OpenAthens FAQ

What is OpenAthens?
OpenAthens in an authentication service, which means it allows you to access subscription-based electronic resources both on and off campus. Previously, we used EZProxy. OpenAthens replaces that service.

Please note: OpenAthens is a “gateway” service to facilitate access to publisher content. It does not include any content of its own.

When did the change happen?
The Georgia Tech Library activated OpenAthens authentication in mid-May.

Why did we change services?
OpenAthens offers a single sign-on, integrated with Georgia Tech’s authentication service, to access the library’s subscription-based content. End-users are able to access e-resources across service provider sites with just one login.

What is different?
While accessing e-resources a user should see an OpenAthens login screen (see below for an example). It will ask the user to identify their home institution – in our case Georgia Tech. From there, they will use the Georgia Tech login service and be given access to the resource. Users should choose the “find your organization” box to search for Georgia Tech.

Will login link/screen look the same for all resources?
No, it will be resource specific. Look for sign in or login links, usually at the top. It might also ask you to select your Federation.

What is my Federation?
Open Athens Federation. 

Do I need to login when I am on campus?
No, OpenAthens will recognize campus IP ranges.

Do I need to login when on VPN?
No, OpenAthens will recognize campus IP ranges.

My bookmarks to databases, books and articles no longer work. What should I do?
The best solution is to create a new bookmark following these steps:

  1. Start from the Library homepage (library.gatech.edu)
  2. Search for the bookmarked resource
  3. After you find the book, chapter, article or paper you need, save a new bookmark

I usually access library resources through Google or Google Scholar. Will I still be able to use OpenAthens to authenticate?
Look for the “Login through OpenAthens” prompt on the resource homepage. Select “Georgia Institute of Technology” under “Find your institution.” If Georgia Tech Library has access to this resource, you will be redirected to the Georgia Tech login screen.

What happens if I change devices or use a different browser? Will OpenAthens remember me?
OpenAthens uses cookies to remember your device’s IP address. If you change web services – from Firefox to Chrome or Internet Explorer – you will be asked to login again. Additionally, if you change devices, like from a laptop to a mobile phone, you will be asked to login again.

What happens if I clear my cookies daily, weekly or monthly?
You will be asked to login again.

What happens if I never clear my cookies or change my browser? Will OpenAthens remember me forever?
It depends on your browser, but generally the OpenAthens temporary browser cookie expires every eight hours. After eight hours you will be prompted to login again. Also, please remember if you clear your browser cookies or close out your browser session, the cookies are lost and you will have to login again.

I’ve bookmarked resources using EZProxy, do I need to update my bookmarks?
Your existing permalinks will be redirected to the new OpenAthens service through the fall. As part of the redirect, we have placed messages alerting users to the change. Once users are redirected to the page, they can make a new bookmark. The new permalink should contain “https://go.openathens.net/redirector/gatech.edu” or something similar.

After the redirect period, users who need to make a new bookmark should follow these steps:

  1. Start from the Library homepage (library.gatech.edu)
  2. Search for the bookmarked resource
  3. After you find the book, chapter, article or paper you need, save a new bookmark

How do I know if EZproxy is used in my permalink?
Your link will contain “prx.library.gatech.edu” or some variation of it, like in this example: http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/aerospace

If I need help with my permalinks, with whom do I talk?
Please do not hesitate to contact ept@library.gatech.edu. They will guide you through the process.

What is the best way to bookmark something, so I can always get access with my Georgia Tech credentials (off and on campus)?
Using the OpenAthens permalink is the best option, as it will work regardless if you are on or off the Georgia Tech network.

What if I have other questions about authenticating to Georgia Tech library resources?
Contact ept@library.gatech.edu.