WAYF Cloud Pilot



WAYF Cloud Pilot – pilot efforts concluded July 2018. See the Results page for more information.

Project Description

The WAYF (Where Are You From) Cloud pilot seeks to validate the use of a cloud service to facilitate the exchange of data between publisher platforms to simplify identity provider discovery and user login.

The pilot will leverage academic authentication systems for user access to publisher platforms and demonstrate how the exchange of information between publisher platforms can reduce the repetition of user actions across publishers, and provide the same type of seamless access to scholarly resources that today’s IP address authentication provides.

The pilot is seeking participants, to include: academic organizations, service providers, platform vendors, publishers with content on Atypon’s Literatum platform, and publishers with content on other publishing platforms willing to integrate their platforms with the WAYF Cloud service (it may also be necessary to include their platform vendors).

Solution Overview

The Challenge

Universities, academic institutions, and other organizations typically use Identity Management systems to provide their members access to a variety of content and services.

In an environment where users from different organizations can access the same resources, the content and service providers are challenged to discover the organization with which each user is affiliated in order to direct them for authentication to their organization’s Identity Provider.

User Friction

Currently, to determine a user’s affiliation, publisher platforms guide the user through a multi-step process, including selecting their organization from a long list of supported organizations.

Users have to repeat this process at every publisher site that they visit.

The WAYF Cloud

Contrast the previous process to one in which the user’s selection for one service provider is remembered for all. This is the WAYF Cloud’s user experience.

The WAYF Cloud is the infrastructure that allows service providers to share information with one another to avoid repeatedly asking the user the same set of questions.

Pilot Organization


The ultimate goal of the pilot is to demonstrate a seamless experience for users who access publisher resources across different publisher platforms, in accordance with the RA21 use cases.

The pilot’s objectives are to:

  • Develop the software for the exchange of information between publisher platforms and service providers – referred to as the WAYF Cloud service.
  • Integrate the WAYF Cloud service with the publisher and service provider platforms.
  • Design and develop a User Interface for the sign-in of institutional users to the publisher and service provider platforms that utilizes the information stored in the WAYF Cloud.
  • Evaluate the solution with users from academic institutions.

Participant Roles & Responsibilities

The responsibilities of pilot participants include:

  • Provide direction on the design and development of the WAYF Cloud (All participants)
  • Implement the WAYF Cloud and UI design with their existing publishing platform (Led by: Vendors, Publishers)
  • Determine a usability evaluation process/methodology (Led by: Libraries / Institutions)
  • Execute user testing and report on results (Led by: Libraries / Institutions)
  • Governance & security (All participants)


Pilot participants will nominate steering committee members who will coordinate the execution of the pilot. Security, UX, Engineering and other expert resources will be engaged as needed during the course of the project.

Confirmed Participants (listed alphabetically)

  • American Medical Association
  • Atypon
  • HighWire
  • The JAMA Network
  • OpenAthens
  • The Optical Society
  • Ringgold
  • SAGE
  • SilverChair
  • University of Bath
  • University of California – Davis
  • Wiley
  • WoltersKluwer

Project Deliverables

  • A public GitHub repository with the WAYF Cloud source code available with an open source license.
  • A working, demonstrable system of publisher platforms integrated with the WAYF Cloud.
  • A reference UI design for the sign-in of institutional users.
  • A report with the results from user testing.
  • A set of recommendations for the operational aspects of the WAYF Cloud.
  • Suggestions for next steps.


The pilot activities will start in mid-July 2017 with a goal to provide the final results by January 1, 2018.