General FAQ for REFEDS Entity Categories

What are REFEDS Entity Categories?

Please see the Entity Categories overview pages for more information.

How can a federation sign-up to use REFEDS Entity Categories?

All research and education federations recognised by REFEDS and shown on the REFEDS Map are welcome to use REFEDS Entity Categories.  Please let the REFEDS Coordinators know if you chose to adopt an entity category – a list of federations using REFEDS Entity Categories will be maintained to promote usage.

What should a federation do to implement an entity category?

The federation should:

  • Advertise and promote the entity category to its members.
  • Establish a process for SPs to request membership of a category and IdPs to declare support.
  • (Optionally) Maintain a list of IdPs and SPs that have signed up to support / use the specific entity category.  

No changes should be made to the entity category information and it should be applied exactly as described on the REFEDS website

Who decides if an entity can be added to a category?

The decision to allocate an entity to a category and add the entity category information to metadata rests with individual federations.  Federation operational staff should make these decisions based on the registration criteria of the entity category published on the REFEDS website and supporting information provided in the REFEDS FAQ for each category.

What if it is not clear if an entity should be added to a category?

If you are unsure if an entity meets the criteria for a certain category, please post to the FOG list and ask for feedback from other federations. Discussion on this list should guide the requesting federation to a sensible decision.

Should federations review entity category membership?

It is recommended that federations undertake a lightweight review of membership of each category on an annual basis to check that the entities included still meet the criteria for this category.  This can be as simple as a quick review of the list of entities by the federation operational staff and discussion with any entities that are flagged as possible issues.  Federations are encouraged to report back on annual reviews to the FOG list.

What if I think a federation is misusing a REFEDS Entity Category?

Please inform the REFEDS Coordinators who will work with the federation in question to review usage of the category.  If issues cannot be solved in this way, the REFEDS Steering Committee will be asked to rule on implementation and use.

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