Connecting Australian research capabilities globally via the Australian Access Federation.

eduGAIN is a metadata aggregation service run by GÉANT for the global higher education community. It is essentially a federation "peering" service, which routinely imports metadata from multiple participating Higher Education and Research Federations, aggregates the metadata into a single signed document, and serves the aggregate metadata back to federations who then redistribute it to their subscribing identity Providers (IdPs) and Service Providers (SPs).


What does it means to be an SP in eduGAIN

Adding a Service Provider (SP) to eduGAIN, via the AAF, potentially enables access to the service for researchers globally. These researchers must have an affiliation with an institution that also subscribes to the eduGAIN metadata service. If an SP supports research and scholarship activities, it should assert the Research and Scholarly (R&S) entity category, which states the service’s attribute requirements to Identity Providers (IdP). The Service Provider retains control of the access authorisation decisions, managing access according to defined policies. 

Connecting a service to eduGAIN

This following outlines the steps to connect a service to eduGAIN via the AAF.

  • Assess whether the SP’s organisation is compliant or can comply with the SIRTFI (Security Incident Trust Framework for Federated Identity) guidelines for coordinating security incident responses in identity federations.

  • Are attributes from the R&S attribute bundle necessary for the service to operate?

  • Does the service meet the R&S requirements?

  • Request AAF to assert R&S on behalf of the SP. The AAF will verify the claim for an R&S status service.

  • From within the AAF Federation Registry, define necessary attributes for the SP.

  • If the SP does not meet R&S requirements or requires additional attributes:

    • determine which attributes the SP requires. (Develop an integration guide for the service, listing the attributes the service requires, for distribution to international IdPs whose members may want to use the service),

    • request attributes via the AAF Federation Registry

  • Ensure the SP software is the latest stable version.

  • Update the SP to consume the AAF eduGAIN Metadata.

  • Configure a Discovery Service mechanism which permits international researchers find their home organisation’s IdP

  • Request to join and add the service to eduGAIN, by emailing

  • Test and go-live.

After Joining

After successfully joining eduGAIN, advertise the service to a wider audience, potential avenues include:

  • Home page notification,

  • email campaigns and newsletters,

  • conferences, workshops and similar meetings.

The key message for researchers should focus on extending connectivity and collaborative opportunities by providing access to global services and resources.


AAF Federation Registry



Research and Scholarly (R&S)