Preserving data privacy and expanding access options

4th November 2020

At the heart of GetFTR is the drive to support streamlined access to high quality research for global researchers, no matter their location. As the current global pandemic has illustrated, rapid, direct access to authentic research is vital. 

Throughout the pilot which we launched in April, we have gathered feedback from users, participating integrators, and our Advisory Board, with the goal of improving the service to best meet the needs of the research community. Community feedback led us to add support for IP authentication as an additional means of validating institutional entitlements, in addition to Federated Authentication.

As with any new technical product, we’ve received feedback and questions around data privacy. GetFTR is committed to safeguarding the privacy of its users. 

When a participating integrator uses Federated Authentication via GetFTR to validate institutional entitlements, no personal data is shared with GetFTR or the publisher—only an identifier for the institution itself is shared.

Integrators now have the choice to validate entitlements using IP authentication through GetFTR as well, further growing the range of institutions that can benefit from GetFTR and allowing more researchers to engage with the service. We’ve put several policies in place to affirm that user privacy continues to be protected:

  • Integrators who chose to participate must notify users via their privacy policy that they will be sharing users’ IP addresses with GetFTR and participating publishers.
  • Publishers who receive IP address information from GetFTR are only allowed to use this for the purposes of checking entitlements. They must not use this data, or combine it with other information sources, for the purposes of tracking, analyzing, or profiling individual users.
  • We affirm that GetFTR itself will not use IP address information to track, analyze, or profile individual users in any way.

Throughout the pilot stage and as we add support and improvements to the service, we welcome feedback from all members of the research community and remain committed to transparency. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or feedback at

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