Single-Sign-On (SSO) Authentication: a NISO Webinar Cynthia Hodgson 29 Jan 2009 21:28 UTC

Single-Sign-On (SSO) Authentication: a NISO Webinar

When: Wednesday, February 11

Time: 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EST


This year NISO has launched a Chair's Initiative--a project of the chair
of NISO's Board of Directors, focusing on a specific issue that would
benefit from study and the development of a research study, recommended
practice, standard, or similar. Oliver Pesch (Chair, NISO Board of
Directors, and Chief Strategist, EBSCO Information Services) has
identified user authentication as the issue that he would like to see
NISO address, specifically the question of perfecting single-sign-on
(SSO): achieving seamless item-level linking through single sign-on
authentication technologies in a networked information environment.

To kick off the initiative, NISO will be holding a webinar on "SSO
Authentication: Understanding the Pieces of the Puzzle." Accessing
information in a networked environment has been a reality for most user
communities for over a decade. With the advent of hosted aggregated full
text databases and the proliferation of e-journals and e-books, a user's
search for information takes him or her to a number of different online
hosts and platforms. When those information resources are commercial
products, each platform requires the user to be authenticated, and as a
result, that user may have a different identity on each platform. Like a
puzzle, the problem of user authentication has many pieces—institutional
affiliation; authentication method; various discovery and content
provider platforms; the impact of crossing over and using different
sources, search engines, computers, or locations... the list goes on and
on. And even when we start to understand all those pieces, we are still
left with the problem of putting them together—trying to make them fit
in order to see the big picture and solve the puzzle. This event will
aim to look at how the theory behind a pure technical implementation is
broken and why so that we can then take that next step of asking, "How
can we make this better?"


The webinar will feature speakers providing three different perspectives:

-- Library Perspective: How does SSO authentication fit into libraries
and libraries' service to their patrons? Provided by /Adam Chandler,
Coordinator, Service Design Group, Digital Library and Information
Technologies, Cornell University Library/

-- Authentication Tools Perspective: How are authentication
tools/software expanding into SSO authentication? What are
Athens/OpenAthens experiences/views on trends both in the UK and
internationally. What are broader trends in Access and Identity
Management technology and standards and potential implications? Provided
by /Keith Dixon, Access & Identity Management, Eduserv/

-- Content Provider Perspective: When authentication fails, the
opportunity to reach the user -- and for the user to access the
publisher or content provider's resource—is lost. Learn more about just
how big a problem this and how seamless sign-on can help. Speaker TBA.

The webinar will provide attendees with ample opportunity for questions
during the event and will post the questions asked during the event and
their answers on the NISO website following the webinar.


For more information and to register visit:

The webinar is $79 for NISO and NASIG members and $99 for non-members in
the U.S. and Canada. Check the website for student rates and
international rates.

Cynthia Hodgson
NISO Technical Editor Consultant
National Information Standards Organization
Email: <>
Phone: 301-654-2512