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InCommon Goes Global: Joining International Interfederation Service

Nov 10, 2015, by Dean Woodbeck
Tags: Frontpage News, InCommon, International

InCommon has joined 40 other national federations in the international interfederation service called eduGAIN. Now, InCommon participating organizations can provide their researchers, faculty, staff and students convenient single sign-on interaction with higher education institutions, research organizations, and corporate service providers around the world. eduGAIN brings the same benefits as those provided by InCommon but on a global scale.

Each national federation (like InCommon) already publishes a file containing relevant information in a common agreed-upon format. Each federation sends that file to eduGAIN, minus any entities that don’t want to be included. eduGAIN combines all of the files and republishes them in one large file. InCommon then makes that information available to its participants.

As a result, researchers, faculty, staff, and students can use their home credentials to access online journals and databases registered with other participating federations, use collaborative services offered in various countries, and take advantage of international tools for analyzing and sharing data.

The InCommon Steering Committee has approved changes to the InCommon Participation Agreement, the legal document signed by each participating organization. Those changes take effect in mid-February 2016.

Over the next 90 days, InCommon will move to full integration with eduGAIN, which means importing the eduGAIN metadata and publishing a combined file for the use of participants. Executives and site administrators at participating organizations will receive regular communications concerning required policy and technical changes related to eduGAIN implementation.

A number of informational and support documents are available at, including FAQs, the eduGAIN Intent Statement providing a high-level overview of the policy and implementation considerations, and links to discussion forums and technical documentation.