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Access Lab 2020

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Simplifying the future together

19 March 2020

America Square Conference Centre, London, UK

What is Access Lab? | About the conferenceProgramme | Tickets | Speakers
Sponsors & exhibits | Media partner | Venue | Conference news & blogs | FAQs


What is Access Lab?

We’ve renamed our annual conference to Access Lab to reflect the wider topics around discovery and access to content and the relationship between publishers, librarians and end-users in this space.

About the conference

The 2020 conference theme ‘Simplifying the future together’ reflects
our collective commitment to developing a secure, simple and seamless
user journey to content.

The conference attracts over 150 international publishers and library professionals from a wide range of sectors including education and research, healthcare, government, charity, publishing, and commercial. Anyone with an interest in identity and access management is welcome to attend.

We want our international conference audience to feel inspired and enthused about the sessions they participated in during the day and to benefit from the valuable connections they make through networking.

Follow the conference on Twitter #AccessLab2020

Delegate feedback from 2019 OpenAthens Conference:

“I think OpenAthens conference is a really unique event where librarians, like me, get to meet with publishers etc. in a non-sales first environment. Really enjoyed, thanks for organising.”


(subject to change)

Full session descriptions

09:20 – 09:50
Registration, coffee, networking and exhibition

09:50 – 10:00
Welcome address
– Mike Brooksbank, executive director, Jisc

10:05 – 10:30
Opening keynote: The future of libraries
– Nick Poole, CEO, CILIP

10:35 – 11:00

Plenary 1: From raw content assets to personalised, digital products – how to modernise your knowledge for the digital age
– Sam Herbert, co-founder, 67 Bricks

11:00 – 11:25
Coffee, networking and exhibitions

11:30 – 12:30
Breakout sessions:

a) Digital library insights
1. What OpenAthens can do for you: creative applications for the academic library
– Scott Anderson & Krista Higham, Millersville University & Amanda Ferrante, EBSCO

2. Context aware unified library services: An open architecture for digital libraries to offer a seamless user journey to content 
–  Alvet Miranda, senior manager of South/West Asia, Oceania and Africa, EBSCO

b) OpenAthens – looking to the future 
1. Single sign-on and identity: integrated technology for an integrated future
– Jon Bentley, commercial director, OpenAthens

2. OpenAthens service desk charter
– Joe Bromley & Iain Allchurch, support analysts, OpenAthens

3. OpenAthens roadmap and future plans
– Jake Smallridge, product manager, OpenAthens

c) Accessibility workshop 
Eyes wide open? Accessibility transparency, user experiences and new risks for Higher Education
– Alistair McNaught, consultant, Alistair McNaught Consultancy Ltd

12:30 – 13:25
Lunch, networking and exhibition

13:30 – 14:30
Breakout sessions:

d) Library case studies 
1. When WAM went bam: OpenAthens and Alma implementation
– Karen Abel, Subscriptions and E-Resources Coordinator, University of Leeds

2. Easier access to content from anywhere
– Johan Tilstra, Lean Library, and Andrew Cheney, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

3. Switching from EzProxy to OpenAthens: How and why one small urban university’s library elected to make the change and what it learned
– Joanna Kolendo, e-resources & reference librarian, Chicago State University, US

4. Chalmers University of Technology case study (title TBC)
– Richard Burkitt, director of SaaS innovation, EBSCO

e) Publisher insights 
1. Librarians are users too
– Eileen Jamieson, serials and information librarian, Geological Society

2. Top tips and UX recommendations
– Vee Rogacheva, UX designer, OpenAthens

3. Tips and pitfalls – When BMJ Best Practice moved to OpenAthens Keystone
– Elin Svensson Goodwin, product manager, BMJ

f) Privacy, personalisation and the user journey

1. Helping users get on the right path even if they start off on the wrong foot
– Scott Ahlberg, COO, Reprints Desk

2. Change of identity, loss of personalisation? The challenges and opportunities of personalisation in access management
– Peter Reid, digital services librarian, Bath Spa University

3. Saying ‘no’ to publishers personal data gathering – our experiences
– Sally Hoadley, Jerome Farrell, Hannah Wise, University of Surrey

14:30 – 14:55
Coffee, networking and exhibitions

15:00 – 15:25
Plenary 2: A password-less future?
– David Orrell, applications architect, OpenAthens

15:30 – 16:30
Panel debate: privacy vs personalisation
– Jon Bentley, commercial director, OpenAthens (panel chair)
– Sebastian Kohlmeier, senior manager of program management and business operations, Allen Institute for AI and Semantic Scholar
– Peter Reid, digital services librarian, Bath Spa University
– Ganesh Gupta, student partner, Jisc

16:35 – 16:50
Best publisher user experience award and presentation

16:50 – 17:00
Closing address
– Mike Brooksbank, executive director, Jisc

17:00 – 17:45
Drinks reception


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Nick Poole

Nick Poole

Nick became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CILIP on 22 June 2015. Nick was previously CEO of the Collections Trust, where he was responsible for developing UK and international standards for information management, advising on digital programmes and leading partnership initiatives with a range of leading digital companies. Nick was elected to the Board of Wikimedia UK on 25 July 2015. He is former Chair of the Europeana Network and provided representation to the European Commission on culture and technology policy. Prior to joining the Collections Trust in 2005, Nick held a number of roles at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), including responsibility for Regional policy development and as a National ICT Adviser. Nick is currently Chair of BIC Ltd, the book industry supply chain organisation.

Sam Herbert

Sam Herbert
Co-founder, 67 Bricks

Sam Herbert is co-founder of 67 Bricks.  Sam has taken a lead in exploring how technologies like AI, machine learning and natural language processing can deliver value in the information industry by increasing the worth of data, strengthening user engagement and delivering new sources of revenue.  He has a unique ability to understand clients’ needs and unravel the latest technologies that will help them deliver exceptional user experiences.

Alistair McNaught

Alistair McNaught
Director, Alistair McNaught Consultancy Ltd

Alistair started working with libraries and publishers in 2006 when working at the Jisc TechDis service. Guided by the view that publishers and universities have the same goal – getting more people to read more books – Alistair has built positive collaborative relationships with all stakeholders. He contributed much of the early accessibility guidance on the Publishers Association website, added accessibility to the occupational standards and has led several research projects into ebook accessibility including the 2018 ASPIRE project involving 49 university libraries. Alistair now works independently advising on digital accessibility and culture change in education and beyond.

Elin Svensson Goodwin

Elin Svensson Goodwin
Product manager, BMJ

Elin is an experienced and creative product manager at BMJ. She is currently working on the award-winning BMJ Best Practice app and website. She prides herself as someone who is passionate about creating and developing products that people love. This year she has continued an ambitious development programme of BMJ Best Practice in collaboration with customers and health professionals around the world.

In the last two years alone, Elin has been part of workshops and product development sessions with over 500 clinicians. This valuable insight has supported the overall delivery of digitally engaging solutions that are easy to access.

Karen Abel

Karen Abel
Subscriptions and e-resources coordinator, University of Leeds

Within the role of Subscriptions and E-Resources Coordinator at the University of Leeds, Karen looks after access to the online resources provided to academics and students via the Library.

Scott Ahlberg

Scott Ahlberg
COO, Reprints Desk

Scott Ahlberg, COO of Reprints Desk, the company behind Article Galaxy, has over 3 decades of experience at 4 different businesses all focused on helping users find the content they need.

Peter Reid

Peter Reid
Digital services librarian, Bath Spa University

I’ve worked in digital side of academic libraries for ten years or so, with a lot of access management in the past 6. I work closely with IT on IdP projects, troubleshoot and configure new services, and this past year was on the privacy and security working group for RA-21. My other work is in usability, website management and training.

Sally Hoadley

Sally Hoadley
Acting team leader e-resources, University of Surrey

Sally Hoadley works in the Content and Systems Department at the University of Surrey Library. With backgrounds in E-resource troubleshooting, Acquisitions and Library Systems.


Jerome Farrell

Jerome Farrell
Systems Librarian, University of Surrey

Jerome Farrell works in the Content and Systems Department at the University of Surrey Library. With backgrounds in E-resource troubleshooting, Acquisitions and Library Systems.

Hannah Wise

Hannah Wise
Information resources advisor, University of Surrey

Hannah Wise works in the Content and Systems Department at the University of Surrey Library. With backgrounds in E-resource troubleshooting, Acquisitions and Library Systems.

Eileen Jamieson

Eileen Jamieson
Serials and information librarian, Geological Society

Eileen has worked in libraries at the RCHME, UCL, and the Natural History Museum, and currently works at the Geological Society Library. She has administered e-journal access at both the NHM and the Geological Society, but first worked with e-journals during her MSc in Information Science in 1996/97.

Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson
Information systems librarian, Millersville University

Scott Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Library at Millersville University where he has been practicing various forms of librarianship since 1994 focusing primarily on information systems, content platforms, authentication, repositories, linking, discovery and interlibrary loan. He’s the subject specialist for art & design, business, computer science, economics, and mathematics working directly with faculty and students in those disciplines on instructional and research activities. He earned his MLS from Indiana University (’94) and MBA from Pennsylvania State University (’98). He enjoys travel, reading, single malt scotch and is an accomplished competitive marksman.

Krista Higham

Krista Higham
Access services librarian, Millersville University

Krista Higham is the Access Services Librarian at Millersville University overseeing library policies and workflow changes in the operational areas of circulation, course reserves, and resource sharing. She is the copyright education expert on campus and subject librarian to Applied Engineering, Safety, & Technology, Philosophy, and Geography.  She is currently and has served for nine years as the Library’s Collection Development Committee chairperson. She has a B.S. in Business Information Systems from Messiah College, a Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and a M.S. in Information Systems from Penn State University, Harrisburg. Her interests include reading and travel.

Johan Tilstra

Johan Tilstra
Founder and CEO, Lean Library

Johan Tilstra, a former Program Manager at Utrecht University, is the founder and CEO of Lean Library.

Andrew Cheney

Andrew Cheney
Evidence services lead, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

The first information professional to graduate through the NHS Leadership Academy at EGA level; Andrew has over ten years’ experience in sourcing, creating and sharing the highest quality evidence across one of the largest mental health organisations in the UK.

Andrew is dedicated to streamlining access, removing barriers to sharing knowledge and best practice between teams. Andrew and the rest of the Evidence Service create bespoke high quality evidence reviews for people and teams wishing to instigate clinical and corporate change across Mersey Care.

Richard Burkitt

Richard Burkitt
Director of SaaS innovation, EBSCO

Richard Burkitt is Director of Software as a Service (SaaS) Innovation for EBSCO Information Services in the UK. Richard brings his wealth of experience to help libraries streamline processes and improve services and help users access resources quickly and easily.

Amanda Ferrante

Amanda Ferrante
Authentication specialist, EBSCO

Prior to joining EBSCO Amanda worked in various special libraries while completing her MLIS at Simmons College, focusing on leveraging SaaS to increase discoverability in the digital library environment. With EBSCO her work is rooted in that same objective: removing barriers to access for end users and supporting ease of administration for librarians. As the Authentication Specialist for EBSCO’s Software as a Service team, Amanda consults with librarians, IT and IAM teams around the world to identify authentication solutions that fulfil their unique needs.

Joanna Kolendo

Joanna Kolendo
Reference, Instruction, and Electronic Resources Librarian, Chicago State University

J. Kolendo is a Reference, Instruction, and Electronic Resources Librarian at Chicago State University.  She received her M.L.I.S from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and in 2010, received an M.Phil in Medieval Literature and Languages from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.     

Alvet Miranda

Alvet Miranda
Sr. manager software services, EBSCO

Alvet lives in Australia and works as a senior manager, software services with EBSCO looking after Oceania, Africa and South West Asia territories. He has nearly 20 years’ experience designing software solutions for a wide range of industries and businesses. He holds a BSc. in Software Engineering, MBA and Master of Applied Finance including over a dozen technology certifications from Microsoft, Project Management Institute, Tableau, Linux Professional Institute and ITIL. He enjoys creating beautiful software and when he is not writing code or travelling to see customers, he does research towards his doctoral thesis with Victoria University, Melbourne.

Mike Brooksbank

Mike Brooksbank
Executive director, Jisc

Mike joined Jisc in January 2019 as part of the merger with Eduserv where he was the executive director responsible for OpenAthens. Prior to OpenAthens and Jisc, Mike held a number of senior commercial roles in technology-centric businesses and directed and run international software and SaaS operations in the United States, the Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa. Under his direction, the OpenAthens business has been reshaped and truly established internationally.

Jon Bentley

Jon Bentley
Commercial director, OpenAthens

Jon has worked in publishing for 20 years with a variety of commercial and business publishers. His career has spanned the transformation from print to digital as companies have reacted and adapted to new technology. But his belief remains that the fundamental purpose of a publisher hasn’t changed. Accessibility to accurate, intelligent, insightful information has never been more important. Trust is paramount and Jon is delighted that OpenAthens participates in establishing that trust between the publishers, libraries and the end users.

Vee Rogacheva

Vee Rogacheva
UX designer, OpenAthens

Vee Rogacheva is a UX designer. As part of the OpenAthens product team, Vee designs for the needs of academic, healthcare, public and corporate libraries all around the world. Vee works with stakeholders to help them align business goals to user needs and helps OpenAthens customers with a wide range of challenges from user research through to digital services redesign. Before joining the OpenAthens team, Vee used to advise local government and other not-for-profit organisations on user-centred design.

David Orrell

David Orrell
Applications architect, OpenAthens

David is a software architect and specialist in Identity and Access Management. He has extensive experience in authentication, Internet security, and federated identity standards such as OAuth, OpenID Connect and SAML. David has worked with an advised on the deployment of these standards both nationally and internationally. He currently works within the Trust and Identity group at Jisc that is responsible for OpenAthens, the UK Access Management Federation and several other services.

Joe Bromley

Joe Bromley
2nd line application support analyst, OpenAthens

Joe predominantly looks after OpenAthens customers as a member of the Service Desk. Joe has a wealth of experience working in customer service and relishes in new challenges. Since joining OpenAthens, Joe has been working heavily on building his knowledge to offer the best support possible to his customers. Joe has more recently started working closely with the infrastructure that OpenAthens is built on.

Iain Allchurch

Iain Allchurch
1st line application support analyst

Sebastian Kohlmeier

Sebastian Kohlmeier
Sr. Manager of Program Management and Business Operations at the Allen Institute for AI (AI2)

Sebastian Kohlmeier is the Sr. Manager of Program Management and Business Operations at the Allen Institute for AI (AI2), a non-profit AI research institute based in Seattle. At AI2, Sebastian leads program management for applied research, data science and partner development for Semantic Scholar (a free academic search and discovery tool). Prior to joining the Allen Institute for AI, Sebastian worked as a Technical Program Manager and Engineering Manager in a variety of roles at Amazon and Microsoft.

Sponsors and exhibitors

Our sponsors so far for 2020

ISOxfordEBSCOTDNetLean LibraryNISO Plus 2020 logoThirdiron logo


Bronze: brand marketing throughout event
10 available
“Sponsored by” along with approved logo to be displayed on invitation, Access Lab conference page, and all pre, post and during event communications. Four social media broadcasts with requested web link to be sent from the OpenAthens Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
Silver: Bronze package + exhibitor stand
10 available
2m x 2m stand, 2 exhibitor attendee tickets, power socket and WIFI. Located in delegate break and catering space
Gold: Silver package + drinks reception sponsorship
1 available

Invite and floorplan

We warmly invite you as an exhibitor or sponsor to Access Lab 2020. This year is particularly special for us due to the recent launch of our new brand and the 25th anniversary of OpenAthens.

We have three levels of sponsorship and exhibitor packages available for Access Labs 2020. If you have an idea for something specific, we’d like to hear it,  get in touch at

Download floorplan Download floorplan

Media partner

Research Information

We’re delighted to partner with Research Information for Access Lab 2020.

Research Information is a global publication for the scholarly publishing community – read by publishers, librarians, information professionals, academic authors, and researchers. The ever-shifting sands of scholarly publishing provide a rich source of informed opinion and content within the magazine through the latest news and features. Research information is published six times a year and available in print and digital format, along with monthly newsletters keeping subscribers fully up to date with the ever-changing scholarly publishing industry!

Subscribe for free at


America Square Conference Centre
1 America Square
17 Crosswall

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Tower Gateway
Tower Hill

Fenchurch Street
Cannon Street

Minories: 15, 42, 78, 100
Fenchurch Street: 40


How do I book my breakout sessions?

You can choose your breakout options when you register for your delegate place via our ticketing website.

How will I get my ticket/s?

Ticket confirmations will be emailed to you – show us on your phone.

How many people can attend from each organisation?

At this stage, we are capping delegates to two per organisation. This may change nearer the time.

Is my ticket refundable?

Please see our full event terms and conditions for cancellation fees.

Is my ticket transferable?

Yes. Please amend your ticket using the links in your ticket confirmation email.

Why are you charging for tickets?

As a not-for-profit organisation, we are asking for a nominal contribution towards event costs in order for us to deliver a quality conference that is a valuable learning and networking experience for delegates.

I have dietary and/or access requirements - how can I let you know?

You can confirm dietary needs and access requirements when you register for your delegate place via our ticketing website.

Are sessions role or industry specific?

Some of the opening, guest speaker and Q&A session aim to appeal to all. We have aimed to deliver a range of breakout sessions and roundtables to appeal to job roles and industry sectors.

Drinks reception

Join us for a complimentary drink before you travel home.

Any other questions

Please email or call Sophie Allen on +44 (0)20 3880 2626