FIM4R is proud to announce the release of its second white paper. This work represents the efforts of more than 20 Research Communities from around the world who have collaborated over the last year to define a common vision for the future of Federated Identity Management for Research.

The 2018 networking conference, TNC18, provided the ideal venue to introduce the recommendations to relevant stakeholder groups, with around 80 people attending the session. This is the first step on a journey to ensuring that the paper has as wide an impact as possible.

The version 2 white paper constitutes an updated view of the needs and challenges of those operating research infrastructures that leverage Federated Identity. Recommendations in the paper target groups ranging from FIM governance, to home organisations, and to the research communities themselves, and seek to influence the coming evolution of trust and identity.

In the coming weeks the whitepaper will be published on Zenodo, a repository that meets the group’s objective to provide open access to FIM4R Requirements and Recommendations.

Excerpt from Federated Identity Management for Research version 2.0


“Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple organisations that lets subscribers use the same identification data to obtain access to the secured resources of all organisations in the group. Identity federation offers economic advantages, as well as convenience, to organisations and their users. For example, multiple institutions can share a single community application, with resultant cost savings and consolidation of resources. In order for FIM to be effective, the partners must have a sense of mutual trust.”

Many research fields are facing the challenge of a deluge of scientific data that needs to be accessed by expanding user bases in dynamic collaborations that cross organisational and national boundaries. Driven by these needs, representatives from a variety of communities, including photon/neutron facilities, social science & humanities, high-energy physics, atmospheric science, bioinformatics and fusion energy, came together in 2012 to publish a set of joint requirements. A common vision for FIM across these communities was presented as well the key stages of a roadmap and a set of recommendations intended to ensure its implementation.

The initial white-paper proved highly influential in the wider community, with impact seen in the Research and Education Federations Group (REFEDS), the GÉANT Project, and in the creation of the EU-funded project on Authentication and Authorisation for Research and Collaboration (AARC). Much progress has been made over the past few years. Several of the original requirements have been addressed whilst others remain open, a subset have been found to be no longer relevant, and additional requirements have been identified that reflect the evolved landscape.

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