Thursday, January 22, 2015

Soliciting input on federated identity/InCommon needs

Hello, Von Welch, CTSC Director and PI here.

 I've recently accepted a one-year advisory term on the InCommon Steering committee. In that role, I will work to see the needs of NSF CI projects and similar research service providers (SPs) are addressed.

 The first thing I'd like to work on is getting all universities of interest to NSF projects to streamline scientific collaboration by sending those projects a user's name and email address when the user authenticates to the project using InCommon federated authentication. The InCommon Research and Scholarship (R&S) program includes only 100 universities that agree to send name and email address, and some of the largest research universities do not participate in the R&S program.

 We would like to change that. The InCommon Steering Committee plans to contact the CIOs at these universities to request their support. Knowing more about NSF funded projects that could benefit from outsourcing authentication to InCommon allows me to prioritize and strengthen those requests. As a starting point, if there is benefit to your project from specific universities supporting federated authentication and releasing a user's name and email address, please let me know who they are. 

 Going forward, I've created the CTSC Federated Identity Discussion List for further discussions around NSF CI projects and InCommon and federated identity. I won't be sending you any more emails directly, please join the list to be included in further discussions. You can find details at

I welcome hearing any other concerns or suggestions you have about InCommon, now or in the future.


Von Welch Director, Director and PI, Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure