Onboarding OpenAthens Considerations for Switching to OpenAthens Authentication

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David Leffler


Liberty University is a private, Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia. OpenAthens is a company that provides off-campus authentication for an organization’s electronic resources by redirecting URLs through a secure network. In 2022, Liberty University took action to begin transitioning from EZproxy authentication to OpenAthens authentication. There are three primary reasons why Liberty University chose to authenticate its electronic resources through OpenAthens:

  1. OpenAthens provides greater security for accessing electronic resources by providing federated access for specific subscriptions.

  2. OpenAthens requires less internal support to maintain access to electronic resources, such as the lack of requirement to maintain stanza updates, than other authentication products.

  3. OpenAthens provides more granular reporting capabilities for usage data.

Therefore, organizations that plan to switch to OpenAthens authentication should consider their testing methods, plan for liaising with OpenAthens, and gain knowledge of OpenAthens terminology and different electronic environments before implementation to ensure a smooth onboarding experience.

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