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OpenAthens at Charleston Conference 2018: Why IP-based access is failing end users?

Jane CharltonBy Jane Charlton
Category - News

Thursday 11th October 2018

OpenAthens, which provides federated identity and access management services to a global client base, is co-hosting a session centered around federated access at the 2018 Charleston Conference.

The federated access service provider will also be presenting its new product, Wayfinder, an organisational discovery tool, for the first time to an academic audience. The goal of this pioneering product is to simplify the route to digital content for students and researchers.

The session entitled ‘Why IP-based access is failing end users: How to give patrons a simple, seamless user experience’ is being held on Wednesday 7 November from 3:40 pm – 4:20 pm in collaboration with InCommon, who provide secure and privacy-preserving trust fabric for research and higher education, and their partners in the US.

Federated access management offers one of the best ways for users to access subscribed digital content, but poorly designed publisher and library platforms continue to create barriers to successful access. This session will look at how successful solutions can be implemented to maximise patron access and engagement.

The session will describe key challenges users experience when finding and accessing subscribed online content and discuss and explore the trust-relationship between publishers, libraries and their users.

Throughout the presentation OpenAthens and InCommon will also highlight their ongoing work in improving user experience, raising awareness and sharing guidance around some of the issues arising from IP-based access and poorly designed platforms.

In addition, OpenAthens will be showcasing Wayfinder with a five-minute presentation at the Charleston Premiers, taking place on Thursday 8 November, from 4.45pm to 6.30 pm.. The showcase will demonstrate how Wayfinder reduces the steps patrons need to take to access scholarly content online, removing the barriers they previously faced and giving them an easier, secure and seamless journey to content.

OpenAthens’ partner EBSCO will also be hosting a separate session at the conference entitled: ‘One login, one time; the way to easy and unlimited access’. This session will be held on Thursday 8 November from 11:30 am – 12:10pm and will encompass representatives from GALILEO and NHTI discussing their discovery service, the power of single sign-on and the need to solicit and secure user information.

Jon Bentley, commercial director at OpenAthens, said:

“This year’s conference will offer attendees industry leading insights on a wide range of subjects from anything from technology to research techniques relevant to all involved in the library and publishing space.

“Many publishers and librarians continue to offer IP-based access to digital content because it’s perceived as being the easiest way for users to get what they need, however poorly designed publisher and library platforms are continuing to create barriers to successful access.

“Participation in this year’s conference is a fantastic opportunity for OpenAthens and their partners to educate users around the topic of federated access and online content in an engaging and thought-provoking way, helping to ensure that we continue to address the key issues surrounding this.”

The annual three-day conference in Charleston, South Carolina runs from Wednesday, 7 November through to Friday, 9 November and explores key issues of importance for librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants and vendors of library materials.

The conference delivers content in a wide variety of different formats including keynote speeches, discussions and poster session. The full conference schedule will be available online at the end of August.

For more information about the conference, to view the planned programme and how to register, go to

Header photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

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