Shibboleth is an Internet2 consortium project that enables universities to share resources and research across institutional boundaries. The Shibboleth open source software package works with Stanford’s other single sign-on Authentication and Authorization protocols to enable students, faculty, and staff to access resources at partner institutions without needing to create separate, local IDs and passwords for each one.
Any set of parties who use Shibboleth can create a trust relationship between their authentication systems. Service providers (websites that require authentication) can continue to allow access to users with local authenticated credential and also trust users with credentials from federated authentication services.
Stanford is a member of the InCommon federation, which has dozens of participating institutions. Many of our peer universities as well as academic research resources such as OCLC and Elsevier also belong to InCommon (see the full list). Members of these participating institutions can apply for Shibboleth access to and from Stanford. We also have our own local federation called FarmFed where we set up trust relationships with websites that are not members of InCommon.