Campus Activated Subscriber Access for better off-campus and mobile access to full text
Google Scholar is rolling out a programme with publishers for easier access to full-text subscription content. They call this Campus Activated Subscriber Access (CASA). The description from the latest press release says "CASA makes note of a user’s institutional affiliation when they access content from an authorized on-campus location, and then enables continued access to their library’s journal and book holdings from home or when using a device not connected to the institution’s network".
The way this could work with Primo is by setting a cookie on the user's device when they are on campus and access Primo. If their next access to Primo was from an off-campus IP address from the same device, the cookie would still be transmitted to Primo and, providing it was within a reasonable expiry time (to cater for the fact that students leave the university), Primo could give the user the full on-campus search experience without requiring the user to log in.
Google Scholar then presumably passes the institutional affiliation through to the publisher via something in the URL or perhaps the referring URL -- this will need further exploration. There is no technical reason why Primo and the link resolver could not operate in the same way with publishers that are prepared to offer this unauthenticated route for Google Scholar users.
I suppose that Google may store the institutional affiliation details in the user's Google account, if they are signed in to a Google account on their browser, when using the device on campus, and thus it would be possible for Google to provide the institutional affiliation to the publisher even if the user was then accessing off-campus on a completely different device. This level of convenience for the user would be harder to achieve in Primo, given that Google gives users many reasons to open an account and stay logged into it. But could Primo, if the user was on campus or signed into Primo off-campus, give the user the opportunity of associating themselves with a Google account, that Primo could then check when the user is off campus and on a different device?
Louise Driscoll commented
Highwire have announced they are working with Universal CASA