StaffGuide: Electronic Serials

Electronic Serials

When is OpenAthens Set Up Needed?

If the new database / resource

  • is an entirely new platform
  • has migrated to a new platform
  • does not appear to work from off-campus with an Athenized link

Then the vendor / publisher must be contacted to set up OpenAthens access.  Set up may also involve a tcket at Ebsco for configuration on the OpenAthens end.

Our OpenAthens Account

  • OpenAthens Federation EntityID:
  • Identity: University of Arkansas Libraries
  • Organisation ID: 71610348
  • Scope:
  • Proxy IP Address:
  • Redirector Prefix:

Step 1: Provide the Vendor with our OA Credentials

Done by: Jae (seradmin@uark,edu); back up is Mandi or Mary. 

As part of the initial subscription contact, this information may be sent to the vendor:

Dear Vendor/Publisher,

I am writing to you from UNIV OF ARKANSAS LIBRARIES: 

365 N McIlroy AVE

We have a subscription to your __________________ resource and we would like to set-up Federated access. 

This is the URL we use to access this resource: xxxxxxxxx

Please register the following new proxy IP address into our account so that it may authenticate our users into your service:

Additionally, is your product OpenAthens-compliant? If so, please activate the following information:

• OpenAthens Organisation ID: 71610348


• Federation: OpenAthens
• EntityID:
• Federation Scope/Unit:

Please do not remove any existing method of online access. 

Thank you for your assistance, I look forward to hearing from you.


[Your Signature]


This may confuse some vendors, who may respond:

  • "We don't support OpenAthens." 
  • "We don't support Federated Access."
  • "We only allow proxy access."

You may respond that OpenAthens also supports proxied access.  Our OpenAthens proxy address is

Once the vendor completes this step, proceed to Step 2. 

Step 2: Try Local OpenAthens Allocation

Done by: Beth; backup is Dominick

  1. Login into OpenAthens at (use VPN to log in remotely)
  2. Choose Resources
  3. Check the Allocated resources to make sure that we don't already have this provide configured. 
    Sometimes the name of the resource can be misleading as in the example below:
    OpenAthens allocated database
    Pro Tip: in OpenAthens admin, navigate to Resources > Redirector link generator.  Input a link to the new resource to test. It the resource is already allocated.
    If the resource has already been allocated, you will see the name of the resource. 
    OpenAthens sucessfully allocated resource.
    If that domain has not been allocated, you will see an error and must proceed to Step 3
  4. Local Allocation successful?  Then wait 24 hours and test from off-campus without VPN. 
    If that works, then proceed with new resource set.  OpenAthens configuration is done. 
    If not working after 24 hours, proceed to Step 3

Step 3: Contact Ebsco Support for OpenAthens Set Up

Done by: Beth, backup is Dominick

  1. Open a ticket at Ebsco Connect
    1. In the subject line, indicate this is an OpenAthens: New database request
    2. In the body of the ticket, indicate that we have already shared our OA IP address and attributes with the vendor and that they have responded that their end is complete.  If we have tried Step 2 and not been successful, also indicate that. 
We need help configuring XXXXXXX [resource] for OpenAthens access.  We have provided our OpenAthens IP address and attributes to XXXXXX [vendor name] and they have confirmed this information on their end. Thank you for your help. 
We have tried allocating this resource in the Resource Catalogue but
  1. do not find it
  2. does not work.
  1. Wait for Ebsco's response. 
  2. Test after 24 hours from off-campus without the VPN.
  3. If working, conform with Ebsco and close the ticket.  Proceed to the next step of new resource set up.
    If NOT working, correspond with Ebsco until the resource is working. 

When Resources Don't Work with OpenAthens

Occasionally we will encounter a new or migrated resource that cannot work with OpenAthens.  In those cases, an icon and note are added to the resource record and to the Databases A-Z record:

VPN only note in Sierra resource record

VPN only icon and note in A-Z record

In addition, the database in the Client Center must be marked for "omit proxy."