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Managing access to subscribed services in an era of abundance is a major challenge for libraries. Users have come to expect a seamless, personalized experience on their mobile devices, but traditional approaches to access management force librarians to choose between the anonymous ease of on-site IP authentication or the access friction experienced by users authenticating via a proxy server or across multiple resources with Single Sign-On.

Building on the work of the RA21 initiative, a recent NISO Recommended Practice on Improved Access to Institutionally Provided Information Resources, Seamless Access charts a way forward. It will enable libraries to provide seamless, privacy-preserving, and one-click access to subscribed content from any device, any location, and from any starting point in the research process. Seamless Access builds on both RA21 and the NISO Recommended Practice and is currently in a beta phase implementation.

But how is user and data privacy protected, how is access simplified, and how is Seamless Access helping libraries implement this service? This chapter discusses how these concerns are being addressed by a consortium of industry partners including librarians, access providers, publishers, and standards organizations. It also discusses how Seamless Access will manage this service for publishers and libraries while continuing to improve this user experience, provide governance on data policy and privacy issues, and maintain core web services specific to this initiative.



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