Communication to library patrons
This content will help the library team with the communication campaign during OpenAthens onboarding.
The campaign goal is to inform your patrons and stakeholders and excite them about the benefits of OpenAthens.
There are a number of ways you can inform your patrons and stakeholders about the upcoming changes to the library systems. These could be:
- Sending an email
- Posting on the library portal
- Blogging on the institution’s website
- Customising some PDF posters to print
Whichever method you are using it is important to let your faculty members and students know how their user journey will change when accessing content on and off site.
Make sure that you are communicating with them only what is relevant to your unique OpenAthens setup.
Example patron communications:
We are very excited to announce that our library is in the process of implementing OpenAthens.
OpenAthens is an access management platform, allowing libraries to enable and monitor access to subscribed online content. Access and authentication are managed simply, securely and effectively while providing insight and data that supports the information needs of the institution.
What will change?
There will be no change to the number of resources your library subscribes to, so you should still be able to continue with your work and research with very little disruption to your workflow.
You will now be able to use your institutional credentials to authenticate to your favorite online resource platforms both on and off-site, giving you the flexibility to start your research wherever you are.
On-site IP authentication
The library will continue to provide an IP authentication service, there will be no change to the way you access online resources when on-site.
Off-site OpenAthens authentication
For off-site authentication to the publishers’ platforms, you will now be able to use your institutional credentials (username and password). You will only need to authenticate once to start an 8-hour long OpenAthens session. During that time, you will not be asked to authenticate again regardless of the number of different content platforms you visit.
Starting an OpenAthens session
Depending on your preferred research practices and institutional setup there are different ways you could start an OpenAthens session:
Signing in to your institutional laptop or computer
Depending on your set up signing in to your Chromebook or the workstation in your library can trigger an OpenAthens session.
Starting at the library portal
Logging into the library portal will start an OpenAthens session. This will still be active even if you continue your research via Google.
Starting at the learning management system
In many cases, your learning management system will require you to log in. This is enough to start an OpenAthens session.
Starting at your favorite resource home page
Navigate your way to your favorite online resource platform. The experience on the different platforms can vary but on some of the most popular platforms, you will have an option to log in with OpenAthens. Select your institution from a list and enter your institutional username and password.
Some platforms may ask you to select your federation when logging in, so please select OpenAthens Federation if needed.
Starting with Google or Google Scholar
If you haven’t authenticated already you can do so after your Google search. You will be able to access any resource in the search results as long as your library subscribes to it. To access the resource you will need to select login with OpenAthens, select your institution from the list, and enter your institutional username and password.
The disadvantage of this method is that you may come across a resource which your library does not subscribe to. In that case, OpenAthens will not allow access.
What do you have to do?
- Update your bookmarks and links
- Update reading lists
OpenAthens uses a different technology to manage access to resources, which will change the syntaxes of the links currently in use to allow seamless user authentication. To update links, make sure you have started an OpenAthens session and bookmark or copy-paste your updated link.
If you have any issues, please get in touch with your library staff, they will be able to help you.
Example social media posts
- All library e-resources can now be accessed quickly and easily from anywhere at any time #openathens
- Use any device anywhere to access the library e-resources to get more research done #openathens
- Easily access all the best resources online, making learning easier than ever #openathens
- Your online library services simplified to ensure everyone has easy access to the e-resources they need #openathens
- A single sign in will give you access to all our e-resources, no need to sign in again #openathens
- Access to our e-resources will be quicker and easier than ever with #OpenAthens
Examples of OpenAthens go live communication
We showcase examples of patron communication from institutions which have recently completed their onboarding.
University of San Francisco - OpenAthens Guide
Georgia Institute of Technology - How to video
Ulster University - Guide to Accessing Resources Using OpenAthens
GALILEO - OpenAthens Implementation Guide
Have a question?
Get in touch with your implementation team
If you have a question about onboarding, please get in touch with your onboarding lead. If you are not sure who that is, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org