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REFEDS is asking all institutions that have an Identity Provider within a Research and Education Identity Federation to support "R&S": the Research and Scholarship Entity Category.  Here is why.

Research and Education Identity Federations are designed to protect the privacy of users – which means only personal information that is strictly necessary is passed to services to help you access services. 

Many services that support research or scholarly collaboration have a proven need for a small set of personal attributes to provide the desired service – an example might be a grant system that needs your name and email address to communicate information about grants. 

REFEDS has identified a small set of attributes that work for a large majority of our research and scholarship services – these are name, email address and a unique identifier for the user. 

A challenge for institutions using Identity Federations is working out which Service Providers have a genuine need for these attributes and configuring an attribute release policy for each service. 

“R&S” addresses this problem for you.  The audit of service providers is done by your federation against legal requirements and attribute release is automatically applied to the service - decreasing the overhead for Identity Providers and barriers to access for your users. 

To find out more about how to implement R&S for your Identity Provider please visit the REFEDs website.