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First Nationwide U.S. Higher Education Identity Management Federation Hits Major Participant Milestone

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  • From: "Lauren Rotman" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: First Nationwide U.S. Higher Education Identity Management Federation Hits Major Participant Milestone
  • Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 11:01:55 -0400

First Nationwide U.S. Higher Education Identity Management Federation Hits
Major Participant Milestone

InCommon Adds Several Major Service and Content Providers and 18
Universities; 60 organizations now a part of active online trust community

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - August 15, 2007 - InCommon(R), the first nationwide U.S.
identity management federation for higher education, today announced that
its community has continued to expand, adding six major content and service
providers and 18 universities to its growing online trust community. In
doing so, InCommon now boasts 60 participating organizations.

Among the new participants are several content and service providers to the
research and education community including: EBSCO Publishing, JSTOR, NAS
Recruitment Communications, RefWorks, StudentsOnly, and Thomson Learning,
Inc. InCommon university participants can now partner with these
organizations to provide easier, identity-shielded access to comprehensive
scholarly materials in support of their research and academic missions. New
universities in the community include: Clemson University, Duke University,
Florida State University, Indiana University, The Johns Hopkins University,
Lafayette College, Medical University of South Carolina, Michigan State
University, Northwestern University, Stony Brook University, Sweet Briar
College, Texas A & M University, University of California - Davis,
University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of
Richmond, University of Wisconsin - Madison, and Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University.

"The research and education community today depends upon partnerships with
content and service providers for access to online resources. InCommon
provides the ability for a college or university to use a single log-in
service to reach both online content like special collections and services
such as information and course management. This versatility and control is
one of the drivers behind the growth of federations like InCommon around the
world," said Gene Spencer, chair of the InCommon Steering Committee.
"Leading service providers are also realizing the value of participating in
a scalable and secure trust community that removes many administrative
burdens traditionally associated with providing online services to large
populations such as faculty, staff, and students of multiple institutions."

InCommon provides a framework for its participating colleges, universities
and sponsored partners to share protected online information and web-based
resources in a secure environment while optionally protecting the privacy of
individual users who require access to these critical online materials.
InCommon, which leverages SAML standards-based middleware technology, eases
the administrative and security issues of online service providers and
universities through the use of a single sign on system for users to access
multiple resources from different content providers; enables scalability for
resource providers since they can provide protected content to multiple
campuses and universities using a single authentication and authorization
framework; and provides ease of use and deployment by leveraging a campus'
existing identity management infrastructure.

Colleges and universities of all sizes are finding value in joining online
trust communities. Lafayette College, a recently added participant of
InCommon, is already envisioning the many uses for federated identity
management on campus to help facilitate more seamless collaboration for its
students, faculty and staff.

"Lafayette College is excited about the potential for access and
collaboration using Shibboleth and InCommon, including access to JSTOR and a
variety of other campus applications and information services for students,"
said John O'Keefe, director of Academic Technology and Network Services for
Lafayette College. "Once testing is complete, we expect our participation in
InCommon to open many new opportunities for us, the IT resources we depend
on, and the partners we most often collaborate with."

InCommon has also released three case studies detailing the pioneering work
of its participants in using the federation to enable protected access to
online resources. The case studies highlight: The collaboration of New York
University and University of Washington to use InCommon to provide students
and faculty access to online music recordings delivered by the DRAM service
at NYU; Penn State enabling its students and faculty to leverage the
resources of WebAssign, an online homework delivery system; and Penn State
using the InCommon trust infrastructure to give its students access to
Symplicity's Student Career Services. Case studies can be found at:

About InCommon(R)
The InCommon Federation provides higher education institutions and their
sponsored resource partners with unparalleled privacy, security, and
scalability for accessing protected online resources. InCommon is based on
the concept of federated administration enabling participants to become part
of an association of organizations that agree on a set of attributes and
policies to exchange information about their users for access to restricted
resources. As a limited liability company, InCommon is operated by Internet2
and managed by an independent Steering Committee representing the higher
education and research community. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Lauren Rotman


  • First Nationwide U.S. Higher Education Identity Management Federation Hits Major Participant Milestone, Lauren Rotman, 08/15/2007

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