The Library is Transitioning to OpenAthens External Authentication

On Friday September 13, 2019 at 3:00 PM the St. Mary’s University Library will be transitioning to a new external authentication client for all of our online resources. As a result students, staff and faculty will no longer need to enter their barcodes for each and every resource accessed off campus. Please read the information below for more details on this new service and the resulting changes to the authentication process.

What is External Authentication?

External authentication is the process through which online databases and academic resources verify that a user is a student or authorized personnel from a subscribing academic institution. This type of verification is required as the vast majority of academic content is available only through subscription, and often times with further restrictions as to where content can be access from and how much an individual user can download within a given period of time.

The St. Mary’s University Library is transitioning to a new external authentication system, OpenAthens, which utilizes institutional emails for authentication and will greatly reduce the number of times users will have to verify their credentials.

What Is OpenAthens?

As the majority of the Library’s resources are available online, e.g. electronic journals, e-books and databases, they will require external authentication when accessed from off campus. OpenAthens is an access management system for controlling and simplifying access to online resources. Authenticating via  OpenAthens enables you to access the majority of the Library’s online databases, electronic journals and e-books seamlessly and without the frequent entry of usernames and passwords.

Off-campus access to the Library’s online resources via OpenAthens is restricted to students, staff and faculty of STMU. Community and TAL borrowers will have access to STMU’s online resources through our on-campus computer terminals.

Accessing Resources via OpenAthens

When accessing an OpenAthens resource for the first time, you may be faced with a generic OpenAthens login screen (see below).  If so, you must search using the ‘Find your organisation’ box on the right in order to navigate to the correct login page.  A search for St Mary’s University will present a list that includes a St Mary’s University Calgary link.

Clicking the link will take you to an STMU sign-in page that will accept your institutional email address and network password to login (the same password as the Student Self-Service and IT workstations).  Logging in successfully here will take you to the desired e-resource.  Once logged in, you will remain authenticated throughout your browser session and links from the Library search page will pre-identify you as an STMU user and will pass you directly to the desired resource.

Please note: Signing-in to your STMU Library account does not automatically authenticate OpenAthens and vice versa. While the Library catalogue may be searched and accessed following an OpenAthens authentication in order to save items, searches, and manage your library account you will also need to sign-in to your Library account. Click here for more information on accessing and using your STMU Library account.

Important Notice:

All users must adhere to Terms and Conditions of use with regard the Library’s e-resources. Please remember, you must not divulge your usernames and passwords to anyone and that use of the Library’s e-resources for commercial benefit is strictly prohibited.

OpenAthens Troubleshooting

Some services do not permit off-campus use. Check the Databases page for details.

The STMU sign-in page is the only login page that will take your University credentials when accessing OpenAthens resources. If you see a generic OpenAthens login page, you may need to search for St. Mary’s University (‘Find your organization’) in the search box on the right of the page.

OpenAthens access is directly tied to your university IT credentials, if you are unable to sign in to OpenAthens, your STMU email, or STMU library account you can reset your password here.

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