edu-ID for Swisscovery / SLSP
In December 2020 most research libraries in Switzerland will migrate to the new Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP). SLSP provides services to Swiss research libraries and their respective library users. To discover and borrow library content, SLSP users require a SWITCH edu-ID account. This page provides information to AAI Home Organisation administrators (and technical contact persons) on how organisation can facilitate SLSP registration for their users.
Generally, there are no specific actions required for AAI organisations to allow their students or staff members to access the SLSP service. However, to facilitate registration with SLSP organisations participating in SWITCHaai may take a few preparatory steps to ease their users' onboarding.
SLSP User Requirements
To register with SLSP a library user needs to provide at minimum the following data:
- a name
- an e-mail address
- the date of birth
- a postal address
- a phone number
If a user creates a SWITCH edu-ID account specifically to access the SLSP service, the SLSP-specific edu-ID registration form (best open in a private/inkognito window to avoid duplicate account detection) asks for all the above-mentioned user information.
If an SLSP user already has a SWITCH edu-ID account, some of the above-mentioned required data may be missing. In such a case the SLSP registration service asks the user to add this information to their SWITCH edu-ID account's private identity first. Only if all of the required data is available, the user can finish the registration with SLSP.
Please note that the above data is not only provided once to SLSP for registration. Every change applied to the edu-ID account by the user or by the user's affiliated organisation(s) is propagated to SLSP if the data change is relevant for the operation of SLSP. Not all data is relevant for SLSP and only a subset of an edu-ID users data is synchronized to SLSP.
Taking into consideration the above SLSP user data requirements, the following five recommendations apply for organisations which want to facilitate registration with SLSP for their users:
1. Provide the date of birth attribute
SLSP requires the date of birth to identify duplicate users (of which there should be a lot less thanks to edu-ID) and in some rare cases to decide if a user is eligible to borrow certain content.
Ideally SLSP gets the date of birth attribute (swissEduPersonDateOfBirth) of all potential SLSP users (faculty, students) of your organisation so that users don't have to provide this information on their own. If an organisation provides the date of birth for their users, this also has the advantage that the attribute has a higher assurance level compared to the user providing his date of birth.
Ensure that the AAI Home Organization description for your organisation declares the date of birth attributes as supported and that the attribute release settings of the organisation allow its release to the Service Provdider (SP) https://eduid.ch/shibboleth and https://cloud-id.switch.ch/shibboleth (required for legacy reasons).
2. Provide a postal address attribute
SLSP users require at least one postal address so they can pick the postal delivery option to lend physical media (e.g. books).
Therefore, an organisation could check that all potential SLSP users have one of the following AAI attributes in the organisation's user directory:
- Home postal address (homePostalAddress)
- Business postal address (postalAddress): Is available only for staff members generally
Also important is that the address strings are complete and according to the specification. Otherwise, they will not be accepted by SLSP. A complete address includes at minimum a street, zip code and city (e.g. "ETH Zentrum$8092 Zürich$Switzerland"). If country is missing, it implicitly will be set to Switzerland. An address like "Fachhochschule XY$Länggasse 85" is incomplete (no zip code and city) and will be rejected.
Ensure that the AAI Home Organization description for your organisation declares at least one of the above attributes as supported. Then ensure that the attribute release settings of the organisation allow release of this attribute to the SP https://eduid.ch/shibboleth and https://cloud-id.switch.ch/shibboleth (required for legacy reasons).
3. Provide a phone number attribute
SLSP requires a phone number to directly contact a user in case of problems with their account or transactions.
Ensure that all potential SLSP users have one of the following AAI attributes in the organisation's user directory:
- Mobile number (mobile): This is the preferred phone number as an increasing number of people have a mobile phone only. Namely students have no business phone number and may likely have no private (landline) phone number.
- Private home phone number (homePhone)
- Business phone number (telephoneNumber)
Also ensure that the phone numbers according to the specification start with + and contain only numbers and spaces. A proper phone number would look like "+41 79 123 45 67". The spacing is not important.
Ensure that the AAI Home Organization description for your organisation declares at least one of the above attributes as supported. Then ensure that the attribute release settings of the organisation allow release of the attribute to the SP https://eduid.ch/shibboleth and https://cloud-id.switch.ch/shibboleth (required for legacy reasons).
4. Provide library card number and/or matriculation number
Library users generally have one or more library cards, which allow them to borrow and return physical content at self-checkout kiosks. The library card numbers follow a certain scheme that is governed by bibliopass.ch.
The SLSP registration service asks the user to provide one or more library card numbers if available. Some universities know and provide their user's library card number. In some cases the library card number is identical to the student's matriculation number.
If your organisation has access to the user's library card number, add this value to the Card UID attribute (swissEduPersonCardUID). The Card UID attribute is multi-valued. To provide the library card number(s), the value has to be provided in the format:
<library card bar code or card number>@bibliopass.ch
SLSP matches the values case-insensitive.
Student library cards often re-use the Swiss matriculation number. Therefore, universities can provide the attribute Matriculation number (swissEduPersonMatriculationNumber). The matriculation number attribute is single-valued and should contain only eight digits (e.g.
04911506). Providing the matriculation number for students also has the positive side-effect that it becomes easier to identify duplicate SWITCH edu-ID accounts.
Ensure that the AAI Home Organization description for your organisation declares the Card UID and matriculation attributes as supported. Then check that the attribute release settings of the organisation allow release of these attribute to the SP https://eduid.ch/shibboleth and https://cloud-id.switch.ch/shibboleth (required for legacy reasons).
5. Ensure affiliation data meets the AAI Attribute Specification requirements
Having an attribute available for an AAI user and releasing it is good but may not be sufficient. Please also make sure that the attribute values are meeting the requirements of the AAI Attribute Specification. This means for example that phone numbers start with a + and only contain digits and spaces. Or it means that postal addresses all contain a ZIP code and a city and not just "Departement X, University Y". It also means that the postal address should be a multi-line attribute according to the specification.
To get an overview of any issues that users of your organisations might have, please review the "Affiliation Data Report" on the edu-ID Organisation Administrator web interface, which can be accessed by all AAI Home Organisation and Attribute Release Policy administrator of an organisation. This report is created daily and it lists all major, minor and info issues of affiliation data that edu-ID has access for.
6. Encourage users to create a linked SWITCH edu-ID account
If your organisation has not adopted the SWITCH edu-ID yet, you still can invite your users to create an edu-ID account and link it with your organiation's AAI account. The URL to point users (with existing edu-ID accounts) to in order to link their AAI identity is:
By having a linked AAI organisation identity, prospect SLSP users gain some special privileges within the SLSP services as they then can be identified as students or staff members of a Swiss higher education or research organisation.
Inviting users to create a SWITCH edu-ID account and link it to your organisation's AAI identity also benefits your organisation in a future edu-ID adoption.