Leading single sign-on provider OpenAthens has opened nominations for its inaugural Best Publisher User Experience Award.

The identity and access management specialist is calling for applications from online publishers demonstrating how they’ve put the needs and experience of users at the heart of changes to digital services.

OpenAthens has launched this award to inspire publishers across the globe to invest resource into developing the best user journey to content.

In their submissions, publishers must demonstrate:

  • the reasons behind the changes to user experience in their digital services
  • how they engaged with users during the project
  • the changes and benefits to users
  • any cross-team or external collaboration​
  • the value, impact and ROI of changes to the user experience​
  • plans for future development.

The deadline for applications is Monday 30 September and the winner will be announced at the OpenAthens Conference in March 2020.

Librarians and end users will lead the initial round of voting with a panel of information industry experts – including Jisc’s senior digital content and UX manager Rich West and Andrew Preistner, trainer and consultant from UXinLibraries – revealing the shortlisted publishers in February next year.

The finalists will then present their work as a 10-minute case study during an OpenAthens’ webinar ahead of the conference.

The single sign-on specialist actively participated in the RA21 initiative and supports the recently released ‘Recommended practices for improved access to institutionally-provided information resources’, the first attempt by the information industry to improve library user journeys since 2009. The initiative was established to encourage publishers to engage with the access issues that librarians and their users are experiencing.

The newly established award demonstrates OpenAthens’ ongoing commitment to the evolution of the information industry and providing simple access to knowledge for the benefit of all.

Commenting on the opening of nominations, OpenAthens chief commercial officer Mike Brooksbank said: “We’re thrilled to launch the Best Publisher User Experience Award and are looking forward to representatives from across the information industry participating; from publishers, librarians and users, to industry experts, software providers and UX designers.

“OpenAthens works hard to help drive innovation in the information industry and to make access to knowledge as easy as possible for end users. With this award we hope to continue raising the awareness and importance of simplifying access to valuable digital resources.

“We’re calling for online publishers to get in touch today and tell us why they think they deserve the accolade.”

Visit the OpenAthens website to find out more about the Best Publisher User Experience Award and to submit your entry.