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Easy access: aligning research identities


An integrated access system helps simplify our complex research environment, says Elleina Filippi

Australian researchers have been accessing online services and research capabilities for the past eight years using one simple login solution provided by the Australian Access Federation (AAF). This login process often goes unnoticed by the end user (researchers) as they seamlessly access hundreds of national research services.

As the national provider of access and authentication for the Research and Higher Education sector the AAF provides national and international access to essential research capabilities. It has improved access for researchers and research organisations by:

  • simplifying connectivity to research capabilities and unique services
  • enabling researchers to use their organisation’s login for a fast and simple way to access online services
  • enabling academics and researchers to easily collaborate
  • enabling researchers to quickly and easily connect with a growing number of digital resources, including national research infrastructure
  • lowering the cost and reducing effort for research organisations to provide this access for their researchers.

An AAF connection provides a trusted and secure solution which eliminates the need for multiple logins and simply connects researchers to the services they need. It provides a framework and support infrastructure to facilitate electronic communication and collaboration within, and between, universities and research institutions in Australia.

Australian ORCID Consortium

As a key service provider for the national research infrastructure, the AAF also operates the Australian ORCID Consortium. ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a 16 digit unique identifier for researchers. As a global unique researcher identifier, it can be integrated with organisational systems to streamline reporting for both researchers and organisations.

The consortium profile comprises 40 members: 36 higher education institutes, two funding bodies (ARC and NHMRC) and two research organisations (CSIRO and Heart Research Institute). Over time ORCID will help to drive research recognition, impact and align with national reporting responsibilities.

With a national approach to aligning research infrastructure, the AAF is a crucial underpinning component that ensures greater uptake and accessibility to research services, data and facilities.

In collaboration with the proposed Australian Research Data Cloud, the AAF service will contribute to the integrated system that will meet the needs of data-intensive, cross-disciplinary and global collaborative research.

Elleina Filippi is Service Delivery Manager at the Australian Access Federation (AAF).