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Entity Categories group federation entities that share common criteria. Entities (Identity Providers and Service Providers) can declare in their metadata to which Entity Categories they belong. This must be reviewed and approved by the federation the entity belongs to.

The goal of Entity Categories is to allow Identity Providers to release their attributes more easily to a group of Service Providers, instead of each individual Service Provider. In the latter case, the Identity Provider has to review each Service Provider separately, which costs a lot of time. With Entity Categories, the Identity Provider automatically releases attributes to the entire group at once.

Currently, these are the most popular Entity Categories used within eduGAIN:

Research and scholarship

Candidates for the Research and Scholarship (R&S) Category are Service Providers that are operated for the purpose of supporting research and scholarship interaction, collaboration or management, at least in part.

Example Service Providers may include (but are not limited to) collaborative tools and services such as wikis, blogs, project and grant management tools that require some personal information about users to work effectively. This Entity Category should not be used for access to licensed content such as e-journals.

As a Service Provider, you must select a subset of the following attributes for this entity category:

  • personal identifiers: email address, person name (i.e. displayName or a combination of givenName AND sn), eduPersonPrincipalName.
  • pseudonymous identifier: eduPersonTargetedID.
  • affiliation: eduPersonScopedAffiliation.

SURFconext must review your application to this entity category. If you would like to join this category, please contact

Code of Conduct

As a Service Provider, to declare you have signed the Code of Conduct (in short: affirm that you are compliant with the GDPR), you can include the Code of Conduct Entity Category in your metadata. Please follow the link above to see what changes you must make to your metadata.

Hide from Discovery

In some federations, test and production entities are mixed up in the same federation. In that case, it might happen that test Identity Providers are published into eduGAIN. Usually, it's not the intention to include those entities on the discovery page of a Service Provider. Therefore, the Hide from Discovery category was established. Identity Providers that are part of this category wish not to be shown on a discovery page (WAYF). As a Service Provider, you must adapt your discovery page to adhere to this wish.

Within SURFconext, test entities are part of another (test) federation. SURFconext doesn't publish any test entities into eduGAIN, so it is very unlikely an Identity Provider in SURFconext should become part of this entity category. If for whatever reason you would like to become part of this entity category, please look at the URL above to see what changes you must make to your metadata.


Entity is compliant with the Security Incident Response Trust Framework for Federated Identity. See Sirtfi and SURFconext