When RA21 was brought to my attention I was concerned because it was coming from a lot of publishers and vendors familiar with their world and the world of large academia but completely unfamiliar with the medical and hospital world.
In my post Medlibs Needs RA21 on Their RADAR, I briefly described RA21 and some of the concerns I had with moving towards this method of authentication and I was extremely concerned that the people talking about it hadn’t the faintest clue about library resources, usage, and IT in the hospital and academic medical world.
While I still have a lot of concerns about RA21 I am pleased to announce the creation of the RA21 Hospital/Clinical Access Working Group. Their objectives are to “survey, identify and define the use cases/problems for accessing licensed resources from within a hospital/healthcare system that are involved with RA21 adoption and are related to RA21’s authentication use cases.”
In an effort to understand hospital and medical library authentication issues and needs they have created a survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RA21_Survey of 20 questions that they would like any librarian serving in a hospital or health care institution or academic health care institution to take. (If you participate you can also enter into a raffle for an Amazon gift card.) *The survey closes March 1, 2019!!
I encourage every qualifying librarian to take this survey so that the working group has a clearer picture of the issues and needs regarding access to information.
The working group was started in July 2018 and the website says it will complete its work by the end of February 2019. Hmm…. I hope they plan to continue their work. If they continue, I hope they will include some non-vendor people on the working group from medical libraries familiar with IT issues. The co-chairs are from the vendor community and while I am sure they are lovely people, they are not in the library dealing with IT and hospital policies and restrictions. The RA21 team does have some people from large academic institutions, but is still very vendor heavy and has no representation from the medical or hospital community.