Without the Individual
Wednesday 5J

Convener: Andy Halliday

Notes-taker(s): Andy Halliday


Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered


Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:


Identity without the Individual: A Publishing Perspective


In the publishing industry (specifically scientific journal publishing), 90%+ of access to our content comes from sources where we cannot specifically identify an individual with a personal credential. This provides challenges in collecting information in order to provide personalised / improved services, for fraud detection, and mitigation of illegitimate use.


In this discussion, we talked about some strategies for incentivising users to provide personal credentials and allowing them to be linked to an institutional subscription. Some of the incentives we discussed were:


  1. Offering 5 free paid-for articles per month before requiring a personal credential
  2. Offering the ability for users to take their institutional entitlements with them for a pre-defined period – through linking a personal credential to an institutional account
  3. Providing personalised homepage / recommendations based upon a personal credential
  4. Reducing the length / complexity of registration – and potentially not requiring registration – by using social sign-on etc.


We also discussed the architecture for an IDP at the heart of a solution – based on OAuth2 and Open ID Connect.


The discussion provided some interesting food for thought, and ideas to test to move towards an improved solution.