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OpenAthens: Accessing Library Resources

Welcome to the OpenAthens LibGuide!

This guide provides general tips and FAQs for accessing and using the NU Library's resources via OpenAthens. If you encounter any problems accessing a resource, please Ask Us!

OpenAthens Overview

The NU Library is moving from proxy-based authentication for our subscription electronic resources to the OpenAthens identity management system. OpenAthens is an access management platform that allows the NU Library to enable and monitor access to subscribed electronic resources. There will be no change to the Library's subscribed resources as a result of moving to OpenAthens, and users should be able to continue using the Library resources with little or no disruption.

OpenAthens offers increased security and control of library resources, reduces service interruptions, and allows campus researchers to access e-resources across library databases and publisher websites with just one login.



OpenAthens uses a different technology to manage access to resources than proxy-based authentication, which will change the syntax of the links the Library uses to access subscribed databases and content. As a result, students, faculty, and staff will also need to update any bookmarks, saved links, or reading list links they maintain apart from the Library’s web presence. This change will most likely impact "power users" and faculty who have embedded links to library resources.

Additionally, check your citations as any links in citations that include will need to be updated. Watch this webinar to learn how to write your citations with the correct links in APA 7 format.

OpenAthens enables seamless, secure access to library databases and resources anytime, anywhere via single sign-on (SSO).

  • Once users have signed into authenticated NU systems with their standard NU credentials, such as NCUOne and The Commons, they will be allowed to use library resources.
  • Session timeouts for some resources should be eliminated, and access stability should be enhanced.
  • Multiple access routes to resources including the Library website, Google Scholar, and the ability to log into content providers/publisher websites using standard NU credentials are provided.

Students, faculty, and staff will use the NU credentials to login and access resources but using a new form. Users will also have the option to access the Library's subscribed content on numerous publisher websites without coming through the library website first. This experience varies by website, but where it is supported, researchers will have the ability to log into OpenAthens by selecting Northcentral University from a list and entering their NU credentials.

Need Help? Ask Us!

Questions? Ask Us!

  • Contact the NU Library with general questions and library access issues:
  • Contact the Academic Success Center with questions related to APA style and Academic Writer:
  • Contact the NU Service Desk with questions related to NCUOne, course resources, broken links, or textbooks:

OpenAthens System Status Check and Current Issues

Browse updates on OpenAthens known issues and system status.

OpenAthens Frequently Asked Questions

Search for your question using the search box. You may also browse the most popular frequently asked questions (FAQs). 


Creative Commons logo All materials prepared for and directly part of this guide are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA) license with special thanks to Georgia Southern University for various content.