Applying for and receiving access to collections through The Wikipedia Library is currently an effort and time consuming process, both for users of the Library Card platform and for the TWL team & coordinators. Users apply to individual collections (publishers), wait to be approved by a coordinator, then usually need to wait further for the relevant external organisation to set up an individual free account for them. We want The Wikipedia Library to work like a real library wherever possible - users should be able to log in to the tool and immediately begin accessing the resources they need for their research.
To achieve this aim, we're implementing a proxy server to unify accounts and remove the setup dependency from our partner organisations, and launching a Library Bundle of content which will require no applications from users.
We are using hosted OCLC EZProxy software as our proxy service. Approximately 30 collections will be available to access through the proxy; users will still apply and require approval for ~20 of these collections, but will immediately be authorized to access their content following coordinator approval. Users will no longer need to wait for individual account setups by publishers, and will be able to use their Library Card login (via OAuth) to centrally access all proxy-enabled collections.
In total, 85% of our journal content will be available via proxy, either through individual applications or in the Library Bundle.
One reason users currently need to apply for access to each collection is that it enables coordinators to verify the user meets the minimum technical criteria for access - 500+ edits, 6+ months editing, recent activity, and no blocks. With proxy-based access, we can check these criteria automatically, and enable seamless no-approvals-needed access to some of our collections. The set of collections participating in the Library Bundle is primarily dependent on publisher comfort - some are hesitant to remove the human-verification factor.
Approximately 15 partners are taking part in the Library Bundle at launch, including large collections such as EBSCO, JSTOR, and ProQuest. This means that nearly 65% of our journal content will be available through the Library Bundle.