Identity Is Everything

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?

Rethinking Authentication, Revamping the Business

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.

A Single User Account

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.