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Group Manager
At the request of the Research Councils UK e-Infrastructure group, Janet established a working group from 2013-2016 to support those providing and using e-infrastructure services in achieving an approach that both protects services from threats and is usable by practitioners. More detail about the group can be found in the Terms of Reference The Working Group published the following papers: E-infrastructures: Access and Security (summary paper) (Jan 16) Federated Authentication for e-Infrastructures (Sep 14) Technical Security for e-Infrastructures (Nov 14) Authorisation/Group Management for e-Infrastructures (May 15) Policies for e-Infrastructures (Jan 16) Accounting and e-Infrastructures (Nov 16) Information about the Working Group's activities, as well as discussion documents, links and recommendations is linked under the following categories. Unless marked otherwise, all items are works-in-progress and we very much welcome your comments and contributions. Meetings   Presentations Case Studies Discussions Technologies References     Andrew Cormack (WG Chair)

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Authorisation/Group Management for E-Infrastructures

8 June 2015 at 10:54am

A distinctive feature of e-infrastructures is that most individuals’ authorisation to access a particular service does not come from their home organisation (as it does for site-licensed journals, for example) nor from the operator of the service (as in traditional, non-federated, access).

Instead, authorisation is largely devolved by service owners to individuals who act as ‘group leader’ or ‘principal investigator’ when deciding who else can share their access to a particular service, dataset or experiment. Often the group and its resources may form a virtual organisation, crossing the boundaries of the real-world organisations that employ individuals and operate services. The interface through which leaders create and manage their groups is therefore a key component, effectively defining the membership of and roles within the virtual organisation. This involves interactions with human users as well as networked systems providing both authentication and research services.

This paper considers the various functions and interfaces that might be required of a general group management platform and how they are provided in current e-infrastructures. Most UK and international e-infrastructures currently use dedicated group management platforms, bound to particular infrastructures or user communities, which implement the particular functions and interfaces required by those communities. However, future crossinfrastructure and cross-community research is likely to require group management platforms to inter-operate and provide a wider range of functions. The paper suggests ways that these developments towards a more general service might be facilitated, either by enhancements to individual platforms or, where they require corresponding changes to a number of different infrastructure components, by studies, pilots or recommendations towards a common development roadmap.