Joining InCommon is the first step toward accessing several services:
Once the joining process is complete, InCommon participants can choose the services they wish to use.
1. Are You Eligible?
Participation in InCommon is open to:
- Higher Education
Two- and four-year, degree-granting academic institutions that are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education Regional Institutional Accrediting Agency, or some national or state accrediting agencies. If you represent an institution of higher education, continue to Step #2 below.
- Research Organizations
A Research Organization is defined as a lab, facility, or center related to a particular federal research agency and listed on an official publicly available government listing. See the joining process specific to Research Organizations. Research Organizations are eligible to sponsor partners into the federation.
- Sponsored Partners
Business, education, and research organizations who partner with higher education may join the Federation as Sponsored
Partners. Sponsored Partners must be sponsored by the designated Executive of a current InCommon Higher Education Institution or Research Organization. If you are a business or other potential sponsored partner - or if you are a higher education institution looking to sponsor an entity, please review the process for sponsorship.
- International Organizations of higher education and any international organizations legally established outside the U.S. are welcome to join InCommon.
Our detailed eligibility criteria are found in Section 4 of the Federation Operational Policies and Practices. We'd be happy to determine your eligibility status with you. Either email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Web Application Form (this is optional).
2. Send Us the Agreement
- If you are eligible, send us a signed copy of the InCommon
Participation Agreement [WORD] or [PDF] by postal mail, email or fax. Note that negotiating changes to the agreement will increase the time required for joining.
Do you represent a higher education institution from Maryland, Ohio, or Pennsylvania? Click your state name and use the participation agreement that has been negotiated with your state consortium and/or state government.
1000 Oakbrook Drive, Suite 300,
Ann Arbor MI, 48104
Email: admin AT incommon DOT org
- If you are applying as a Sponsored Partner, InCommon must receive a sponsorship letter from the InCommon Executive at a current InCommon higher education institution or research organization (send to admin AT incommon DOT org).
3. InCommon Countersigns the Agreement and Sends a Registration Link
We will countersign your participation agreement and will send a link you can use to register your organization with InCommon.
4. Payment of Fees
See the fee schedule - there is a one-time registration fee and an annual fee.
- The one-time registration fee covers the costs of vetting your organization, and identity proofing your executive and administrator.
- The annual fee supports the ongoing operations of the federation. Annual fees are prorated for the first year of participation, based on the quarter in which an organization joins the federation.
5. Register Your Executive and Administrator for Identity Verification
Use the registration link that you received to:
- Pay the one-time $700 registration fee by credit card.
- Submit the names of individuals to fill InCommon-related roles:
- Administrator (We will identity-proof this person for security)
Contact (Recorded but not identity-proofed)
- Executive: You will have already appointed your Executive in the Agreement. If you need to change your executive, you can use this letter template (note: it must be on institutional letterhead).
- Post your Participant
Operational Practices (POP) [HTML version] [Word version] on your organization's website.
(After the registration process is complete, your Administrator will submit your POP URL to InCommon.)
- Review InCommon policies and practices.
6. Identity Proofing via Telephone
Our Registration Authority will identity-proof your Executive and Administrator via telephone appointment.
7. Manage Your System via the Site Administration Interface
Following the identity proofing, your InCommon Administrator can gain access to the site administration interface for registering and managing your systems for interoperability within the federation.
8. Planning and Implementing Identity and Access Management
The NMI-EDIT Consortium provides excellent resources available on planning which, among other resources, includes two detailed roadmaps:
The Shibboleth system is addressed on the Shibboleth website and detailed on the Shibboleth documentation wiki.
The InCommon Library Collaboration has developed best practices for libraries and library resource providers.