Shibboleth has been used in education for a number of years, mainly replacing Athens. New words like “Shib” or to be “Shibbed” entered the institutional terminology.
So what! you may say, is all the fuss about getting “Shibbed”
Well as a student it can be quite frustrating having to type (or try to remember) yet another username and password, to get into a website to access it’s academic content. This all changes when an institution deploys Shibboleth. Students can use their network user ID and password to access many web-based academic content sites.
It’s all down to “attributes”. Institutions have “Student” and “Staff”, there you go two attributes “Student” & “Staff”. simple things like an email addresses can distinguish one institution from another , which can be used as an attribute.
Therefore if you’ve got the attribute you can seamlessly access that academic content, if you haven’t you can’t. This takes away the issue of publisher worried about non subscribed users.