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Metadata Health Checks Progress and New CTAB Members

Apr 17, 2018, by Brett Bieber
Tags: Frontpage News, InCommon, InCommon Assurance Program, InCommon Federation, Recent Posts, Trust & Identity

In early 2018, the InCommon Assurance Advisory Committee (AAC) changed its name, its mission, and welcomed a number of new members. The new Community Trust and Assurance Board (CTAB) succeeds the AAC, recognizing the expanded role and responsibilities for this group.

For more than a year, CTAB has focused on what has become Baseline Expectations for Trust in Federation. The goal is to improve interoperability among InCommon Participants, and ensure that the Federation has a common level of trust by establishing expectations that all Participants agree to meet.

The expectations specify that participants publish accurate and complete metadata, including some specific elements. In support of this expectations, InCommon Operations has started sending monthly metadata health checks to each participant, with information on which elements are missing. With three health checks under our belt, we’ve seen significant improvement in the number of entities that meet these automatically verifiable elements of Baseline Expectations.

And, as the graph below shows, the health checks have had an impact on all metadata elements though some are in much better shape than others.


CTAB is now solidifying important maintenance and supporting processes for Baseline Expectations:

  1. A Consensus Process to either clarify an expectation or determine practices that meet the expectation. Baseline Expectations contain requirements that are expressed at a high level and may need interpretation to determine how they apply to specific operational circumstances.
  2. A Dispute Resolution Process for participants to address concerns that may arise about some aspect of an entity’s operation from the perspective of meeting Baseline Expectations.

You can read about both of these processes in the document, “Processes to Maintain Baseline Expectations.”

Finally, welcome to our new CTAB members!
    David Bantz, University of Alaska
    Chris Hable, University of Michigan
    Mary Catherine Martinez (vice-chair), Innosoft  
    Jon Miner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

And thank you to those continuing on CTAB, who have dedicated a significant amount of time in developing the Baseline Expectations:
    Ted Hanss, University of Michigan
    Joanna Rojas, Duke University
    Chris Whalen, National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIH)
    Tom Barton, University of Chicago (ex-officio)
    Sean Reynolds, Northwestern University (ex-officio)