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De-mystifying e-resource access - what every librarian should know

De-mystifying e-resource access - what every librarian should know

Presentation given as part of the Boston Library Consortium's Expanding Knowledge webinar series, May 17, 2019. Presenters were Emily Singley and Viral Amin.

This presentation is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of how different library e-resource authentication methods work (including EZProxy and Shibboleth) and will also learn where the access environment is heading and how current trends will impact libraries and users in the future. Topics covered include SciHub and RA21.

Emily Singley

May 17, 2019
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  1. De-mystifying e-resource
    access
    what every librarian should know

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  2. Bill Leiser [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]







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  3. how IP authentication works
    (on campus “1”)

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  4. how IP authentication works
    (on campus “2”)

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  5. how IP authentication works
    (on campus “3”)

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  6. how IP authentication works
    (off campus)

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  7. how IP authentication
    can break (#1)

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  8. how IP authentication
    can break (#2)
    Resource Stanza
    URL: resource.com

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  9. how IP authentication
    can break (#3)

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  10. how IP authentication can break #4

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  11. authentication
    Credit: Open Athens presentation What Librarians Should Know about Authentication
    Credit: Rich Wenger, Replacing IP Filtering Challenges for Academic Libraries
    Pros Cons
    No identity verification required Requires users to click on special link
    When on-site, no login is necessary IP addresses are no longer stable and do
    not accurately indicate user location
    Has been around a long time Difficult to maintain
    License breach risks
    Insecure and easily exploitable

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  12. Question 1: IP authorization identifies who a user is
    A. True
    B. False
    Question 2: IP addresses always accurately give the physical location of a device
    A. True
    B. False
    Question 3: If you click on www.resource.com from off campus, what will happen?
    A. You will end up on the www.resource.com website
    B. You will receive an proxy server error
    C. You won’t be able to access full text
    D. Both A and C
    Question 4: IP authorization requires that libraries maintain an accurate file of all resource URLs
    A. True
    B. False

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  13. how Federated Identity Management works

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  14. Let’s look at a real example:
    https://www.hathitrust.org/

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  15. Some FIM vocabulary:
    SAML
    ● the protocol used to exchange identity data
    Single Sign On (SSO)
    ● the concept of persistent identity management across applications
    Shibboleth
    ● open source software used to implement FIM using SAML
    InCommon Federation
    ● a US federation of institutions that use the same clearinghouse for identification data
    RA21
    ● a draft NISO recommendation for consistent implementation of FIM across vendors

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  16. Learn about RA21:
    https://ra21.org/

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  17. *depends on implementation
    Pros Cons
    Uses institution’s central single sign on
    system
    Inconsistent experience across different
    publisher platforms
    No need to maintain file of resource URLs Often managed by campus IT, not Library
    Does not rely on unstable IP ranges Privacy concerns if not implemented
    appropriately
    Users can start from anywhere
    Anonymous*

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  18. Question 1: When you authenticate using FIM, a vendor will know:
    A. Who you are
    B. Where you are
    C. What institution you are affiliated with
    Question 2: When you authenticate using FIM, you login:
    A. On the vendor page
    B. On your institution’s login page
    C. On the InCommon Federation login page
    Question 3: RA21 is:
    A. a draft NISO recommendation
    B. a piece of software used to implement FIM
    C. a language used to transmit identity data

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  19. Why do access methods matter?

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  20. Piracy
    ● Users are increasingly accessing resources illegally
    ● Pirated access works consistently from anywhere
    ● IP authentication methods have enabled piracy

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  21. 835% increase in SciHub downloads in one year
    at Boston College*
    *Just Newton, Brookline, and Brighton (i.e. probably Boston College)
    Credit: John O’Connor, presentation at Boston College Library, 2018

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  22. Privacy
    ● Vendors are starting to prefer Federated
    Identity Management
    ● Libraries are being pressured to release
    patron data
    ● Collection development implications - at
    what point is privacy considered?

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  23. Questions to ask vendors:
    ● Do they support Federated Identity
    Management?
    ● Do they want you to release
    identifiable patron information (name,
    email, dept)?
    ● If yes, why?
    ● Will they participate in RA21?

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  24. Conclusion
    ● The world is moving away from IP authentication
    ● We need to be prepared for this new reality
    ● Users’ privacy is at stake if we don’t get it right
    Jon Rawlinson [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

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