Peking University’s CARSI sees 25-fold increase of users since joining eduGAIN

Peking: It has been a year since CARSI (CERNET Authentication and Resource Sharing Infrastructure), initiated by Peking University Computer Center, acquired full membership of eduGAIN, a global identity authentication alliance. This year witnesses the users of CARSI rising from 22 to 563 universities, making CARSI become the third largest NREN (National Research and Education Network) federation headquartered beyond UK and the USA.

CARSI focuses on building an authentication and authorization infrastructure for educational institutions and users so that web resources developed by universities or deployed on internet can be visited by university faculty and students easily. CARSI offers a wide range of services mainly centered on electronic library resources, including more than 190, 000 journals, 10, 000 experiment videos, 1.7 million copies of e-books and textbooks, 13 million dissertations, 300 million patents, and 1 billion data resources. These services enable teachers and students to access a deluge of resources anytime and anywhere with a click. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, CARSI has seen impressive development. At present, over 50 service providers have applied to join CARSI, 34 of which have officially been launched online, such as Clarivate, Elsevier, SpringerNature, IEEE, RSC, CNKI, etc.

After joining eduGAIN, it took Peking University four months of great efforts to upgrade the software and service system, thus creating a new operation mode. As a result, CARSI has realized a comprehensive upgrade in its functions, improvements in its positioning, and an international expansion of its educational resource sharing service. There are more than 60 participant federations worldwide serving the education and research communities within their own countries.

Since the early spring of 2020, due to the pandemic, teaching and scientific research in universities have mostly been conducted online, and the demand from teachers and students for remote access to electronic resources has never been so high. In response to this situation, Peking University Computer Center quickly launched a simplified application process for universities and service providers, improving fast installation packages and shortening the time spent on programming and debugging. The simplified application process enabled over 300 universities to gain access to the service in the first two months of the pandemic. Moreover, the total number of visitors continues to grow, with daily visitors topping 350, 000.

As more and more universities and service providers join CARSI, the inter-institutional authentication and authorization service will play an increasingly important role in communications, building bridges, promoting resource sharing and providing pivotal technical support for scientific research.

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