Today's users are mobile. STM professionals expect that the information they need will find them when they need it and where they need it: at the point of care, in the field, at the lab, and on the go. From mobile optimized websites to device native applications, Silverchair provides an integrated mobile experience for all users—including institutional users.
While mobile optimized websites are becoming increasingly sophisticated, there are many use cases when a device native application (an “app”) is desirable. Calculators, quick-reference tools, order sets, and other point-of-care resources, for example, make excellent applications as they are purpose-built and focused on specific tasks for which a mobile device is ideally suited. Device native application can support a range of business models and often serve as powerful marketing tools by providing a presence on the user’s mobile device and in online stores such as iTunes. Silverchair provides application development for today’s mobile devices and operating systems. Our mobile applications are built to leverage the capabilities of mobile devices while providing seamless integration with online products and resources.
SCM6 detects each user’s device and, when a mobile device is detected, will display a website view optimized for that device’s browser . This approach is efficient in reaching a broad spectrum of operating system users (iOS, Blackberry, Microsoft, Android, HP/Palm) and allows for real time product updates without requiring regular updates to the application. Unlike device native applications, mobile optimized websites also do not require development and maintenance of code written in the babel of programming languages found in today’s diverse mobile ecosystem. SCM6 deploys stylesheets that optimize for various devices, all using HTML. The range of functionality available via mobile websites is becoming increasingly more sophisticated. The HTML5 standard allows for increasingly “app-like” functionality, including support for touch-screen gestures, multimedia, and location-based services. All SCM6-hosted websites include mobile optimized websites as a standard implementation.
The problem for institutional users is that the usual institutional authentication methods (IP address, Athens, Shibboleth) often do not work on mobile devices. This is is because even when a user is within the walls of his institution, his mobile device is often not on the institution’s network (it is on the network of his cellular carrier). Silverchair solves this problem by enabling institutional users to access SCM6-hosted websites from any mobile device – even when the user is not on his institutional network. We enable this functionality through the use of personal accounts. An institutional user may set up a personal accounts with his own username and password. He may then use his personal account to sign on to subscribed content from any mobile device. Silverchair maintains security by requiring that a user sign in to the publisher’s SCM6-hosted website when on the institution’s network every 90 days to prove he remains affiliated with the institution.
The advantage of this method of mobile authentication for publishers is twofold. First, publishers can offer secure mobile access to authorized users at subscribing institutions. In an era of shrinking library budgets, this is a powerful incentive. Second, unlike other mobile authentication methods such as device pairing, Silverchair’s account-based mobile authentication method tells publishers who is accessing their sites. Most institutional usage is anonymous—publishers do not know who the institutional users of their sites are. SCM6′s account-based mobile access provides a strong incentive for institutional users to identify themselves.
There are numerous advantages for institutions themselves. Institutional subscribers can provide their users with 24/7 access to subscribed content via any mobile device, without having to manage complicated VPNs or requiring users to request pairing codes. Additionally, SCM6 includes mobile usage in institutional usage reports, even when that usage occurs off of the institutional network, providing librarians and institutional administrators with a global view of site usage by their affiliated faculty, staff, and students.
The SCM6 platform serves as a unified delivery system that can dynamically adjust display, content, and features for multiple device use cases. Those use cases include support for mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and shared terminals. SCM6 provides an integrated mobile experience for users—including institutional users— through the use of individual accounts that span all devices a user may interact with. An individual accessing either an SCM6 mobile optimized website or a device native application developed by Silverchair will log in with the same user name and password she uses to access her account on a desktop or laptop computer. All applicable site personalization (customized widget configurations, targeted advertisements, saved content) will follow from desktop to mobile device and vice versa. What’s more, when a user logs in to via her desktop machine, she will immediately see the articles she has most recently accessed on her mobile device in a homepage widget. This provides the user with a convenient means of retrieving articles discovered on her mobile device that she may wish to save and/or print when back at the office or home.