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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Access to Electronic Resources

This guide explains how to connect to databases and full-text electronic journal articles and books.

OpenAthens Frequently-Asked Questions

What is OpenAthens?
OpenAthens is an authentication service, which means it allows you to access subscription-based electronic resources both on and off campus. Previously, we used WAM (Web Access Management). 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.

What is different?

The main difference is that you will use your Banner/email username and password to gain access, instead of the previous full name and barcode number from your University ID.  If you are linking from a library website link this is the only difference. If you are logging in directly from a resource website, you should see an OpenAthens login screen. It will ask you to identify your home institution – in our case the University of the South. From there, you will use the Sewanee login service and be given access to the resource. Users should choose the “find your organization” box to search for the University of the South.

Will the 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 of the screen. It might also ask you to select your Federation.

What is my Federation?
OpenAthens Federation.

Do I need to login when I am on campus?

Do I need to login when on VPN?

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:

  • Start from the Library homepage (
  • Follow our links to search for the bookmarked resource.
  • Search in TigerSearch for articles or ebooks.
  • Click on Research Databases for database content.
  • Click on Research Tools, Find Articles for journals or articles.
  • 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 “University of the South” under “Find your institution.” If Sewanee has access to this resource, you will be redirected to the Sewanee 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.

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

What is the best way to bookmark something, so I can always get access with my Sewanee 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 Sewanee network.

What if I have other questions about authenticating to Sewanee library resources?