OpenAthens: A new authentication system for access to Library electronic resources

Over the mid-semester break (April 11 – 29th 2022) UC Library will be moving to a new authentication system for accessing e-resources e.g. databases, e-journals and e-books.  The new system is called OpenAthens.  It is an authentication service that lets you use your UC account to access subscription-based electronic resources both on and off campus.

How will this affect me?

You will notice the login screen that pops up when you try to access an article/e-journal/ebook via a library link will look different than before.   From April 11 you will start seeing a Microsoft login screen instead of the classic “Remote Access Login” screen you’re used to.

old and new library resource sign in
Sign in screens – original and new

In the Microsoft sign in you should enter your uclive email address ( and IT account password.

If you get an error message trying to sign in, or if a link doesn’t take you to the full text of the resource, please email Library Digital Services.

New opportunities with OpenAthens

Similar to the old authentication system, links to e-resources via Library website links will take you directly through OpenAthens sign in to the resource where you will be recognised as part of UC’s subscription.

However, with OpenAthens, you will also be able to access some research articles you find from a web search outside the library.
Many publishers e.g. EBSCO, Elsevier (ScienceDirect, SciVal, Scopus), Emerald, Informit, Sage, Taylor & Francis, Wiley online library etc. offer OpenAthens sign in.

Look for a sign in option (sign in is often in top-right corner of webpage) like “Access through your Institution” or “OpenAthens sign-in”.  If you have to choose a federation, choose OpenAthens Federation.   As long as University of Canterbury appears in the list of institutions you will be good to go after sign in.

example Open Athens sign in button
example Open Athens/Institutional sign in button from Emerald

For publishers that offer personal accounts (e.g. Elsevier, EBSCOhost, Oxford Academic), the OpenAthens sign in may create a personal account for you and give you the option to utilise personalisation features e.g. saved searches, folders, email alerts etc. without having to separately register an account and keep track of those login details.

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