Answered By: Francine May
Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024     Views: 37

What do I need to know as a faculty member about the transition to OpenAthens?

MRU Library is transitioning to OpenAthens to facilitate a secure and OpenAthens logoefficient sign-in process for accessing digital resources such as ebooks, journals, media, and data. This change is designed to enhance the user experience by providing:

  • Secure Single Sign-On: Seamless access directly from the library and on publisher websites.
  • Persistent Authentication: Ensures access continuity for up to 8 hours across different publishers’ platforms without re-authentication.
  • Expanded Access: Similar to our previous system (EZproxy), an OpenAthens MRU permalink allows access on a publisher’s website. Additionally, MRU library users can now log in directly on a publisher’s page using the 'Sign in via institution' link.

Some libproxy links (also known as EZproxy) will stop working immediately, while others will continue to function during the transition period, until December 2024. Supports are in place to ensure stable access to course materials.

Actions for Faculty:

1. Update links in D2L and other course materials:

As resources and publishers make access changes from time to time, it is always good practice to review links in D2L and other course materials. The implementation of OpenAthens changes the syntax of some library links, meaning that older links may not function, or may stop functioning at some point. 

To update non-functioning or outdated links:

  • Easiest method - permalink to a LibrarySearch record 
    • Pro: Simplest method, that works for almost all library resources and takes users to a familiar platform.
    • Please note: Not all library resources are in LibrarySearch, in this case retrieve a permalink directly from the database. 
  • Retrieve a permalink from the database
    • Pros: Enables direct linking to a resource, even sometimes to a chapter or timestamp.
    • Please note: Each database or publisher website has a unique design, meaning it may take more steps to find a stable link. 
  • D2L Link updating Request Form: Request that ADC and Library staff update your links in D2L by filling out a D2L Request Form.


2.  Testing your links:
  • It is always good practice to test your links to make sure they work. Although not mandatory, testing updated links from off-campus (or via VPN or mobile data) can help confirm their functionality for remote access.


3.   Seek additional support:

  • For assistance, faculty can reach out through various channels including the main floor service desk, chat, text message, or by submitting issues via the 'Report a Problem' form Report a problem button available in each LibrarySearch record.

The library is dedicated to supporting faculty during this transition to ensure academic resources remain accessible with minimal disruption. Please reach out for any clarifications or immediate needs concerning link updates or access issues.