Password authentication discussion

There’s discussion on SERIALST today about dealing with password authenticated online access. Most of the responses are that libraries don’t activate online access that requires a password. But Martha at UA Fort Smith had this suggestion:

If there is a better way to do this I would love to hear about it. I created a page (we use TWiki content management) on one of our intrAnets with an A-Z list of the journals that require username/password login. That intranet requires a user to login. Our page in the intranet was set up with specific rules to allow all users associated with the university to be able to log in. The campus webmaster set up these rules so it seems like magic to me. It isn’t as slick as IP recognition but it beats “contacting the library for the login info” and allows 24/7 access.

This wasn’t something that I just knew how to do. I called the IT folks and explained what I needed and this was their solution.

The marc record requires two 856 fields. One goes to the “lookup” page in the intranet with instructions to write down the information and return to the catalog; the other goes to the publisher’s web site login page.

Another person asked the list about setting up invisible password authentication. Of all the ideas I’ve heard for keeping password access, that would be the better option. Libraries can’t control keeping passwords confidential, and it avoids requiring library staff to retrieve password-protected content.

But the best idea is still IP authentication. And I look forward to the day when it is more widely offered.

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