The University Library currently spends hundreds of thousands of pounds every year subscribing to electronic resources for use by the University’s staff and students. However there is currently no coherent way of determining the level of usage of these resources, so, to remedy this, Information Services is implementing a tool called RAPTOR which will be able to provide summary data on the levels of usage of these resources. In order to enable RAPTOR to gather complete information on eResource usage, it will be necessary for on campus users of these resources to log on to the Portal before accessing them.
A large number of the electronic resources the library subscribes to are freely available to anyone accessing them from on campus without requiring them to enter a username or password. This is known as IP Authentication as the service uses the IP Address (i.e. the location) of the accessing computer to determine the user is accessing from a subscribing institution and is therefore entitled to gain access to the resource without entering a username and password.
In order to provide off campus access to IP Authenticated resources, the University uses a system called “EZProxy” which enables off campus users to log on to the Portal and, if they are recognised by the portal as a member of staff or a student from the University, EZProxy then requests access to the resource on the user’s behalf, and, as EZProxy is located on campus and has a Stirling IP Address, the service will permit the off campus user access to the service on this basis.
From the start of 2013 Information Services intends to start gathering data on the usage of the electronic resources the library subscribes to and intends to use log on requests passing through the EZProxy server as one means to achieve this. In order to get a more complete picture of usage, however, it will be necessary to ensure that both on campus and off campus users gain access to IP Protected resources via EZProxy. The upshot of this will be that on campus users will also be required to log on to the portal before gaining access to IP Authenticated resources.
Users who have already logged on to the Portal in the current browser session, before accessing any EZProxy protected resources, will not be required to re-enter their username and password. So, for example, on campus users who have already logged on to the Portal in order to access Succeed, will not be required to re-authenticate when accessing electronic resources from within Succeed.
It is expected that EZProxy authentication for on campus users will be switched on at some point during the week before Christmas 2012 in order to ensure that complete electronic resource usage data is being collected from the start of 2013 onwards.