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OpenAthens offers simplicity within a complex world of library technology.

The world of libraries, librarians and information professionals is in a period of exciting transition. As libraries, technology and information evolve, there is one constant: people want information that supports their learning, development and decision making. OpenAthens ensures access and authentication are managed simply, securely and effectively while providing insight and data that supports the changing information needs of the organization.

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One username and password

OpenAthens establishes one set of log-in credentials for all web resources and applications. There is no need to manage multiple start and end dates for each licence. Subscribers can sign-in and access the information they are looking for without unnecessary barriers or complications.

Access rights and permissions

OpenAthens provides flexible control for managing access rights to groups of users. Using new or existing attributes and categories a knowledge manager can control access to specific resources based on licensing requirements as well as the structure and strategic focus of their organization.

Statistics and data

Comprehensive usage statistics show how often content is accessed and by whom giving the team who manage the information insight into the value of the subscriptions and detail into which parts of their organization engage most regularly with their services.

Seamless off-site and on-site access

OpenAthens integrates with institutions who still rely on IP authentication. Single links are created that allow patrons and end-users access the information needed whether they are located within their organization or working off-site. It also enables access for people using mobile devices to reach the information they need.

Easy integration with IT

OpenAthens is designed specifically for librarians to manage authentication and end user accounts. Once the user accounts have been set up and established the dashboard provides a responsive and intuitive user interface that manages these users and then provides control to the information they can access.

Support for today and the future

OpenAthens is built on international standards. Our fully supported software and ITIL accredited service desk ensure these standards are maintained for all our customers. As the technology evolves, OpenAthens evolves with it.

Library Systems Manager, Middlesex University

“OpenAthens allows non-IT, library and information experts to manage worldwide authentication remotely from a single, central location.”

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The most successful business are built on the best intelligence. OpenAthens ensures professionals can access their paid subscriptions wherever they are working.


The healthcare industry relies on quick, easy access to the latest research and data. OpenAthens’ heritage in this area makes the full range of international journals and publications available to the people who need it when they need it.


Single sign-on developed in the academic world. Access to an array of learning resources developed the need for a single set of credentials that simplifies access and authentication for the library as well as staff and students.

Public libraries

Supporting high engagement with resources while ensuring licence conditions are met is often a tricky balance. OpenAthens provides peace of mind that resources are used frequently and always in compliance with the terms of the subscription.

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    Quick FAQ's

    What’s the difference between Shibboleth and OpenAthens?

    Shibboleth is an extension of SAML which provides a single sign-on infrastructure and reference implementation. It is not a product and therefore no support service is available with the code. OpenAthens provides a suite of supported software and services which allow publishers and institutions to connect to each other via SAML/Shibboleth.

    We don’t need OpenAthens as we use IP Authentication?

    IP Authentication works for on-site access, but doesn’t work so well for off-site or BYOD access to e-resources. If your end-users need access to your resources from their own devices or from off-site locations you will need OpenAthens; and if you have OpenAthens, why not use it for all scenarios and give end-users a consistent way of working for all situations?

    Latest News

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    By Sophie AllenMonday 5th Oct 2020

    MyAthens redesign – the what, the why, the how!

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    By Sophie AllenTuesday 12th May 2020

    Why OpenAthens makes accessing knowledge simple through a single sign-on

    OpenAthens are committed more than ever to make it easy …

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