Library Single Sign On: Entity_IDs

I have been looking at the logs from the Library Single Sign On service to see what can be found out about the range of resources to which people are logging in. In this case I was just looking at the December 2018 data. I would be interested to find which resources are used and if any are unexpectedly underused. There were surprises to be found in the data.

Entity IDs

The logs show that a request was made by a service provider for authentication details on a user trying to login. The logs record the ‘entity_id’ of the service provider, which usually lloks like a URL. Entity_IDs have to be unique, but do not have to spell out who the requestor is. Most often guesses can be made, so is likely to relate to the Westlaw legal database.

What is popular?

By far the most popular resource is the EZproxy service behind Library Search. Users will come across this when visiting search results found on Library Search. They may then be taken to any of the resources found without having to login again. this does then tend to undercount people who use individual resources like Science Direct (for example) since only those going direct to the service provider’s site will be asked to login there.

Numbers 2,3 and 4 in the chart are databases provided by major suppliers EBSCO and Proquest, both of whom offer a range of databases within an overall brand. there were 795 logins direct to EBSCO and 684 to the Proquest ebook central books and 390 logins to Proquest databases.

The Library catalogue was called 360 times, putting it in 5th place. However, Single Sign On is only one the ways of logging in to this service. Username and Library PIN also allows people to login, but would not be counted here.

Another Library and Learning Services resource came in 10th place as 110 logins were made for our workshops and tutorials. The other places in the top ten were recognisable as popular online services like Mintel (167) and  ScienceDirect (117). The 176 requests to login to Ebrary may reflect people using old links as the content from this site has now migrated to E-Book central.

The first real surprise come in 11th position as 109 login requests were made to MyUniDays, a student discount service. Sadly for me, the Library Single Sign On service can tell whether I am a member of staff or a student and block me from claiming discounts that don’t apply to me. There were 20 requests for the similar NUS Extra service, 3 for SheerID and 1 for Student Beans (whatever they are).



About Philip Adams

Senior Assistant Librarian at De Montfort University. I am interested in digital preservation and the use of data to measure a library's impact. All comments own.
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