Publishers are understandably concerned about piracy, but the STM/NISO initiative RA21 “to align and simplify pathways to subscribed content across participating scientific platforms” has scoped its problem the wrong way. Simply put: It’s not about security. It’s about identity. Every individual should be in control of their own identity. Can RA21 realize its potential to serve the broader interests of scientists and academia, not just the understandable objectives of publishers and vendors?
IP authentication is the most important mechanism for authorizing access to licensed e-resources resources. Substantial business and policy issues for libraries and publishers alike connect up to IP authentication. Today, there is substantial interest in eliminating IP authentication, so it is timely to examine the implications if we were soon to see its end.
Academics’ expectations for user experience are set not by reference to improvements relative to the past but increasingly in comparison with their experiences on consumer internet services and mobile devices. The best solution for research, teaching, and learning would be a single account for each user, controlled by that individual, and accepted portably across services and platforms.
Publishers and libraries do not completely understand how changing information consumption patterns, especially in the transition to mobile, should affect their product, infrastructure, and acquisitions strategies. Consider enticing or forcing your organization to engage more deeply with the mobile user experience.
Researchers’ multiple and changing institutional affiliations create tangible challenges, both for the researchers themselves and for scholarly publishers as well.