Tag Archives: athens

Go to the naughty step…

Let me ask the question, who is to blame?Go to the naughty step

The JISC statement says:

Eduserv had asked JISC for a non-negotiable price for the provision of the Gateway Services significantly above what the JISC Board believed could be justified as a balanced or fair expenditure within the JISC services budget and as a value for money option for the education community as a whole.

The Eduserv statement says:

The non-negotiable offer we received from the JISC did not approach the projected full economic cost of the service in 2008/2009 or provide a sustainable basis for the future.

So who is to blame?

Who was not willing to negotiate?

Both these statements relate to the provision of a gateway to allow access to Athens resources from an institution that uses Federated Access Management.

On the JISC-Shibboleth mailing list there has been a fair bit of discussion about this and from my perspective the problem is as follows.

Basically it looks like if you use Athens only authenticated resources then you will need (as an institution) subscribe to OpenAthens.

If you are subscribing to OpenAthens then you will be able to access Federated Access resources through the OpenAthens Gateway.

If you use Federated Access Management then you can access Federated Access resources.

However there is no Gateway for Federated Access Management users to access Athens resources, so you will need to also have OpenAthens as well.

If as an institution you have not moved along the Federated Access Management route, the question has to be asked should you bother?

If you don’t bother then should publishers bother moving along the Federated Access Management route if institutions need to have OpenAthens alongside Federated Access Management.

A Roberts on the list says

Am I the only one that feels like they are witnessing a school playground argument?

No you’re not the only one.

At the end of the day, it is the learner who will suffer from this argument, not really anyone else, it’s learners who will suffer.

There are two organisations which need to be on the naughty step and think things over.

Administrate Athens Accounts, you can’t from home!

So there I was on leave, when I got a phone call from work, someone needed access to JORUM. Though they had an Athens account, they probably weren’t part of the staff group we have which allows access to JORUM (as JORUM is a staff only resource). So using my Athens Administrator account details I tried to login to Athens from home, only to find that I couldn’t because it was also restricted by IP address! So unfortunately the member of staff will have to wait till next week, because the other Athens administrator is also on leave (come on it is August, virtually no one is around).

Now I suppose if we had a VPN at work I could have logged into that and then I could have access. Or if I had my home IP address “added” to the list of safe IP addresses (I have done this before with other IP restricted resources). However at this point neither of those are possible, so the member of staff will have to wait a week!

Will Shibboleth solve these issues? Maybe, maybe not, as you still need to administrate accounts with Shibboleth.