[Fim4l] Statistics issue use-case

Peter Schober peter.schober at univie.ac.at
Tue Apr 9 17:04:34 CEST 2019

* Jiri Pavlik <jiri.pavlik at mzk.cz> [2019-04-09 14:28]:
> Do you find eduPersonEntitlement or eduPersonScopedAffiliation attribute
> better fit for authorisation when faculty, institute students and employee
> need to be recognised according to license terms?

Some SPs only support one (when talking about authorisation and
entitlements I mean the "common-lib-terms" attribute value
specifically), some can support both (with configuration; personally
I'd wish the SPs would just check for one and then fall back to the
other!), some may only support affiliations.
That's the status quo which is therefore more complex than necessary,
IMO -- at least as long as we're talking about institution-level
licensing.  (For anything more fine-grained than that both
ePE=common-lib-terms and ePSA=whatever at example.edu are equally
unsuited, as we've established earlier. So /that/ specific use-case
would still need agreement and standardisation, AFAICT.)

I think I've made the case here previously that the "common-lib-terms"
ePE value has the big advantage of being invariant and the same from
every IDP and for every SP (for the use-case it's been defined for),
whereas eduPersonScopedAffiliation handling usually requires bilateral
negotiations between the institution and the e-resource provider
(sometimes via a self-service web UI, sometimes by filling out
spreadsheets with data that's already contained in the SAML Metadata
of the federation, etc.)
So for the same use-case ePE has clear advantages.

ePE with the "common-lib-terms" value is less common in some very
large federations, though, e.g. within the UKfederation.  That matters
because effecting change there would mean having to convince
potentially hundreds of service provider to change.
(As long as those service providers also checked for
the "common-lib-terms" ePE first and fell back to their current use of
ePSA everything should "just work" for most every institution.)

> However eduPersonEntitlement is missing in R&S attribute bundle.

That is irrelevant as the REFEDS Research & Scholarship specification
explicitly states that it "should not be used for access to licensed
content such as e-journals." ([1], Section 1, "Definition").

If you think this is a mistake you can provide your input into the
amendment process that will likely begin soon for an R&S "2.0" spec,
but as it stands the R&S spec and FIM4L use-cases have zero overlap.


[1] https://refeds.org/category/research-and-scholarship

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