Thursday 20th October 2016
Please note: opinions expressed are the individual’s own, and may not reflect those of Silverchair or OpenAthens.
Where do you feel platform development has been focused, and where it might be headed in the near future?
At the moment there are lots of discussions around how to best allow for text & data mining, and machine learning, but these are more conceptual at this stage. We’re staying abreast of these, as they’re so important to the research community.
We’ve also been focusing on user experience, and one element of this is helping users become more efficient with regular or routine tasks by creating tools that allow users to undertake these on demand.
What role do you see the technology around access and identity management playing in the user journey?
The librarian or institutional ecosystem is noisy; there are lots of different vectors for entry into a particular piece of content (for example, through aggregation, a search on a library portal, a search engine result, and so on), and the technology has to recognise users regardless of where they come in from.
The ideal user journey is one that the user themselves doesn’t notice – but we can only provide controls for one part of that ecosystem, at the point of content delivery. We understand that there may be users who are frustrated with their experience by the time they arrive on our platform – so we want to get out of their way ASAP!
Do you feel there is enough discussion within the publishing industry about identity and access management?
There’s not really much in the way of organised discussion, and I wish there was. I think we could do better by working together – we’re all facing the same challenges.
Unified expression and exploration of these issues within the industry will bring institutions forward – as an industry we would develop standards and best practices that could be used to make the user experience as close to parity as possible across publishers and platforms, which can only be a good thing for our users.
Check out the other interviews in the series here: https://openathens.org/tag/industry-voices/
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