GetFTR and SeamlessAccess – How can these services help speed the researcher journey?

7th May 2021

Researchers have more ways than ever to find the research articles they need, with a multitude of content discovery services delivering a constantly updated list of articles. Researchers, however, still face frustration when trying to access the articles that the discovery services return. A maze of publisher websites, entitlements, and authentications take valuable time that researchers could be spending on their work. GetFTR and SeamlessAccess are two services which offer solutions to related but separate problems faced by researchers. Understanding how these services differ is key to ensuring that researchers are supported throughout their access journey.

While SeamlessAccess focuses on simplifying and unifying the login experience on publisher’s websites, GetFTR’s focus is on those platforms and tools where our users begin their search for research. GetFTR is fully compatible with any of today’s existing research discovery tools, scientific collaboration networks, or library management systems.  Any system where someone conducts a search across the published literature is eligible for GetFTR integration, and GetFTR is already in use by more than 11 integrators and counting, including popular services like Mendeley, Dimensions and the Researcher app. 

When a user performs a search on a discovery service that has integrated with GetFTR, an entitlement check is conducted for all participating publishers and a GetFTR smart link is added to the content which they are entitled to access, based on their institutional affiliation. With GetFTR, a user working on campus or remotely needs to log in via their institution, to access any content their institution has subscribed to across all participating publishers.

GetFTR is in use by eight publishers currently – Springer Nature, Wiley, the American Chemical Society, Taylor & Francis, Elsevier, Karger, Future Science Group, and the American Society of Civil Engineers, with more joining soon. We firmly believe the best possible outcome for researchers is widespread adoption of GetFTR, and are actively engaging new publisher and integrator members. GetFTR also provides publishers with an option to offer an alternative version of an article to users who are not entitled. Such alternative versions could be read-only renditions of the version of record, pointers to preprints, links to author accepted manuscripts, or other formats. The decision on whether or not to provide such alternative versions will be at the discretion of each publisher. 

SeamlessAccess and GetFTR can be used individually or together. SeamlessAccess is focused on enabling federated authentication. GetFTR can build on top of SeamlessAccess to more easily identify what institution should be checked for entitlements. SeamlessAccess is designed for use cases outside of scholarly publishing, while GetFTR is currently more narrowly focused. SeamlessAccess enables digital authentication through the leveraging of an existing single-sign-on infrastructure through one’s home institution. When using SeamlessAccess, a user will not have to sign on to any individual publisher sites, relying instead on an authentication enabled by their university or research institution. Once a user has selected their home institution, that choice is stored in their browser, and participating publisher sites can populate a login button with that choice, eliminating the identity provider discovery step. 

While GetFTR and SeamlessAccess differ in their technology and offerings, both services have much in common. Both prioritize their users’ privacy and security, working directly with publisher’s websites and institutional systems to ensure the safety of user data. Both also are committed to easing the researcher access journey, making it easier and faster for researchers to access what they need. 

If you are interested in learning more about these exciting initiatives, please reach out to Heather Staines at either heattherstaines@seamlessaccess.org or heather@getfulltextresearch.com.

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