OpenAthens MD

Fully hosted identity and access management

OpenAthens MD (Managed Directory) will enable your organisation to securely and effectively manage your users’ access to online resources.

It's a completely hosted solution that includes support for SAML (including Shibboleth implementations), allowing access to services outside or within federations such as the UK Access Management Federation and OpenAthens Federation.

OpenAthens MD is a development of the Classic Athens product known by millions of people across the world.

OpenAthens MD's simplicity means you can sign up and use the service without downloading any software or extensive IT support. This makes it ideal for libraries who have limited access to such skills and support.

OpenAthens MD customers include:

  • Arizona Health Information Network
  • Atlantic Health
  • Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies
  • Bon Secours Health System, Inc
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • British Museum
  • Cambridge Regional College
  • Chatham House
  • Clinician's Health Channel, Department of Health (Victoria) (CHC)
  • Danone Research & Development
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Dubai Health Authority
  • Ferring Pharmaceuticals
  • Florida Hospital
  • Hospital La Fe
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
  • NHS Scotland
  • NHS Wales
  • Region Skane
  • Saskatoon Health Region
  • Summa Western Reserve Hospital
  • U.S. Army Research Institute
  • University of East London
  • University of Mumbai
  • University of Reading


A great user experience

  • Secure single sign-on access to multiple web-based services
  • One username and password for all resources
  • MyAthens’ portal providing accurate links to all content available to the user
  • Independent of IP address, so users can access resources remotely.

Rich features for administrators

  • New Redirector - generate a single URL that directs the end users to their required resource whether they are off or on network.
  • Comprehensive user management facilities, making it easy for librarians to manage users and administer access to resources
  • Option to allow users to register online; validated by IP address or email domain
  • Ability to upload user information from another data source (for example, a spreadsheet or a directory)
  • Tools to add content easily to the MyAthens portal
  • Categorisation tools, enabling institutions to assign different access rights to categories of people
  • Comprehensive usage statistics by user category and by resource
  • Ability to set expiration dates for different categories of users, helping to meet your license agreements
  • Resources can be licensed by sub organisations which can be recognised by the vendor without using IP address recognition.

Fully managed for your organization

  • Highly scalable service with a proven track record over many years
  • Replicated, load balanced and fully resilient architecture
  • Upgrade path to OpenAthens LA (Local Authentication), so organisations can use their own established usernames and passwords
  • Fully hosted solution requiring no local IT involvement
  • Capable of connecting as an Identity Provider to any Shibboleth based Federation
  • Fully supported service with free access 24/7 x 365 to OpenAthens Service Desk
  • Long-term development roadmap with commitment to open standards such as SAML.


The Redirector provides a single URL format that directs the end user to their required resource whether they are off or on network.

  • If the user is within a recognised IP range they do not need to log-in.
  • An off-network user will be passed to the OpenAthens authentication point to login if necessary.

The Redirector will ease the burden of link management for your library and improve the experience for your users:

  • One link for resource access, on or off-network.
  • One format for all Redirectable resources.
  • One OpenAthens knowledgebase that stores and maintains the required URL formats.

This service allows users a seamless experience – moving a user directly to resources if they are within an organisation’s IP range or using the OpenAthens single sign-on service if they are off-network.

The proxy-like syntax means that your library’s journal A-Z, link resolver and OPAC products can easily be configured to use this.


MyAthens is the end user web portal for your organisation when subscribing to online resources through OpenAthens MD.

It's an easy-to-use, customisable, panel-based interface that enables the end user to navigate online content subscribed to by your organisation as well as other resources on the internet that could be used for learning or research.


MyAthens Toolbar

Users can download the MyAthens browser toolbar and get quick and easy access to Athens-enabled resources.

MyAthens toolbar - logged in

Download the MyAthens toolbar

OpenAthens Managed Proxy

Easily manage remote access to resources offering IP authentication.

Hosted and maintained by us, the OpenAthens Managed Proxy service has been designed so that you no longer need to run a separate proxy server for remote access.

We configure and provide you with an IP address on our proxy server, which you simply give to the publisher to register alongside your own. This means that your users can access your entire collection using the same username and password, whether they are onsite or elsewhere.

Access your usage statistics in one place: because the proxy service is integrated with OpenAthens it means that all of your resource usage statistics are available from your OpenAthens administration area.

Contact us to find out how to implement the OpenAthens Managed Proxy.

Ian Winship

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OpenAthens MD


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Ian Winship

OpenAthens Sales Manager, UK HE/FE


For the South Australia Health Library Network, OpenAthens is absolutely core. It’s the way we get our staff in touch with the information resources they need to do their jobs.

Mary Peterson

Knowledge Manager, South Australia Health Library Network

Case Studies