[Skip to Content]

Library Introduces OpenAthens for Resource Access

OpenAthens-Logo_RGB.jpgThe Health Sciences Library at Upstate Medical University is launching a new log-in procedure to our library resources, including journals, ebooks & databases, using a service called OpenAthens to manage access. 

In a nutshell 

When the Library implements Open Athens, your authentication credentials will be unchanged if you log in with an @upstate.edu account (the same used for email, Epic, Self-Serve, etc.).  Upstate affiliates using a different email account will receive a message from the Library with instructions for activating an OpenAthens account. Like many other Upstate online services, you will be required to log in through the Library website, from both on and off campus. The session will persist for as long as you are actively searching, after an hour of inactivity, or until you log out of/restart the computer/device used.   

What is Open Athens?

OpenAthens is an access management platform that allows us to link our library resources to your Upstate account. Developed in the 1990s at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, it is an open-source solution that provides the Library more flexible resource management options to provide better access to our resources to both on-campus and off-campus users. 

How is OpenAthens different than what is currently used? 

Currently we only require a login to Library resources from off campus using a system called EZ-Proxy. EZ-Proxy has limitations on granting access to resources based on specific user groups, as well as information on resources usage. Because of these limitations, the Library chose OpenAthens as an alternative method for granting access to Library resources.

What it will provide to our users 

A unified experience for users, both on-campus and off. OpenAthens will request that you login with your Upstate username and password regardless of your location when accessing resources through the Library website. Once you login to OpenAthens on your browser of choice (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge), you will no longer have to login for the duration of your session.  Depending on the resource, any search preferences that you set may also be carried over from session to session.  OpenAthens will also provide additional user security over our current EZ-Proxy login system.  

Additionally, if you are accessing a database or journal directly that allows for login using your OpenAthens account, you should be able to use your Upstate credentials, provided the Library subscribes to the resource. 

Why the Library switched to OpenAthens 

The Library assesses our resources every year to see what we renew, additional titles to buy and which resources we need to discontinue subscribing to. Some of the decisions we make are based on the "Cost Per Use" of an individual resource, and for that we need to collect data on how many times the resource is being used. The information that we were able to collect about our resource usage just through EZ-Proxy and vendor records was incomplete, and did not provide an accurate picture of our usage across campus. Because OpenAthens collects data for on and off campus usage, we will be able to better assess the overall usage of our subscribed resources and tailor our offerings to you.

Still Have Questions 

Please visit our Open Athens LibGuide for more information on logging in through the Library or vendor pages, and whether you need to request access. Additionally, questions may be directed to the Library Service Desk (315) 464-7091 or at library@upstate.edu. 

Top