From the Executive Director: Notes from Washington, DC 2


As mentioned earlier on some of the foundation’s lists, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, division of National Library of Medicine/NIH, has deployed a hybrid login using multiple options including Google, Verisign and PayPal via OpenID, NIH proprietary, eRA, and Shibboleth.  The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) hybrid login facility is just one example of the leadership NIH has shown in identity management in the government space.  Other OpenID providers are also in the process of being certified for use on the NCBI website.

Google’s work at the NCBI/NIH is an example of collaboration fostered by the OpenID Foundation over the two years.  The NIH, OpenID Foundation and participating community members and companies have recently begun some exciting work to disambiguate authors of scholarly works using the OIX Trust Framework, the newly formed Open Researcher & Contributor ID (ORCID) organization and the National Library of Medicine.  NIH/NLM is part of a public private effort to use OpenID and other protocols to help validate authorship.  I encourage those interested to become engaged with this transformative work.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have a history of  innovation in the area of federated identity management.  It has accepted Shibboleth logins from the InCommon federation for over two years, and added OpenID support this year.  The OpenIDs it accepts have been certified by the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) to meet the requirements of the Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management (FICAM) subcommittee of the Federal CIO Council. Google, PayPal, and other OpenID identity providers were among the first to be certified under the FICAM schema.

NIH offers an innovative federated login service called iTrust, that provides a proven and cost-effective federated login solution to departments and agencies across the federal government. Since June,  there have been 18,900 new NIH iTrust user logins, 77% of which are OpenIDs.  This is even though there was no announcement of the new login capability. Via iTrust, NIH is openly encouraging other agencies to adopt the use of OpenID and other portable identity credentials.  The NIH, OpenID Foundation member companies are playing a key role in the future of online identity for this global community of authors, librarians and researchers.


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