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OpenAthens shares plans for 2017

Louise EagleBy Louise Eagle
Category - Blog

Our 2017 plans include a new API and next generation statistics.

After a successful 2016, we’re now looking ahead to 2017 and all that it holds – both for OpenAthens and for the world of access and identity management as a whole. The new year will bring many changes, including:

Launch of new OpenAthens API – to open up federated access

Following the roll-out of the new OpenAthens Access dashboard, we’re expanding the software with a new cloud-based  API for service providers.

The API is designed to:

– Remove barriers for publishers joining the single sign-on Federations.
– Give libraries access to more publishers.
– Enable a more consistent log-in experience for end-users on publisher websites.

Our System Architect, David Orrell shares insights about the phase 2 development of the OpenAthens API.

Next generation statistics – for easier access to data

Our services for identity providers are also undergoing several enhancements, including the expansion of the usage statistics available to institutions.

– We’re consolidating the collection of data and making it more comprehensive.
– There will be more flexible and powerful visualization of data.
– More granular insights into e-resource usage and user accounts.

The new interface will allow more flexibility to create, export, and tailor reports to your needs – providing information that will help evaluate investment in e-resources and drive engagement with your end-users.

Further investment in the community – to address key challenges

In 2016, we launched the OpenAthens Publishers Manifesto – a series of commitments to invest in, and advocate for, the best in technology for the knowledge industry. The Manifesto represents a touchstone for our priorities into 2017 and beyond, ensuring we’re delivering the best possible experiences for end-users.

More information about OpenAthens’ roadmap can be found in Jon Bentley’s opening presentation from the 2016 OpenAthens customer conference; and following the success of the 2016 event, we’re already making plans for next year. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for details of the venue and programme as they’re announced.

Landmark changes in data security and authentication

The General Data Protection Regulation – while not expected to come into force until mid-2018 – represents a major upheaval for the knowledge industry. New rules will apply about how personal information is gathered, stored, and processed. OpenAthens is currently working on a cross-company project to establish best practices in compliance with the GDPR while offering minimal disruption to end-users, and we’ll be sharing our recommendations with the community in due course.

The end-user journey is also a core concern for the whole industry, and the Resource Access in the 21st Century (RA21) initiative aims to establish guidelines that, when implemented, will provide users with seamless access to information. OpenAthens is involved in the project in our capacity as a leader in access and identity management solutions, and will be participating in the pilot programme throughout 2017.

Part of RA21’s remit is to move the industry away from IP recognition towards more secure methods of authentication. This is an approach that we’ve explored in conjunction with EBSCO this year – the results of which are presented in our white paper on information security.

… and more to come

2017 promises to bring even more service providers into the OpenAthens access management federation, and to expand identity services to more users than ever. Keep an eye on the OpenAthens blog for more developments.


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