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OpenAthens @ FGCU

OpenAthens LogoIn coordination with FALSC, the Florida Gulf Coast University Library is moving from proxy-based authentication for our subscription electronic resources to the OpenAthens identity management system. OpenAthens is a SAML based tool that functions by reversing the traditional concept of authentication - instead of connecting a library to a resource, OpenAthens connects a resource back to a library.  Users will now have the option to access the Library's subscribed content on numerous publisher websites without coming through the library website first. This conceptual change improves access by uncoupling the authentication from an access point at the library and permits robust platform-level data collection to assess usage. There will be no change to the Library's subscribed resources as a result of moving to OpenAthens, and most campus researchers should be able to continue using the Library's resources with little or no disruption.


Off-campus: students, faculty, and staff will continue to use their FGCU credentials to login, but using a new form. This experience varies by website, but where it is supported, researchers will have the ability to log into OpenAthens by selecting Florida Gulf Coast University from a list and entering their FGCU SSO credentials.
On-campus: where before on-campus users didn't have to authenticate they will now be required to enter their FGCU credentials when accessing online resources through OpenAthens. Guest access for community patrons will be provided.

Existing permalinks / bookmarks / reading lists

OpenAthens uses a different technology to manage access to resources than proxy-based authentication, which will change the syntax of the links the Library uses to access subscribed databases and content. As a result, students, faculty, and staff will also need to update any bookmarks, saved links, permalinks, or reading list links they maintain apart from the Library's web presence. This change will most likely impact "power users" and faculty who have embedded links to library resources in the University's learning management system, Canvas. Over time, library personnel will work with researchers and faculty to update these links; however, all links that currently rely on proxy-based authentication should continue to work for the foreseeable future. The process of updating links will take some time. Until all links are revised, students, faculty, and staff may see different login forms, either for proxy-based authentication or OpenAthens, depending on how they access the resource.

General Tips

Here are some general tips for accessing the Library's resources via OpenAthens:

  • If saving a link or creating a bookmark to one of the Library's databases, click on the Share icon to the right of the database title () and use the URL provided.
  • If accessing a resource directly through a publisher website without going through the library website first, log in using the Institutional Login (wording may vary by publisher), select Florida Gulf Coast University from the institution list, and log in using your FGCU SSO credentials.
  • Depending or the resource, your current location, and whether you've come through the library website, there may be several steps to log into a resource. See our FAQ for more information.
  • Sometimes, browser caching can cause problems accessing the Library's resources. Try clearing the browser cache and restarting the browser, or try using a different browser.
  • If you are having trouble accessing resources, please contact to create a connection.