Strategic and Practical FAQ -- Using Digital Certificates
Accessing JSTOR Using CREN-Institutional Certificates
Draft 2.1, August 5, 2001
JSTOR, a provider of digital journals is now ready to use
CREN-signed institutional digital certificates for user authorization from
1. Why should a user access JSTOR using CREN-Institutional Certificates?
A user with a CREN-signed institutional certificate as part
of their digital certificate can access JSTOR from anywhere at anytime. These
users do not have to be on campus where the incoming IP address is used for
authentication nor do they need to access a campus proxy server to make it
appear as if they are on campus. This service increases access for users.
2. How does JSTOR process incoming user digital certificates?
JSTOR has prepared its server to recognize and process
incoming digital certificates. In processing digital certificates, the web
server examines the signers of the certificates and the expiration dates of the
digital certificates.The issuer field
of the certificate needs to match a signer, such as the University of Minnesota
CA in the JSTOR database. For access to JSTOR to work, the certificate must
also be valid. This means a certificate that has not expired and that contains
a valid chain, i.e. that the chain tracks back to a recognized root, such as
3. What does a campus need to do to obtain a CREN-signed institutional
The detailed steps for obtaining a CREN-signed institutional
certificate are at the CREN site at (please fill this in) In brief the process is as follows:
Apply for the CREN Certificate Authority Institutional
Certificate at http://www.cren.net/ca/apply.html.
Complete and sign the application form
Set up a secure communications channel for sending a
certificate signing request
Receive the certificate and install it in your campus
Certificate authority software package.
4. What does a campus need to do to arrange for JSTOR to recognize the
-signed institutional certificate from their campus?
The campus technical contact needs to contact Spencer
Thomas at JSTOR (firstname.lastname@example.org) requesting that JSTOR set up your
institution for access to JSTOR using digital certificates. Here are the steps in the process.
Use the CREN-signed institutional certificate to create
the campus certificate that will be used to sign digital certificates issued to
members of the campus community.
Send Spencer a copy of the CREN-signed campus
institutional certificate and a copy of the public key portion of this
Confirm to JSTOR (www.jstor.org) that end-user
certificates signed with the campus certificate will only be issued to the
students, faculty and staff at an institution consistent with the existing
Certify that you will be issuing end-user digital
certificates with a reasonably short expiration period, such as, the end of the
Begin using JSTOR with digital certificates at the
following URL: http://www.jstor.org/logon