Scenario 2A: Restrictions imposed by publishers

A resource may be published and widely available yet still subject to access restrictions within a digital repository (SHERPA/RoMEO maintains an extensive database of the copyright and self-archiving policies of publishers). For example, a publisher may place restrictions on accessing a post-print in an institutional repository to subscribers to the journal in which it was included . This is analogous to a library allowing its members to access online journals to which it has subscribed; however, the situation is more complex, as the resources are scattered in IRs and not grouped according to publishers’ access regimes (in a conventional library situation they are grouped within journals). An IR can not be expected to manage information about which institutions have access to a particular journal.

It may be possible to support this sort of scenario by using the eduPersonEntitlement attribute – the value of this attribute must be a URI indicating a (set of) right(s) to a particular resource. To be useful in a federated environment, however, the appropriate values would have to be agreed at a federation level, otherwise such an SP would have to negotiate bilateral agreements with all its subscriber IdPs individually to get the extra attributes, which is possible but probably impractical. A way of avoiding this would be for JISC to negotiate standard entitlements at a national level to enable repositories to share material, by including T&Cs for (e.g.) NESLI (National e-Journals Initiative) material. Currently, JANET makes no statements about any standard values for eduPersonEntitlement.


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  1. Comment

    Too complex and too little value in this use case.

    I'm not sure, mind you, if there aren't variants of this which would be helpful, but I don't think they refer to standard "Publishers". I'll see what happens as I go through.

  2. Comment

    This scenario needs to be determined by what publishers require as well as by the technical possibilities. Small differences - such as different time periods during which such restrictions are imposed - would make this difficult to organise and maintain.

    There are global problems with using ePE values in this way, too. (I think I'm going to spell them out for one of the other scenarios, but administrative issues would apply here too.

    The complexities seem to me to be glossed over here - the SP in the final paragraph is protecting an institutional repository, so the SP needs to understand the value presented and pass it to the repository in such a way that the repository software knows which articles it refers to. This would mean that the repository's article metadata information must be rather more accurate and/or complete than I believe to be the case at the moment (e.g. it should include journal ISSN values, and information about when the ePE applies to a specific article would have to include both information about the publisher's policy and the correct date of publication).

  3. Comment

    I do not think it is the job of JISC funded IRs to go to great lengths to facilitate publisher subscription restrictions? This scenario seems to me to be contrary to OA objectives.

  4. Comment

    This was attempted in a range of projects dating back 10 years now and has been very problematic. ROI seems to be very poor for this scenario.

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