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New Technology Increases Access to Scholarly Material

Researchers at Columbia University and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) are collaborating on the use of a new Internet technology to share scholarly materials. The technology, called Shibboleth®, was developed by the Internet2 community and offers an easy-to-use solution for sharing online resources in a secure and confidential manner.

Shibboleth has been tested by a number of higher-education institutions, government agencies, academic publishers and other higher-ed vendors. It was designed to give students access to more content while safeguarding arrangements made with content holders. With its deployment of Shibboleth, Columbia is leading the adoption of the technology among the Internet2 community.

The joint Columbia-LSE project, Digital Anthropology Resources for Teaching (DART), aims to explore the potential of digital resources for teaching undergraduate anthropology. The project will also investigate digital-library technologies that allow flexible delivery and customized use of these resources. The project is funded by a joint program between the National Science Foundation and the Joint Information Systems Committee in the United Kingdom.

"We are excited to be using this innovative Shibboleth technology that offers both privacy and technical scalability to our international communities," said David Millman, director of research and development at Academic Information Systems (AcIS).

At Columbia, DART is a collaboration between the Department of Anthropology, the Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC) and AcIS. EPIC -- a group that includes Columbia University Press, Columbia University Libraries and AcIS -- creates innovative and effective models of scholarly and educational publications using new media technologies.

James Neal, vice president for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University said: "By integrating Shibboleth into the global scholarly and learning environments, we will greatly enhance our community's access to leading-edge educational materials to improve their overall academic experience."

Led by more than 200 U.S. universities working with industry and government, Internet2 develops and deploys advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnerships among academia, industry and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy.

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Published: Mar 04, 2005
Last modified: Mar 03, 2005

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