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What Is OpenAthens?

A huge amount of the Library’s information is now made available online, e.g. electronic journals, e-books and databases.

OpenAthens is an access management system used by some UK universities for controlling access to these type of online services. Authenticating to  OpenAthens enables you to access many of the Library's online databases, electronic journals and e-books seamlessly and without further challenge for usernames & passwords.

For a full list of the databases that authenticate via OpenAthens, go to the Library Databases page and select Show OpenAthens Only Resources.

Alternatively, OpenAthens protected resources listed on the databases page, Library website or Portal are usually identified by the following symbol:  Athens Icon

Authenticating to OpenAthens

Access to the Library's online resources via OpenAthens is restricted to staff and students of the University.

Generic OpenAthens login : Find Your Organisation here

When accessing an OpenAthens resource for the first time, you may be faced with a generic OpenAthens login screen (see below).

If so, you must search using the 'Find your organisation' box on the right in order to navigate to the correct Ulster login page.  A search for Ulster will present a list that includes an Ulster University link.

Generic OpenAthens login: Find Your Organisation here

Clicking the link will take you to an Ulster sign-in page that will accept your institutional email address and network password to login (the same password as the Portal, IT workstations).  Logging in successfully here will take you to the desired e-resource.  Once logged in, you will remain authenticated throughout your browser session and shouldn't be challenged to login again if you visit other OpenAthens resources.

Ulster sign-in page

Login with your Ulster email & network password (same password as Portal, workstations)

Students please ensure you use the new format for your email address e.g.

Ulster University sign-in page

In many cases, links from the Library Databases page will pre-identify you as an Ulster user and will pass you directly to the Ulster branded sign-in page and on to the desired resource after successful login.  A successful login from the Ulster sign-in page will keep you authenticated during your browser session, preventing further login challenges from other OpenAthens resources.

All users must adhere to Terms and Conditions of use with regard the Library's e-resources. Please remember, you must not divulge your usernames and passwords to anyone and that use of the Library's e-resources for commercial benefit is strictly prohibited.

OpenAthens Authentication: Troubleshooting

Some services do not permit off-campus use.

Check the Electronic Databases  page for details.

The Ulster sign-in page is the only login page that will take your University credentials when accessing OpenAthens resources.

If you see a generic OpenAthens login page, you may need to search for Ulster University ('Find your organisation') in the search box on the right of the page.